Program features Casco Bay steamboats

Rebecca Hotelling will present “Steamboats of Casco Bay,” Wednesday, Jan. 28, from 7-8:30 p.m., in the meeting room at Freeport Community Library. The program is in conjunction with the Freeport Historical Society’s exhibit, “You Can Get There From Here: How Transportation Defined Freeport.”

Steamboats ruled the waters of Casco Bay for more than a century, from 1823 through the 1930s. At its height, the traffic included 48 steamboat companies operating from 98 wharves. Hotelling will discuss the history of these vessels in the greater Casco Bay region, with a particular focus on vessels constructed in Freeport, as well as their owners, captains and routes. Hotelling has lived in Freeport for more than 40 years and spent much time sailing the waters of Casco Bay. During her time volunteering for Freeport Historical Society, she conducted research for the current exhibit. In the course of that research, she became intrigued with the stories of local steamboats.

The exhibit runs through the end of January Freeport Historical Society’s headquarters at 45 Main St. It is open Tuesday-Friday, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., with a suggested donation of $3. The exhibit and lecture series are made possible by the Maine Humanities Council and Norway Savings Bank.

Admission to the talk is free for historical society, $5 for non-members. For more information, visit

More events for FebFest

Freeport artists, organizations, and producers are coming together to present a month-long series of events next month that showcase Freeport arts and culture. Visual, performing and culinary arts are all represented in a full range of events, including art shows, the Open Stage Coffee House, Freeport First Friday concert, staged readings and theater from Freeport Players and others, poetry recitations by Freeport High School students, readings by Freeport authors, film screenings, Flavors of Freeport and book talks at the library and at L.L. Bean.

Freeport FebFest is spearheaded by Freeport Players and is the brainchild of the group’s managing/artistic director, Elizabeth Guffey.

“February is a quiet month in terms of entertainment, but also a time when we really need to get out of the house,” said Guffey. “It seemed like a perfect time for the arts community to make a splash.”

Among the latest events added to the calendar is a Feb. 8 concert by The Pine Tree Academy Bell Ringers. The group is composed of 10 young musicians in grades 9 through 12 and the students play five octaves of English handbells (61 bells) and five octaves of choir chimes (61 chimes). The Bell Ringers have performed throughout the United States and internationally.

More information about the festival and up-to-date event listings is available at the FebFest Calendar of events, New events continue to be added to the calendar and will continue to be updated. Organizations, individuals and businesses that have arts/culture events, workshops, demonstrations, etc., happening in Freeport in February that they would like to include in the FebFest promotions should contact Guffey at [email protected] for more info.

FebFest has also received a boost from the Davis Family Foundation, which has awarded $5,000 to the event.

Oyster farmer to speak at Woman’s Club

Eric Horne of South Freeport will speak to members of the Freeport Woman’s Club on Friday, Jan. 16, at 1 p.m., in the meeting room of the Freeport Community Library. Horne and his wife, Valy Steverlynck, have worked during the past decade to establish their Flying Point oyster farm on Maine’s Maquoit Bay. The oysters are sold to numerous restaurants and vendors on the East Coast. All are invited to attend.

The Freeport Woman’s Club is a service organization that has been in existence for 90 years. It meets once a month at the Freeport Community Library. The club’s fundraising projects include a Spring Bazaar and a bake sale on Election Day. Money raised provides local scholarships, community improvements, donations to Freeport Community Services and support for women seeking career education. The monthly meetings include presentations on a variety of topics. New members are welcome. Contact the membership chairwoman, Betty Duckworth, 847-0240.

Masons cooking ham supper

The Freeport Masons will host a baked ham supper on Saturday, Jan. 17, at the Masonic Lodge on Mallet Drive in Freeport, from 5-6:30 p.m. The menu will feature baked ham, mashed potatoes, vegetables, home-made biscuits, dessert and beverage. The cost is $9 per adult, with children under 12 half-price.

Author Jim Baume to talk at library

Maine author and small press publisher Jim Baume whose new book is “The Perfect Number: Essays and Stories,” presents a book talk Wednesday, Jan. 21, at 2 p.m., at the Freeport Community Library.

Baumer began research on his first book in 2004, detailing the state’s vibrant town team and semi-pro baseball era, post-World War II. Pitching the book, “When Towns Had Teams,” to a variety of small and mid-level presses resulted in a positive reception from editors, but no publishing agreement. He then began RiverVision Press to publish his book. It received an Independent Publisher Book Awards for best non-fiction regional title in the Northeast in 2006. He wrote and published “Moxietown” in 2008, followed by “Moxie: Maine in a Bottle,” released in April 2012 by Down East Books.

