Friday, September 22, 2023

Nonprofit Spotlight: Cornerstone Assembly of God

Why Attend Church?

By Linda M. Page

Are you lonely, even when surrounded by people?

Cornerstone Assembly of God Church is located at 48 Cottage
Road in Windham. SUBMITTED PHOTO
Do you feel unfulfilled in your job, marriage or family?

Are you dissatisfied with your life- always wanting more money, or a better house, car, toys, spouse and kids?

Have you reached the end of your limits and don’t know who to turn to for help?

You certainly are not alone! Covid and the resulting isolation exacerbated all these negative thoughts and emotions and has either morphed into depression and anxiety or has caused us to rethink our lives. We may feel like there’s a deep hole inside us that never seems to be filled. Something is missing that we can’t put our finger on.

Some of us have started searching for a new life purpose and/or a higher power to find answers or give meaning to our earthly existence. For those who are unsatisfied and wanting something more beyond their daily routines, hurts and struggles, have you considered attending a church and joining Christians in hearing and exploring the Word of God, finding community and opportunities for serving others, building strength to persevere in life’s trials, and bringing new meaning and depth into your lives?

There are many churches of various denominations in the area that are waiting to welcome new members and we are one of them. The people here at Cornerstone Assembly of God come from diverse backgrounds and religious affiliations or no past history of church attendance. We strive to care for and love one another as we are able, and recognize that we are not perfect - that’s why we are here too. Hearing and reading God’s word in the bible has a way of making us recognize and deal with our faults instead of blaming others for our own failures and misdeeds. It doesn’t happen in a day, it’s a lifelong journey taken intentionally and it becomes a way of life.

At Cornerstone Assembly of God you will find a family that serves a God of hope, peace and love and in the process build faith and trust in Jesus, God’s son, who sacrificed His life (on a cross) to make a way for us to be with Him in Heaven one day. His death covered all our sins and no matter where the road of life has taken you, what mistakes you have made, and what pain you may carry from your past - He is ready to accept, forgive, and heal you.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life”- John 3:16. You just need to be willing to take the first step, accept His free offer of salvation and make a fresh new start! It’s never been easy to follow Christ and learn from His example but it’s rewarding to be His hands and feet in service to others while on this earth.

Maybe you are NOT lonely, NOT unsatisfied, NOT unfulfilled but already living a highly blessed life. What better way to show your thankfulness than to visit the church and join in worship and praise to the Almighty God who made it all possible. We are a small but welcoming group of people who are eager to get to know and embrace you as part of their congregation.

Several members have been with the church for over 30 years and can remember times when the seats were filled with multiple generations. Many were younger married couples with children, some were homeschooling their kids and/or nursing or pregnant moms eager to get together with a common purpose, needing support and fellowship, and finding it amongst themselves and in an older generation who was there to guide and direct them. We weren’t without struggles or misunderstandings at home or within the church but stayed and brought up their children there, forged lifelong friendships, volunteered, and served faithfully in many capacities in church ministries and in the community. The children have long since grown, many have moved away and are now married and having kids of their own.

Now we are in a new season of this church’s life and some things are different and some are still the same. In the words of our current Pastor, Ben Adler:

“We are a group of Bible-believers and Jesus followers. We are not perfect people, but we believe we worship a perfect God who came to earth as Jesus Christ and lived a perfect life. We open our arms to anyone who walks into our building. At Cornerstone, we want to build healthy relationships with God and each other. Jesus tells us in John 16:33, “In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” We know that life won’t always be roses and butterflies. If you come to visit, you’ll notice we won’t be preaching that everyone will have happiness, wealth, and fame for all their days. What you will notice though is that we preach that even on the worst days and through every hardship, God loves us, we love each other, and God has a plan, he is still on the throne and we have hope and peace through His Son.”

