The New Deal In Bridgton Maine

Sources: Bridgton News, Town Reports, and New Deal publications. Assistance was provided by the Bridgton Historical Society.

1933

Dec. 15 Fifty men to be employed on local CWA projects by next Saturday is the goal which is set for Bridgton, although the plan which has been adopted of selecting these men through the federal employment bureau instead of allowing the selection to be done locally, is handicapping the work some.

The first job to be started was the surfacing of Highland Road and tearing up the old sidewalk. Monday of this week work was started on resurfacing the North Bridgton Village Street and the next important road job will be the resurfacing of Lower Main Street, from Pondicherry Square to Oak Street. William H. Otis has been designated as foreman of all three of these road jobs.

Claude P. Meserve will be in charge of the park project in the Perry Woods and the construction of the fish rearing pool.

Other projects to be undertaken include the installation of new toilets and urinals at the North Bridgton Village Grammar School; a new hard wood floor for the high school gym; alteration at Primary B. school, redecorating of some of the other school buildings; repairs and redecorating at the Academy buildings.

The selectmen are working out another project for straightening the Ridge Road, from the intersection with Highland Road, up over Dodge’s Hill.

PERRY WOODS PARK IMPROVEMENT ON OF CWA PROJECTS

One of the important projects of the local CWA program to be accepted by the local administrator was the improvement of the Perry Woods and the construction of a rearing pool between the bridge on Highland Road and the dam at the foot of Highland Lake. It is estimated that 4,500 hours of labor will be consumed in this project and that the material to be used will not exceed $400

A new water line will be established on the shore of the Perry Woods, a stone wall being laid there from the west end of the dam, down along the west side of the channel of the brook to connect with the stone wall. This cement wall will be approximately 100 feet in length and there will be a screen at either end, the screen at the upper end being made with a gate so that it can be lifted and the trust released in Highland Lake, if deemed advisable.

Dec. 22 CWA CREW CUTTING MOTH NESTS FROM TREES AND BUSHES

A combined crew of some eighteen men, in addition to Harrison’s original allotment, under the terms of the CWA program have started the work of freeing the trees and bushes here and in Otisfield of moth nests, cutting down old cherry bushes and trees by the side of the road and trimming up and cutting down old apple trees in private orchards. Moth nests are particularly noticable since the trees and bushes have shed their leaves and unless drastic methods are undertaken these moths when they hatch out will be a great menace to this section of the state, both as to orchards as well as forest trees. Thsi work is being done without expense to the towns except for equipment.

February 1st 1934 Town Report: See Feb 23 1934 News article on School Buildings below

1934

Jan 12 BUILDING FISH POOL UNDER SOME LITTLE DIFFICULTIES

While weather conditions are not just favorable for the various CWA projects now under way, work on the park and fish rearing pool at the Perry Woods, at the foot of Highland Lake, is progressing as well as could be hoped for under all existing circumstances. Claude P. Meserve is in charge of this project as construction engineer. A derrick was set up on the location a few days ago and the big split stone which have reposed in the woods for many years are being used as the foundation for the shore wall. These stones are the relics of the construction of the dam at the foot of the lake years and years ago. The probability is that when they were split out nobody ever had an idea that they would be used for the present purpose. The foundation for this wall, which is to extend from the dam to a point near the bridge at Highland Road, is now in and preparations are being made for starting the form for the cement wall next to the channel of the brook. The area in between these two wall will be where the fish pool is to be located and it is reassuring news that in the excavations the workmen are unearthing several good springs of water. All this much and debris will be dug out and will be used as filling between the shore wall and the park. There will be gates at either end of the pool and the water will come from the lake through the gate of the dam.

Jan 26 OLD TIMER REMINISCES AS TO CENTRAL HALL

The CWA work which is being done on the gymnasium, formerly Central Hall, has caused reminiscences regarding this old time recreation center and some of the older inhabitants are being interviewed as to the location it formerly occupied.

A man who has lived here over sixty-five years, said his impression is that Daniel Dickens and Alex Stevenson owned the building and that it originally stood on the corner of Flint and Meadow streets, or “thereabout”.

Feb 02 The CWA crew which is resurfacing Lower Main Street is now up to the junction of Maine and Green Streets. The work began near the junction of the Plummer’s Landing Road. Under the new schedule of working hours the CWA crew are working only three eight hour days a week and progress is necessarily a little slow.

The women employed on the CWA project have repaired and made over clothing donated. The money allotted for materials has been spent for cutting flannel, out of which night clothes, bloomers, and babies layettes have been made, and for yarn which has been knit into mittens. Over a dozen families have been furnished clothes and there is on hand clothing and mittens for distribution to anyone in need. At present the ladies are at work on comforters, sheets, and pillow cases. The sheets are being made from large sized grain bags.

