Sunday, June 8, 2014

Class of 1943

Today would have been Mom's 89th birthday. Seventy-one years ago she graduated from the Mattanawcook Academy. The academy was founded in 1847 as Lincoln High School. The name was changed to Mattanawcook Academy in 1850.  Today it is part of Regional School Unit No. 67, which includes Mattanawcook Junior High School, and Ella P. Burr Elementary School.

Here are some facts and other tidbits about her home town.

Lincoln was a small town with a population (according to the 1940 census) of 3,653, and the major business in the area centered around sawmills along the Penobscot River and the pulp and paper mill.  Mom's younger brother worked for a while in the paper mill, and if you have ever smelled a paper mill in production, it is not a scent you will forget.

As of the 2010 census, Lincoln had a population of 5,085 and having increased less than 1,500 in 70 years, it is still a small town.

Every area has their signature food, and a favorite of mine is the New England staple...Bean Hole Beans.  These are absolutely a treat.  First dig a big hole and build a fire.  Then take a cast iron pot with a lid (I have one of these), fill with beans, salt pork (or bacon), onions, dry mustard and molasses.  Bury the pot in the pit of coals and wait...8-10 hours later you will have a delicious pot of beans. I remember Mom telling me about eating bean hole bean sandwiches for breakfast.

Above and beyond the bean hole beans, the food that brings me a sigh squeal of delight is fried clams, preferably those found at clam shacks along the beaches.  Others may favor the oohed-and-aahed-over Maine lobster, but give me a plate of fried clams (whole or strips) dressed only in salt, and I am one happy camper.

These are from the Sea Hag in Florida.
On rare occasion you can actually get good fried clams somewhere other than New England. While these aren't quite the same, they are a good substitute.

Along with the good comes the not-so-good.  Black Flies.  If you live or have visited in the northern states in the summer, you know about Black Flies. They bite, but even more irritating to me is the swarming around your face. They are tiny, a 16th of an inch or less, and they can get in your eyes, so you are constantly swatting them away.

While doing research for this post, I found a list of residents buried at the South Lincoln Maine Cemetery, also known as the Mohawk Cemetery.  A number of my relatives are buried there, including my grandparents, great grandparents and uncles.  There is an old wrought iron fence around the cemetery, and at the gate there is (or was) a water spigot for visitors to get water for the flowers.

There is a lot more to the State of Maine and the Town of Lincoln, but these are a few of the things with which I have a personal connection.  For anyone interested, there is more information at their web site Welcome to Lincoln.

I miss thee, my Mother! Thy image is still
The deepest impressed on my heart.
- Eliza Cook

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Links to pictures and more info are in bold.


  1. Hi Linda .. I too celebrate your mother's birthday yesterday as too relatives of mine ...

    Interesting to read about her home town ... somewhat different to our Lincoln! Delicious sounds clams ... those I'd be happy to eat .. less so 'dem little black things swarming around ...

    Have a good week .. cheers Hilary

  2. What a nice tribute to your mom. I laughed about the paper mill. We used to go to beach near one and about died when the wind wasn't favorable:~)

    JC was playing golf recently and got attacked by yellow flies. Poor thing looks like his legs got burned by cigarettes...the bites were that large and itched. Fortunately, he's better now!

  3. This was absolutely fascinating and beautiful! Funny, I asked my Mom if we could have clams at the beach house this weekend... yummmm! Wish we could afford lobster!

    I also just read the post below this... you know how I love the ocean... the ocean is home. You really touched me!

  4. Hilary- It was a good day, wasn't it? We used to spend time there each summer. It's a great place to visit...but I'd not want to live there. Do love the clams, though.

    Sara- Paper mills are stinky! When we were in Georgia some years ago, we went exploring a park, and were attacked by what I thought were deer flies. Whatever they were, they were vicious and they hurt.

    Katherine- Hi!! I'd love to have a plate of clams. How do you fix them? Steamed or fried? Yes, I know what the ocean means to you. It truly does recharge a body, doesn't it?


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