Friday, December 22, 2023

Holiday banners enliven driving in Raymond this year

By Kendra Raymond

If you’ve traveled through Raymond via Route 302 recently, you may have noticed the cheerful holiday banners adorning some of the light posts along the way. The flags remind us to “dine, explore, and shop Raymond.”

Some of the new holiday banners on light posts around
Raymond on Route 302 are shown. The banners replaced
traditional Christmas wreaths hung along Route 302
which were costly to obtain and required many volunteers
to remove them at the end of the Christmas season 
This visually appealing display reminds us that our community provides an abundance of resources right at our fingertips. From great eating spots to quiet hikes, Raymond has it all.

Raymond Beautification Committee President Sharon Dodson said that the Raymond Public Works Department is responsible for placing the banners this year.

“We used to put up wreaths on all those poles,” she said. “We had to raise money for them. The school had bought the banners and hardware for each graduate during COVID and so we already had the most expensive part of the banner there.”

Don McClellan of Raymond Public Works is the go-to person for information about most of the decorations that appear along Route 302 in town. He said that he agrees that the banners came about because of COVID and the school graduate pictures. The hardware and brackets for the banners can be recycled, and the banners can be switched out as needed.

McClellan pointed out that the banners are much less “Christmas-y” than hanging wreaths. The colors selected are neutral and this allows the banners to be left up much longer than a traditional Christmas wreath.

He said that it was a massive effort each year involved with acquiring the wreaths and decorating each one.

“Our volunteers are slowing down,” McClellan said, “So it makes sense to shift to a lower-maintenance solution.”

Placing wreaths posed several problems including cost and disposal, but these banners are a more long-lasting solution.

“Banners could be used for several years before needing replacement, and much cheaper than wreaths which need to be purchased every year,” Dodson said.

Besides, the message conveyed lasts far beyond the holiday season.

McClellan calls it “long-term signage” which could ultimately evolve into banners being placed throughout the four seasons in town.

This opens the door for a lot of opportunities which could get the community involved, perhaps through its own committee or a push toward involving the younger generation of Raymond residents.

Many people may remember the American flags displayed in Raymond around Independence Day. This display is also thanks to the combined efforts of local veteran’s groups, Raymond Public Works, and the Raymond Lions Club over the years.

The Raymond Beautification Committee has always been involved with Route 302 decorating in some capacity, according to McClellan.

But unfortunately, membership is down and many of the committee members are less able to contribute this year than in the past, so these banners are a perfect solution in the short term.

McClellan said that the Raymond Beautification Committee remains a work in progress and continues to move forward.

He said that a revisioning for the committee is in the works, and Raymond residents will be kept informed as developments arise. <

Friday, December 15, 2023

Holiday plants: the gift that keeps giving

By Kendra Raymond

We’ve all received them; those gift plants often bestowed upon unwitting hosts and hostesses at holiday gatherings. It is always lovely to receive a small token of appreciation to brighten up the festivities. However, as the holiday season concludes, many of us are left looking at the once merry flora and wondering what we should do next.

Poinsettia come in a variety of colors during
the holiday season but are the least practical
choice for continued growth throughout
The good news is many gifted plants can have a productive life after their intended use. Sadly, most of them are tossed out with holiday refuse.

Dwayne Harris, owner of Blossoms of Windham says that he is all sold out of flowering bulbs. It is hard to compete with the big box stores that often sell them at a much lower price. At present, decorated boxwood trees are available in his shop and are a great lasting choice. They can be planted outdoors in spring.

Harris says that business is starting to pick up as Christmas draws closer. Many people order floral centerpieces and other arrangements as gifts. He said, “It is busier than in past years. We are noticing a bit of foot traffic, which is nice to see.”

Courtney King owns Studio Flora in Windham. The shop has recently relocated, and King says business is good. She says decorated boxwood trees are a popular choice this season. People are buying less poinsettias due to concerns about toxicity with pets. She says that Christmas cactus are a good seller and a great practical choice.


Plants forced from bulbs are very common during the holiday season. Amaryllis is a tropical plant that grows from an enormous fast-growing bulb. The reward is a showy flower in a red or pink variation. The larger the bulb, the more flowers it will produce.

After the flowers fade, the plant can be kept actively growing. Simply cut the flowers off and leave the tall stem until it turns yellow. Next, place the Amaryllis in a very sunny window and continue to water and fertilize regularly. Green leaves will emerge as the plant continues to photosynthesize.

When spring arrives, the plant can be moved outdoors. Start with indirect sun, then transition to a sunny location on a deck or step. Bring the Amaryllis indoors when temperatures drop, and frost is suspected.


Paperwhites are a popular choice during the holidays. They are easy to grow in pebbles, soil, or water. The blooms last for several weeks and are fragrant.

Once the flowers have passed, remove them, and allow the foliage to grow until it yellows. Cut off the leaves and store the bulbs in a cool dark place. In the fall, the bulbs can be forced again, planted outdoors.

Christmas Cactus

Despite the name, the Christmas cactus is not the typical desert cactus that comes to mind. Native to tropical rainforests, these plants require diffuse sunlight and evenly moist soil.

They especially enjoy high humidity and temperatures between 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit. Fertilize during the summer to encourage blooms in early winter. Choose a fertilizer with lower nitrogen such as Miracle Gro Bloom Booster. Shorter days, cool temperatures, and low water all force the dormant stage which supports holiday blooming.

These are hearty plants that can live and bloom for many years.


The poinsettia is the most recognizable plant of the holiday season. The colorful petals are leaves while the smaller center cluster is the actual flower. They thrive in bright sun and warm house temperatures.

Following the holidays, fertilize and prune any leggy branches. The poinsettia can be moved outside during the summer. Sadly, reproducing colored blooms is quite challenging.

