Thursday, October 8, 2009

Oct 8, 2009

I said good bye to my Dad today and all my friends at Madigan Estates, the Assisted Living and Nursing Home where my Dad is now living.  With all their good wishes I leave for this adventure not knowing if I will raise money, bring more awareness to Dementia and Alzheimer’s or be given the opportunity to show my photographs. No idea, what so ever, as to where this shall take me. Also, good-byes were said to all my friends in Island Falls, Maine, my hometown in Northern Maine.

Being a tour director I will be giving commentary along the way introducing you to the areas I travel through, including pictures so we can share in this adventure. I have also planned this fund raising drive to coincide with reconnecting with friends and relatives I haven’t seen in a long time. Hopefully, following my blog, you will meet these special people and together we will meet new and interesting people and explore America together while raising money for Alzheimer’s and Dementia Education and research.

North Berwick, Maine
First stop North Berwick, Maine and my friend, Pat. Pat and I met while in graduate school and became fast friends seeing other though many happy and a few sad times. She lives in a round house she and her husband built when they retired and moved from Massachusetts to Maine. She has the greatest boxer, Cooper, whose girl friend lives next door.The “dog girl friend” comes over nearly every morning, knocks on the door, and waits for Cooper to come out and play!

Berwick was first settled about 1631, and was called Kittery Commons or Kittery North Parish, and Unity after the sailing vessel which transported to America, Scot, prisoners of war captured at the Battle of Dunbar in 1650. They had been force-marched to Durham Cathedral in Durham, England, and then tried for treason for supporting Charles II rather than Oliver Cromwell, the Lord Protector.

Landing in Massachusetts, the royalist soldiers were sold as slaves to work at the Great Works sawmill, located on the Great Works River, until they were able to pay for their own freedom. George Gray, formerly of Lanark, Scotland, was an example of the 150 prisoners who endured this ordeal. In 1675, he defended his family and lands when the community was attacked during King Philip's War, and died in Unity in 1693. His descendants would populate other areas of Maine, notably Deer Isle and Stonington.

The raid by Indians in 1675, was the first of several during the French and Indian Wars. In 1690-1691, during King William's War, the village was burned and abandoned. It would be resettled in 1703, and called Newichawannock, its old Abenaki name. In 1713, it was incorporated by the Massachusetts General Court as Berwick, the ninth oldest town in Maine, named after Berwick-upon-Tweed, England. The first schoolhouse in the state was built here in 1719. Berwick was once considerably larger in size, but South Berwick was set off in 1814, followed by North Berwick in 1831. Lumbering was a principal early industry. Beginning in the 19th century, Berwick had a symbiotic economic relationship with Somersworth, New Hampshire, the mill town to which it is connected by bridge.

Visiting Pat, we shared a great dinner conversation before she sent me off to Marblehead, MA for my stop visiting my friend Mary Lou.