Over time, as in many churches today, we have seen a decline in attendance and in the way the church is viewed with a growing sense of irrelevance. If you would like to be a part of rebuilding our membership, growing and serving within a community of believers, and bringing up the next generation with traditional morals and values then please join us here at 10 a.m. for Sunday Services and Children’s Church where we welcome kids of all abilities. Our Men’s and Women’s Small Group Bible Studies meet every Wednesday morning. We also participate in Operation Christmas Child, which provides gifts and supplies to needy children worldwide to introduce the love of God. For details and to build your own OCC box visit:

Cornerstone Assembly of God Church is located at 48 Cottage Road in Windham. Pastor Ben Adler and the members welcome you with open arms. For more info call 207-892-5980 email or visit <

Friday, September 15, 2023

It Takes a Village 207 makes difference in lives of homeless veterans and local families in need

Beloved children’s television host Fred Rogers once said that we live in a world in which we need to share responsibility.

“It’s easy to say it’s not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem, then there are those who see the need and respond. I consider those people my heroes,” Rogers said.

For many homeless veterans here in Maine, their heroes are a mother and daughter team, Journey and Becky, who founded the nonprofit organization It Takes a Village 207 in 2020. Joining forces with the Maine Homeless Veterans Alliance, It Takes a Village 207 continues to be a beacon of light for local families in need and a resource for those who put their lives on the line for all of us while wearing the uniform of the United States military but have since fallen on hard times back home.

As a member of the board of directors for the Maine Homeless Veterans Alliance, Journey saw first-hand the difficulties that homelessness, poverty, food insecurity and domestic violence can cause and how isolated it left those who suffered as a result of these difficult and trying situations in Maine. She thought joining forces with the Maine Homeless Veterans Alliance could address those in desperate need of help and for those who felt isolated and alone with nowhere to turn to for assistance.

It Takes a Village 207 strives to make a difference by helping one struggling Mainer at a time. They provide resources for families struggling with financial hardship, work to reduce homelessness, food insecurity, substance abuse, domestic violence and the day-to-day challenges life throws at those in need.

They offer clothing, warm winter jackets and a range of other essentials for those who are struggling to survive and help raise money for local families in Maine who need home appliances, heating assistance, home repairs or school supplies.

The actual goal of It Takes a Village 207 is to be the village that helps struggling families get on their feet, while making them feel loved, respected, and understood.

The It Takes a Village organization is manned strictly by volunteers and is funded entirely by donations. All contributions are 100 percent tax deductible and greatly appreciated.

Volunteer opportunities are available and plentiful. Duries include a variety of tasks such as event staffing, home drop-offs of items, donation pick-ups, receiving, organizing, and stocking items, contacting businesses in person, on the phone or by email to secure various sponsorships and donations. The volunteers are the backbone of everything that It Takes a Village and the Maine Homeless Veterans Alliance does.

Fundraisers are conducted throughout the year with the next one to be held being a Veterans Day Spaghetti Dinner from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 11 at the Standish Municipal Hall. The cost is $14 for adults, and $8 for children over age 3. At that same event, It Takes a Village organizers are hoping to receive donations which can be used by homeless veterans including backpacks; men’s and women’s socks; sleeping bags; bug spray; tarps; hand warmers; and new shoes or boots for both men and women.

Cash donations can be mailed throughout the year to It Takes a Village, 907 Ossipee Trail West, Steep Falls, Maine 04085 or to the Maine Homeless Veterans Alliance at P.O. Box 1895, Portland, Maine 04101. The public can also assist It Takes a Village 207 in helping make Christmas merry this year by participating in raffles and silent auctions at events. Please message them on Facebook to learn what toys and donation items are being requested for the program’s annual gift giving for the holidays for families in need or see the lists on their website. You will also find an Amazon wish list if you would like to purchase gifts to be sent directly to the organizations.

Thanks to the generosity of participating business advertisers in this week’s The Windham Eagle, a total of $1,000 was raised for the It Takes a Village 207 Christmas Fund. Please see Pages 14 to 22 to see the close to 100 businesses that supported this cause. As always, we encourage you to support these businesses as a way of saying thank you for their contributions to the community.

