News about Boston Post Canes for towns in Maine (ME)
Acton continues the tradition. The Acton-Shapleigh Historical Society purchased replica canes and had them hand-engraved the same way it was done back in 1909. The Society donated these canes to the towns of Acton and Shapleigh.
September 2014: The community presented the Town of Acton’s Boston Post Cane to its oldest resident, Louise Horn, 94, during a special ceremony at the Acton-Shapleigh Historical Society on Saturday, Sept. 20. Approximately 35 of Horn’s family members and friends gathered as selectmen presented her with a replica cane, a beautiful bouquet of roses, a certificate, and a commemorative lapel pin. Louise Walley was born in Lebanon on March 16, 1920, and graduated from Lebanon Academy. She continued her education and became an Registered Nurse. She married Clinton Horn of Acton in 1941, and together they built their home, where Horn still resides. She worked at several area hospitals before heading back to Lebanon as the School Nurse for SAD 60, where she worked until her retirement. She has three children, seven grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild. (article and photograph from fosters.com, via Stephen Hoffman)
October 2013: Selectmen presented the Boston Post Cane to resident Earl Bell during a special ceremony at the Acton Town Hall on Thursday, Oct. 24. Bell, 97, lives on the Milton Mills Road with his daughter and husband, Joan and Dick Nass. He was also presented with an inscribed gold lapel pin and a certificate. Earl Bell was born on April 1, 1917, in Amsterdam, New York. He attended 5th Ward School and Amsterdam High School, the latter during the Great Depression — he talks about how he had to put cardboard in his shoes to cover the holes in them. After graduation, he managed to get a job at Mohawk Carpet Mills and worked there until he was drafted. He is a veteran of World War II. He served in the U.S. Army. He went to school on Long Island to become an arborist. He worked in that field for the Bartlett Tree Service, until he fell and severely broke his arm. Earl worked for General Electric in Schenectady, New York, until a prolonged strike. He switched to working as a stone mason for a period of time and eventually returned to GE, from which he retired at the age of 62. (Foster’s article via Stephen Hoffman)
Apr 2012: Acton mourned the passing of longtime resident, Helen Wentworth, who has held the town’s Boston Post Gold Cane since 2002 . Mrs. Wentworth was born March 31, 1905, in the York County town of Newfield. She graduated from Ethan Stone High School in Newfield. After graduating from high school, Mrs. Wentworth started teaching in a one-room schoolhouse, while taking summer courses at Gorham Normal School. She eventually earned a lifetime teaching certificate. She taught at schools in Acton, Waterboro and Milton Mills. She was not allowed to teach full time in 1929 – the year she got married – because school administrators would not allow married women in the classroom. [Obituary from Portland Press]
Continues the tradition of awarding the cane to the oldest resident. The recipient keeps a plaque honoring him/her and the cane is on display at Town Hall.
Nov 2011: Albion’s Boston Post Gold Cane was recently presented to Norman A. Getchell, 96, Albion’s eldest citizen. A ceremony was held at the Nov. 28 Board of Selectmen meeting. Selectman Michael Getchell presented the cane to his father. Norman’s daughter and son-in-law Jean and Bruce McCarthy of Lubec and daughter-in-law Anita Getchell of Albion were also present. [Morning Sentinel article via email from Steve Hoffman]
The Town of Alfred no longer gives out its original Post cane. One recipient’s heir refused to return the cane after the recipient’s death. Eventually, the town recovered the cane, which is displayed at Town Hall in a case made by Almon Williams
The first recipient of Alfred’s Boston Post Cane was 84-year-old Thomas E. Ridlon, born in 1825.
Ridlon was a citizen of Alfred for 30 years. During the Civil War, he enlisted in company B of the 23rd Maine Volunteer Regiment in 1862 and served nine months. The Boston Globe from Oct. 7, 1909, states, “Mr. Ridlon had nine children, three of whom are living. A public spirited citizen, the welfare and prosperity of the town has always interested him. Mr. Ridlon is still active and is able to read the Boston Post daily without the aid of glasses. He believes his longevity is due to a strong constitution and regularity of life.” Thomas Ridlon died on June 23, 1912. (noted in article by Betty Morrison, fosters.com, via Stephen Hoffman)
Anson appears to continue the tradition.
March 2013: Phyllis Webber received the Boston Post Cane and flowers from the Anson Historical Society from Ralph and Charlotte Withee. (Photo from the Anson Historical Society, update via Stephen Hoffman).
Appleton continues the tradition with its original cane.
Feb 2017: Maxwell Aley, age 94, was presented the Boston Post Cane by the Appleton Select Board on Feb 17th. Maxwell Aley was born May 24, 1922, in Manhattan. Since the 1950s, he lived in both Aspen and Paonia, Colo., where he worked as an attorney. He moved to Maine in 2015, after the passing of his wife, Elizabeth, to be closer to family. He has four children, Jonathan Aley, Tom Aley, Marianna Aley and Sarah Aley Akin. Aley lives with his daughter Sarah, her husband, John Akin, and granddaughter Elizabeth Akin. (excerpted Courier Publications article and photograph by Kim Lincoln, via Stephen Hoffman)
Dec 2014: Raphael (Ralph) Maritato, born June 4, 1920, was awarded Appleton’s cane at the Selectman’s meeting on December
9. (via email from Joann Craig, Ralph’s daughter).
Nov 2011: On November 15, 2011 the Appleton Board of Selectmen honored Frances E. Collins Pease Hall, who celebrated her 93rd birthday last month. She was born in Collinstown on Oct. 15, 1918. (Village Soup article via Stephen Hoffman)
Apr 2011: The Appleton Board of Selectmen awarded the Boston Post Cane to Mary Gurney, the town’s eldest citizen, on April 14. Gurney, 91, is a longtime resident of Appleton, moving there in the 1940s after marrying into the Gurney family. She and her late husband, a World War II veteran, raised their family on a farm just off Gurneytown Road, which is named after the family.
Gurney, surrounded by her family, was honored to receive the cane, noting how much the town has changed over the years with the construction of so many houses. When asked what the secret to a long life is, she had no definitive
answer other than it being God’s will.
Aug 2009: The selectpeople for the Town of Appleton, ME awarded eldest citizen Philip McBrien the original Boston Post Cane on Tuesday, August 18. Mr. McBrien is 92. (via email from Denise Pease).
