Telephone service started in Bar Mills in 1889 with service by the Saco River Telephone and Telegraph Company. Their office was above Atkinson’s Store on Depot Street. Here is an early 1950s photograph of Violetta Wallace standing and supervising operations. Seated, from left, are Murial Palmer Harmon and Ronelda Sands Berry. They are making all the connections for each telephone call and probably being very helpful in the process. To place a call, customers rang the operator and asked to talk to another subscriber or for connection to the long distance operator. The switchboard and operators were replaced by an electromechanical switch and rotary dialing in 1956. Cell phone service started in 1986 and internet service in 1995. Today service continues as part of Otelco. Courtesy of the Buxton-Hollis Historical Society

In commemoration of Maine’s bicentennial this year, the American Journal is featuring historical highlights from our communities’ past 200 years. This feature can be found in print and online every other week.