Feb 23 SCHOOL BUILDINGS BENEFIT BY THE CWA PROJECTS

The school officials have taken advantage of the CWA program and much necessary work has been done on the town’s school buildings.

The old shed at the Primary School House, which was used as a wood shed and toilet, has been torn down and the excavation under the old shed has been filled in and leveled.

At the High School Building, the laboratory room, the library, the old Latin room, the principal’s office, two class rooms, and the entire hallway upstairs upstairs, including the alcove between the old building and the Freshmen room; also the superintendent’s office have been completely refinished, including walls and ceilings. The lower hall, main entrance, two cloak rooms and the alcove between the old building and Grade 5 room have also received similar treatment. The boys stairway has been refinished and the ceiling on the upper landing has been lowered 3 ½ feet.

In the Gymnasium as new maple floor has been laid the area being about 30 x 50 feet. The walls and ceiling have been refinished. A new floor has been laid in the hallway and in the two rooms each side of the hallway. A new door has been cut through the hallway so that it is now unnecessary to go through the main room to reach the basement.

The old lockers have been torn out and it is anticipated that a new set of modern lockers will be built by the boys of the manual training department.

At North Bridgton new flush closets have been installed and a septic tank sunk in the ground outside to take care of the sewage. In the basement a room 9×18 ft. has been partitioned off with a new cement floor. In this room two flush closets, a four foot urinal, and a drinking fountain has been installed. Upstairs in one of the halls off from the class room on the first floor a small room was built and this contains two flush closets for the girls.

Most of the projects have been completed. The surfacing of Highland road to the intersection with the road to the Highlands has been completed and a new project has gone in for an extension of this project beginning at the guide board and extending toward the Hill. The school projects are also completed with the exception of the finishing touches at North Bridgton. The road surfacing project at North Bridgton has also been completed, as has the South Bridgton Cemetery project. The Lower Main Street project is uncompleted but the other side of School Street.

A project which is being contemplated is the painting of the Town House, both inside and out and possibly the laying of a new hard wood floor. It would be necessary for the town to furnish the material for such a job as this and an article has been inserted in the town warrant for the purpose of ascertaining whether or not the town will appropriate money for this job.

Some of the projects at Bridgton Academy are completed while others are in the air and the probability is that a continuance will be asked.

Perhaps the most extensive project which was undertaken under this program was the building of a Fish Rearing Pool at the foot of Highland Lake and the improvement and grading of the Perry Woods. Claude P. Meserve, who is the construction engineer on this job estimates that with the hours the same as those of the original project it will require some six weeks more to complete the job.

March 2 CWA WORKERS BACK ON THE JOB

One CWA project, the improvement of the Perry Woods and the construction of the fish rearing pool at the foot of Highland Lake has been resumed and the ladies of the CWS have also gone back to work. Other projects will be underway as soon as the final word has been received of their approval. The Ridge road, a continuation of the Highland Road project has been “run out” and the work will be started on this job as soon as it has been approved. Other projects are the painting of the Town House inside and out, redecoration of the Public Library and certain inside work on the hospital. There are several weeks more on the Bridgton Academy projects which have been sent in for final approval. Bridgton now has a quota of 59 men and those who have been laid off since February 15th will be given an opportunity to make this up.

It is expected that the resurfacing job of Lower Main Street will also be continued.

February 1st 1935 Town Report:

Blanche G. Smart, typing FERA payrolls, $11.75

Stiles-Fitton Hdw. Co. FERA supplies for town hall $151.41

Wales and Hamblen Co. FERA supplies for town hall $107.71

H. H. Bisbee, lumber for FERA $34.51

Note: $310.78 expended for CWA $3.80 expended for FERA

Report of the School Supervisor: Do you feel that the Town and Schools have been benefited by the CWA School Projects? Well, they were my ideas and I saw to it that they were carried through, and they were completed on time under my direction. No other committee member took part. As a result, you have a clean High School, a new floor and a general building up of the Gymnasium, and the fact that everyone seems to want to use it shows it must be appreciated. It is a clean and brightly-lighted building today. Ask the North Bridgton parents and scholars what they think of the important changes made in the Toilet facilities there. Would they want to go back to the old ways?

1935

July 5 Another allotment has been received from the federal funds for the continuance of work on the Alumni Athletic Field, in Depot Square. This allotment will carry the work through the month of July, employing eleven men.