Athens continues the tradition. Town officials participated in a cane ceremony as part of the Feb 28, 2009 Somerset County Bicentennial but we have no other information as to the recipient or how the tradition is observed in the town.
Mar 2017: During their Town Meeting, Athens has awarded their Boston Post Cane to Freda Rowell, age 92. Freda ran Rowell’s General Store in Athens with her late husband, Earland, for 40 years and is widely known in the Athens community. (from Central Maine article and photograph by Doug Harlow via Stephen Hoffman)
Apr 2012: The last cane holder, a Mrs. Lake, recently died. The First Selectmen is doing research to determine who is the oldest person in the town now so the cane can be presented. (via Stephen Hoffman)
The Auburn Historical Society keeps its original cane (in its original purple velvet holder) in the Town Hall vault. A replica of the cane was recently presented to the oldest resident, Eva Carter, b. Oct. 19, 1898. Eva has has been Auburn’s oldest citizen since 1998. (via email from Ellie Oleson, April 2003)
Baldwin continues the tradition. Their original cane is retired and in the custody of the Baldwin Maine Historical Society. A substitute cane is used in the ceremony.
Jun 2017: Baldwin has presented their Boston Post Cane to Richard Hopkins.
Apr 2016: Ruth (Burnell) Wood, age 96, is Baldwin’s latest recipient of their Boston Post Cane. (via email from Doug Noble, photo courtesy of Doug Noble).
Bessie Pierce Fuchs informs us (via e-mail) that on March 17, 2002 her father, William Curtis Pierce, received the Baldwin, ME. Boston Post cane. He was born on March 18th, 1906.
The following is a list of Baldwin cane recipients as known to the town (as of April 2016 it is still being researched, provided by Doug Noble):
|Ruth (Burnell) Wood||4/13/2016||1919||Currently 96|
|Eleanor C. (Robinson) Wood||10/18/2009||1918 – 2015||97 yrs, 10 mons, 11 dys|
|Hilda (York) Estes||5/17/2005||1908 – 2009||100 yrs, 5 mons, 6 dys|
|Elizabeth N. (Gay) Pierce||1907 – 2005||97 yrs, 11 mons, 8 dys|
|William C. Pierce||3/17/2002||1906 – 2003||97 yrs, 7 mons, 25 dys|
|Emma P. (McIntire) Earley||1902 – 2001||98 yrs, 2 mons, 14 dys|
|Helen L. (White) Flint||11/1/1990||1898 – 1999||101 yrs, 17 dys|
|Grace M. (Black) Wood||1896 – 1990||94 yrs, 9 mons, 6 dys|
|Edna A. (Sargent) Doughty||1896 – 1986||89 yrs, 5 mons, 1 dys|
|Annis (Flint) Townsend||1883 – 1983||99 yrs, 8 mons, 22 dys|
|Harry A. Burnell||12/28/1974||1881 – 1975||94 yrs, 6 dys|
|Edith V. (Guptill) Parker||5/17/1973||1876 – 1974||97 yrs, 11 mons, 1 dys|
|Maud G. (Thorne) Burnell||1871 – 1973||101 yrs, 2 mons, 18 dys|
|Arthur Rowe||1864 – 1965||101 yrs, 3 mons, 9 dys|
|Elmer E. Black||1863 – 1955||92 yrs, 7 mons, 9 dys|
|Frank E. Noble||1859 – 1945||86 yrs, 3 mons, 12 dys|
|Zilpha E. (Burnell) Chase||1854 – 1944||90 yrs, 13 dys|
|James Fred Sprague||1852 – 1941|
|Charles S. Guptill||1850 – 1940||90 yrs, 7 dys|
|Josiah G. Sanborn||1835 – 1933||98 yrs, 3 mons, 13 dys|
|Aaron Burnell||1831 – 1920||88 yrs, 10 mons, 21 dys|
|Charles R. Noble||1829 – 1918||88 yrs, 3 mons, 22 dys|
|Sylvanus R. Yates||1821 – 1916||95 yrs, 6 dys|
|Joseph B. Burnell||1820 – 1914||94 yrs, 1 mon, 29 dys|
|Cyrus F. Burnell||1819 – 1913||93 yrs, 10 mons, 21 dys|
Bar Harbor’s cane was lost in a fire in 1947. They revived the tradition in 1992 with the Bar Harbor Historical Society presenting a cane to the oldest native resident (you have to be born in Bar Harbor to receive the cane). The cane is presented in a ceremony and then returned to the historical society’s museum. The recipient retains a certificate of their status as Bar Harbor’s oldest citizen.
Jan 2012: We have received the news of the passing of Bar Harbor’s cane holder Grace Abbott on Jan 19, 2012. (via website from George Dockery)
April 2009: Bar Harbor’s cane was awarded to Grace Abbott, age 95. (via Grace’s great,great nephew George).
Cane resides at the town manager’s office. They appear to be continuing the tradition. In 2016 the Belgrade Historical Society was seeking to build a complete list of the recipients.
Jan 2016: The current holder of Belgrade’s cane is Howard Boston.
Benton keeps its cane at the Town Hall and continues the tradition.
August 2009: The current holder of the Benton, Maine Boston Post Cane is Marguerite Basford born Dec 1, 1911. (via email from Patrick Turlo, Deputy Town Clerk)
Berwick continues the tradition. Berwick’s cane is in a glass display case at their Town Hall. Current recipients receive a plaque. The first Berwick resident on record to have received the cane was John F. Robinson, who lived from 1833 to 1932 when he died at the age of 99.
