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Town News

Sharon Norman

Reflecting on the past year in Princeton will be the theme for this column.  In an effort to keep people informed of the present, many people forwarded me items for consideration from the past: pictures, articles, emails and phone messages. As always, it is much appreciated when interest is shown in this little town with happenings in the past and present with hope for the future.

The area celebrated with the opening of Sugar-n-Spice a few years back.  When the announcement to close was heard, many unhappy customers and friends shared mixed feelings.  But to residents’ delight, The Old School Family Restaurant opened and then added the bakery to the restaurant to the list of “happenings” in town.  Again, people were happy and ready to order from the delicious choices.

The Maine Memory Network Grant snowballed, so to speak, into a year-long endeavor of capturing the past on video.  Many elders opened their homes to the library committee so they could interview them putting the interviews first into narratives and second into video.  There were two Princeton Remembered nights plus a showing for interested people after the Princeton Reunion held in August. As a side note, the reunion saw 160 people in attendance and many positive responses came from those who visited.  Some are very anxious to return for their next visit to Princeton. More recently the Princeton video was shown in Calais for the historical society.  There is still interest shown in purchasing this video, so that may still be a future reality.  Many photos of Princeton with descriptions were uploaded to the Maine Historical Society that can be viewed at any time.  Much time and energy went into this project, so please take some time to check them out. 

Along that same line, a few early photos with descriptions were uploaded to the Penobscot Marine Museum website.  One photo has been added to the travelling exhibit but others may be added to the virtual tour on line. 

The Princeton Farmers’ Market will be entering into the fourth year from June to September.  The market has seen growth in vendors and patrons.  This year it is anticipated to bring to the town and area folks expanded vegetable offerings as well as a growth in artisan and crafters participating.  West Street is the place to be on Thursdays throughout the summer sometimes listening to music, socializing and enjoying the market sponsored barbecues while choosing fresh vegetables for the week.  

The dedicated committee who has worked on the Comprehensive Plan will be presenting a finished product in the near future.  Even though some folks feel it is a Christmas wish list, it is a necessary piece of town documentation to move into the future.   

Keep a watchful eye this year on the Princeton Library.  Along with the need for a wheel chair accessible bathroom, many donations of books and DVDs have necessitated a much needed expansion.  A well appreciated grant will be utilized for some of these changes, but local donations and interested alumni have also contributed to this improvement. Donations are still greatly needed. 

Another worthwhile restoration project is the Princeton Grange #293.  A building dating back to the 1800s is very much worth saving. Without the Grange’s efforts, the Princeton Farmer’s Market would not have formed.  Please show your support in any way you can. 

Friends of Princeton continue to sponsor events and activities throughout spring, summer and fall.  Some of the earlier events may be eliminated while working to sponsor some others that may work better to reach more people.  Friends collected and sold many good quality books during the summer flea market.  It is anticipated at various functions over the summer, adult and children’s books will be sold to benefit the Princeton Library Building Fund. So, whether your interest lies in planting flowers along Main Street, sipping tea in the fall at the Bellmard Tea and Tour or volunteering at the summer festival to help it grow, there is something for everyone to enjoy.    

The area churches and PES have been forthcoming with interesting news over the year to keep people informed. Let us not forgot how important our high school students are who attend Woodland High School.  Much has changed in town after the decision in1968 to send the high school students to Woodland.  But Princeton’s youth exhibit many accomplishments academically and athletically.

Continued support for the Greenland Point Center benefits so many young people who will have these memories as children but will utilize skills learned as adults. The Princeton Rod & Gun Club continues to seek new membership while bringing speakers and events to the town.  Contact Harry Bailey or Ruth Curtis for further information.

That pretty much summarizes the year’s highlights of Princeton. I decided to write this column after being asked by an Advertiser employee if I would.  As mentioned in my first column, I said if I could record what is happening now while writing about the history of Princeton, I would give it a try.  Well, the history that came in from people has been very interesting.  A few interested people are in discussion to reactive the Princeton Historical Society.  However, the group may call themselves the “Princeton History Keepers” as some people are already documenting the past and present.

Thank you for the last two years of sharing happenings with me.  This will be my last column as your “Princeton Happenings” writer.  I have enjoyed it and as so many of you have told me, so have you.  But “to everything there is a season” and it is time for another person to step up and share his/her writing style with people near and far.

So, I extend an early Merry Christmas and a Joyful New Year as we continue standing Princeton Proud and look to the future!