Of course, the cut flower centerpiece is a timeless (and disposable) classic and King said that a lot of times people order small floral arrangements close to Christmas as hostess gifts. She also sells a selection of gifts and plants.

Harris agrees.

“It’s a whole new world,” Harris said. “Things are different than the past few years. You don’t know which direction it will go, and you have to be able to shift.”

The University of Minnesota Extension offers a great fact sheet on amaryllis:

Penn State Extension provides tips on paperwhites:

Christmas cactus information: <

Friday, December 8, 2023

Holiday baking with kids worth the hassle

By Kendra Raymond

Who can let the holiday season go by without incorporating some kind of special cooking into the festivities? The aroma of sweets in the oven, music and sparkly lights conjures pleasurable visions in our minds. Some people find kitchen time relaxing, while for others it can be more stressful. Enter - kids and you have added yet another challenging facet to the experience, and presumably a lot of mess!

A photo from previous years shows how much
fun parents can have baking with their children
over the holiday season.
I remember receiving hand-written notes from my daughter which exclaimed, “Mommy, I want to cook with you so bad!” At the time, I had several of her siblings also under my care, so sadly our cooking moments were not as plentiful as I wished.

No kid-filled baking experience will ever go as planned in a spotless kitchen. If you decide to delve into this proverbial rabbit hole, just come armed with the proper attitude and ammunition, and everything will work out just fine.

Youth of any age will benefit from cooking with a responsible adult. Kathy Savoie, MS, RD, Extension Professor with University of Maine Cooperative Extension said, “It’s never too early to start. Kids can learn to meet their own food needs through cooking.”

Savioe stresses the importance of choosing age-appropriate tasks to set the little ones up for success. She says that time spent in the kitchen learning from an adult can instill confidence. The new skills learned can be empowering.

“I certainly believe that cooking with kids is an important activity to start,” Savoie said. “It helps instill lifelong curiosity about cooking.”

With so many benefits for kids, cooking is a worthwhile time investment for parents. Savoie outlined the most noteworthy.

Youngsters can hone fine motor skills while cooking. Stirring, supervised slicing and measuring are all tasks that keep little hands busy.

Kids can practice reading by following a recipe. They can exercise math skills with measuring tools. More advanced cooks can learn about multiplying a recipe if additional guests plan to attend.

Savoie reminds us that cooking is science. It is a great opportunity to see the changes that happen to the ingredients that are combined and baked or chilled.

Many cultures and families value the dining process with great momentousness. Sharing family recipes with children can strengthen the bond between generations. These dishes can become revered and passed from generation to generation.


According to Maine Snap-Ed, kids are more likely to eat food that they choose and prepare. Steer the little ones toward kid-friendly and healthy recipes. Discuss quantities and supplies you will need. Allow them to help make a shopping list and visit the supermarket with you.


Take the time to discuss costs and considerations as you move through the aisles. It might be helpful to add the prices as you go along. Have the child read the list to you and let them fill the cart.

Math and Reading

Following a recipe is a great opportunity to practice math and reading. Explain how the various measuring tools work, and the importance of accuracy. The kids will have fun reading the recipe steps aloud.


Review safety in the kitchen with your little bakers. Everyone should wash their hands first. All surfaces should be clear and sanitary. A review of stove and oven safety is a great reminder each time you cook with kids.

Savoie emphasizes food safety steps to take. No one should consume raw dough, flour, eggs, or meat.

Final steps

Washing the dishes and countertops is part of the cooking process. Kids will enjoy playing with the dish bubbles, and you will welcome the “help”. Don’t forget gratitude; take a minute to thank your helpers and recognize how lucky you are to share these moments together.

My daughter is now 22 and is an accomplished culinarian. I can’t remember the last time she asked to cook with me. If I could turn back the clock, I would find the time to cook with that little girl every day. 

Here are some helpful links to get started:

Cooking with Children by the University of Illinois Extension:

Maine Snap-Ed offers some great advice here:

The Maine Secretary of State Kids’ page provides recipes for children using Maine ingredients: <

Friday, December 1, 2023

Choosing a perfect Christmas tree not always easy

By Kendra Raymond

If your holiday celebrations include a Christmas tree, keep in mind that not all trees are created equal. A pretty tree at a roadside lot may be convenient but can cost more and may not be freshly cut.

A family brings home the perfect Christmas
tree during a recent outing in Raymond.
There are several options to obtain a fresh tree right here in Raymond.

Tree farm owner Bob Payne of Raymond Hill Christmas Tree Farm specializes in choose-and-cut trees. He maintains his inventory through a growing program with a seasonal quota. Once he reaches the limit, he is “sold out for the season.”

Visiting a tree farm supports local business, and customers can benefit from the expertise and knowledge of those who have cultivated the trees all year long.

“Business is very good. People are getting out much earlier in search of their perfect Christmas tree,” said Sharon Lloy of Balsam Ridge in Raymond.

She was happy to see an older 15-footer adopted recently by a family with a cathedral ceiling in their home.

If harvesting a tree is not your forte, most farms offer trees they have recently cut which they can wrap and load for you. These trees are often the crème of the crop.

Why purchase a freshly cut tree?

Believe it or not, a fresh-cut tree is better for the environment than an artificial tree. An acre of trees produces enough daily oxygen for 18 people, and they also attract wildlife.

Trees at farms have been planted for the purpose of harvesting. They can be recycled and chipped, providing mulch or animal bedding.

Artificial trees are not bio-degradable and use many resources during production that are not friendly to the environment.

Which type of tree?