Sep 13 The sum of $12,000 is being asked from the WPA federal funds for the completion of the Athletic Field in Depot Square upon the construction of which some over $8,000 has already been expended, the most of which went for labor. The amount now being asked would include not only the completion of the grading, about two thirds of which has been done, but also the fencing of the field and the construction of bleachers.

The project which has been in process for several months has furnished employment to several men. At the outset two teams were used in addition to the hand labor but as the grading proceeded it was deemed advisable to change the set up and for pair of horses have been used.

CCC CAMP NOTES 1124th Co., Bridgton – Items For Week Ending September 7th.

Willis Brook Lunch Ground – Mr. Hicks’ crew is continuing the development of the Willis Brook Lunch Ground.

Blister Rust – The Blister Rust crews worked in Bridgton, south of the village, covering an area of 1374 acres and destroying 26,783 Ribes plants. This current week closes the White Pine Blister Rust work for this season as the leaves are now falling off, making the Ribes plant hard to identify.

Pleasant Mt. Trail – By the time this report is off the press the trail work on Pleasant Mt. Will have been completed. We believe that the improvement made by the buys will be much appreciated by the climbing public.

Oct. 25 BRIDGTON ASSURED $14,000 ALLOTMENT ATHLETIC FIELD

The project submitted by the town of Bridgton under the WPA for completion of the Athletic Field, has just been approved, the sum of $14,000 being alloted, provided the sponsors will put in approximately $2,500, to cover the cost of trucks to move the material.

The project contemplates the completion of the athletic field, grassing it over, building a wire fence around the lot, erecting a covered grand stand, with dressing rooms underneath for the home team and the visiting team, plumbing, etc. The cost of the lumber, the fencing, cement, fertilizer, grass seed, etc. is to come out of the $14,000 but the sponsors must provide funds for trucks, although the pay of the drivers come out of the general fund.

According to the set up this project would provide work for at least forty men. Unskilled laborers would be paid $52.00 per month, working thirty hour weeks. Skilled laborers would be paid $75.00 a month.

Febrary 1st 1936 Town Report:

Brown-Hanson Co., supplies, ERA sewing project

Stiles-Fitton Hdw. Co., Tools for ERA

WPA Account: Drawn by warrant $342.22

Balance Jan 31, 1936 $157.78

Received money hired by vote of town, $500

Highway Account: WPA, use of truck, $14.00

WPA Account: Balance, 1936 $157.78 Note Casco Bank & Trust Co., $2,000

Drawn by warrant, $1,372.74 Balance Jan 31, 1937 $785.04

History of the 1124th Company. Civilian Conservation Corps.

On June 1st, 1935, Lt. J. L. Fearer arrived in Bridgton with a cadre of 23 men from the Rangeley Camp No. 2107, and Bridgton Camp No. 11005 was officially begun. For a time the Cadre was quartered in the “Exposition Building” of the Bridgton Agricultural Association. The members of the cadre worked diligently, and under Lt. Fearer’ s direction civilian carpenters rushed the construction of the buildings. Lt. F. R. Blaisdell, Jr. was assigned to the Company on June 23, 1935. The members of the Technical Service, headed by Supt. Leon P. Brooks, arrived in camp on July 30, 1935. On this date also the last of the buildings was completed and the remainder of the Company was brought in. Busy days followed. The enrollees worked willingly after hours and on Saturdays. Walks and roads were improved and borders of evergreens were set out along them. Granite was procured and walks were completed. Grading and landscaping were done. Volley ball and basketball courts were laid out. A baseball diamond was improved. A building was loaned for use as a school house. This was painted and remodeled and a dark room was constructed in it.

History It is interesting to note that the camp is located on the old Bridgton Fair Grounds. We boast of being one of the only camps in the Corps Area to have a grandstand. During warm weather this is used for Company sings. In September, 1935, 1124th Co. was chosen to represent the First CCC District in the Corps Area competition for best camp. 1124th Co. placed third in this contest. Again, in March, 1936, 1124th Co. was awarded the Honor Camp banner for the First CCC District and represented the District in the Corps Area competition. During May and June an extensive system of flower beds was laid out around camp. Members of the personnel and townspeople generously contributed bulbs and seedlings. During July and August these flower beds were very colorful and added much to the appearance of the camp. On October 8, 1936 Lt. Fearer was transferred to the Tamworth, N. H. Camp; and Capt. Francis L. Ralls was transferred here from Bar Harbor to command the Company. Under the direction of Capt. Ralls the development of the camp has continued. Buildings have 1124th COMPANY been repainted and redecorated. New furniture and chairs have been built. The camp has been very fortunate in having had among its members two men of artistic ability. These men have done a great deal to beautify the interiors of the company buildings. The company Recreation Hall is lined with murals depicting scenes of camp work. At present, an example of each man’s work is on display in Corps Area Headquarters. These are: a mural by Victor Linnell showing men of 1124th Co. at work on a trail; and a landscape scene painted on a fungus growth by Benoit. Bridgton is the center of a large summer recreational area. Lakes and ponds in and around the town are studded with hotels and camps.