May 2019: Charles Kaylor Mallett received the cane in 2019 at the age of 96. He fought under General George Patton in WWII, receiving two bronze stars and a purple heart. Upon his passing on March 24, 2021, his obituary noted, “Charles’ secret to a long life: Oreo cookies and his beloved dogs.” (Tasker Funeral Obituary and update by Patricia Murray, Berwick Town Clerk)
Sept 2017: Theodore Avery Stickney received the cane in September 2017 at the age of 99. According to an article in Foster’s Daily Democrat: “Some people are luckier than others,” Stickney said. “Sometimes dumb luck comes in the form of longevity.” Ted also enjoys what he calls his therapy – taking his lawn tractor and mowing the lawns at his home and his son’s home. The tractor has a bucket and a snow thrower, or what he calls a double-ended weapon, giving him year-round entertainment. (Foster’s Article and photo by Judi Currier) He died a couple months later in November 2017, just short of his 100th birthday. (Bibber Funeral Obituary)
Oct 2015: Ulanda Gonthier, age 97, is the 19th recipient of the Berwick’s Boston Post Cane. Born in 1917, Gonthier was surprised by the award and insisted there must be someone in town older than she. “You mean with 72,000 people you couldn’t find anyone older than me?” Ulanda has five children, 25 grandchildren, 56 great-grandchildren and 24 great-great-grandchildren. She was joined at the ceremony by a son and daughter, three of her grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild. (adapted from article by Judi Currier, Fosters, photo by Shawn St. Hilaire, via Stephen Hoffman) She passed away in March 2016 at the age of 99. (Bibber Funeral Obituary)
Dec 2013: Town Manager Patrick Venne presented Gordon N. Maddix, the 18th recipient of Berwick’s Boston Post Cane at a ceremony at Town Hall surrounded by four generations of his family. Maddix has lived in Berwick since 1984 when he moved to town to be closer to his daughter. He still lives on his own, although just next-door to Janice. Before living in Berwick, Maddix operated a dairy farm for many years before he sold it several decades ago. Now, he lives a simpler life. “He forces himself to walk almost every day to stay active,” said Debbie. “He has a garden in the summer and likes to watch the birds.” (article in Foster’s Daily Democrat via Stephen Hoffman)
Bethel appears to continue the tradition.
2007: Florence Hastings, age 102, has received Bethel’s Boston Post Cane.
Bingham continues the tradition.
Apr 2017: Bingham has presented their Boston Post Cane to Clarence Jones, age 98. The cane was presented to him by Bingham selectmen, First selectman Steve Steward, Second selectman Julie Rihard, and Third selectman Gloria Jean Shaw. He was also presented with a pocket watch. Clarence and his wife Dorothy Jones moved first from Flagstaff to Eustis (moving one of the houses from Flagstaff to Eustis with them when Flagstaff was flooded back in 1949.) They then moved to Bingham many years after that. Dorothy died several years ago and when Clarence’s eye sight failed in recent years, his son and daughter in law, Steve and Liz moved up to Bingham with him. Clarence has two other sons, Tom and wife Insowa, who live in Farmington, and Larry and wife Stephine, who live in Limington. Clarence has always been a hard worker but perhaps the one he enjoyed the most was working on the annual River Drive, he tells some very interesting events he was in on that job. (Town Line article and photograph by Marilyn Rogers-Bull, via Stephen Hoffman)
Bowdoinham continues the tradition of passing the cane to the oldest resident.A new cane will be awarded in 2005.Gordon Tate received the cane on September 26, 2001.
Boothbay continues the tradition of passing the cane to the oldest resident.
Mar 2012: Boothbay’s most recent recipient was Dorothy Rice Booth, known as “Aunt Dot” by the staff at St. Andrews Village where she lived. She died March 29, 2012 at the age of 106, and the cane is now sitting, owner-less, in the town office. Selectmen plan to find a new recipient after New Year’s. (excerpted from article by Katrina Cane, Boothbay Register)
Nov 2004: Mrs. Martha Josephine Norwood of East Boothbay, 100, is the current holder of the cane for Boothbay.
Aug 1998: Boothbay’s cane was awarded to John H. Welsh.
Boothbay Harbor continues the tradition. As of 2015, they built a case for the cane at the Town Office along with a plaque displaying the names of the recipients.
Dec 2021: Evelyn Louise Snowman received the cane at age 94. She worked until she was almost 93! — said her obituary in the Boothbay Register. She passed peacefully at home on January 12, 2022.
Aug 2019: Edna Greenleaf received the cane on August 5, 2019, her 100th birthday. Her obituary from July 26, 2021 (www.allfuneralhomes.com) notes, “Edna’s greatest joy was having the entire family for dinner and filling everyone until they burst! As long as she had everyone under her roof, she was happy.” (Photo from Joseph Charpentier of Boothbay Register)
Apr 2018: Lucille J. Machon received the cane on April 6, 2018 at age 101. The Boothbay Register noted, “After graduating from the old high school on School Street, she attended college in Portland for one semester, then came back home for good. She missed the harbor too much. Whenever she was away too long, a telltale pang of homesickness would signal her to go home soon.” She passed away on March 8, 2019. (Photo courtesy of Julia Latter: Lucille Machon is pictured with her granddaughter Sharon Ames, son Ira and his wife Connie.
Sep 2015: Florence Haggett, 102 (born 13-Nov-1912), was recently awarded Boothbay Harbor’s Boston Post Cane. While Haggett no longer lives in Boothbay Harbor, her life was spent here and her legacy is well-known among many residents of the town: she is a both an advocate for the town and a source of many stories of her 100 years here. Haggett moved to Kennebunk in the winter of 2012 to Huntington Common, an assisted living facility. While she dearly misses Boothbay, she enjoys living closer to her two sons, Courtney and Richard. Haggett had lived in her house on Union Street in Boothbay Harbor since 1947. The house was built for her and her late husband, Gilbert M. Haggett, who finished the inside work. Haggett saw a Boothbay Harbor not many of us know. She grew up on a farm right in town, with her sister and four brothers. She remembered sliding all the way from the Congregational Church to where the Y is on a toboggan (no one was on the roads and there were no buildings in between). She described hitching up the sleigh to horses in the winter and cantering all over the town. “Once, there was a red-haired boy riding with my brother and me; and as we turned into the driveway the horse saw the barn and was so eager to get inside he sped up. We got going so fast the boy got spooked and jumped out of the sleigh and disappeared into a big snowdrift. The memory still makes me laugh,” Haggett said. Haggett knew a world without the amenities of modern life. She spoke of drying clothes outside, the sheets freezing to the lines in the winter. “We had to put them on wooden racks in the cellar to dry instead,” Haggett said. “And the sheets always smelled so good when they came off the lines.” She remembered how all the local children learned to swim off her backyard in the harbor, before the sewer system was installed. “The older kids would swim out to those rocks,” she said as she pointed out her window. “ … the younger kids stayed in the shallow water. I miss seeing kids learn to swim down here.” When asked if she had any regrets, Haggett said she gave up driving too soon, at age 90. “I never got a single ticket since I started driving when I was in my teens,” Haggett said. “I shouldn’t have given in so soon.” Haggett is very involved with the Methodist church in town, and never misses services. She sometimes teaches Sunday school, and enjoys spending time with the women’s group. Before her eyesight failed, she enjoyed sewing, knitting, and crocheting. She never drinks, and instead enjoys a ginger ale and lemonade mix. (adapted from articles by Katrina Cane, Boothbay Register, photo by Courtney Haggett). Florence passed away on March 10, 2018 at the age of 105! (www.hallfuneralhomes.com)
Dec 2007: Boothbay Harbor has presented its cane to Evelyn Hartung Keene. Keene was born August 3, 1907, and she keeps the cane to show people who come and visit her, who include members of the Boothbay Harbor Police Department. “Evelyn is a wonderful lady,” Boothbay Harbor Police Chief Bob Hasch said. “She’s very sweet, and I really enjoy chatting with her.” During a recent conversation, Keene told Hasch she was very proud to have the cane. She enjoys showing it to people, Hasch said. (excerpted from article by Katrina Cane, Boothbay Register, photo by Kevin Burnham) Evelyn passed away on April 11, 2015 at the age of 107! (www.hallfuneralhomes.com)
Jul 2005: Boothbay Harbor presented its cane to Dorothy Abbott, 99, on July, 14, 2005. Dorothy is still “sharp as a tack” and even helped with the planning of the ceremony. Abbott passed away on February 6, 2007, at the age of 100. (www.hallfuneralhomes.com)
Jun 2000: D. Arthur McKown received the cane at the age of 100, and passed away on June 6, 2004 at the age of 104.
