Sunday, June 16, 2019

HER STORY: Erma Giles (1913- 1976)

 Erma Giles was born in Porter, March 4, 1913 to Edgar and Alice (Brooks) Giles.  She was the youngest of 3 children. She attended local schools, graduated from Porter High School in 1930 and attended Nasson Institute in Springvale.

At age 24 Erma opened a clothing shop on the ground floor of the Malvern Hotel on River St. (owned by her father) and was there for 10 years.  When he sold the hotel in 1947 she moved her shop across the river to the Stanley Block building.  “Erma’s Apparel Shop” served the local community from that location until her father died.  In 1958 she bought the building next to the Kezar Falls Market on Bridge St.   She and her mother lived above the store.   There she continued her shop until her death February 16, 1976,

Erma sold clothing of fine quality, was a respected business woman and was active in the community.  She lived at home to care for her elderly parents and never married.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Welcome to our
Saturday, June 1, 2019,   1:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Parsonsfield-Porter Historical Society
Opens a New Exhibit

Remembering the Suffragettes who, in 1919,
finally won the right to vote for women in Maine
and honoring some of the other remarkable women 
of our towns
and the State of Maine
by telling a few of their stories.

The Stanley Sisters: Florence, Ina and Evelyn

Come tour the house and view all the exhibits.
History House
92 Main Street in
Kezar Falls Village (Rt. 160)

FMI call 625-7019

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

One Woman, One Vote

You are invited to attend the
Parsonsfield-Porter Historical Society
meeting and free program.

To set the stage for our new exhibit “HER-STORY”, which will open June 1st, we are presenting a documentary film, 

that focuses on the early Suffrage Movement

It has been 100 years since women in Maine won 
their right to vote in 1919.

Saturday, May 18, 2019
Meeting - 2 p.m.       Program 2:30 p.m.

At History House
92 Main Street in Kezar Falls Village (Rt. 160)
FMI phone 625-7019

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Spotlight On: Frank Pierce Goodwin, Jr.

         Frank Pierce Goodwin, Jr. was born in the New Settlement District of South Hiram on May 26, 1892 to Frank P. and Eliza (Bradeen ) Goodwin.  He was the youngest of three children. When his father died in 1905 Eliza moved with Frank, Jr.  to Kezar Falls and lived in an apartment over what was then the Ridlon Brother’s Store (now the Village Laundry). 

Frank worked at the Kezar Falls Woolen Mill and the Kezar Falls Bobbin Mill. Being a real Yankee business man with faith in his abilities, he eventually struck out for himself. His first venture was to open a roadside stand, install a gas pump and build three small overnight cabins at what became known as Indian Glen, which he later sold. At one time he operated a grocery store in Kezar Falls in the bank building. After the fire there he ran another grocery store in Cornish, later to become Coolbroth’s market. At about 1915 he purchased the John Quint Bakery on Bridge Street, Porter (Kezar Falls Village). He operated it as a bakery for a time but eventually enlarged it and established the general store - “Goodwin’s”, selling a wide range of merchandise but eventually settling on groceries. This establishment continued to operate as an important local small store under different management at times in recent years, but still owned by the family until 2018 when his grandson closed the business for good and put it up for sale.          

          In 1934 Mr. Goodwin purchased the Lakecroft Inn at North Sebago, changing it to Goodwin’s North Sebago Lodge and Cabins which did an extensive business catering to the general and traveling public.  It is still owned  by the family today.

          Frank Goodwin started from scratch and by hard work and self sacrifice combined with rare business judgment, became owner of thriving businesses.  In his daily life, he was a businessman first and last, sincere and honest, and as such he commanded the respect of all with whom he dealt.   Yet he was of a generous nature, interested in the affairs of the town and always ready to contribute more than his share to any worthy cause.

          He married Ethel Gilpatrick in Oct. 10, 1920 and built a home on Summer Street where they spent many happy years, blessed by the birth of a daughter, Patricia in July 20, 1921.  They suffered the loss of one daughter, Isabelle C. at the age of six in Dec 19, 1934.

          He was a member of the Greenleaf Masonic Lodge in Cornish, Charter Oak Grange or South Hiram, a member of the Kezar Falls Knights of Pythias, the Order of Redmen and the Kezar Falls Kiwanis Club.

          In 1953 suffered a paraliytic stroke losing his mobility and ability to talk.  His nephews, Robert, Clarence and Norman Edgecomb managed the store, but still mentally alert  he continued to direct activities at the store through written word or sign language for several years.  He passed away on Sept. 8, 1965.  His wife followed on Dec. 29, 1968. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

The Parsonsfield Porter Historical Society wishes you all a Happy Easter and Happy Spring

Parsonsfield – Porter Historical Society


Will be held at History House on April 27 – 2:00 pm.

Election of Officers will be held – (a quorum is needed.)

Discussion of this year’s programs and activities.