The It Takes a Village program is currently collecting names of families that will need help this holiday season. Organizers say identifying these families sooner this year will make it easier to obtain help and assistance for them.

To recommend assistance for a homeless veteran or family in need, call It Takes a Village 207 at 207-322-7065 or email

For more information or to make a donation about It Takes a Village 207, go to For more information about the Maine Homeless Veterans Alliance, visit They accept cash or check donations via mail or you can contribute through PayPal and Venmo.

Friday, September 1, 2023

Raymond ground observers kept town safe during World War II

By Ernest H. Knight

After the entry of the United States into World War II following Pearl Harbor, both civilian and military believed that any part of our country was subject to attack by our enemies to the east and west even though airborne carrier of destruction were of relatively limited range and capability.

Local civilian Ground Observers kept
a watchful eye on the Raymond skies 
looking for enemy aircraft during
Very early in 1942, the Ground Observer Corps was organized as a branch of the United States Army Air Corps. An observation post on Raymond Hill was one of 800 similar sites in New England with 50,000 participating volunteers nationwide whose purpose was to watch and report any aircraft coming within their sight and hearing.

The Raymond Observation Post was located on the property of Roy Raynor near the junction of Raymond Hill Road and Valley Road, in an open field where there was good visibility in all directions and accessible to the observers, helpful characteristics which were not available at higher elevations such as Tenney Hill or Pismire Mountain.

This post was code named 86B, a classified designation, with Roy Raynor as Chief Observer and the other observers mostly from nearby East Raymond to North Raymond, although there were some from Raymond Village or other sections of town.

The site of operations of 86B were no plush country club. Yet it was much superior to the first tiny shack that was the Ground Observers first post provided by Willard Libby as a donation to the effort.

All time and materials involved in the program were volunteer and free, except for the telephone for reporting and the paper forms provided by the government. As the post was manned 24 hours a day throughout the year, there was a stove for winter heat, and it was lighted at night by kerosene lamp. It had a large window set into the roof for use when the weather was bad outside.

Equipment used by Ground Observers consisted of pencils for detailing activity and the telephone with which to make collect calls to the next higher Ground Observer headquarters in Portland, from which decisions were made and action taken. The function of Post 86B was to watch, listen, and report.

The observation post schedule was every hour of the day and every day of the year which was continued throughout the wartime years with few occasions when there was no observer on duty due to weather or other reasons.

The observers took their responsibilities seriously, doing their part in the war effort to which the whole country was dedicated. This meant considerable sacrifices and strength of will by these volunteers who served their scheduled time periods along with their regular occupations and home activities.

From higher headquarters it was stressed that an observer’s first priority was to this duty above all other civilian activities and to a greater extent they abided by this maxim. Weekly rosters were made up with duty periods usually of two to four hours, sometimes longer if a relief observer was late or complications interfered, with night shift workers and women taking daytime hours and day workers putting in the dreary hours at night.

There was little time to relax, read or otherwise make it more pleasant as there was considerable air activity to report with all the training flights from military bases, commercial flights and special purpose flying nearby, not to overlook frequent snooper flights initiated by Ground Observer Corps headquarters itself to check on the efficiency and dedication of posts.

There was paperwork to keep up with, memos and bulletins to read and absorb, letters to answer questions and inquiries, visitations by inspectors, and supervisors and sightseers out on outings. Then to fill in off-duty times there were local and regional training sessions intended to maintain efficiency and bolster morale.

But there were some perks for Ground Observers other than the feeling of being of some help to the country and their community. There were increases in gasoline rations for travel to duty and meetings and eligibility for recapped tires when many vehicles were of little use to their owners for lack of these vital items.