May 1997: Winifred Diggins received the cane. She passed away at age 100.
1991: Nell Kemp received the cane. She passed away at age 98.
Mar 1990: George Brittain received the cane. He passed away at age 107.
1981: Nellie Webber received the cane. She passed away at age 107.
Jan 1974: Evelyn Foye became the first woman In Booth Bay Harbor to hold the cane! She passed away at 105 years old.
Apr 1969: John “Jack” Fish received the cane. He passed away at age 102.
1929: John H. Blair received the cane. He passed away at age 88.
May 1926: John A. McInnis received the cane on May 7, 1926. He passed away at age 85.
Nov 1917: J. Ross Kenniston received the cane on November 16, 1917. He passed away at age 84.
1916: Alexander Adams received the cane. He passed away at age 85.
Jan 1915: Oscar Poor received the cane on January 26, 1915. He passed away at age 90.
Unknown: John M. Hodgdon received the cane. He passed away at age 90.
1909: Joseph Warren Welch received the cane. He passed away at age 86.
In Bradford, the Selectmen keep the cane at the town hall and award a plaque to the oldest citizen. In November 2003, Rev. Lewis Mowdy received the plaque and title of holder of the Boston Post Cane. (via email)
Bremen reportedly continues the tradition.
Jan 2008: Long time Bremen resident Robert Winter became the latest holder of Bremen’s Boston Post Cane in a brief ceremony at his home on Cove Field Rd Jan. 28.
Reportedly still continues the tradition.
Brooks continues the tradition and appears to have their original cane. Recipients are presented with the cane and a plaque. The cane is returned to the town hall after the presentation.
Jun 2017: Brooks as presented their Boston Post Cane to Betty LIttlefield. Betty is a longtime education and history buff who most recently served as president of Brooks Historical Society where she oversaw the construction of a new timber-framed barn to house the organization’s growing collection. (Republican Journal article and Ben Holbrook photograph via Stephen Hoffman)
Mar 2015: Ethel Pattee, age 96, was officially dubbed the oldest person in town on March 28th. Family, friends and town officials were there to present Ethel with the cane and plaque. She was born in 1918 and had more than a dozen siblings. She’s lived in Brooks for more than 70 years and she’ll be 97 years old next month. (WABI-TV5 news story by Adrienne Dipiazza via Stephen Hoffman, photo from WABI story)
Feb 2010: Percy C. Humphrey, 95, holder of the Brooks, ME, Boston Post cane, died on February 20, 2010. He was born in Washburn, Me, on August 6, 1914. (via email from Steve Hoffman)
The Town of Brooklin Maine continues the tradition. Located in SW Hancock County, on the Blue Hill Peninsula, pop. approximately 900, in coordination with the Brooklin Keeping Society recently presented the Boston Post Cane to Brooklin’s oldest citizen, Mary Ford Webber (born in September 1916), at the Keeping Society’s monthly business meeting April 29th at 7:00 PM in the Keeping Society’s Exhibit Room (located in the town office). The cane was presented by Richard Freethey, Selectman, and gave an overview of the history of the cane, including Brooklin’s previous recipients. (via email from Richard Freethey, April 2010)
Brooksville continues the tradition.
July 2011: William Vegue, no age given, was presented with Brooksville’s Boston Post cane on July 13, 2011 (via Stephen Hoffman)
December 15, 2008, the selectmen presented the cane to Marguerite Chase Tapley Gregor Kaminski. Born in Brooksville on November 10, 1909, she promptly “knighted” her husband, Captain Edwin Kaminski, as an honorary member of Brooksville. (via William Gregor)
Brownfield continues the tradition.
Jan 28, 2012: Lillian Stata, 98, was awarded Brownfield’s Boston Post Cane.
While we don’t know the whether or not Brownville continues the tradition, we believe that the town is in possession of their cane. (trcmaine.org article via Steve Hoffman).
Brunswick’s cane was given to the Pejepscot Historical Society.
Buckfield continues the tradition.
March 2014: Buckfield, Maine, presented the Boston Post Cane to Madaline Brown, 95, on March 22nd. (via email from Christopher Crosby and Duke Harrington)
Burnham’s Boston Post Cane was awarded to 91 year old Howard I. Libby Jr. in January 2002. (A controversy soon arose when 92-year old Alice Rollins, who owns a house in town but sleeps in nearby Pittsfield, claimed entitlement as the oldest resident.)
1909: The website www.cowhampshireblog.com lists the first 1909 recipients in each town and noted Lorenzo Baxter received the first cane in Burnham at 92 years old.