The major project of the camp in the winter has been, therefore, the extermination of Gypsy moths on lake shores and in the towns of the vicinity. Some of the best stands of White Pine in Maine are located within easy driving distance of the camp. It is quite fitting, therefore, that the major summer project should deal with the eradication of the chief enemy of the White Pine, i. e. Blister Rust. From Early May until September crews from camp are busy destroying the Rives which spread the disease. A great deal in the way community education has been accomplished by the work of crews from camp thru the Forest Stand Improvement work which has been done in the timber lots of “Town Farms” of nearby towns. The completed job gives a clear illustration of what should be done in all stands of timber. The camp has been very fortunate in having a number of ideal lunch ground sites located within easy working distance of camp. To date five of these have been constructed, and are being enthusiastically used by visitors and residents alike. The most rustic is located at Willis Brook, Bridgton. The shelters on this lunch ground are roofed with hand hewn shingles. In connection with developing the recreational possibilities of the surrounding country, the camp has spent considerable time in the construction and improvement of mountain trails. The most interesting one is of Mount Pleasant. Here three log foot-bridges have been constructed to carry the winding trail across a mountain stream. Also, a ski trail was constructed on Pleasant Mountain. This trail, thirty feet wide and nearly a mile and a half long, is reputed to be one of the most difficult in the country. During the flood conditions in the spring of 1936 the Saco River washed out great quantities of corn stalks and stubble which had been ploughed under the preceeding fall. A project was approved for this camp to spend 250 man days gathering and burning this waste to prevent the spread of the corn borer in the town of Fryeburg. Since there are three corn canning factories in Fryeburg, the importance of this work can readily be seen. All the towns within a 25 mile radius of camp have been type mapped, so that the timber resources of this area can be seen at a glance.

August CCC Camp Notes PROGRESS FOR WEEK END AUGUST 24TH

Pleasant Mountain Trail

An outdoor table with seats for fourteen, rest benches for thirty and a drinking fountain were constructed at the Half-Way House during the past week. A half mile of trail has been cleared of protruding roots and rocks and one eighth of a mile of steep and badly washed trail has been terraced and properly drained. A parking area for fifteen cars and trucks has been cleared and leveled at the foot of the trail.

The closeness of the railings of the thirty foot upper bridge caused some comment among the ladies the first of the week. A perfect thirty-six could pass through without difficulty but after the superintendent had watched seven ladies cross the bridge, who had passed the thirty-sixth mark some time previously he ordered the space between the rails to be widened eight inches.

A. H. Bumstead of Washington DC, head of the map department of the National Geographic Society for the past twenty years has visited the Pleasant Mountain Trail twice recently, the second time bringing his younger son with a charming young lady. Mr. Bumstead complimented us on the improvements to the trail and expressed the thought that so many have had – that the trail could be made into an auto road as far as the Half-Way House at comparatively little expense and great convenience to the public.

Blister Rust Crew

The Blister Rust Crews have completed the eradication of the Ribes bushes in the pine growth along the western shore of Long Lake. Twelve hundred and forty-seven acres were covered during the week and a total of 35,509 Ribes bushes destroyed. White Pine Blister Rust, which threatens the destruction of all young pine in this section does not spread from one tree to another directly but instead from a pine to a ribes bush and then from the ribes to another pine. By destroying the ribes plants the spread of the disease is stopped. Questions along this line will be cheerfully answered by telephone, mail or through this column, which will be a regular feature of the NEWS.

Dutch Elm Disease Crews

The crews scouting for signs of the Dutch Elm Disease have worked in the villages of Waterford, Lovell, Fryeburg, Hiram, Brownfield, Baldwin, Cornish, and Standish. No trace of the disease has been discovered yet in Maine but the training in tree work will be valuable to the crew this winter in fighting the gypsy and brown tail moths.