A Maine Forest Service publication entitled “Identifying Maine Trees” says over 90 percent of Christmas trees grown in Maine are balsam fir, which is the most fragrant. Fraser fir can hang onto needles longer, but with less aroma. Lloy suggested a newer balsam-Fraser hybrid which combines features of both species.

How do I care for it?

The tree should be placed in the stand or a bucket of water immediately after arriving at home.

Place your tree in a stand filled with water. The trunk should be freshly cut straight across at least one-half inch thick.

Fill the reservoir daily and do not allow the tree to become dry. Always inspect lights for safety and turn them off when leaving or going out.

A live tree?

The concept of a living tree is gaining popularity among holiday merrymakers. This avenue can have great benefits, but keep in mind that there are also downsides. A living tree is potted in soil and will be much more fragrant in your home. It can be planted outdoors once the ground is thawed or in a pre-dug hole and non-frozen soil.

A live tree will cost much more than a cut tree and will not be happy in the warmth indoors for more than a week. They can also be heavy and cumbersome in the house.

Let’s recycle!

Once the holiday festivities are wrapped up, it is time to plan for recycling your tree. Some families like to relocate the tree outdoors and decorate it with orange slices, suet, peanut butter, or bird seed. Wild animals will enjoy the tree until it can be recycled in spring.

Payne recommends taking your tree to local businesses that produce mulch. He says he is often solicited for contributions of branches, trees, and stumps.

Donating trees to goat farms for food is gaining in popularity. It is important to remove all decorations and tinsel before sharing with the goats. Lloy says trees are a wonderful renewable resource and there are many recycling options.

Raymond Public Works director Nathan White says that the Town of Raymond doesn’t have a tree recycling program yet but it’s a great goal for the future. He says the chipped trees could potentially be made into erosion control mulch for residents.

If a Christmas tree is in your future, consider a choose and cut tree. Lloy says, “it’s a step back in time” and an enjoyable moment with family.

Learn more about Christmas trees in Maine from MCTA on their website: <

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Cohabitating with nature part of rural life

By Kendra Raymond

Life in Raymond presents a cornucopia of opportunities to connect one-on-one with nature. Despite the proximity to a large city like Portland, the Lakes Region remains an oasis for wildlife and those who appreciate it.

Living in a rural area leads to many
encounters with wildlife such as this deer,
which was a backyard visitor recently
at a home in Raymond.
It can be exciting to observe Maine’s creatures up close, however respect and safety must be paramount. Many Mainers have a general knowledge of native flora and fauna by default, either by shared family knowledge or osmosis.

Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s bulletin, “Living with Wildlife” provides these reminders: watch wildlife from a distance, keep garbage receptacles sealed, repair entry points on buildings and practice responsible pet ownership.

IFW recommends “conflict resolution” during encounters with wildlife on your property. While it is certainly fine to observe wild animals, experts encourage them to move on to another area.

Many homeowners are nervous about bears visiting their yard and Amber Roth, an Assistant Professor at the University of Maine, has spent time as a nuisance wildlife specialist.

“I have never had a bad bear encounter,” Roth said. “If you have a bear in your yard, just enjoy it.”

During the winter bears are in hibernation, but once the weather warms up, they can move toward populated areas, which can be a problem. She says they are “just doing their thing” and should not be feared. Roth recommends eliminating things that attract bears into your yard such as trash, bird feeders, pet food and compost.

If you do come across a bear, Roth says they are generally wary of people. If you knock on a window or yell, the bear should run away quickly. A mother bear with cubs may act a bit differently. In this case, it is important to remove yourself from the situation and stay away from the cubs.

“If you care, leave them there” is a campaign developed by wildlife professionals to educate the public about human interventions with wild animals.

Maine IFW has a pamphlet available that outlines various wildlife scenarios and how to proceed. It emphasizes the message; “In nearly all cases, young wild animals do not need to be saved. It may be difficult to do but resisting the urge to ‘help’ is the real act of kindness.”

Members of a Raymond community social media group report noticing foxes, deer, coyote, bobcat, fisher, moose, owl, turkeys, and porcupines on their property. Only a single report of a bear cub in a tree was mentioned. Most said the animals were just passing through and acted appropriately around humans.

One member observed an opossum near the road on Route 302 several times over the summer. The Virginia opossum is the only marsupial in north America.

Roth says the opossums are moving northward, and their range depends on the severity of Maine winters. They are susceptible to frostbite due to their “naked” ears and tail.

Possums are omnivores and tend to take shelter under porches. They are harmless critters and are helpful in the yard eating ticks and other insects. If you encounter an opossum, it may hiss and play dead; this is alright.

According to Roth, “There is not much to worry about with an opossum.”

If you notice an animal acting abnormally, it is always best to contact your local game warden or animal control officer. These trained professionals have the skills to assess and deal with the problem.

Here’s a relevant poem:

The Peace of Wild Things

By Wendell Berry

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

Read more from Maine IFW at

Learn more about ‘If you care, leave them there’ at

A great opossum fact sheet can be found at <

Raymond’s origins date to 1690 raid on Quebec

By Ernest H. Knight

Raymondtown, one of the dozen local “Canada Towns” has its origin in the 1690 Expedition to Canada under the leadership of Sir William Phips, a poor boy of Harpswell who rose to the heights of power, to free coastal towns from the ravages of bands of French and Indian raiders originating at their stronghold at Quebec.

Captain William Raymond led a contingent of
60 militia members from Massachusetts for a
raid on Quebec in 1690. His heirs later
received a land grant for their service that 
became the Town of Raymond, named 
after the captain. COURTESY PHOTO 
The men making up the expedition were raised in the many settled towns in eastern Massachusetts under the local leaders to serve without pay for the safety and welfare of all. In those days a company of militia, the basic security organization of the day, consisted of 60 men and while nominally a town matter, one or more adjacent towns could supply the men as necessitated by population and circumstances,

Among those leading militia contingents for Phips was Captain William Raymond of Beverly, Massachusetts. He arrived in New England about 1652 and had served in the colonial militia in 1675 and 1676 during war against the hostile Narragansetts Tribe. In 1690, Raymond commanded 60 men from Beverly and Salem, Massachusetts in the Quebec venture.

