Katie Murphy, left, Sue Clukey and Dixie Hayes worked together to create “The Town House Mouse.” Sydney Richelieu / The Forecaster

Dixie Hayes does not like mice, and she used to walk through North Yarmouth’s Old Town House making as much noise as possible to scare off any that might be lurking. When the Old Town House was moved to the Village Green she asked a mover working inside if there were any critters remaining. He told her the mice were gone, but a few did fall out of the piano along the way.

“Something about the way he said it just got the wheels turning,” said Hayes, the secretary of the North Yarmouth Historical Society and a former fourth grade teacher.

The Town House Mouse book cover. Contributed / Katie Murphy

A few months later, she sat down and wrote the first draft of “The Town House Mouse” in one day. Then she worked with local illustrator Sue Clukey and designer Katie Murphy to create the design and layout of the book.

“It was the fastest book publishing you’ve ever seen,” Hayes said.

The trio published “The Town House Mouse” last week. The book follows the adventure of Ike, a mouse living in the Old Town House when it was moved from its original location on Memorial Highway to its new site on the Village Green.

The one-year anniversary of the Town House’s move is Dec. 15 and the book’s release is a great way to celebrate it, said Murphy, the president of the historical society.


“This was a vision we had, and we accomplished it,” Murphy said. “To me, that says something about the spirit and drive of North Yarmouth.”

During Ike’s adventure, he experiences his home’s roof being torn off and then the whole building being loaded up and moved. Readers also get a chance to learn about the history of the Old Town House, which was built in 1853.

“It’s a different way to tell a piece of the town’s history,” Clukey said.

The Old Town House in North Yarmouth. Contributed / Katie Murphy

The book includes local characters and well-known local spots, like Toot’s Ice Cream and the fire station.

“That’s kind of the magic of the book, in a way,” Hayes said. “There’s a lot of local stuff that feeds into there.”

Hayes, Clukey and Murphy hope that the book, although written for children, will also appeal to adults. Many adults in town have a history with the building and many others have watched its progress over the past year and they’ll connect with the story, Hayes said.

“That’s kind of cool for me,” Hayes said.

“The Town House Mouse” will be sold at North Yarmouth’s Merry Mixer event Dec. 10 and through the North Yarmouth Historical Society website, northyarmouthhistorical.org. The price per book is $12 and proceeds will be go toward the Old Town House renovation project.

Comments are not available on this story.