Save Hawthorne House

The Hawthorne House, which has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1969, is in dire need of repairs. A 2019 engineering survey found that the house could be irreparably damaged if defects with the roof, foundation and siding are not soon corrected. Courtesy of John Manoush

Events scheduled to help a seriously needed fundraising campaign to save Nathaniel Hawthorne’s boyhood home in Raymond, aka “The Hawthorne House,” had to be canceled due to COVID-19.

A 2019 engineering survey found that the house could be irreparably damaged if defects with the roof, foundation and siding are not soon corrected. The Hawthorne House has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1969. John Manoush of Hawthorne Community Association said the Hawthorne House has been cared for by volunteers since 1921 and is one of the most important historic treasures in the Sebago Lake area. The repairs would preserve the house for many years.

Although the campaign is just getting underway, the association has announced that major contributions have already been made. Individual members of the Hawthorne Community Association have contributed over $5,000 to date, while business friends such as Sabre Yachts and Norway Savings Bank have contributed even more generously. The goal is to raise at least $10,000 from local donations alone (individuals and businesses), then leverage this in grant applications to state historic preservation foundations and other area banks, with the overall goal of $75,000 to address all needed repairs.

Contributions are fully tax deductible. The most helpful contributions are by check sent to Hawthorne Community Association, P.O. Box 185, So. Casco, ME 04077. Include contact information so that a thank-you can be sent that will also serve as a tax receipt. Donations of $50 or more will be honored on a permanent display inside the Hawthorne House, so donors are asked to indicate how they would like their names to appear or if they prefer to remain anonymous. To contribute by credit card, find a link for PayPal at hawthorneassoc.com.

Raymond Eagle Scout soars

Boy Scouts of America, Troop 800 of Raymond, is proud to recognize Jamie Louko for achieving the rank of Eagle Scout. Courtesy of Tammy Louko

Boy Scouts of America, Troop 800 of Raymond, is proud to recognize Jamie Louko for achieving the rank of Eagle Scout. Since the inception of the Eagle Scout award in 1912, just over 2% of eligible Scouts have earned Scouting’s highest honor. Although the percentage has been trending upward over the years, the award is still incredibly rare.

For his Eagle Scout project, Louko took his childhood love of the Raymond Village Library and decided to build an outdoor space where children could enjoy reading and attending various presentations, such as Sparks Ark and the tree lighting. It was his goal to create something that was both aesthetically pleasing as well as functional. His gazebo has been dedicated to Betty McDermott, who was both a strong supporter of the library as well as a neighbor and influence in his life. Louko graduated this spring from Windham High School and will be attending Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire this fall with plans to double major in international business and economics.

Christmas in July

“Christmas in July” will be held again this year on Thomas Pond on Sunday, July 12. Watch out for Walter Lunt as he skis behind a boat in a Santa suit, signifying that the annual food drive on all of the roads around Thomas Pond is about to commence. Homeowners have traditionally left food on their docks, but this year donations for the Raymond Food Pantry will be collected from driveways. This approach will help avoid multiple handling of the food. Additionally, homes not on the water are more easily able to participate. Those who wish to contribute can leave nonperishable items at the end of their driveways by 1 p.m. Pickup is from 1:15-1:45 p.m. The pantry, located at 1273 Roosevelt Trail behind the Baptist Church, is expecting delivery around 2 p.m.

The library is collecting donations of new and gently used items throughout the year for the annual winter holiday basket sale. The sale is one of the largest fundraisers of the year, thanks to the generous donations from patrons and Raymond residents. The library needs both baskets and items to fill them for children and adults. Donations can be dropped off anytime during library hours.

The library is hopeful it will be able to hold the popular annual holiday craft fair and the new Festival of Trees event this year. If interested in a being a sponsor, either as an individual, family or business, contact the library at 655-4823 for more information.

Library services open

The library is now open to the public by appointment via email at [email protected] or 655-4283. Appointment times will be limited to 30 minutes. Patrons can reserve time for browsing and checking out library materials, computer usage or shopping the book sale. Note that face coverings are required for all staff and patrons and hand sanitizer is available for all patrons before they handle library materials.

No-contact parking lot pickups continue to be available for those who prefer this option. Contact the library to arrange a pickup time or to setup online access to accounts for browsing and placing holds online. Interlibrary loan service in Maine is tentatively scheduled to resume in mid-July.

No-contact parking lot pickups continue to be available for those who prefer this option. Contact the library to arrange a pickup time or to setup online access to accounts for browsing and placing holds online. Interlibrary loan service in Maine is tentatively scheduled to resume in mid-July.

Alissa Messer can be contacted at [email protected]

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