Over 2,000 men departed Boston Harbor in a fleet of small vessels in the summer of 1690, but it was late fall before they arrived at Quebec via the St. Lawrence River, a poor time in view of their primitive equipment and approaching winter. The citadel was attacked, and they enjoyed brief success in breaching the outer defenses but were soon devastated by an illness epidemic in the personnel in ships frozen in the ice.

Abandoning the campaign, they started for home but many of the ships were wrecked in storms in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and Atlantic Ocean with great loss of lives. About half the men survived to reach home and the raids from Quebec continued unabated.

Though the colonial government was insensitive to the safety of the settlements, expansion continued through the French and Indian Wars under difficult and deadly conditions. In the 1730s, a solution appeared for the colonial government, short of cash but abundantly endowed with wilderness land, to make grants of townships to any groups to whom they were indebted.

There were, besides the “Canada” veterans, others who had served in the Narragansett War, Monadnock conflicts and other actions that qualified for grants as Defense Towns which spread outward in a 50- to 100-mile radius from Boston to act as buffers to the encroachment of the raiders from Quebec via the Connecticut River or Lake Champlain and over cross-country trails to their vulnerable destinations.

Captain Raymond’s company of volunteers, reduced to a few living survivors but under the leadership of younger heirs, was an early claimant of a township based on the 1690 effort although equally entitled to a grant based on the conflict of 1675 and was granted permission to select a site as Canada #1 or Beverly-Canada.

A location was found on the Piscataquog River, now in the town of Weare, New Hampshire, in 1735 and roads, bridges and buildings started but soon aborted when a boundary dispute discovered that Massachusetts had given away land belonging to revived New Hampshire claims. Many of settlements were also negated, and these pioneers had to return home and bide their time for a better opportunity, which did not come until 1765.

In 1766, a second grant, in lieu of that lost in 1741, was obtained in other lands governed by Massachusetts along with many others of those evicted 25 years earlier. After looking at and rejecting a site of the Royall River above North Yarmouth, the choice was made to located in what is present-day Raymond, Casco and part of Naples, and it was the largest township in Maine at the time due to deducting the large percentage of the area in lakes and ponds as being useless for farming cultivation. <

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 207-310-0340.

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Autumn months perfect for hiking in Lakes Region

By Abby Wilson

Autumn is a special time to get out on the trails in Maine, especially in the Sebago Lake Area.

As the threat of mosquitos, ticks, and heat subsides, beautiful fall colors appear in all their glory. New England tourism sees an uptick in October and November as many enjoy the festivals and fairs, as well as long drives down back roads and strolls through the woods.

Fall is a perfect opportunity to get outdoors and explore many
exceptional trails and scenic vistas throughout the Lakes
Region of Maine, such as the trails at Lowell Preserve 
Windham and Raymond boast some prestigious hiking trails that allow walkers to enjoy local bodies of water, geological forms, and scenic vistas.

Even if there is no destination, simply walking among the colors of fall in the Lakes Region is enjoyable.

In Windham, the Lowell Preserve features a vast trail network. Some of the wide paths are multi-purpose, which means that you can hike or bike, and in the winter, cross country ski and snowshoe. Horseback riding is also allowed.

There are also trails open to all terrain vehicles (ATVs) such as four-wheelers and snowmobiles. All year long this property is used by the public.

In 1999, the town of Windham purchased Lowell Preserve, a 308-acre parcel, in hopes of providing a recreational area for the community.

It is maintained by the town of Windham and the Presumpscot Regional Land Trust. Multi-use paths are only the beginning of what this property can offer. Technical trails spur off the main trails, and are available for mountain bikers, trail runners, and long-distance hikers.

If you’re putting on some miles at Lowell Preserve, which is easy to do with its 8 miles of trails, be prepared.

Michael Tassotto, an avid hiker, says that “energy-boosting snacks like trail mix, energy bars, and fresh fruit will keep you fueled during your hike… Staying hydrated is crucial.”

When hiking technical trails, first aid kits, navigation tools, and sun protection are also recommended.

Tassotto says “sturdy and comfortable hiking boots are essential to tackle uneven terrain and provide ankle support. Make sure they are waterproof for any wet conditions… Fall weather can be unpredictable.”

You may also consider bringing rain gear in case the weather turns suddenly.

Avid hiker, Abbie Dufrene, says “Frogg Toggs is a super lightweight and effective rain gear for a ‘just in case’ kind of thing”.

While exploring Lowell Preserve, be sure to enjoy the streams and woodlands which are the significant property features.

In the Raymond Community Forest, hikers find it to be a popular place to visit. This 365-acre property is owned and maintained by the Loon Echo Land Trust.

The Pismire Bluff Trail takes you to a scenic overlook after only a one-mile trek. Lots of switchbacks make this an easier walk and one can see people of all ages and experiences walking up the mountain.

“Raymond Community Forest offers a unique view of Mount Washington and Rattlesnake Mountain, but also includes Panther, Sebago and Little Sebago as well as a nearly complete view of Crescent Lake,” said Jerri Wingard, a frequent visitor of this trail and resident of Raymond. “The open space at the top is the highlight of this hike. It's a great place to show visitors a panoramic view of the surrounding area.”

The maple ash community at Raymond Community Forest is particularly beautiful in the fall. One will notice the golden leaves in the canopy above.