The Town of Buxton, Maine has its original Boston Post Cane. The town holds a nice ceremony and reception when the cane is presented for the recipient, their family, and the public. In recent years, one of their Selectmen found a craftsman to make several replicas of the cane, and now they present the honoree with the original cane and swap it for a replica for them to keep. The original cane is kept in the town vault. Buxton has a history of the persons presented the canes and the dates from 1909 through 08/12/1929. They also have a record of most recipients (but not all) from 1958 through the present. They are missing some of the years, and all the recipients from 1929 to 1958. They do keep finding a cane recipient on occasion, to fill in the Buxton cane’s history. (via email from Joan Weeman, Records Officer, Town of Buxton, ME)
Jan 2017: Mildred Byard, age 95, has been awarded Buxton’s cane. Buxton Selectman Chad Poitras presented Byard with a replica of the Boston Post Cane. Byard, who was raised on a farm in Aroostook County, said she’s stayed healthy by keeping active all her life. She said she enjoys spending time with her family, crafting and gardening. “I grow both flowers and vegetables. I grew up on veggies and I still eat my vegetables,” she said. By how people describe her, she hasn’t let age slow her down. “I take her shopping and before you know it she’s at the other end of Walmart,” said her daughter, Shirley Alexander. Alexander said she, like her mother, enjoys quilting and other crafts and the two sell items they make at craft fairs. “She loves life,” she said. Byard’s grandson, Andy Alexander describes her as “timeless.” He said she stopped driving last year, but mostly because she didn’t want to buy and maintain a new car. “She says every year is her last year growing a vegetable garden, but I’ll believe it when I see it,” he said. Neighbor and friend Brenda O’Brien said she gave Byard a mango from Florida and Byard planted the pit and is growing a small mango tree in her house. She said Byard also grows other plants inside, like a cotton plant. “She’s unique. I’ve never met anyone like her in my life,” said O’Brien. “You can tell what she loves most when you walk in her door. She loves her family. She has pictures of them everywhere.” (Journal Tribune article and photograph by Liz Gotthelf, via Stephen Hoffman)
Aug 2014: Buxton’s Boston Post Cane was awarded to Teivy D. Manuel, born March 29, 1917 on August 6, 2014 at Buxton Town Hall. (notice and photograph via email from Jeremy Manuel, Teivy’s son).
Aug 2009: Buxton’s newest recipient was a gentleman named C. Murray Eaton who ws 98 years old when the cane was presented on July 24, 2008. (via email from Joan Weeman)
Camden continues the tradition. They appear to have their original cane which is used in the presentation ceremony but spends most of its time on display at the Camden Town Hall.
Camden cane recipients: Josiah H. Boardman, age 90, 1909; James C. Storey, 89, 1912; George W. Glover, 87, 1914; Elisha Richards, 89, 1917; Freeman W. Payson, 91, 1923; James B. Alexander, 91, 1934; Sara F. Pendleton, 97, 1939; Nicholas Berry, 94, 1940; Roscoe Metcalf, 93, 1941; John D. Knowlton Sr., 95, 1946; Mary Hart, 94, 1956; Fred Hansen, 93, 1959; Amy Rose, 100, 1970; Ann Longworth, 100, 1985; Zulu Hill, 100-plus, 1986; Mary L. Inman, 100-plus, 1987; Eva G. Stone, 100, 1989; Eva Hansen, 103, 1995; Lena Dunbar Richardson, 101, 1995; Roy C. Carle, 95, 1999; Jasper G. Chapin, 98, 2003; Flora Wright, 95, 2004; Carrie S. Knight, 101, 2009; Herbert Inman, 98, 2010. (via Herald Gazette article referenced below)
January 2011: Camden’s cane was awarded to Herbert Inman, age 98. His mother, Mary Inman was awarded the cane in 1987. An accomplished athlete in his youth, Herbert drove buses and hauled logs during World War II. He later became a building contractor. More recently he has taken up gardening and fishing. (from article in the Herald Gazette via email from Stephen Hoffman)
Canaan continues the tradition.
April 2012: Charles W. Oliver of Canaan recently was awarded The Boston Post Cane. Oliver was born in 1918. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II. Among other medals, he received two Bronze Service Stars. After being honorably discharged, he returned to Maine, where he met his wife, Glenys. They have been married for 65 years. They bought their home in 1948 in Canaan, where they raised one son and six daughters. They now have 16 grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren. Oliver enjoyed farming his land, where he grew the food that he and Glenys used to feed their family. He raised cows for their milk and chickens for their eggs. Oliver enjoyed working on his beloved land and cutting wood to keep his family warm. (Morning Sentinel article via Stephen Hoffman)
Canton has their original cane, but it has not been awarded for some time. In June 2015, the Selectmen decided to renew the tradition with the recipient receiving a certificate.
August 2015: Canton has awarded their cane to Bernard Adams, age 98. Adams served 25 months overseas in the European Theater of Operations: in Normandy in northern France on June 7, 1944, and later on in Rhineland, Germany. Bernard received the Purple Heart because he was wounded twice, once in Normandy and again in Germany. While in Germany he fought in a battle in Rhineland and another in Ardennes. Adams says that when he got wounded in Normandy he remembers “Crawling around on the roadside, and the first thing I know it felt like someone hit me with a stick.” This was when he was wounded in his shoulder by mortar blast. “Then I went back to England and was in the hospital in London, and went to Germany and got into a tangle again,” he says, referring to when he was wounded for the second time. He also says he enjoyed participating in the Honor Flight to Washington, DC, last summer. Nan, his physical therapist at the Victorian Villa where he lives now, got him involved in the flight and was with him on the trip. He says he was impressed with the Arlington burial grounds and the monuments. When asked about how he felt about receiving all of these honors he humbly said “Sometimes I wonder why,” but Chamberlin’s wife Anne says the honors are “Well earned.” (adapted from article by Marianne Hutchinson, Sun Journal, photograph by Marianne Hutchinson, via email from Stephen Hoffman)
Cape Elizabeth continues the tradition. The Town Council has defined a set of rules for awarding the cane to their citizens. Cape Elizabeth’s cane is stored in a safe. Here is a list of the recipients of Cape Elizabeth’s cane:
- Whitely Jordan, October 23, 1909, age 87
- Joseph Dresser, May 31, 1910, age 87
- Levi O. Verrill, February 12, 1912, age 85
- John Pike, December 25, 1912, age 90
- Albert F. Hannaford, May, 1919, age 92
- Edward S. Griffin, July, 1926, age 94
- Ephraim S. Wardwell, October, 1928, age 89
- Moses Small, April 27, 1929, age 90
- Samuel C. Gould, March, 1931, age 88
- John T. Jenks, October, 1934, age 86. After his death in 1942 at age 94, the Cane was not presented for 40 years until
