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Weston honored by Rumford Historical Society
RUMFORD POINT -- More than 40 people attended Wednesday's meeting of the Rumford Historical Society for a supper and celebration of Bill Weston's longtime service to the historical society.
Following the meal, the guest speaker was longtime historical society member Jean Hersey, who spoke about the history of the Rumford History Society, which is now serving their 50th year.
When Weston became the president of the Rumford Historical Society in 1973, Hersey said he knew the historical society needed a building. He went to the Rumford Board of Selectmen and they approved donating the former Lufkin School building in Rumford Center on the condition that they make it a museum.
That condition was met, of course, but not before a lot of work needed to be done, including a new foundation, basement, metal roof, new windows and painting. That represented a lot of hard work by historical society members, but the big obstacle was that they did not have any funds.
So the historical society had medallians made to sell and Weston led the effort to begin the annual fundraising lawn sale, held in front of the museum -- a tradition that continues to this day.
Later, the Board of Selectmen also told the historical society they could use two room upstairs in the town hall for their archives. For years, every Thursday, visitors received assistance from Weston, Drew Breton and Myrtle McKenna for research and questions about local history.
Hersey noted that Weston served as president of the Rumford Historical Society for a total of 15 years. "Bill has done a great deal of work (for the historical society). He's been a catalyst, someone who could make things happen."
When she finished her talk, members presented Weston with a framed Certificate of Appreciation for his dedication to the Rumford Historical Society.
The event took place in the Rumford Point Congregational Church. Following their meeting, members of the Rumford Historical Society admired the trompe l'oeil (trick the eye) painting over the pulpit at the Rumford Point Congregational Church. The two-dimensional painting gives the appearance of three dimensions. The church, dedicated in 1865, was placed on the Maine Historic Preservation Commission's National Register of Historic Places in 1985.
Bill Weston was presented with a Certificate of Appreciation last Wednesday for his longtime service with the Rumford Historical Society, including 15 years as their president. With him here are longtime Rumford Historical Society member Jean Hersey (left) and current President Jane Peterson. (Times photo by Bruce Farrin)