We invite you to participate in the program.

Each person is asked to bring a “Mystery” object, picture or article

to be identified by the group.

Do you have something to bring that will stump us?

(If you don’t, please come anyway.)


Monday, April 1, 2019

Spotlight On: Preston Stanley

Preston John Stanley (named for his grandfather) was born in Parsonsfield February 20, 1904 to Sidney B. and Blanche (Page) Stanley, one of six children.  He was educated at Parsonsfield schools, graduated from Porter High School in 1921, attended the University of Maine, and graduated from New England College of Science in Boston in 1940.

On June 23, 1928 he married Evelyn Watson and they had two children: Barbara Ann born December 25, 1929, who died in 1941 and Preston John Stanley, Jr. born August 1, 1935.  They resided on Summer Street in Porter (Kezar Falls Village).

 He and his two brothers owned and ran the family trucking business – Stanley Express.  He also owned half of the Stanley Funeral Home with his brother Orion whom he bought out in 1945 and continued to operate it until 1975.

“Pres” was known for his community spirit.  He had a great love for the town where he grew up and served it well all his life.  He served as a Porter selectman for nine years and served one term as state legislator in 1949.

He served on numerous boards, including the Maine State Grange for 50 years; the Ossipee Valley Health Center of Kezar Falls; the Ossipee Valley Fair of Hiram (a founding member); Kezar Falls National Bank; trustee of the Riverside United Methodist Church, Porter Meals on Wheels and past president of the Kezar Falls Burial Grounds. 

He was also a member of the Kezar Falls & Cornish Kiwanis Club, Porter Grange, Knights of Pythias, Porter Civil Defense, Maine Draft and Ox Associations, Maine Funeral Directors Association, and a charter member of the Parsonsfield Porter Historical Society. 

“Pres” played a huge role in founding the Porter Industrial Development Program and donated the land for the Vulcan Electric building so that more jobs could be brought to town.  

He started the Methodist Men’s Breakfast Club and with his wife started the Riverside United Methodist Church Food Pantry that grew to include the towns of Cornish, and West Baldwin. 

Pres” had a great love of animals and kept cattle and oxen at the former family farm in Parsonsfield.  When he wasn’t working on a civic project, he could be found working with his team of two-and-a-half-ton oxen in the mornings until the age of 89.  At one point he had one of the largest pairs of oxen in Maine and was well-known from Kittery to Fort Kent.  At the age of 85 he won the international pull at Cumberland Fair and competed in Nova Scotia.

He also loved to hunt and fish and with a group of friends called the “Colcord Bears” met for 22 years, one weekend for ice fishing and a weekend for hunting, at his camp on Colcord Pond.

Preston passed away at the age of 94 on September 19, 1998.  His widow, Evelyn passed away on March 13, 2002.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Spotlight On: Robert Fulton Wormwood

From 1883 to 1887 Kezar Falls had the good fortune to have a newspaper published in the village which documented that period of remarkable growth and development of the local area and Kezar Falls in particular. Mr. Robert Fulton Wormwood, its publisher and editor, wrote detailed and interesting accounts of what was happening and his editorials championed many causes for the betterment of the residents.  His interest in Kezar Falls continued long after he moved away.

Robert Fulton Wormwood was born June 15, 1858, son of Darius and Abbie Ellen (Wales) Wormwood and attended Porter schools.  His family had a farm in the Porterfield area, but by 1858 they owned the house on Bridge Street that later became Goodwin’s Store and then Kezar Falls Market (closed in 2018).

Robert had a long and successful career in the field of journalism starting at the age of 14 when he apprenticed himself to a German printer in Boston to learn the trade.   After working several years at newspaper offices in the Boston area he returned to Maine and in 1884 married his first wife, Miss Anne M. Stacy, daughter of Jordan and Lydia Stacy of Porter.  They had two children, Mrs. Bertha M. (Wormwood) Doe of Kezar Falls and Mrs. Florence (Wormwood) Garland of No. Parsonsfield.  Annie died in 1893.  He married his second wife, Mrs. Anna Bullock of Biddeford in 1904.

After publishing the “Oxford County Record” in Kezar Falls for five years, he moved the newspaper to Fryeburg where it continued until 1892.  Then, because of ill health, he sold the business to the “Norway Advertiser”.

In 1892 Mr. Wormwood joined the editorial staff of the “Portland Evening Express”.  After eight years he worked for a short time on the staff of the “Lewiston Evening Courier”.  He returned to Portland as editor of the “Sunday Times” continuing until March 1901.  He then became the editor of the “Biddeford Journal”, a position he held until retirement, May 10, 1941.

Robert Fulton Wormwood died at the age of 83 on January 30, 1942 at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Daniel Garland in North Parsonsfield.  He was well known in the newspaper field of New England for 59 years – sometimes known as “Fult” but also as “Deak” by his newspaper friends.