“It is one of my very favorite places” says Jon Evans, Stewardship Manager for Loon Echo Land Trust.

You can visit this spectacular piece of conservation land on Conesca Road in Raymond all year around to hike, bike, snowshoe and ski.

Only 6 miles south from the community forest lies the Morgan Meadows Wildlife Management Area on Egypt Road in Raymond.

While there is no scenic vista or summit featured on this property, it is unique in its own way.

Measuring over 1,000 acres, it provides vital wildlife habitat which is vastly unbroken and connected to food and water resources. Species such as black birch, Louisiana water thrushes, waterfowl, and more can be seen throughout the wetland areas.

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife manages the small network of trails at Morgan Meadows which is just over 2 miles total. One of these paths leads visitors to a fascinating geological feature. The trail goes along a wall of rock which has a stunning red and orange hue and outstanding striations.

Windham and Raymond have many trails for all hikers to explore this fall, some of which are not mentioned in this story including Black Brook Preserve, Bri-Mar on Rattlesnake Mountain, and the Sebago to Sea Trail.

To access information about the trails in your back yard and throughout the Maine, visit<

Friday, November 10, 2023

Is bird feeding for the birds?

By Kendra Raymond

It’s that time of year when our thoughts turn toward preparing for winter weather; battening down the hatches and hunkering down to ride it out. For those of us who do not partake in outdoor winter activities, wildlife feeding may provide a welcome outlet to the winter doldrums.

A chipmunk snacks on a peanut at a home
in Raymond earlier this week. Feeding
wildlife can be a worthy pursuit for
some residents during Maine's long
winter months.
Maine Audubon is a great resource for home nature enthusiasts, offering a vast array of interactive educational opportunities throughout the state.

David Lamon of Field’s Pond Audubon Center in Holden recommends bird feeding.

“It’s a great hobby, and a way to check in with your environment so you can keep track of what’s going on in nature seasonally,” he said. “It brings (the birds) closer to you to enjoy, so it’s an educational piece as well.”

Lamon debunked a common myth that birds need feeding by saying that they are adapted to survival in our area without supplemental help.

The equipment

A tray feeder will satisfy ground feeding species such as juncos and doves. You can provide a variety of seeds, dried fruits, and nuts.

For seed eaters such as nuthatch, the hopper feeder is convenient. This is usually a good-sized unit that holds a large quantity of seeds. It may be wise to purchase a squirrel baffle which will keep them on the ground where there are plenty of leftovers.

And in speaking of squirrels, Lamon says, “You just have to live with them. They will feed for a while, and then they’re off doing their own thing before you know it.”

A tube feeder is a great choice for smaller species like goldfinch. It is customized to accommodate our tiniest friends with short perches and metal ports.

My home in Raymond is situated on an old farm property. I am fortunate to be blessed with a plethora of heritage stone walls throughout the yard. This provides a great natural feeding spot for birds, chipmunks, and other wildlife. It’s a busy and pleasant spot throughout the day. Someone once told me that birds eat when we do; and I have observed this to be true.

The menu

Depending on your target audience, you can curate a seed selection to attract specific customers. My favorite seed mix is Blue Seal’s Concerto mix. This mixture offers sunflowers for chipmunks and chickadees, safflower for cardinals, and millet for ground feeders like sparrows. I also have good luck with black oil or shelled sunflower.

Suet is a great source of fat and protein for birds and is inexpensive to purchase. A friend of mine makes their own suet from bacon grease, peanut butter, corn meal, craisins and nuts.

A peanut butter feeder can be made by drilling 1.5-inch holes in a log and attaching a hanger. This is an irresistible treat for woodpeckers as it gives them quick energy in cold temperatures.


Assuming you can develop a solid clientele, your feeder will need to be filled regularly. Many people choose to remove their feeders in the spring. Bears often damage or ruin feeders left out after they emerge from the winter.

It is necessary to periodically clean your bird feeders to prevent the spread of disease as often as every two weeks, according to Project FeederWatch. Simply empty your feeder and wash with hot water and dish soap solution it to air dry completely.

The National Wildlife Health Center recommends cleaning bird baths and feeders with a solution of nine parts water to one part bleach.


Keep your feeders suspended and provide visibility so the birds can see any lurking cats. The University of Maine Cooperative Extension tells us that cats are extremely efficient hunters and can devastate local bird populations.

It is important to place your feeders in a location where birds feel safe. Proximity to a tree or shrub is ideal.

Peterson Field Guide to Eastern Birds is a great reference for bird identification. If you find this particularly interesting, you may want to consider joining an Audubon Christmas Bird Count. Local locations include Biddeford Pool, Falmouth, Freeport, and Scarborough and are free to the public.

To learn more about birding visit:

For more information on home bird feeding: <

Friday, November 3, 2023

Raymond’s early waterway alterations continue to affect town’s history

By Ernest H. Knight

Virgin lands, as molded by nature, have depressions that fill with water to depths depending on the retainability of the soil and the contours of what become outlet streams.

The Jordan River and Panther Run waterways below the
Mill Street dam in Raymond are shown in a 1906 postcard
by G.W. Morris of Portland. COURTESY PHOTO 
These outlets were the focus of the pioneers to provide waterpower for their sawmills, grist mills and other activities on which depended the success of their new communities. Flowing watershed runoff could be harnessed by a dam and millwheel to raise the level and impound more stored water which lead to cherished water rights. 

Thus Joseph Dingley, the first settler of part of Raymondtown, picked the outlet of Thomas Pond and Dominicus Jordan selected the Jordan River outlet to Sebago Lake near present Route 302, for their home sites with mill purposes in mind.