Though the ground observers were out of the public eye when functioning in isolated country areas such as Raymond Hill and they did not have uniforms as Air Raid Wardens in cities or Red Cross personnel engaged in service work with military members, they were entitled to wear armbands when qualified by meeting standards of hours per month or total hours since Dec. 7, 1941. <

This article was written by the late Ernest H. Knight, one of the founders of the Raymond-Casco Historical Society and contained in his book “Historical Gems of Raymond and Casco.” It was submitted by the Raymond-Casco Historical Society and articles about Raymond history from the historical society will appear regularly in The Windham Eagle newspaper. To find out more about the Raymond-Casco Historical Society, call Frank McDermott at 207-655-4646.

Friday, August 25, 2023

Homemade jewelry a labor of love for Windham resident

By Masha Yurkevich

From food to gifts, some things just don’t get any better than homemade. Knowing that something was made with love, care, and passion is exactly what Maire Trombley of Catmint Crafts values when she makes her homemade jewelry by hand.

Maire Trombley of Windham makes polymer
clay and embroidered jewelry, primarily
3D hand-sculpted miniature foods and
floral embroidered earrings.
Maire Trombley, crafter/owner/artisan behind Catmint Crafts, is originally from New Hampshire. She came to Maine to study at Saint Joseph’s College in 2004. She and her husband, Michael, got married in college and stayed in southern Maine, moving back to the Windham area in 2018.

Trombley formerly was a classroom teacher in Scarborough for 14 years while the couple raised their three kids, but in 2022, she switched to working as an educational technician in special education at Windham High School for more of a work/life balance.

“Last summer, at the encouragement of my husband, I decided to get a table at the Windham Farmer’s Market,” says Trombley. “I had always been a crafter and enjoyed making things with and for my children, students, and friends. I dabbled in lots of different art but that was my first time selling my work. From going to markets and starting to sell my work at some local stores, Catmint Crafts took off.”

Trombley makes her own polymer clay and embroidered jewelry, primarily 3D hand-sculpted miniature foods and floral embroidered earrings. She has also done some wheel-thrown pottery, growing, drying, and arranging flowers and hand-sewn home decor.

“I have always loved making things since I was a child,” she says. “I’ve been embroidering since about age of 10, played around with jewelry making among other hobbies and collected craft supplies and vintage fabrics or piece work once I knew what went into them. I started specifically making food jewelry just for fun after seeing some French fry earrings but not buying them,” she said. “I seriously regretted that for months and then got clay the next Christmas and immediately made a burger and fries. As a teacher, it was a fun way to surprise and connect with the kids and there was a definite Mrs. Frizzle vibe to my earrings, so I loved wearing and sharing them, and people started noticing.”

Her colleagues, family and friends have encouraged Trombley to keep going in her work of jewelry. Her inspirations are food, holidays or seasons, doll house miniatures and beautiful old fabrics and fiber arts, as well as seeing what other people can create.
“Honestly, I just have always loved giving and receiving homemade gifts and have always appreciated women’s handiwork, so much was made by hand out of necessity but there is an art to it as well,” she says. “I love putting my own spin on this tradition and making my own pieces one at a time by hand.”

During the summer, Trombley often sells her work at the Portland Farmer’s Market or First Friday Art Walk in person along with seasonal craft fairs in the area.

If people want to try their hand at miniature clay pieces, Trombley teaches polymer clay classes, and she has one coming up at the MEow Lounge in Westbrook in September.

She says that she absolutely loves what she does and encourages everyone to have fun at making whatever they choose, even if clay isn’t your thing.

“It doesn’t have to be perfect or even purposeful. There is value in creating just because and so much joy to be had in knowing it’s been handmade,” she says. “And if you aren’t feeling like a maker, you should always go and support local artists and value that time they put in to make beautiful work.” <

Friday, August 18, 2023

Traveling preachers sustain faith of early Raymond pioneers

By Ernest H. Knight

Raymondtown, before separation into the sister towns of Raymond and Casco, had religious leaders at times such as Elder Joseph Hutchinson, a Free Will Baptist who instructed and baptized throughout the town and Obadiah Gould who brought his flock of Friends from Windham to settle on Quaker Ridge.

