Wednesday, November 15, 2017


Captain John Lougee of the First Maine Cavalry 
commanding 36 Cavalry men.

The two large tents in Piper’s field – left tent for food, 
right tent for the exercises.The larger tent was 140 feet
long and 20 feet wide.

The town of Parsonsfield was incorporated in 1775 and 100 years later had a huge Centennial Celebration. At the annual town meeting in March of 1885 the citizens approved the idea of a celebration and raised $500 to begin planning for the event to be held in August. In just 6 months with the efforts of 57 committee members they raised $2,000 to fund the event and organized 4 days of activities with musical concerts, and the main event on Saturday, August 29, 1885  at Piper’s field in North Parsonsfield. (This would have been near the Academy Hill Farm just north of Par Sem.) Special trains were scheduled with half rates to bring people to the Baldwin train station where wagons and carriages picked them up to take them to North Parsonsfield Village. A large parade with Capt. Almon O. Smart as Chief Marshall, Chandler’s Band from Portland, 36 mounted Cavalry men led by Captain John Lougee, 100 young ladies dressed in white and carrying a banner – 1785 Parsonsfield Centennial – 1885”, the Thompson Post, G.A.R. from Cornish, Mitchell Post, G.A.R. from Newfield, carriages containing notables, then citizens and visitors - all marched to where the exercises were to be held.
Throngs of people outside the food tent.
At Piper’s field two mammoth tents had been erected, the larger one where the exercises were held had a large platform for dignitaries and speakers, musicians, etc. The other one was reserved to serve refreshments, 1,000 people at a time, with about 4,000 expected to be served. The morning started with a 100 gun salute from cannon at the foot of the hill. Dr. J. W. Dearborn gave the opening address and speeches interspersed with musical selections continued until 4:00 p.m. with only a break for lunch. The tent was packed full so the side flaps were raised to allow people to listen from outside. Between 5,000 and 6,000 people attended the event.
The food tent set and ready to serve.


 The History of Parsonsfield published in 1888 documented the entire event and printed all the speeches.