The proprietors of Raymondtown had already spotted and reserved the best site of all, the outlet of Panther Pond at present Mill Street, for their control. So, most bodies of water in the town after the raising of dams are higher now than in their primeval state though some, through neglect of their dams, reverted to their original or lower levels.

To start with the “hayth” at the foot, actually the headwaters of Thompson Pond in Casco, was farmland with dwellings and a road through it and extends into the adjacent Hog Meadow which were flooded by raising a dam at Craigie’s Mills, Oxford Village, on the outlet of the Little Androscoggin. Pleasant Lake, once Greater Parker Pond, was separated from Parkier Pond by a stream through farmland once traversed by a road now abandoned to a swamp.

Little Rattlesnake (Raymond Pond), Great Rattlesnake (Crescent Lake) and Painter (Panther) Ponds would all have been smaller in area and with more large islands, some of which are now underwater shoals that are hazardous to boats. Tenney and Jordan Rivers would have been mere trickles except during the spring runoff conditions. Nubble Pond supported a busy sawmill by its dam before which it was little more than a swamp to which it is gradually returning by natural process. And the dumpling ponds, now Coffee and Dumpling, were probably of little importance without their dams as they had very limited watershed area to draw from.

The natural level of Sebago Pond, now Sebago Lake, would have been determined by the natural falls of the Presumpscot River, and was raised by a dam at the falls and a long dike in the 1820s to provide water for the Cumberland & Oxford Canal then being dug and again in the 1880s to provide for more water for mills on the Presumpscot River.

This had a great effect on the shores of Raymond and Casco, which originally extended to Brandy Pond and Songo River, to make passage of canal boats possible and destroyed the Chute River which had been the shortest river in the world (a companion to the Songo as the most winding). Even though with the first level increase it was necessary to dig a ditch from the Songo a half mile into the lake, with sheathing spiked to piles which can still be seen submerged by the later level raising.

Some of the Dingley Islands became the rocky shoals that are now boat hazards. Standish Cape, now Raymond Cape, being surrounded by deep water has not changed much except at Camp Cove which is now swampy, but which once was a busy picnic and religious camp meeting area accessible mainly by boats.

Isaac Whitney’s land on Deep Cove Shores Road had a hill on it which became Whitney Island on which was built The Venice, a girls’ summer school in the late 1800s. The shoreland past Raymond Village to the Jordan River was a dense pine forest but now reduced to a flourishing growth of cattails. The Jordan River became lined with wharves for canal and later steamboats, though under very low water periods these boats had to move to a wharf at the end of Wharf Road from Raymond Village.

At the time of the last level raising of Sebago in the 1880s, property values of the shorelands were valuable enough that flowage rights had to be acquired and compensation paid, but there are some properties that were not so settled and in case of damage by high waters, their owners received payment from the Presumpscot mill and power water rights holders, mainly S.D. Warren Company.

Anyone looking at the shores of our scenic waters might visualize Indian canoes landing at seemingly logical spots, but in most cases their actual landings were offshore in deeper water. Fortunately, our waters are still beautiful though vulnerable to today’s environmental dangers, but there will probably be no more changes caused by dams, mills, or shore alterations. <

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, October 27, 2023

New ‘Rookie Mama’ columnist shares unique take on motherhood

The Windham Eagle will introduce a new monthly column next week about a topic that everyone has had some experience with – motherhood. Whether you are a parent or a child, we all have mothers, and this new column provides a look at the day-to-day life of being a mother operating without an instruction manual.

Michelle Cote's column "Rookie Mama' will
debut in next week's edition of The Windham
Eagle newspaper and examines the experience
of being a mother operating without an
instruction manual. SUBMITTED PHOTO. 
Michelle Cote is the “Rookie Mama” and her column was originally launched in 2015 to promote a Maine daily newspaper’s Sunday section, but quickly gained a devoted following and became syndicated, appearing in newspapers across America. Since her column last appeared in 2018, her mothering experience has grown significantly and now she is reviving her column for The Windham Eagle.

“I’ve been a big fan of Michelle’s column and know how she relates to readers,” said Ed Pierce, Managing Editor of The Windham Eagle. “If you don’t know about Michelle, you soon will through her writing, and I predict this column is going to be widely read and talked about in this community.”

Cote says she’s thrilled to revive her column for a new audience here in Windham and Raymond.

“The best thing about writing this column is once again having the opportunity to humbly share what I've learned – and continue to learn – about raising a bunch of boys,” she said. “The most challenging aspect is finding time to write – because I'm raising a bunch of boys! Although my perspective has evolved from mama-of-a-newborn to mama-to-four, I hope to use this wonderful opportunity to share helpful frugal living tips, crafting hacks, relatable stories, and lots of puns.”

Writing the “Rookie Mama” column as a regular series sort of happened by accident.

“My publisher at the time asked for me to write one introductory article to accompany a family-focused

section of a new Sunday newspaper, not because I was a writer – far from it,” Cote said “I was creative director in the graphics department – but because I was a new mama. His wife liked to bake cakes for the office, which I truly appreciated, so I happily obliged. He received positive feedback and asked that I continue.”

She graduated from Catherine McAuley High School in 2001 and received bachelor's degrees in both Graphic Design and Communications Media from Salve Regina University in 2005, where she was a founding member of its AIGA (American Institute for Graphic Arts) student group.

“I served as creative director of a daily newspaper for 13 years, and my 'Rookie Mama' column received recognition from the Maine Press Association before being picked up for national syndication for a period of time,” Cote said. “Five years ago, I accepted a position in interprofessional education at the University of New England, using my communications, marketing and design background to help coordinate events and programming for students from a wide variety of healthcare disciplines.”

According to Cote, the things she’s learned the most about being a mother are things other moms can relate to.