The grave of 18th century
itinerant preacher Jeremiah
Hayden can be found in
the Raymond Village
Cemetery. He was born in
Massachusetts and died in
Raymond in 1847.
A protégé of Hutchinson, Zachariah Leach, functioned as clerk of the group until called upon by them to be ordained as their minister and thereby entitled to the 1/64th of the proprietary lands as the first settled minister in accordance with the 1765 Act of the General Court of Massachusetts which established the township, though he never exercised that right.

Another local product, Jeremiah Hayden, became a preacher but mainly served congregations outside Raymond thereby helping to provide the interchange of ideas and leadership.

While these local divines served the people well, their periods of activity did not provide continuity so that there were times when there was no pastor in residence. Also, with the areas to be covered, the clergy was separated in time as well as distance from those that needed help. Therefore, supplementary religious services were welcomed and the traveling preacher had a ready and waiting circuit of families and communities as long as he had the fortitude to take to the trail in spite of the atrocious traveling conditions and put up with whatever primitive accommodations might be available.

One who made many annual missions through Raymondtown on his all-summer travels was the Rev. Paul Coffin of Buxton in the late 1700s. His journals provide interesting insights into the nature of his listeners such as in Raymondtown on Aug. 20, 1800, on his last mission.

“Most of them prayed as if in the greatest distress and the body of them groaned in time of prayer, and, at its end, at once ceased. Very little knowledge of the word of God and duty appeared,” Coffin wrote.

But he also accepted their criticism, as he noted in his journal on June 16, 1796, in Raymondtown.

“They allowed my doctrine to be good, and me a good man, but not a preacher as I read my sermon,” Coffin wrote.

Rev. Coffin was also an observer of the commercial labors of the people, as he wrote in his journal on Aug. 24, 1799. “Sabbath. Preached at Capt. Dingley’s from Luke 16: 29-31 to an attentive and good number. Shelburne, Bethel, Oxford, Waterford, Bridgton, and Andover carry their produce through Raymondtown to Portland, it being a thoroughfare, especially in winter and sleighing time.”

And on the next Monday, “Rode to Otisfield and put up with brother Robie. By the way called at Hezekiah Cooks and had a horse shoe set. Visited the families of Gray, Mitchel, Mann and the aged Mr. Spur.”

As early as 1791, Elder Nathan Morrill of Gray or New Gloucester was baptizing residents in Raymondtown, but added his converts to his own church membership. Later an elder Randall from Gorham brought with him a covenant when preaching and baptizing, which all signed, and was therefore perhaps the first established church in town.

In the early 1800s the area was covered by a Rev. Thomas Strout from Windham. En route to the Raymond Hill Baptist Church, he once gave a ride to a small girl also proceeding there. As was common habit, he was chewing tobacco with resulting frequent spitting, which prompted the girl to say, “Do the angels up in heaven chew tobacco?”

After giving thought to the question, Strout got off his wagon and not only threw his tobacco cud into the bushes, but removed a plug from his pocket and likewise discarded it. To her he replied, “No little girl, the angels in heaven do not chew tobacco and never again will I.”

The decision to reform must have served him well as with later successes in his ministry, and while baptizing in the River Jordan (an aptly named river for such a ceremony), it is claimed that a white dove alighted and rested on his shoulder.

Through the years many leaders of various local groups expanded their spheres of influence. Rev. Jeremiah Bullock of Limington started preaching locally in the 1810s which developed into a movement called the “Bullockites” which lasted into the 20th century throughout Southern Maine based on informality and temperance.

In one form or another, religion was available to the pioneers through these dedicated purveyors of enlightenment. <

This article was written by the late Ernest H. Knight, one of the founders of the Raymond-Casco Historical Society and contained in his book “Historical Gems of Raymond and Casco.” It was submitted by the Raymond-Casco Historical Society and articles about Raymond history from the historical society will appear regularly in The Windham Eagle newspaper. To find out more about the Raymond-Casco Historical Society, call Frank McDermott at 207-655-4646.