CCC Camp Notes: ITEMS FOR WEEK ENDING AUGUST 31ST

Mr. Hicks’ crew has completed scouting in this area for the Dutch Elm Disease. No trace of the disease has been found. Mr. Hicks and his crew are now engaged in making a lunch ground at the old stone watering trough on Rt. Eighteen [today marked as U.S. Route 302/Bridgton Road/Portand Road/Roosevelt Trail] about five miles south of Bridgton, on the property of Miss Lena Willis. The lunch ground will consist of two shelters, seats and tables, for twenty people, two stone fire places, drinking water and toilets. Readers will be interested to know that the stone watering trough was built by Edward S. Allen about fifteen years ago. Mr. Allen is the father of Herbert S. Allen now Technical Forester at the Bridgton CCC Camp.

Blister Rust

The Blister Rust Crews worked last week in the area between Bridgton and Naples, in the town of Bridgton. Thirteen hundred and thirty-five acres were covered and 62,089 of the Blister Rust Spore, bearing Ribes plants were destroyed.

Pleasant Mt. Trail

The Pleasant Mt. Trail Crew has been working on the steep part of the trail, above the Half Way House. Stone steps have been constructed on the steep slopes, ditches have been dug and lined with stone, rest benches and seats have been erected at frequent intervals along the steep part of the trail.

We should not wish to convey the impression that Pleasant Mt. Is trying to compete with Mt. Washington for publicity thru the medium of lost people but the fact remains that the old trail has its moments. By the mute testimony of scattered hair pins of different designs found on the porch of the Half Way House and the confession of one of our leading citizens we learn that a mixed party of friends spent a very, very long night and held an early Sunday Morning Service of Thanksgiving, half way down the mountain. Will it become the duty of the CCC to train dogs or perhaps fireflies to patrol the trail at night as a guide to those overtaken by storm and darkness.

1936

May 8 GRAND STAND ON ATHLETIC FIELD IS TAKING FORM

The grand stand on the new athletic field, in Depot Square, which is being constructed as a WPA project, is rapidly taking form. The master carpenter is Hazen Richardson and the construction engineer of the project is Claude P. Meserve, who drew the plans for the field and the grand stand and who has been in charge of the project since it was started last year. The town, at a special town meeting last fall, appropriated the sum of $2,500 to be used in conjunction with this job.

The foundation for the grandstand was put in some little time ago and work is being rushed on the superstructure. The stand will be covered, with a seating capacity of some over 600 with dressing rooms underneath, both for the home and visiting teams. It will be an attractive building and solidly built.

Within the past few weeks the field itself has been smoothed off, using the town grader and is being prepared for a surfacing of loam which will later be seeded down.

It is hoped that the field will be ready for use in the town games later on in the season although the wish may be father to the thought.

May 11 Naples Notes: TOWN VOTES TO RE-BUILD EDES FALLS BRIDGE, TOWN’S SHARE $3,250.00

In spite of the fact that there have been various rumors concerning the rebuilding of the Edes Falls Bridge, the NEWS has at last the complete and authentic story on the situation. Immediately after the old covered bridge was swept away the selectmen contacted Governor Brann, to see if federal aid might be procurred, but this was too late to enter an application with the many other towns seeking similar aid. As soon as possible, however, state engineers looked the site over, together with the selectmen. A special town meeting was called, which was held last Wednesday evening, at which time a very favorable proposition was placed before the voters. This proposition, as clearly set forth in the following letter from the bridge engineer, was readily accepted and the selectmen were authorized to procure the necessary temporary loan of $3,250.00. The balance of the total cost, approximately $18,500.00, will come from the state and WPA funds.

The superstructure would consist of steel I-beams having a span length of 70 feet, center to center of bearings, with a roadway width of 20 feet. The floor would be of timber, using three by 6 strips on edge, with asphalt plank wearing surfaces. The rails would be of steel.

CCC CAMP NOTES 1124th Co., Bridgton – Items For Week Ending September 7th.

Willis Brook Lunch Ground – Mr. Hicks’ crew is continuing the development of the Willis Brook Lunch Ground.

Blister Rust – The Blister Rust crews worked in Bridgton, south of the village, covering an area of 1374 acres and destroying 26,783 Ribes plants. This current week closes the White Pine Blister Rust work for this season as the leaves are now falling off, making the Ribes plant hard to identify.

Pleasant Mt. Trail – By the time this report is off the press the trail work on Pleasant Mt. Will have been completed. We believe that the improvement made by the buys will be much appreciated by the climbing public.