“The old quote is as profound as it is true – Motherhood is deciding to forever let your heart go walking around outside your body,” she said. “I've learned to appreciate my own mother in ways I couldn't understand before. Oh, and I've learned to navigate multiple conversations at the same time, eat an entire meal in under a minute, and get dressed in even less time.”

In writing the column, Cote found that in some ways she’s different from her own mother and yet similar in many ways.

“My own mother is a classically trained musician, loves to knit, and has a tremendous amount of patience,” Cote said. “My lifestyle with my children is highly focused in our garden, in the kitchen, sports and creative arts. My mother comes from a large family; I'm raising one! She raised all girls; my husband and I are raising all boys. My mother and I are both very creative and abundantly affectionate toward our kids, despite raising children in different generations.”

Of all the columns that Cote has written, she says that her favorite is an unlikely one.

“I once wrote a Christmastime column about our French-Canadian family tradition of eating tourtiere – pork pie – during the holiday season,” she said. “While most people eat this with ketchup, I prefer mustard, far superior. Of all topics I'd written about, this proved to be the most controversial. I received several emails – even handwritten 'P.S.' notes in Christmas cards – from horrified readers who were outraged by my preference for mustard on pork pie. My husband loves it, too. And we're very much in the minority among those who share our heritage!”

Starting with the Nov. 3 edition, Cote’s “The Rookie Mama” column will appear monthly in The Windham Eagle newspaper. <

Friday, October 20, 2023

Windham resident realizes dream of helping children and families

By Ed Pierce

Serving as a childcare provider can be one the most rewarding careers and at the same time, one of the most challenging. It’s something that Julia Preston Glaude of Windham has always wanted to do and now she’s able to realize her dreams and work with children every day as the co-owner of a childcare facility in Windham.

Julia Preston Glaude of Windham
grew up with hopes of working
some day in childcare and that
dream became a reality this
past summer when she and her
husband opened a new childcare
facility in North Windham.
Glaude, 25, grew up in Windham and says she always loved helping others, finding that helping adults and children at the same time is personally and professionally rewarding.

“I started to babysit in high school and absolutely loved being with the children,” Glaude said. “I started to see that just taking care of a child is not about feeding them and changing a diaper, but to actually do things that enhance their cognitive abilities.”

After graduating from Windham High School in 2016, she went on to attend the University of Maine at Farmington, earning her bachelor’s degree in 2021. Now married to Nathaniel and the mother of a young son, Glaude made her dream come true this summer when she and her husband opened A Step Ahead Child Care in North Windham.

“I knew I wanted to own my own childcare facility when I was in college,” she said. “I took many courses about administration and the special skills I would need. Once we had our son, Henry, we knew now was the time to pursue this.”

Balancing motherhood and putting the time in to make her business successful is not without some obstacles and long hours to be overcome though.

“I wake up at 5:30 every morning and I pack the three bags I need for the day,” Glaude said. “Right now, I’m bouncing between the infant and toddler classroom until we get our construction done. So, I’m doing engaging activities and playing outside with the children, and then working with every infant’s individual schedule and providing them with engaging activities as well. Usually on my lunch break, I do administrative work since that’s the only time I have for it right now.”

Her administrative duties are varied and plentiful including managing the company’s finances, maintaining licenses, business standards, scheduling state inspections, and dealing with families who have arranged for childcare services.

“As the director, I need to be credentialed through Maine Roads to Quality,” Glaude said. “You also need to at least have a bachelor’s degree in education.”
According to Glaude, the average age of children she works with are anywhere between 6 weeks to 6 years old and she says that the hardest part of working in childcare is making sure that all of her customer’s needs are met to the highest standard.

“A lot of people believe that childcare is all about changing diapers and playing with the kids” she said. “The parents’ biggest question is the price of tuition and what kind of curriculum we have. A Montessori curriculum is my favorite way for children to learn, through play and play that focuses on skills children would need in the real world.”

She says that to be a great childcare provider, one must have plenty of patience, demonstrate a flexibility to move between tasks and experiences, and show a willingness to continue to learn about children.

“The best thing about working in childcare is watching each child grow and achieve their goals as individuals,” Glaude said.

Her secrets to comforting a child when they are upset are simple.

“Asking a child if they need a hug and respecting their choice, talking through a problem, or redirecting their emotion helps,” Glaude said.

Although she loves reading, learning, and being creative in her free time, Glaude finds it hard to stay away from her work.

“I find watching videos on Facebook about new things I can do with the kiddos or learning about new studies that have been done with children fascinating,” she said. “I love learning about how a child develops, so reading new studies about how the child’s brain works, or other things of that nature are so interesting. I also just love to be a kid and have fun with my son, Henry. Drawing, dancing, singing, and playing outside are so fun.” <

Friday, October 13, 2023

Fall cleanup an essential element of garden preparation

By Kendra Raymond

One of the best gifts you can give your garden (and yourself) is a thorough fall cleanup of dead plant material and debris to reduce the possibility of diseases and pests.

The author's vegetable garden in Raymond is prepared for
winter by covering it with a dark green tarp or simple 
black plastic secured with garden pins. When uncovered
in the spring, the soil is weed-free and ready to work.
It may not be as exciting as planting in the spring, but the time you invest in preparing your garden for winter will pay dividends in the overall health of your garden for years to come. By the time spring arrives in our area, many gardeners with spring fever are anxious to run to the local greenhouse. Think of the snow melting away and looking forward to a neat, manicured garden bed ready for you to start digging!

Whether you’re a serious home gardener or weekend warrior, let’s explore the basic recommended maintenance for your garden.

The Vegetable Garden

Cutting back most plant material in your garden is a great way to prepare for winter. Begin by removing all remaining vegetables from summer crops such as tomatoes and zucchini. Next, pull up any dead or dying plants. This is a great time to grab any pesky weeds before they spread excessive weed seed into the area.