Cub Scouts schedule registration night at Windham Middle School

By Ed Pierce

Here in Windham, the Cub Scout experience is all about children and families having fun times together and helping boys in kindergarten to Grade 5 to become productive leaders of tomorrow.

Windham's Cub Scout Pack 805 is welcoming new scouts
and new parents looking to become pack volunteers to
Cub Scout Registration and Q&A Night at 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 11 in the Windham Middle School cafeteria. 
With school about to resume following a break for summer, Windham’s Cub Scout Pack 805 is welcoming new scouts and new parents looking to become pack volunteers. On Monday, Sept. 11, Pack 805 will conduct Cub Scout Registration and Q&A Night at 6:30 p.m. in the Windham Middle School cafeteria. At the gathering, older scouts will be presenting fun activities to keep the scouts entertained while the pack leaders talk with parents of both returning and interested scouts.

“Scouting teaches kids positive character traits, helps foster relationships, and to be part of the community,” said Windham Pack 805 Leader Casey Melanson.

According to Melanson, the Pack 805 dens meet once a week and then the entire Pack 805 meets once a month for a special meeting, like a Halloween party, a Christmas holiday dinner, Pinewood Derby model car racing, and a range of other events.

Pack 805’s dues are affordable and goes toward national registrations, insurance, and other expenses, Melanson said. The pack also conducts fundraising activities throughout the year to offset the costs of awards and activities throughout the year.

She said Windham parents should consider having their sons join Cub Scouts because it helps them to work on self-growth, and to try new things.

“The scout motto is ‘Do Your Best’ and that’s what the kids learn.” Melanson said.

Joining the Cub Scouts is the first step in a young man’s journey to become a responsible citizen who cares about his neighbors and the community.

“We want our scouts to learn what it means to be part of something important, what it means to help their community, make new friends, build relationships, and to have fun,” Melanson said.

Melanson said that Pack 805 currently has more than three dozen scouts who volunteer to work on several community projects every year.

You’ll find Cub Scouts picking up trash after Windham Summerfest or hosting a toy collection drive for a family for Christmas,” Melanson said. “We also participate in Scouting for Food each November to collect needed goods for the Windham Food Pantry.”

Melanson said that Cub Scout uniforms consist of a shirt, a rank neckerchief, and a rank slide. Pants and rank hats are optional. Scouts are encouraged to have a belt (not necessarily a scout belt) to be able to display their beltloop achievements.

Each Cub Scout is issued a handbook for each rank so that the scout will need to be able to learn, perform, and complete each achievement and scout activities emphasize having fun and learning useful life skills.

“Cub Scouts can do anything they put their minds to. We have gone winter camping, hiking, ice fishing, and built lean-tos in the winter woods,” Melanson said. “We also have our annual Pinewood Derby where the boys design and build their own cars and then compete against one another. As a pack we have had beach outings, cookouts, movie nights, and EVO Rock Gym overnights.”

Cub Scout activities and adventures are centered around earning merit badges that are specific to each school grade level. Each badge represents a rank and advancement refers to the progress a Cub Scout makes toward their badge of rank.

For Pack 805’s registration night on Sept. 11, the registration effort will be staffed by Pack 805 leaders who can answer any specific questions that parents of children interested in participating in scouting may have.

“If someone has a new potential scout who is interested, they may come with the parent,” Melanson said. “If someone is interested in joining but is unable to make the registration event, they can reach out to us through Facebook or email.”

For more information about Cub Scout Pack 805, visit their Pack 805 Windham Maine Facebook page or send an email to <

Friday, July 21, 2023

Early Raymond settler leaves lasting impression upon community

By Ernest H. Knight

One of Raymond’s most prominent early citizens was Joseph Dingley, who was born in Duxbury, Massachusetts about 100 years after the landing of the Pilgrims at nearby Plymouth.

Joseph Dingley was one of the pioneers
and early settlers of Raymond in the 18th
century and is buried in the cemetery on
Raymond Cape Road across from his
homestead where he operated a grist
mill for many years.
As to how he came into contact with the Beverly Proprietors of Raymondtown to acquire right to land in their township is not known, but he arrived here in 1770, and having won a race against Dominicus Jordan to be the first settler, received an additional 100 acres for his victory.