- Mrs. Mabel Hesseltine Davis, July 15, 1963, age 95 – became the first female recipient in Cape Elizabeth
- Dr. Clinton A. Putnam, February 13, 1971
- Robert Greene, February 13, 1972
- Charles M. Hasty, 1976, age 96
- Lida Williams, August 30, 1978
- Elsie I. Hannaford, June 26, 1981
- Nina Macomber, May 14, 1986
- Linwood Dunham, December 11, 1989, age 97 (lived for another 10 years)
- Josephine Formanns Benoit, April 11, 2000, age 104
- Leola Adams Jordan, July 21, 2004, age 101
(via email from Barbara Sanborn, Cape Elizabeth Historical Preservation Society, June 2009)
March 2014: George William Baker, 101, is the 21st recipient of Boston Post Gold Cane as the town of Cape Elizabeth’s oldest citizen. Town Council Chair Jessica Sullivan presented the cane at a ceremony Monday, March 24, at Town Hall. Family members including his wife Alberta and son George II attended the presentation, as well as neighbors, several town officials and members of the press. George Baker was born in 1912 in Portland. His father, Charles Baker, a soldier from East Tennessee, had been sent to Maine to serve at Fort Preble during the Spanish-American War. Later his father also helped with the installation of coastal artillery guns at Fort Williams. As a youngster his family lived in the Knightville, Ligonia and Meeting House Hill neighborhoods in South Portland, according to a biography written by Mr. Baker’s son George II. “George has great memories as a youth going to picnics at Kettle Cove, and fishing with his father off the rocks at Pond Cove in the Cape,” the younger Baker wrote. When war broke out in Europe, Mr. Baker joined the first apprentice class at the New England Ship Building Corporation in South Portland. During World War II he worked as a welder on every Liberty Ship built at the shipyard, his son said. “It was at the shipyard that, while working as a welding instructor, he met his future bride Alberta O’Connor of Portland. They were married in April 1944,” he wrote. In the early 1950s Mr. and Mrs. Baker moved into a house in Cape Elizabeth, a split-level they largely built themselves. Here they raised their family and have lived ever since. Mr. Baker worked as a master machinist at the Portland Copper & Tank Works in South Portland, and later at Bancroft-Martin in Scarborough, before his retirement in his late 60s. He had been an avid golfer well into his ’90s, his son said. In addition to his two children, Mr. Baker has five grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren. (article in CapeElizabeth.com, via email from Duke Harrington)
The Town of Carmel, Maine still has their “Cane”. It hasn’t been presented for awhile, but they plan to continue the tradition. The story was the man it was presented to didn’t want It but did accept it. At that point in time the Selectmen let the recipient keep the cane. As you can guess getting the family to return it was sometimes an issue. Carmel’s cane will now be on display in the Town Office. Carmel will now have a committee select the oldest resident and present them with a plaque and pin. (Any citizens over 90 at the presentation will receive certificates. (via email from Julia Pike, Carmel Asst. Town Manager, Jun 2015)
Castine continues the tradition. Their original cane is on display in the Town Clerk’s office. Awardees are presented the cane and a certificate – the cane is returned to the town at the end of the ceremony.
Dec 2013: Selectmen David Unger, Peter Vogell and Gus Basile gave Jack Castino a framed certificate with a brief history of the Boston Post gold-headed cane and notes honoring his longevity. Castino was born in 1917. Castine’s two previous cane-holders were Dominic Leali and David Hall. (article in Castine Patriot, via Stephen Hoffman and Temple Blackwood)
Castle Hill continues the tradition. The cane is prominently displayed in the town office lobby with a plaque listing past honorees.
June 2013: Mr. Elwyn “Chum” Richardson was awarded the Boston Post Cane for the Town of Castle Hill on May 15, 2013 surrounded by family and friends.
Elwyn was born September 13, 1921 and has lived in the same home in Castle Hill since 1958. (via Jon Frederick, Town Manager)
July 2012: Mr. Thomas Johnson was awarded the Boston Post Cane on July 12, 2012 at his home in Castle Hill, ME by the Select Board Chair, Rowell McHatten. Mr. Johnson, born in 1919, was surrounded by family and friends for the outdoor presentation ceremony. He shared many stories of his days as the Road Commissioner with the Selectmen and town staff. Mr. McHatten exchanged the cane for a plaque at the end of the ceremony. (via John Frederick, Town Manager)
Chelsea appears to have continued the tradition. The town apparently lost their original cane somewhere between 1938 and 1940.
May 2017: The Town of Chelsea presented Gene West, age 91, with their Boston Post Cane during a brief ceremony at the Chelsea Town Hal. Gene moved to Chelsea 45 years ago. A bad storm at Christmas time left her without power while family was visiting her home in Augusta, and she vowed to her mother she would buy a house with a chimney. She found one in Chelsea, and since 1972, she has heated her home with her wood stove, for which she hauls wood herself. West attends the annual Town Meeting regularly, except for last year, when she couldn’t get a ride. A ride has been arranged for her this year. “I like to go and sit in the front,” West said according to the release. “I vote on every issue. I’m not shy, I’ll speak if I need to.” She has advocated for the Meals on Wheels program in both Chelsea and Pittston. “I was thinking this afternoon that you don’t have to be beautiful to get this thing, you just have to be old. I’m not beautiful, but I’m old,” West said, according to the release. (CentralMaine.com article and photograph via Stephen Hoffman)
2004: Chelsea awarded their can to Raymond L. Harris, age 91. Raymond was born in Manchester, a son of Frank and Mary Welch Harris. He moved to Chelsea at the age of 7 and had resided there for 86 years. Ray had been employed by E.A. Thompson in Randolph, unloaded coal by hand from barges in Gardiner, for Bridge Construction, and Bath Iron Works for four years during the war, never missing a day. He was self-employed moving buildings, employed for A.P. Wyman and retiring after 25 years as a maintenance supervisor for the Maine Turnpike in 1980. Raymond passed away in September 2006. (from Raymond’s obituary)
Cherryfield has their original Boston Post Cane. They are in the process of creating a certificate to present to their oldest resident instead of the actual cane, since they had some difficulty recovering it from its last recipient’s family. The original will probably be on display in the Cherryfield-Narraguagus Historical Society building in future.2007 is the 250th birthday of Cherryfield. (via e-mail from Burndett Andres, Feb 2007)
As of January 2007, the current holder of China’s cane is Madeline Cushman.A prior holder of China’s cane was Yvonne Farris (May 2005)China’s cane is kept for safe-keeping. A certificate is given to the oldest resident. (via e-mail from Daniel L’Heureux, China’s Town Manager, August 2002)
Clifton continues the tradition.