Fall crops such as carrots, beets, and winter squash may remain in the fall garden. By the time a frost has hit, these crops will soon be ready for harvest and plant removal. Our garden in Raymond has been plagued the past few years by stem rot, a soil-borne fungal disease that attacks plants that grow on vines and is usually caused by excessive moisture. It is difficult to eradicate, and the only real solution is to discontinue growing vine crops for the foreseeable future. In this case especially, it is essential to remove all rotted plant material from the property, by placing it in a sealed trash bag. Another solution to this problem can involve moving your garden to a different spot on the property.

We also battle a fair number of weeds as our garden is situated on an old piece of lawn. Instead of choosing to till the soil in the spring, we like to cover our garden with a dark green tarp or simple black plastic secured with garden pins. When we uncover the garden in spring, the soil is weed free and ready to work. I am not a fan of tilling weeds in, as even chopped segments of weeds can reproduce and take over quickly.

The Perennial Garden

Perennials are flower plants that come back from the base every year. This type of garden requires an entirely different maintenance approach in fall. I like to wait until my perennials have stopped flowering and the foliage looks less vigorous. At this point, it is easiest to cut the plants back to the ground, leaving about an inch or two at the crown. I like to remove the stalks from the area, though some gardeners believe in leaving the debris as mulch to protect the plants over winter. It is also personal choice to leave the dead stalks entirely and trim them in spring. Plants like Aster and Coneflower provide seeds for birds and nesting areas for bees. Some gardeners like to spread straw, but in our area of the state, the winters aren’t particularly severe, and the plants are well insulated under the snow.

Mary Wicklund, a Home Horticulture coordinator with the University of Maine’s Cooperative Extension says that one of the first things you should do at the end of the season is remove the dead vegetable plants.

“This is especially important if your plants have experienced insect or disease pressure,” Wicklund said. “A fall garden clean up can make a big difference with managing problems next year.”

The Maine Home Garden News September 2023 issue additionally recommends that gardeners divide late summer blooming perennials, dig up bulbs that are not winter hardy such as dahlia and gladiolus, stop watering and fertilizing established plants and trees, and take some time to sharpen and store your gardening tools properly.

My dear neighbor Mrs. Logan visited me as I was completing my fall clean up last weekend. “It’s a sad-happy time when fall comes,” she told me. I would say she is right. < 

Friday, October 6, 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, September 29, 2023

Grant helps Windham create new picnic area

By Nicole Levine

A picnic may very well be a metaphor for life, and if that’s true, Windham residents are about to enjoy a new favorite picnic spot close to home.

A Community Challenge Grant from AARP has helped
the Town of Windham create a new picnic table area at 
Community Park on Gray Road. Once finished, the site
will have a stone dust foundation and path from the 
parking lot to the park pavilion and picnic area.
Thanks to a Community Challenge Grant from AARP, the Town of Windham is creating a new picnic area which will be available starting this fall. AARP’s Community Challenge Program was launched a decade ago to provide small grants to fund quick-action projects that can help communities become more livable for people of all ages and create vibrant public places that improve open spaces, parks, and access to other amenities.

Windham is one of 14 recipients of the Community Challenge Grant for 2023 and funding will be administered through the Windham Parks and Recreation Department. A new shaded picnic addition will be added to the existing Windham Community Park, adjacent to the Windham Public Safety Building on Route 202.

The new picnic table area will be located under the Community Park’s pavilion between the basketball and volleyball courts. The picnic pavilion was built last year by a group of volunteers who are associated with the Sebago Lakes Region Fuller Center for Housing and PowerServe.

According to Windham Parks and Recreation Department Director Linda Brooks, the town is also hoping to include a self-guided walking trail at the park, which will be specifically designed to be accessible for older adults.

Brooks said that the town’s Parks Maintenance Foreman will be collaborating with Windham Public Works to prepare a stone dust surface to go under the pavilion, and a stone dust path which leads from the parking lot toward the picnic area. There will also be three ADA compliant picnic tables installed under the pavilion at the park later in the summer.

Construction for this project will take place throughout the summer, and there will be a grand opening barbecue held at the park in the early fall.

The Windham Parks and Recreation Director, Linda Brooks, originally applied for this grant as a way to act upon recommendations that were raised in the Age Friendly Windham Action Plan. The AARP Community Challenge Grant will provide residents of the Town of Windham with the opportunity to spend more time outdoors, in a community driven environment.

“We were quite pleased that our project stood out among the 3,600-plus applications nationwide, and we were among 310 projects that received funding,” Brooks said. “This project is intended to increase social connections between older adults and all residents of the community and provide permanent physical improvements and amenities in our outdoor public spaces, encouraging increased visits to these locations.”

“Once the project is completed, members of the public will also be able to rent out the pavilion for birthday parties and other events, much like the Windham Parks and Recreation Department currently offers at both Dundee Park and Donnabeth Lippman Park, Brooks said.

The AARP Community Challenge Grant program is part of the nationwide AARP Livable Communities initiative, which helps cities, towns, villages, and rural areas in all 50 states become great places to live for residents of all ages. The overall goal of the program focuses on providing adults over the age of 50 with accessible ways to spend time outdoors and is intended to help communities make immediate improvements and jump-start long-term progress in support of residents of all ages.

Since the program's debut in 2017, AARP has awarded $12.7 million through more than 1,060 grants in nearly 700 communities reaching 100 million people. The projects have been completed across all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

“AARP Maine is committed to working with local communities and their leaders to improve residents’ quality of life through tangible changes,” says Noël Bonam, the AARP Maine State Director. <

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.