With the July 2014 release of his latest book, “The Perfect Number: Essays & Stories,” Baumer writes about a variety of topics, including being raised in the Roman Catholic Church and the decline of small Maine towns, like his own hometown of Lisbon Falls. Copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing at the library.

New fence at RR tracks

The Public Works Department has installed of a new safety fence in Bow Street Park.

The fence was recommended by the Train Safety Committee as a safety measure to create a buffer between the train tracks and the park. Joshua Cushing, manager of the Hilton Garden Inn, cooperated with the town on the project, which was jointly funded by the town and the hotel. With additional funding from the Hilton Garden Inn, the town was able to install a more attractive, traditional steel and granite fence, instead of a common chain-link fence.

Skating ring open

The skating rink adjacent to the Community Center is open for the season. The rink is now illuminated for use during nighttime hours, and the public is encouraged to come down and try out the ice. Those on the town staff are investigating several different, low- cost methods for clearing snow and conditioning the ice.

Parking ban

There is no parking on town streets from 11 p.m.-7 a.m. until April 15. Additional emergency parking bans are also regularly implemented for snow removal purposes during storms. Emergency parking bans are announced on local news networks in the same manner as school closures. Those with questions as to whether there is an emergency parking ban in place can call the police department business line at 865-4800.

AARP offers tax help

AARP will once again be providing free tax-preparation assistance for low-to-moderate-income households, with special attention to those 60 years and older, Wednesday mornings from Feb. 4-April 8 at the Freeport Community Center. Assistance is available by appointment only. To schedule, call 865-4743, ext. 120, after Jan. 26.

Winter safety

During a power outage, or when one source of fuel such as propane or heating oil is in short supply, people may turn to another way to heat their homes. The town’s Public Safety Department reminds residents that there are a number of safety considerations when using an alternate heat source. For all homeowners, but especially those using alternate heat sources, smoke detectors and carbon monoxide monitors can save your life. Make sure those detectors are installed and working correctly. For more Alternative Heat Source Safety Information and a fact sheet on carbon monoxide poisoning, see

Residents are also reminded to keep their walkways and driveways clear and sanded to prevent falls and in order for emergency response crews to respond quickly and safely in the event of an emergency. Winter sand is available for residents’ personal use. Each residential dwelling is eligible for up to 10 gallons of sand per storm. The use of municipal sand for the sanding of private roads is prohibited. For more information, contact the department at 865-4461.

Oscar films

The film, “On the Waterfront,” starring Marlon Brando will be shown at the Nordica Theatre on Thursday, Jan. 15 at 7 p.m. Nordica Theatre is hosting an Oscar Film Series that will feature a different Oscar-winning film each week for six weeks ending on the Thursday before the 87th Annual Oscars show on Feb. 22. Admission to the films is $6 or $30 for all six films. For more information, contact Nordica Theatre, 865-9000 or

Writers-poets group meets Jan. 14

Upstairs at the Azure, the writers and poets group, will meet Wednesday, Jan. 14, at 8 p.m., upstairs at Azure Cafe? on Main Street.

The meeting will be devoted to planning next month’s program as part of the FebFest celebration of Freeport cultural arts. The February meeting will be open to the public and will present the reading of stories, poems and essays, chosen to represent the work of these Freeport writers. There will be no admission fee, however a donation of $5 to defray expenses will be welcome. For more information, contact Gar Roper, [email protected] or call 272-3641.

Looking for news

Now that the holidays are behind us, the Freeport News column will be waiting to hear from schools, organizations and churches in town. Everyone likes to learn about events, special accomplishments and town news. Send information to [email protected] or call 233-8422.

Upcoming meetings

Project Review Board, Wednesday, Jan. 14, 6 p.m., Town Council Chambers.

Coastal Waters Commission, Wednesday, Jan. 14, 6 p.m., Freeport Community Center.

Appointments Committee, Thursday, Jan. 15, 7:30 a.m., Town Council Chambers.

Traffic and Parking Committee, Tuesday, Jan. 20, 7:30 a.m., Town Council Chambers.

Town Council, Tuesday, Jan. 20, 6:30 p.m., Town Council Chambers.

Conservation Commission, Wednesday, Jan. 21, 6 p.m., Freeport Community Center.

A full listing of upcoming town meetings and agendas is available on

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