Letters to The Editor
Where in Maine?
I cannot begin to describe the excitement I felt when I saw the mystery picture of the magnificent, castle-like building in your June issue. Did you know that from sometime in the late 1940s to sometime in the 1960s it was known as Marie Joseph Academy, a Catholic boarding school for young ladies from the seventh to the twelfth grades? I lived in that beautiful building, located in Biddeford Pool, between September 1950 and June 1952 as I completed my seventh and eighth grades. The academy accommodated between forty and fifty students, most from French-Canadian families, and the primary language spoken was French. Not only did Marie Joseph Academy provide an excellent curriculum, but it was also a most spiritual existence.
—Ann L. Canfield
I was born in Biddeford in 1913, and I have viewed this former hotel many times. Pepperrellborough is now Saco, named after the river separating it from its twin city, Biddeford. Biddeford is named after a town in Devonshire, England, although the community in England is spelled with only one d. One interesting incident that occurred in Biddeford Pool was when President Taft paid a visit. As he stepped off the boat onto the floating dock, his great weight tipped the dock on end and he slipped into the water. Fortunately he was rescued.
—Raymond E. Twomey
Imagine my surprise to be reading your June issue and to come across your "What's in a Picture?" feature and see the occupational portrait of my grandmother and grandfather, great grandfather, two great aunts, and a great uncle, all of whom were living at the time in Norway, Maine. This is a photograph, I might add, that I have never seen before. The only correction I would make is that Howard D. Adkins should be Harlow D. Adkins. Thank you for publishing this picture and the information in the story. Some of it even I didn't know.
I thoroughly enjoyed your July article on Roxanne Quimby, the co-founder of Burt's Bees and now owner of a large parcel of land in Maine's North Woods. Ms. Quimby exemplifies the spirit of a true, independent-minded Mainer. It is quite clear that she follows no official party line except for what she herself strongly believes. Though not surprising, it sure is a shame to hear how incompetent our state economic developers were in their lack of response to her company's relocation inquiries. Maine could have benefited from the jobs her company instead brought to North Carolina — but can we blame Roxanne Quimby for the move? How many other growing companies that offer solid jobs and little impact on the environment will we let our state and local governments chase away through inefficient bureaucracies and over-burdensome tax policies? I'm not even going to get into her under-appreciated environmental efforts at preserving some of our greatest tracts of wilderness. Perhaps Down East could ring her up and see if she might make one more trip back to Maine — to run for governor!
Leave Only Footprints
Marshall Island is indeed a treasure, and I respect the Maine Coast Heritage Trust's effort to conserve it. However, I find it ironic that your June article was labeled "The Fight to Save Maine's Wildest Island," and yet you basically advertised Marshall Island to the masses. As a fragile island ecosystem, it cannot handle the increased visitation your article may cause. May I suggest a follow up article on "Leave No Trace" ethics?
—Erika Carlson Rhile
Swan's Island, Maine
Jeff Clark's "Talk of Maine" article in your July issue provided excellent background information on the methadone debate statewide. Very few, if any, publications have provided solid facts about methadone treatment in Maine. Thank you.