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Sixth graders tour historical society museum
MEXICO -- "This Old House" (the Mexico Historical Society's museum, 1 Oxford St.) was busy with young people and lots of "old stuff" on June 2.
The Mexico Historical Society hosted more than 100 sixth graders from the Mountain Valley Middle School. The tour included lots of stories.
These students have been participating in varied activities in the River Valley to learn and appreciate the past and heritage of the area. Upon arrival by the busloads, the childred were divided into three groups and alternated among three areas for viewing and information.
One of the presentations was in the old barn, organized and presented by Norman Vashaw, who showed them old barn tools, the horse stalls, the cordwood saw and other items. He also assisted Calvin Lyons to introduce the students to the "school" that's established in the loft of the barn. The classroom is set up with Mexico/Pinto trophies, uniforms, yearbooks, old photos of the sports teams, banners, awards, old typewriters and other items that were once part of the Mexico schools.
Inside "The House," Irene Hutchinson introduced the children to a history and display of the sinking of the boat the Don. The Mexico Historical Society was responsible for raising more than $1,300 to put a memorial plaque in the Mexico Veterans' Park and have also set up a display of pictures and information that can be viewed at the museum.
She also showed them an extensive display of a young man who once lived in Mexico and graduated from Mexico High School. Very little is known about him, but Mrs. Hutchinson was able to explain to the student that he was taken in as a foster child, went to St. Theresa's Church and School, joined the Marines after graduating in 1941 and was killed in battle in the Pacific in 1944. His remains were eventually returned to Maine and he is buried in nearby Roxbury.
The only information available to the Mexico Historical Society was the contents of a suitcase that was found in the Rangeley Hotel, brought to the Rumford Falls Times' office, and subsequently donated to the Mexico Historical Society.
Upstairs in the living room, a child's bedroom and the old-fashioned kitchen, Millie Vashon, Lorraine Legere and Linda Petrie pointed out a large variety of items. One piece of furniture that looked like an old clock was a clock, but one of the students noticed some interesting knobs and asked about it. Upon checking it carefully, it was discovered that this clock was also an old Crosley radio.
There are pieces of furniture upholstered with needlepoint done by Mr. and Mrs. Robert Goguen. Mr. Goguen had lived in this house at one time and donated the furniture and many other beautiful items. In the kitchen stood the old black wood stove, surrounded by iron kettles and frying pans, sad irons, old scrub boards with the wash tubs and hand wringers, many bottles, and a large variety of old kitchen tools.
Lorraine Legere was the photographer for the event and documented the day with many photos.
Historical society members said the students were a pleasure to have and they asked a lot of good questions and had good comments. The members hope this small introduction is something that will be passed on to the younger people so that they may eventually become the "keepers of our lives" and carry on the stories of their families and the community.
More than 100 sixth graders from the Mountain Valley Middle School recently toured the Mexico Historical Society museum to learn and appreciate the past and heritage of the area. (Photo courtesy of Lorraine Legere)
Sixth graders enjoy the old classroom, located in the loft of the barn, which is set up with Mexico/Pinto trophies, uniforms, yearbooks, old photos of the sports teams, banners, awards, old typewriters and other items that were once part of the Mexico schools. (Photo courtesy of Lorraine Legere)