Let me begin by saying that Greenwood Center was a peaceful, quiet little community where very little happened, but if it did, everyone knew! It was a contented little hamlet, with the ending of World War 11 and our soldiers were home with their families. As a child, if I wanted to go anywhere, my Dad said to use Shank’s Mare…his way of saying “walk”. That I did, because basically I was a loner. I was content with my own company and could always find something curious to explore or lose myself in a good book.
This day I am standing by the Cemetery a little over a half mile from home. As I walk toward home, on the left is nothing that one can see with the naked eye. However, when we drive by, Ma always says that the “Penley Place” stood there and that she and Dad lived there when they first married. Apparently it was some sort of logging camp, but I’ve never heard any more about it.
On the left is a tar papered house where the Tapley family lived . The children went to school with Roland,but I think the family moved before I started school. A few feet up the road , on the right, is the bridge that leads to my Uncle Roy’s house. I have spent many a week-end visiting Gladys Bailey when she comes up from working in South Paris.
There sits the old mill, a perfect decoration for Halloween. The mill has a long history and Dad said it once was very active. It is dilapidated and we have been warned by Ma and Dad not to go near. Well, you know I have been in there. Cobwebs hang everywhere and to the right is a tiny little room. I imagined that perhaps the boss stayed in that room or maybe that was where saws were filed. I never went very far into the mill, as I imagined it was full of snakes , mice or whatever goes into abandoned buildings. It would be my luck to go through a rotten floor board and stay there forever.
The photo is the foot of Twitchell Pond and many times I go down to the dam and just stand there. It is so peaceful in this little nook with nothing but trees hanging down and birds perched on the limbs. The Flint cottage sits above on the rocks.
The road is not tarred yet, so the dirt and pebbles hurt my feet until they have toughened in for the summer. If I know I am coming this far, I usually wear the shoes left over from the school year. On the left now, I see only trees, on the right a field that is overgrown with alders and such, but on the point is a beautiful cottage owned by the Sullivans.
I continue walking, pausing by the ledge to look the length of the pond and see Rowe’s Ledge in the sunlight. Here the road is tarred, so it makes for easier walking. On the left is a beautiful log home built by Henry and Janet Bowers. It is new in the neighborhood. Continuing on, there is the Prall summer home on the right and on the left is my Uncle Dwight and Aunt Tessie’s home. I remember my Uncle Glen working on the house. Next on the left is Charlie and Grace Day’s little bungalow and how I enjoy visiting them. She makes the best Welsh Rarebit!!!!
I know my Grammy Martin owns the field on the left, but right now it is a garden with rows and rows of potato plants and as I pass, I look to my right and there is the Wagner summer camp. Across from their driveway is my Grammy ( Nellie) and Grampa (Rawson) Martin’s farm. A few feet beyond is my house and on the left is the Jacobs’ summer home. It was owned by a Mr. Kenyon when I was much younger. Dad called him Kato and liked him very much.
Uncle Glen and Aunt Norma and all my cousins live in the next house on the left. He has a huge sign with a bear on it and the word Taxidermist on it. Across from their house is the path to Gram’s beach where we all go swimming!
The next half mile has no houses at all. We play baseball on the “flat” and then there is a little house on the corner. Several people have lived there including Ma and Dad, I think , about the time my brother Rex was born, because Ma speaks of buying eggs at the Lester Cole farm which sets back a bit from the road. To the left, as well, is the old school house now made into a home where Laura Seames lives . What a nice lady she is. On a few more feet and there is the brown house that my Uncle Elmer Cole lives in with the wooden walkway to his shed and the rope he clings to when he goes out. He was blinded in a dynamite accident.
Sitting way back up on the hill is the home of Stan and Flossie Seames and if I walk a bit farther, on the right is the beautiful Case summer home. They provide an evening of fun, food and laughter for the Greenwood Center folk each summer. A stage is built and each person can get up and entertain. Irving Cole always plays the guitar and sings; Lillian and her sister Charlotte Cole always sing a duet. One is “Winter Time in Maine” which is beautiful. Everyone comes away with a full stomach and a good feeling!
There are no more houses until I come to Dan Cole’s farm on the left. I have never been in there but it is obviously a working farm. The Cole farm is used as a landmark many times when giving directions. To the right is the road that leads to the Rowe Hill community and off that road, a few feet in, is the road that leads to camps on the back side of Twitchell Pond.
I think that concludes my walking tour, written by request. I fondly recall the days of rolling tires, bare feet on hot tar, and our hands blackened by the fun. We sat in the ditch and played marbles and , on occasion, lit a forbidden fire cracker around the Fourth of July.
Such a simple way to live. Imaginations ran wild as we ran up and down that very narrow road. Using one’s imagination is a good thing. I hope it hasn’t disappeared.