Monday, November 3, 2008

Maine Street Monday--Livermore Falls

Downstream on the Androscoggin River is a town called Livermore Falls. Like a lot of towns in Maine, Livermore Falls has seen better days and like many towns in Maine, in its heyday there were mills for converting our wealth of timber into paper and lumber.

Today there is a small lumber mill, a lot of empty store fronts and a lot of run-down apartments. When I first started practicing law in Maine ten years ago, the courthouse was open every Wednesday and I was in town weekly. Since then the court has closed and the filings have been moved to the large courthouse in Auburn.

The river dominates the town dividing it from the seemingly more prosperous and rural town of Livermore. There is still a big papermill upstream from Livermore Falls in the town of Jay and probably the lucky ones in town still work there. The Jay papermill was owned by International Paper, now it is owned by Verso Paper. There have been layoffs and shutdowns over the last few years and there is always the fear of more.

One of my favorite political signs was posted in a window in an empty building block. The sign says "Impeach Ignorance". I'm not even really sure what that means but it sounds good. The person whose sign the vote encourages is a Republican running for Congress in the Second District. Interestingly, a debate between the candidates was being replayed on Maine Public Radio as I drove through town. It was highly entertaining, but I still don't understand the sign.

Kathie used to live in Livermore Falls--maybe she can share some of her memories.

With all the politicians trying to distance themselves from Wall Street and attach themselves to Main Street, I have decided that for a while anyway (until I get bored with it), I will feature Maine Main Streets on Mondays.


Jayne said...

As if any of them *really* know what is going on down on Main Street... I sometimes think they get into such a bubble that they see only what they want to see, not reality. Lord, I am so ready for this election to be over and done with, and I pray there is a breath of fresh air when it's all said and done.

beckie said...

Beth, I am liking your 'Main Street' posts. So neat to see other small towns and hear how they are doing.

Asfor politics... I am ready for this election to be over.

Carey's Corner said...

Another interesting snapshot of main street Maine, thanks

The Texican said...

Great idea Beth. And, who really understands or believes all those political signs anyway? Thanks for taking us down the middle of the road in small town America. :) Pappy

RuthieJ said...

Looks like a nice small town. I love the old brick buildings and river view in the background.

Kathiesbirds said...

Yeah! I'm so glad you did this, though it took me way too long to get back here and see it! I recognize the sign and the Main st. When I lived there my daughter played soccer and practiced in the fields down by the Androscoggin River. The day we had our home inpection an osprey flew overhead! I had so many birds in my back yard, but my favorite were the pileated woodpeckers. We had a 1 3/4 acrce lot with many 100 year old pines. Sadly, the people who bought our house from us cut them all down. It broke my heart to see it after that. I remember seeing the fog gather over the river in the autumn as the weater first started to turn cold. The people I met in Livermore Falls were wonderful and I am still friends with them today, though many of them are 20 to 30 years older than me! Like most Maine towns, it has an aging population as more as more of the youth move away for better jobs. I worked for a short time as a writer for the Livermore Falls Advertiser. I mostly covered sports, but it was the occasional human interest story that I loved writing the most. THANK YOU Beth for doing this! There is lots of good birding down by the river right behind the old court house where the little gazebo is.