The Windham Historical Society’s Old Grocery being prepared for its move to the Village Green across the street. Photo courtesy of Susan Simonson

History in the making

On Oct. 30, the Windham Historical Society made their own little piece of history when they moved the Old Grocery at the corner of Route 202 and Windham Center Road across the street to the society’s Village Green. After a successful fundraising effort led by society member Dorothy Samuelson, a sum of $41,000 was raised and this helped to make the move possible.

Windham contractor Dave Johnson took the project on along with Cole Watson of Dana Watson and Son Building Mover and the assistance of Jim Elder of M.L. Rogers and society member Bruce Elder. On a cold and blustery Friday morning, the building was lifted from its foundation and safely hauled to the society grounds via a John Deere tractor.

This is a momentous event for the society’s Village Green. It provides another building that will become a living history museum. Plans are to bring the old grocery store back to life by restoring it to the way it would have looked in 1898. Many artifacts have already been gathered for the store’s displays, most donated by residents of Windham and Historical Society members.

To date, the society has two completed Village Green projects: the Village School, a one-room schoolhouse where living history lessons have been taught to some of the town’s third and fifth graders, and a gazebo that will be used to bring entertainment to the Green in safer times.

The little yellow South Windham Library was moved from Gorham to the Green a few years back and will eventually become a museum dedicated to the history of South Windham and the railroad that was once a big part of that section of town. There is a blacksmith shop on the grounds as well that is currently a work in progress. The society also owns the Windham Center Circulating Library that sits next to the Old Town House Museum on Windham Center Road. This building, too, will be a part of the Village Green. If you’d like more information about the Village Green Living History Center or would like to learn more about Windham’s history in general, you can call the Historical Society at 892-1433.

Share Your Heart for ME

November is National Adoption Awareness Month. To bring attention to this, A Family for ME Adoptive & Foster Families of Maine (AFFM) and Family Services have joined forces to create the “Share Your Heart for ME” campaign to educate the public about the need for adoptive and foster families in our state.

There are approximately 2,300 children in out-of-home care in Maine, including 100 who are waiting for adoption. The campaign’s mission is to find forever families for these children. There are several ways you can help:

• Find out how to be a foster or adoptive parent.
• Share A Family for ME information on your website or social media pages.
• Become an adoption-friendly workplace.
• Volunteer with A Family for ME.
• Use your social media platforms to show your support.

For more information on how you can do your part to bring adoption awareness information to the community, contact AFFM by calling 827-2331 or email [email protected]

Monthly senior lunch

Windham seniors are invited to the next monthly lunch being hosted by the Windham Parks & Recreation Department on Nov. 20 at the Town Hall gym. You can order your meal and get it to go curbside at the outside door to the gym or you can come into the gym and have lunch and enjoy some games and conversation. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, there will be a limited amount of seating in the gym, so registration is required. The lunch is from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and the fee is $10. This month’s lunch will be supplied by Amato’s. Call 892-1905 to register.

Thanksgiving bake sale

The North Windham Union Church is having a Thanksgiving bake sale from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 21 in the church’s Parish Hall at 723 Roosevelt Trail in North Windham. There will be all kinds of goodies for sale. Choose from cookies, pies, squares, breads, fudge and candy, all fresh and ready for your Thanksgiving table. Proceeds from the fair will benefit the church and the community it serves. For more details, call 892-6142. Be aware, COVID protocols will be in place at the fair, so be sure to wear a mask.

North Pole hotline

Santa and Mrs. Claus have told the folks at Windham Parks & Recreation that they would like to know what the children of Windham want for Christmas this year. And so, Parks & Rec has worked with the Clauses to set up a special North Pole Hotline for kids in preschool through grade 3. The hotline is connected directly to Santa and his wife in his North Pole headquarters and is free of charge. If your child would enjoy a phone call from Santa himself, you can register now through Dec. 7 by calling Parks & Rec at 892-1905 and the elves at Town Hall will be sure to make it happen.

Haley Pal can be contacted at [email protected]

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