Aug. 2, 1989

The Westbrook Planning Board voted 5-0 last week to give its final approval for Alderman Alexander Juniewicz and associates to develop 16 house lots along Mill Brook at Route 302 and the Methodist Road, to be known as Woodbury Estates. In a public hearing before the vote, Wesley Douglass, 232 Hardy Pond Road, reminded the board that any development in the area is in conflict with the city’s comprehensive plan. His reminder went undiscussed.

Officials of the Maine Department of Transportation will brief local officials tonight on a planned extensive, 18-month study of this area’s traffic problems and the feasibility of a westerly connector linking Gorham with I-295 in Portland. David Ober, who will direct the DOT study, will brief local officials. The meeting will not be geared for public comment, but Ober said public hearings will be scheduled.

Westbrook’s Lisa Bailey, 17, Miss Maine Teen USA, returned Wednesday from the Miss Teen USA pageant in San Bernadino, Calif., with newly minted memories of an experience that is the high point of her young life. While she was not among the 10 finalists, she nonetheless “had the best time. I didn’t let anything get me down.” She will be a senior at Westbrook High School.

Last Friday started as a typical afternoon at the Tierney home at 10 Springbrook Lane in Gorham. But in what seemed like a split second, said Kathy Tierney, she heard a roar and immediately shepherded her children to the basement. A wall of wind pushed branches and debris through the screened window of the house and a large pine came crashing onto the roof and through the wall. “I believe it may have been a mini-tornado,” said Tierney. Damage was estimated at $5,000.

The Westbrook American Legion Post 197 will hold a Herbie O’Brien “Appreciation Day” from 1-5 p.m. on Aug. 6 at the post. “He’s just an all-around great gentleman,” said one of the organizers, Carole Letarte. She said O’Brien, in his 80s, “has done so much” for the post over the years, including organizing bingo games and plowing the parking area in the winter. The day will feature music and a dinner.

Westbrook Animal Control Officer David Sparks has been busy with wild animals. Last week he picked up a sick fox in a garage on McKinley Avenue, chased a deer out of Park Road so it wouldn’t get hit by a car – a week after chasing a moose out of the same spot – and relocated two skunks that were caught in a live trap. He also warned residents to drive carefully at night, as that’s when deer, moose, fox, porcupines and skunks are more active.

Asbestos removal at the Gorham Village School was completed July 24, four days ahead of schedule, by Northeast Test Consultants of Westbrook and a crew from Buerhouse Resource Industries. Further work on a $1.9 million renovation of the building is now under way.

Aug. 4, 1999

The Elms, the elegant guest house of the Sappi paper mill in Westbrook, will close its doors Sept. 30, the company confirmed yesterday. The John Calvin Stevens-designed house at 102 Cumberland St., with landscaped grounds, elegant interior woodwork and furnishing and four-star food service, has been a company inn and meeting facility since shortly after it was built in 1882. A hallmark of the facility has been its food. One of those out of a job will be the chef, Melanie Otero, who said the decision to close The Elms was made recently and the company is “exploring possibilities” for what will happen to it.

Gorham is facing an emergency in the way that it responds to emergency fire and rescue calls, according to Fire Chief Robert Lefebvre. There aren’t enough volunteers, and those who do volunteer are sometimes too busy to respond. The solution, according to some town councilors, could be to take further steps away from an all-volunteer fire department. Members of the council’s personnel subcommittee were to present a $131,319 plan to the full council last night calling for the town to hire two full-time firefighters, raise the pay of volunteers by $47,000 and provide $21,000 worth of additional training.

The Rev. Dr. Homer Larsen will be the guest preacher at the 9 a.m. service Aug. 8 in the Trinity Lutheran Church, 612 Main St., Westbrook. A native of Westbrook and former member of the Westbrook church, he graduated from Westbrook High School in 1942. Since 1962 he has been the radio pastor of the Christian Crusaders broadcast. He and his wife, the former Eunice Carlsen, have three children and seven grandchildren.

The town of Gorham has been granted an additional $15,876 from Oakhurst Dairy’s Tree ReLeaf Program, and it will be used for a partial replanting of Robie Park. The first grant awarded the town $2,000 to repair damage from the January 1998 ice storm. The trees will be placed before December.

Gorham High School will have a varsity football team for the first time ever this fall. The booster-funded team’s schedule includes games against Traip Academy, Windham, Scarborough, Maranacook, Mt. Ararat and Oak Hill high schools. Gorham fielded junior high and junior varsity teams last year with 39 students participating.


50 YEARS AGO

The Westbrook American reported on July 29, 1964, that Charles Whitten of Gorham would turn 19 on Aug. 1.

Eddie Brackett, who had been in the Army, was home with his mother, Hazel Brackett of West Buxton.


Joe’s Sanitary Market was located at 846 Main St. for many years.  Pictured in this 1951 photo are, from left, Philip Vincent, Margaret Chaisson, Laurette (Vincent) Lemieux and Roland Lemieux. The store closed several years later and the building was converted to offices and connected to a new medical and professional building that was built next to it. Medical and professional offices still occupy the building, as well as Catbird Creamery ice cream shop. To see more historical photos and artifacts, visit the Westbrook Historical Society at the Fred C. Wescott Building, 426 Bridge St. It is open Tuesdays and Saturdays, 9 a.m.-noon, and the first Wednesday of each month at 1:30 p.m., September-June. Inquiries can be emailed to [email protected] The website is www.westbrookhistoricalsociety.org.  


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