Mar 2017: Frances Peasley received Clifton’s Boston Post Cane at the Town Annual Meeting on March 18th. (submission from Town of Clifton)
The Clinton Historical Society, on behalf of the town, presents the Boston Post Cane to the town’s oldest citizen.
In June 2011 Clinton’s cane was stolen from its display case in the lobby of Clinton’s town offices.
Oct 2016: Clinton’s Boston Post Cane was presented to Mary Garnett, age 93, by Clinton Town Manager Pam Violette. Garnett also received a plaque from Clinton Historical Society President Blair “Buddy” Frost. (Central Maine article, via Stephen Hoffman)
Columbia continues the tradition.
November 2014: We received a report that Josephine Konyak was the recipient of Columbia’s cane on March 29, 2012. (via email from Jeanne Youkon, Josephine’s daughter).
Corinna continues the tradition.
May 2013: Corinna’s cane is held by Lawrence Burleigh, age 99. Lawrence and Dorothy Burleigh have been married for 71 years. They said the things that have sustained their marriage, as well as many years of life, are that they think highly of each other, like the same things and have a sense of humor. Larry, who remembers his first car as being a 1924 Ford Model T that he bought for four cords of wood valued at about $16, said he was stationed in France, Belgium and Germany during the war. He was on a boat from Panama to Japan when the war ended. “There was a lot of celebration in town,” said Dorothy, remembering the end of the war. She said that when her husband came home they rented a house in Belfast, lived there for ten years and then moved to Newport (article in Morning Sentinel, via Stephen Hoffman)
Cornish maintains the tradition. They still have their original cane, but the recipient does not keep it (they receive a plaque). The Cornish Historical Society has provided us with a researched and detailed list of all of their recipients (submitted by Calista Cross).
June 2018: Charles E. Whitney was presented the Cornish Cane on June 3, 2018, at age 95. From 1943 to 1946, Charles served in the U.S. Army Air Corps. in the Pacific as crew chief for the B-17 Flying Fortress, and worked on other military planes as well. After service, he returned to Cornish where he married, had several children, and managed two dress factories. Since then, Charles has enjoyed excavating with his trucks and tractors, and also woodworking from which he’s won a few ribbons at the Fryeburg Fair. In 2021, he was thanked for his service by WGME Channel 13 (https://wgme.com/features/thank-a-vet/thank-a-vet-world-war-ii-veteran-charles-whitney). In a 2023 update from Calista Cross, Charles became a centenarian on March 9, 2023, and is now doing very well at the Maine Veterans Home in Scarborough.
Apr 2017: Cornish has awarded its Boston Post Cane to Howard Lincoln Carr, Jr., age 96. Howard was born on 26-Feb-1921. Linc, as he was called, passed away on January 14, 2018 at the age of 96. He and his wife Edna Louise Estabrook met at a USO dance in 1943, married, and raised six children, finally settling in Cornish in 1960. His obituary highlights Linc’s entrepreneurial spirit as he and Edna: started and ran “Your Weekly Shopping Guide” until 1983; raised, trained, and raced horses; remodeled and rebuilt houses; began the Cornish Trading Co.; raised sheep and alpacas; and ran a farm store and antique shop. He leaves behind quite a legacy with 17 grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren, and 4 great-great-grandchildren. (Carr Obituary)
Jul 2016: The Cornish cane was awarded to Gerald Stanley Barney, age 98 (28-Jan-1918 – 4-Nov-2016)
Oct 2008: The Cornish cane was awarded to Walter Charles Peach, age 96 (13-Oct-1912 – 16-Feb-2010) Walter received a plaque which he proudly displays in his home, but the cane itself remains in the town hall. Walter, currently 97, was born in Maplewood NJ October 13, 1912. He was a World War II veteran (Transportation Corps in Persia), and English Teacher at Union High School NJ for 35 yrs, then moved to Cornish in a house he built himself when he retired in 1971 with his wife, Arline (in photo).
Mar 2006: The Cornish cane was awarded to Ethel (Norton) Osgood, age 99 (21-Dec-1907 – 4-Oct-2006)
Sep 2004: The Cornish cane was awarded to Gladys (Ludden) Davis, age 98 (21-Aug-19O6 – 5-Aug-2005)
Jul 2001: The Cornish cane was awarded to Elsie (Dennis) Troutman, age 94 (13-Aug-1907 – 20-Jun-2004)
Mar 1995: The Cornish cane was awarded to Roland Rensred Day, age 96 (12-Apr-1899 – 7-Nov-1999)
1994: The Cornish cane was awarded to Mildred C. (Wilcox) Merrill, age 98 (4-Mar-1896 – 31-Oct-1997)
Jun 1986: The Cornish cane was awarded to Eva May Wing, age 95 (20-Jun-1891 – 16-Jan-1998)
ca1981: The Cornish cane was awarded to Harry Freeman Sargent, age ~93 (16-Jun-1888 – 23-Feb-1986)
ca1974: The Cornish cane was awarded to Adelbert Morton Kilburn, age 95 (18-Nov-1879 4-Jun-1980).
Retired from business for many years the 95-year-old was most recently known to many as a seller in pari-mutuel windows throughout the main race track circuit.
1966: The Cornish cane was awarded to Minnie L. Smith, age 92 (15-Apr-1874 – 3-Aug-1974)
Sep 1941: The Cornish cane was awarded to Jesse S. Clemons, age 85 (13-Jul-1856 – 1-Nov-1943)
ca1940: The Cornish cane was awarded to Charles Henry Pugsley, age ~82 (b. 11-Nov-1858)
ca1936: The Cornish cane was awarded to Willis E. Clark, age ~84 (1852 – 1939)
ca1928: The Cornish cane was awarded to William Henry Cole, age ~87 (10-Jan-1841 – 1936)
1923: The Cornish cane was awarded to Elbridge E. Farnham, age 85 (15-Feb-1838 – 3-Feb-1928)
Oct 1913: The Cornish cane was awarded for the second time to John Franklin Smith, age 85 (1828 – 5-Sep-1916)
ca1909: The original recipient of the Cornish Boston Post Cane was Daniel W. Severence.
Cornville continues the tradition, presenting a certificate to the recipient.
Town officials participated in a cane ceremony as part of the Feb 28, 2009 Somerset County Bicentennial but we have no other information as to the recipient or how the tradition is observed in the town.