1937

January 31st 1938 Town Report

W.P.A. Athletic Field Account

CR: Unexpended balance, Jan. 31, 1937 $785.04 DR: Unexpended balance, Jan 31, 1938 $785.04

W.P.A. $301.40

Appropriation For C.C.C. Camp

CR: Appropriation, $300.00 DR: Warrants drawn, $300.00

Warrants: Art. 3. To see whether the town will authorize an inventory of the real property of the town to be taken with the aid of the Federal Works Progress Administration, and will raise and appropriate a sum sufficient to defray the town’s share of the expenses thereof, it being understood that the inventory contemplates the making of a scale map of the town on which shall be shown roads and boundaries of land parcels, gathering of data on all buildings and real estate, checking of titles and descriptions against the county records, putting the tax books into such order as is required by law, and in general, laying an adequate foundation for a reasonably equitable and fair valuation by the assessors of the real properties of the town. [This was completed and the Bridgton Historical Society has a link to the survey on their website.]

Art. 19 To see whether the town will raise and appropriate a sum sufficient to cover its share of the cost of the Federal Works Progress Administration project started on Pleasant Mountain under Federal W.P.A. official project No. 65-11-813

1938

CCC Camp Notes 27 May

LUNCH GROUNDS FEATURE WORK CCC CAMP BOYS

HIGHLAND LAKE LUNCH GROUND BEGUN

Of considerable interest to residents will be the lunch ground which is now under construction at the foot of Highland Lake. This lunch ground of the double shelter type, will consist of tables, shelters, fireplaces, and toilet facilities. Work was begun there this week and the project will be completed in the near future.

Lunch Ground at Fryeburg Completed.

During the last week, Foreman Laurant Pingree and his crew completed the lunch ground which was begun last fail on the bank of the Saco River, near the Fryeburg Town Farm. The area there contains a parking space large enough to accommodate several trailers. This feature combined with the ideal locatio should make this a very popular lunch ground.

Summer Work Program

All the foremen, with the exception of Mr. Pingree, are doing Blister Rust control work with their crews in the town of Otisfield. During the first or second week in June. Foremand Herbert Allen will begin a Type Mapping Project in Cornish, which will cover the towns of Cornish, Parsonsfield, Limerick, and Liington. For this purpose a side camp is to be established in Cornish. The main part of this side camp will be composed of tents, but a portable kitchen is now being constructed in camp which may be hauled to the site of the camp on a truck.

July 30 A resolution authorizing the Town of Bridgton, Maine, to file an application to the USA through the Federal Emergency Administration for a grant to aid in financing the construction of a gymnasuim and designating Bertram D. Scott, North Bridgton, to furnish such information as the Government may request.

Be it resolved by the Board of Selectmen: Section 1. That Bertram D. Scott, Selectman, be and he is authorized to execute and file an application on behalf of the Town of Bridgton, to the United States of America for a grant to aid in financing the construction of gymnasium for Bridgton Academy.

July 30 A resolution authorizing the Town of Bridgton, Maine, to file an application to the USA through the Federal Emergency Administration for a grant to aid in financing the construction of a gymnasuim and designating Bertram D. Scott, North Bridgton, to furnish such information as the Government may request.

Be it resolved by the Board of Selectmen: Section 1. That Bertram D. Scott, Selectman, be and he is authorized to execute and file an application on behalf of the Town of Bridgton, to the United States of America for a grant to aid in financing the construction of gymnasium for Bridgton Academy.

Oct. 14 Special Election Art. 2 To see if the town will accept the offer of the United States of America to aid by way of grant of $22,500.00 in financing the construction of a gymnasium to be located on the southerly side of the road leading over Chadbourne’s Hill in that part of said Bridgton known as North Bridgton, a copy of which offer reads as follows: “1. Subject to the Terms and Conditions (WPA Form No. 230, as amended to the date of this Offer), which are made a part hereof, the United States of America hereby offers to aid in financing the construction of a gymnasium building, including necessary equipment and the improvement of necessary land (herein called the “Project”), by making a grant to the Town of Bridgton, Cumberland, County, Maine (herein called the “Applicant”), in the amount of 45 per cent of the cost of the Project upon completion, as determined by the Federal Emergency Administrator of Public Works (herein called the “Administrator”), but not to exceed, in any event, the sum of $22,500.00.

