Looking Back on May 15


100 Years Ago: 1921

Lisbon Falls and Durham yesterday adopted daylight saving and the Pejepscot paper company has decided to put all of the mills, Topsham,  Pejepscot and Lisbon, on the new time. Saturday the town of Brunswick will hold a special town meeting to consider adopting daylight all the time. The banks, stores and all departments catering to the public are already on daylight time changing when Portland put it into effect. The town clock is still running on standard time.

50 Years Ago: 1971

A maintenance worker, Mike Martin has been fixing things at the Bates Mill for years. Now he’s put a new face on the clock. With a little old fashioned ingenuity and “a lot of tender love and care,” Martin managed to get the old clock in the mill bell tower running again. Martin is one of the few who have survived the mill’s decline. Martin said, “if it is broken, give us time and we can fix it. Fixing the clock and lighting up the bell tower is part of the plan by mill developers to bring new life and hopefully new business to the building that once housed one of Maine’s largest textile manufacturers. “You want to have a visual impact,” said Bob Rocheleau, mill property manager. The last time it was  replaced was two years ago, and is now on display in front of the mill. Rocheleau said a private firm estimated the repairs would cost $15,000, and that seemed steep, so Martin asked if he could have a go at fixing the clock, constructed primarily of cast iron and intricate finely finished brass gears. He had oiled and wound the clock before, as part of his duties at the mill, but otherwise had no experience. Much of it, he said, was “guess work” and “trial and error.” An electrician then rigged the bell tower and clock with lights, the finishing touch.

25 Years Ago: 1996

Paul Dube, owner of Dube Travel, will speak at the YWCA May 23 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on “Every thing you’ve ever wanted to know about traveling.” He will discuss how to get the best rates, the best season to travel, how much and what to pack, women traveling alone and more. For more information on the program call the YWCA to register.

The material used in Looking Back is produced exactly as it originally appeared although misspellings and errors may be corrected.


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