Video oral histories of Lincoln County residents now available on YouTube

Wed, 05/26/2021 - 7:30am

    Art Mayers of Newcastle, a news contributor with the Boothbay Register and Wiscasset Newspaper, and formerly with the Lincoln County News, has been recording video oral histories of Lincoln County people for over 30 years. He has worked with local historical groups to present the tapes at society meetings. The stories have also been featured on LCTV on a rotating basis. Mayers recently took the additional step to make these histories more available to the general public by posting them on YouTube.

    “These folks present a picture of life in the county the way it was almost a century ago. Unfortunately, most are no longer here to tell their stories. All but a few have died since the recordings were made,” said Mayers.

    Stretching from Whitefield to South Bristol, many of the over a dozen recordings feature great storytellers such as Charlie Thayer and Lloyd Palmer of Whitefield. Others recount the history of houses and halls, many of which have burned or were torn down.

    Featured is a talk by well-known local figures Rufus Stetson and Bob Strong, who take us on a slide tour down Main Street in Damariscotta when it was still lined with elms.

    Across the bridge, Houston Dodge guides members of Newcastle Historical Society telling the history of houses on Glidden Street.

    Eldon Hunt talks about farming in Newcastle even before the coming of local electricity. Keith Waning of Newcastle tells about being one of the first troops to enter Dachau Prison Camp at the end of World War II. Lamar Seiders of South Bristol talks about how his family salted and stored cod to get by the winter. George Dow of Nobleboro recounts the history of the construction of Maine Central Railroad. Ruth Gatz of Jefferson tells of coming to her summer home on Damariscotta Lake by canoe.

    Additional compilations describe local activities such as dances, travel, education and sports.

    A complete list of posted recordings can be had by emailing; it is possible to Google for individual names or by Lincoln County oral history. Mayers can also send people a link to the desired recording.

    Mayers is available for free live showing or to record people he may have overlooked.

    Lincoln County Oral History interviews: Lloyd Palmer, Whitefield; Charlie Thayer, Whitefield; Chester Gillis, Whitefield; Ruth Gatz, Jefferson; Eldon Hunt, Newcastle; Beryl Hunt, Newcastle; Keith Waning, Newcastle; David Chapman, Damariscotta*; Lucille and Kermit Clark, Damariscotta*; Huston Dodge, Damariscotta; Calvin Dodge, Damariscotta*; Bob Strong, Damariscotta; Rufus Stetson,Damariscotta; Ivan Flye, Damariscotta; George Dow, Nobleboro; Tom Hancock, Nobleboro; Sherley Geyer, Bristol; Lamar Seiders, South Bristol; Ralph Norwood, South Bristol; and Eleanor Everson, Dresden.

    Themes with multiple people: Dance halls of Lincoln County; Harvest Time*; Getting Around*; Back to the Land*; and School Days*

    *Soon to be posted