Hope Historical Society

Meeting of August 20th 2013


President Donovan Bowley gaveled the meeting to order shortly after 7 PM. Also present (or arriving later for the presentation) were: Bob Appleby, Joe Berry, Marie Berry, Dick & Gwen Brodis, Gino Fanelli, Chris Hardy, speaker Thomas Vinal Hardy, ? Harriman, Bob & Linda Ludwig Hillgrove, Mary Ireland, Bill & Judith Jones, Karen Koch, Ann Leadbetter, Bruce & Linda Lord, Barbara Ludwig, Isabel Lyndon (Camden & Wayland MA), Peter & Emily Saladino, Joan Salisbury, Ron Smith, and a mystery couple who left early.

Secretary Bill Jones read the minutes of our July meeting with Searsmont Historical Society, which were approved. Treasurer Gwen Brodis reported income of $3,599.48 (of which $216 as a memorial for Verna Dyer & $133.48 from returnable bottles & cans) and expenses of $3,305.03 (of which $1734.80 to PenBay Oil for fuel & $249 for a service contract, $1266 for insurance, $30.23 to Central Maine Power for electricity and $25 to Searsmont Historical Society). Balances were $16,504.02 in checking and $653.97 in savings accounts. The report was unanimously accepted.


President Bowley announced a number of acquisitions, notably a wheel-chair ramp donated by the William Pearse family; a wall phone donated by Norman Withee of Searsmont Historical Society for our Hope Corner Store phone booth (donated by Andrew Stewart); and a nutmeg grinder donated by Edgar Crowley.

Committee Reports

For the Building Committee, Donovan reported that we continue to work on pricing of agreed improvements. Fit members and/or friends will be needed to install the Pearse wheel-chair ramp.

For the Program Committee, Ann Leadbetter reported that our September meeting will feature reminiscences about South Hope School, our last, surviving one-room schoolhouse, by graduates of the school. Our October annual meeting will feature Kerry Hardy, well-known Indian expert. November's meeting, joint with neighboring historical societies, will be a school on genealogy by a professional genealogist, Donovan Bowley. December will feature our annual Christmas brunch. With help from the Hope School chorus, we hope to improve on last year's carol singing, while maintaining the high quality of the brunch.

Old Business

President Bowley reminded that chances on Florance Merrifield's quilt can still be bought and will be available up to drawing date on election day.

New Business

A Refreshment Committee is wanted. To volunteer, call Ann Leadbetter (763-3274, ralead@tidewater.net) or Gwen Brodis (785-4433, gnbrodis@tidewater.net), who are tired of having to do it all.

The efficient business meeting ended before 7:30. Ann Leadbetter introduced Tom Hardy who spoke and took questions on his long-standing and nearly-finished project of up-dating A History of Hope, Maine, his mother's 1990 publication. He gave the assembly two challenges:

Firstly, to help him solve the dilemma of what to do with the ultimate chapter of the 1990 book, "The recent past and a look at the future." It presents a cogent analysis of Hope's ethos and issues, but it is a quarter century out of date. How can it be up-dated without being lost? Suggestions - even text - are welcome and will be seriously considered (763-3419, tvhardy@tidewater.net).

Secondly, Hardy challenged us to identify descendents of early settler Daniel Bartlett (1767-1837) in the room. Bartlett's own gravestone and those of relatives were recently discovered as covers on a well at the edge of Hope Orchard. While there may be more descendants, fingers pointed to Ron Smith. A lively discussion ensued on the Bartletts, their links to other Hope families, on our cemeteries (including Pine Grove in Appleton today but formerly in Hope), their condition and the whereabouts of gravestones.

Respectfully submitted,

Bill Jones, Secretary