Jan. 31st 1939 Town Report

WPA Revaluation Project CR: Appropriation $1,200.00 DR: Warrants drawn $876.34

WPA Ski-Tow and Parking Projects: CR: Appropriation, Credits, Overdraft $3,223.05 DR: Warrants drawn $3,223.05

WPA Athletic Field Project CR: Overdraft $2,858.08 DR: Warrants $2,858.08

WPA Kansas Road Project CR: Overdraft $1,794.34 DR: Warrants $1,794.34

Albert Henley, transporting WPA to Naples $16.00

Will Otis WPA $60.00

Lawrence Potter WPA $3.70

Frank O. Stone $30.45

Alice Sargent WPA $30.45

Stiles-Fitton Hardware Co., supplies WPA $378.56

Wales & Hamblen Co., supplies WPA $62.56

E. J. Stiles & Son, supplies WPA $3.17

Strouts Express WPA $4.90

F.S. Bennett, WPA $1.17

Ingalls & Morrison, WPA $.50

Isiah Winslow WPA $1.00

WPA EXPENDITURES ON PROJECTS LOCATED IN BRIDGTON FROM INCEPTION OF PROGRAM TO DECEMBER 31, 1938

WPA No.__Type of Work_____________________________________________Total

27…………….Development of high school athletic field………………………………………$13,370

2095…………Repairing and improving parks and playgrounds…………………………….$11,259

2218…………Transcribing, computing, and filing data on land improvement…………$5,862

2328…………Improving athletic field………………………………………………………………..$5,501

2465…………State Dept. of Inland Fish and Game survey of streams……………………$128

2480…………Construction and improvement of parks…………………………………………$6,521

2495…………Improvement of Roads…………………………………………………………………$4,913

2518…………Transcribing, computing, and filing data on land improvement…………$2,913

In addition to the above there has been approximately $14,500 paid to Bridgton cases between Oct. 20 and December 31 on the State-wide fire hazard project WP 2538

Also should be mentioned here expenditure of approximately $13,000 on State highway WP 50 project between Harrison and Waterford east of Bear Brook.

Hence total Federal expenditures in Bridgton, $83,745.70

1939

March 6 1939 Warrants

Article 54. To see if the town will vote to borrow, and on what terms, a sum of money not in excess of fifteen thousand dollars, to take up the WPA note due April 1, 1939, and the balance of $5,500. authorized at the Special town Meeting held September 3, 1938, and for installing a sprinkler system at the High School

Town Report Jan. 31st 1940

WPA Revaluation CR Balance & Overdrawn $1,062.73 DR: Warrants drawn $1,062.73

WPA Kansas Road DR: Overdraft $2,298.00

WPA Athletic Field DR: Overdraft $10.73

WPA Art Project, town contribution $22.50

1940

The Federal Art Project in Maine has produced silk screened posters for use by the Bridgton Development Commission.

April 19 Other road projects in this vicinity are the Kansas Road, now a state aid location, and the Kimball’s Hill Road in North Bridgton, also a WPA job, but not as yet a state aid location, unless it has been accepted as such since town meeting.

May 10 Town Manager A. K. Thorndike was in Portland Wednesday in conference with the WPA Administrator’s office, in regard to re-writing of some of the projects now under way here. He is desirous of combining the state aid, third class and WPA projects and to get to work on these as soon as possible. The main project, of course, is the Kansas Road, which has already been designated as a state aid location from Pondicherry Square to the naples line Mr. Thorndike would like to have the remainder of the North Bridgton Highlands Road some 1400 feet included in this project, and possible the small stretch of uncompleted road from the end of the Special Resolve road to the Ingalls Farm. Mr. Thorndike also hopes to get the Athletic Field project rewritten and to get to work on this right away so that it will be available for use this summer.

Town Reports Jan. 31 1941

WPA Projects – Roads CR: Receipts $2,221.60 DR: Warrants drawn $2,246.18

CCC Rental CR: Appropriation $300 DR: Warrants drawn $300

WPA CR: receipts $2,221.60 DR: Warrants drawn $4,467.78

The cover for this Town Report is a product of the Maine Art Project, located in the Federal Building at Portland. The design is by Miss Katherine M. Crist, of the Project. The Maine Art Project is headed by Mrs. Dorothy H. Jenson, State Supervisor, and it is one of the many activities of the Division of Community Service Programs, over which Miss Helen I. Twombly is Director, and is part of the great WPA Program.

Highways

The Kansas Road (state aid) has been finished except for tarring one mile. By WPA

The North Bridgton-Sweeden Road has been completed fro one mile. By WPA

The North Bridgton Ridge Road (state aid) has been completed and tarred, the new construction being one-quarter of a mile long. By WPA

The Knights Hill Road (state aid) has been started, and more than three-quarters of a mile has been based. By WPA.

Athletic Field

The old excavation for a track has been filled in and the field put in good condition. Sanitary fixtures have been installed in the rooms under the grandstand. The grandstand has been painted two coats inside and out. A wire fence has been erected around the field. All the above work has been done by WPA.

Ski Slope

The ski slope has been bought by the town. The parking ground has been enlarged to accommodate more than 400 cars. The gravel taken out to make parking space has been used to build the Knights Hill Road. It is of good quality. An addition has been built on the ski hut. The bad curve on the road to the ski slope has been widened. All the above work has been done by the WPA.

