June 23, 1862: The first issue of the Portland Daily Press appears. The four-page tabloid newspaper is published on Exchange Street. Subscriptions cost 50 cents a month or $5 per year.

The Press later is merged with The Portland Herald in 1921 to form the Portland Press Herald.

June 23, 2017: About 100 firefighters combat a blaze that breaks out in the five-story, vacant former Stenton Trust Mill in Sanford. Three boys are charged in the case.

The mill complex, built in 1922, was where the Goodall Worsted Co. manufactured Palm Beach cloth, a lightweight fabric used in making men’s suits.

Two of three boys charged with arson in the case plead guilty to lesser charges in October. The River Street mill building, which was used for textile manufacturing, is demolished in 2019.

Stenton Trust Mill, a long-vacant textile factory in the heart of Sanford’s mill district was set on fire early in the evening of June 23, 2017. Photo courtesy of Kevin Harmon

On Oct. 19, 2017, four months after the mill fire, another blaze destroys six buildings on Island Avenue, in the heart of Sanford, and sends four people to the hospital.

Witnesses say they smelled smoke, then eventually saw flames in a pile of trash on the back porch of one of the buildings.

The fire put firefighters in danger because it burned through power lines, which fell into the street, according to the fire chief. The fire crews used a drone equipped with a video feed to see the fire’s scope fully and to figure out the best places to direct their hoses.

Presented by:

Joseph Owen is an author, retired newspaper editor and board member of the Kennebec Historical Society. Owen’s book, “This Day in Maine,” can be ordered at islandportpress.com. To get a signed copy use promo code signedbyjoe at checkout. Joe can be contacted at: [email protected]

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