As he came by water there is not an agreement as to whether his first landfall was at the head of Kettle Cove near where he had Lot 15 in Range Two or by Dingley Brook to Lot 9 in the same range where he developed his sawmill.

When the proprietors in 1771 realized the great need for a mill for the settlers they sought someone to erect one on the lot reserved for that purpose on the outlet from Panther Pond, then named Painter Pond. Dingley countered with one of his own to build a mill on his lot on the outlet from Thomas Pond, which was accepted by the proprietors.

Both proposals included a provision that the proprietors find millstones and deliver them to Falmouth (Portland) and Dingley was committed to have a “sawmill fit for sawing boards by the next June and a corn mill fit to grind corn by next fall.” This provided Raymondtown with the minimum commercial requirements for survival, a sawmill, and a grist mill.

Settler Dominicus Jordan also had a mill site above the present Route 302 bridge over the Jordan River, but once again, Dingley got ahead of him. It was to the Dingley mill that resident Jeremiah Tarbox was carrying a sack of corn on his back to provide corn meal for his family when he fell exhausted into the snow, and froze to death, together with his wife who tried to help him back to their cabin.

Joseph Dingley’s progeny were plentiful and active in the life of their community, as were those of Dominicus Jordan, both before and after division of the town into Raymond and Casco. Dingley’s daughter Susan married Richard Manning, a blacksmith from Salem who was agent for the Beverly Proprietors in Raymondtown, who after Manning’s death married Francis Radoux. Joseph’s son Samuel settled on the other Dingley lot near Kettle Cove, building a house that still stands just beyond the Bridgton Road Church on Route 302. Samuel later moved to Joseph’s homestead and helped run the mill in Joseph’s advanced years. Joseph is recorded as having an odd habit of mouth distortions, shaking hands and an unsteadiness that would today probably be called Parkinson’s or some other affliction.

Both Dingleys, father and son, volunteered for military service at the start of the Revolutionary War in the company of men from Raymond and Windham and returned to the fast-growing Raymondtown as Captains, a title that Jospeh retained for the rest of his life, even though he later held the rank of Colonel in the militia. Joseph is buried in the cemetery behind the Manning House across the road from his homestead and across the brook from his mill.

Off the mouth of Dingley Brook in Sebago Lake are a dozen Dingley Islands, one or more of which were used by Joseph. There he cleared pasture for his sheep, a wise procedure as an island has a ready-made fence of water to keep livestock in as well as an equally ready-made barrier to marauding bears and wolves. In those days of wilderness living there were many predatory animals from which domestic stock needed protection as well as did people for which fences offered little security.

Dogs were also employed as an aid to security and in the collection of artifacts from the era at the Friends Schoolhouse at the Raymond-Casco Historical Museum, there is a homemade iron dog collar on which is soldered a copper plate engraved “Joe Dingley, Casco, Me No. 15.” Whether the “Joe Dingley” was our Joseph Dingley, or the name of the dog is not known. But it is an interesting and rugged collar, suitable for rugged times. There is legend that in the Dingley household there was at one time a pet bear that had the run of the house in the summer and hibernated under the mill in the winter, so all wild animals were not their enemy.

Jospeh Dingley was a farmer as well as a mill man (as applied to those working with lumber) and a miller (as applied to those working with grains). An authentic relic of his farming activity in our schoolhouse collections is his two-tined pitchfork which hangs on a wall. < 

This article was written by the late Ernest H. Knight, one of the founders of the Raymond-Casco Historical Society and contained in his book “Historical Gems of Raymond and Casco.” It was submitted by the Raymond-Casco Historical Society and articles about Raymond history from the historical society will appear regularly in The Windham Eagle newspaper. To find out more about the Raymond-Casco Historical Society, call Frank McDermott at 207-655-4646.