1941

Jan 10 NATIONAL YOUTH ADMINISTRATION OFFERS EMPLOYMENT FOR LOCAL BOYS AND GIRLS

John Crowley, District Supervisor of the NYA was in town Monday afternoon of this week, and met several young men of the community, who are interested in obtaining employment in this organization, as well as several interested citizens. Mr. Crowley outlined the work that was available, and its possibilities.

Several of the boys have already “signed up” and are on the job. Projects now underway on which these NYA youths can be used are the municipal skating rink and the ski slope. Seven of these boys are now at work. Under the regulations of this organization those enrolled have an opportunity to work 50 hours a month at an hourly wage of 36 cents.

The boys who have been working on the skating rink under the supervision of Stanley F. Kramer, who represents the Bridgton Lions Club, have the rink in fairly good condition as far as the weather will permit.

Claude P. Maserve of Bridgton is supervising the installation of machinery in the NYA run machinists school in Lewiston [incorrectly listed as Auburn]

July 18 FINAL DETAILS FOR NYA MACHINE SCHOOL AT SHOE SHOP BEING RAPIDLY PERFECTED

Leon Bennett Will Be Instructor And A Group Of Local Business Men Will Serve As Advisory Committee. Machinery For Plant Purchased From Mr. Bennett

The final details for the installation of the new NYA Machine School, which is to be conducted in the street floor of the show shop building, Bridgton, which to old timers will be better known as the Forest Mills are being rounded into shape. At a recent meeting of the directors of the Forest-Pondicherry Co. it was voted to lease floor space for this purpose.

The new school will be under the direction of the State Department of Education, with Stephen E. Patrick and Austin Alden as advisors, and through an advisory committee consisting of a group of business men of Bridgton.

Leon Bennett, who has been conducting a machine shop, located on Flint Street, has been engaged as the instructor, and the necessary machinery has been purchased of him and of other parties. This machinery is now being installed.

The school will begin with one eight hour shift of fifteen men, and will be increased to two or even three shifts, if occasion requires. To be eligible a man must be at least eighteen years of age, and must live near enough to Bridgton to make it possible for him to attend. The enrollment will include 50% from WPA, if available, and 50% from the Maine Employment Association, with possibly an entire enrollment later from the Maine Employment Association.

W.P.A. MAINE MUSIC PROJECT IS PRODUCING RESULTS

Reginald B. Bonin State Supervisor

Ross Catland Bridgton Instructor

Place of Meeting Hall at Fire Station

The W.P.A. Maine Music Project at Bridgton has been in operation since February 1st with a good enrollment and considerable success. During the school year the schedule was so arranged that it did not interfere with school work; but this summer, under a new schedule, there is more time for concentration on the subject, and more intensive work can be done.

Children have enrolled whose parents did not feel financially able to provide them with instruments and to pay for musical instruction. The primary object of this school is to give children fundamental knowledge of band music; to place instruments in their hands and to give group instruction.

Through his fine personality and enthusiasm, Mr. Catland has been able to hold the attention of over fifty pupils during a period of nearly six months, and to bring them to the point of definite performance. At present, he has twenty-five piano pupils and five studying violin. Of those receiving instruments, eight have a trumpet, five have a clarinet, two are learning to play mellophone, two have a trombone, two are learning to play baritone, one is beginning on the saxaphone and one is beginning on the double B flat bass.

On Friday morning, July 11, for the first time, Mr. Catland assembled the entire group of band pupils, and began a series of weekly lessons in band ensemble. Each play was provided with a band instruction book and enthusiasm ran high. A number of pupils who take private lessons on band instruments were invited to be present at the ensemble. From now on, all boys and girls studying band music are invited to bring their instruments and sit in at the Friday sessions. The public is welcome to visit the classes at any time and parents of children who are learning to play are particularly urged to come.

Miss Dorothy R. Fredenhagen, Assistant National Director, W.P.A. Music Program, from Washington D.C. Honored the school recently for the purpose of inspecting the Bridgton Project. She was accompanied by Mr. Bonnin, State of Maine Supervisor of W.P.A. Music Program, and was very much pleased with the work.

Town Report January 31, 1942

Seaplane Base

Appropriation $150.00 Expenditures, material for NYA to use to build float $146.88

The float, fabricated at the workshop of the National Youth Administration at Portland, is ready for delivery at Highland Lake in the spring.

CCC Rental

Appropriation $300.00

The CCC Camp was closed in May 1941

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