2012: The town presented a Boston Post cane plaque to the oldest resident, currently Laurence Amzeen, 97. (from Tammy Chamberland, Town Clerk, via Stephen Hoffman).
The Boston Post cane in Cumberland, Maine has been located after several years of its whereabouts being unknown. The Cumberland Town Office, in conjunction with the Cumberland Historical Society, is in the process of reimplementing the program in the fall of 2004. In 2005 the cane was awarded to Bertha Gray (99), a resident of Chebeague Island in the presence of three generations of family members. (via email from Carolyn F. Small, President Cumberland Historical Society, July 2004)
Cushing Maine continues the tradition, but there is a bit of a mystery here: available research indicates that Cushing did not receive an original cane. So they either found one that nobody knew about or the tradition was created for the town separately.
June 2008: Sydney R. Dobbs, 98, present holder of the Boston Post Cane and former Cushing town moderator, died June 17, 2008, of natural causes at the Pond View Boarding Home in Cushing. He was born in South Hadley Falls, Mass., to F. William Dobbs and Gertrude (Shaw) Dobbs on May 28, 1910. He served in the Army during World War II from January 1941 to September 1945. He earned an associate degree in science from Western Connecticut State College in 1969. He met and married Bettina F. Sullivan, and they made their home in Connecticut, and raised their two children there. Sydney and Bettina, a former teacher, retired to Cushing in 1974. (via Shannon Hicks)
As of 2007 the small fishing village of Cutler Maine still has its Boston Post Cane. The cane is kept by the town. The current holder is unknown. (via email from Chet H, Feb 2007)
The Town of Damariscotta Maine still has its cane. As of February 2010 the town does not award the cane, but there is interest in reviving the tradition. (via email from Greg Zinser, Damariscotta Town Manager). In 2012 news reports indicate they now continue the tradition.
Mar 2012: Damariscotta Selectman Ronn Orenstein presented the town’s Boston Post Cane to Flora Hutchinson on the occasion of her 108th birthday party at Chase Point March 12. Born March 12, 1904 in Medford, Mass., Hutchinson grew up in Utica, N.Y. She graduated from the Forsyth School for Dental Hygiene at Tufts University and moved to Augusta to work as a dental hygienist for a Dr. Hutchinson. (Lincoln County News article via Steve Hoffman)
1909: The website www.cowhampshireblog.com lists the first 1909 recipients in each town and noted Samuel L. Foster received the first cane in Damariscotta at 90 years old.
Danforth still continues the tradition.
July 2010: The Town of Danforth presented their cane to Bertha Carr, age 99, on July 31, 2010. Bertha was born on October 2, 1910. (via Joseph Cyr of the Star-Herald).
Deer Isle still has their original cane and continues the tradition.
Oct 2022: Nancy Hodermarsky, 97, received the Deer Isle cane, which made her proud, delighted, and amazed to be the oldest citizen of her town. (article with photo in IslandAdVantages-101322)
Nov 2013: Deer Isle’s Boston Post Cane was awarded to resident Marvel Torrey, who is 95 years old. Torrey, born Marvel Snowden, has lived all her life on the island with the exception of an 18-year stint in Cape Cod, according to Torrey’s nephew, Leroy Small. This is not the first time a member of Torrey’s family has held the Boston Post cane. Torrey’s grandfather, Henry Haskell, also held the cane. Small thinks, though he can’t find proof to confirm, that her great-grandfather Roswell Davis may also have held the cane. “I think he was the oldest living male on the island when he passed,” said Small. Torrey will be 96 in April. “She’s still healthy,” said Small. “Maybe she’ll live to be 100!” (article in IslandAdVantages-121213, via Stephen Hoffman) Marvel passed away in August 2022 according to www.ellsworthamerican.com.
March 2002: According to an edition of the ‘Island AD-VANTAGES’ from Stonington, ME. Deer Isle awarded their cane to William Haskell. He will be 100 in December. (via email from Bessie Pierce Fuchs)
Denmark continues the tradition. Denmark’s cane is kept in a special case at the Town Office. Recipients of the award receive a certificate.
2010: Our long-time beloved neighbor Edith Sawyer (born December 5, 1917) was presented with the Boston Post Cane on April 24, 2010. The presentation was made by the Denmark Selectmen, Mark Allen, Rick Mason and Kirk McDermith with Edith’s family and friends in attendance. Edith was presented a certificate to keep. (report and photos/article from Nancy Sanborn)
Dexter continues the tradition. We do not know the status of their cane.
Feb 2015: Walter Ireland, holder of Dexter’s cane, passed away. (citation in Dexter Maine Town Manager’s Report, Feb. 2015 via Stephen Hoffman)
The Town of Dixfield, Maine still honors its eldest citizen with the Boston Post Cane. However, they have retired the original cane to an enclosed, glass case that hangs on the wall at the Dixfield Town Office. They give their recipient a plaque in place of the Boston Post Cane, flowers and a picture in the newspapers. Dixfield’s cane is in good condition: finish good, metal tip and a slightly dented head. (via email from Charlotte M. Collins, August 2011)
August 2011: The current holder of Dixfield’s cane is Mrs. Eva Sassi Taylor who will be 102 on October 26, 2011 (b. 1909).
Mar 2012: On December 23, 2011, Harry Francis turned 96 years old and had no idea that he was now the oldest citizen in town. “I’m sure, well, at least I think the doctors had a lot to do with my stay in this life,” laughed Francis. Francis came to Dixfield in 1922 at the age of seven and lived on a farm outside of town on the Holman Road. In 1939, he moved into town. “I lived just two houses down from right here where I live now up till 12 years ago. I went to school at the foot of Morrison Hill and I remember the teacher coming to school on snowshoes. There must have been two feet of snow in that storm.”
Dixmont has their cane and have been handing it down as instructed since 1909. As of Jan 2003, the current possessor says he doesn’t want anything to do with it. Nevertheless, his name is on the brass plaque naming him as the oldest citizen.At the end of the last millennium the Dixmont selectmen decided to present the cane, allow him or her to retain it for photographic or bragging reasons then return it to it’s own case at the town hall so that all citizens and visitors can enjoy this piece of town history. (via e-mail from Fred Bryant)
Dover-Foxcroft appears to continue the tradition.
2014: Madelyn Celeste (Ballard) Betts, holder of the Dover-Foxcroft cane, died September 28, 2014, at Hibbard Nursing Home in Dover-Foxcroft. Madelyn was born in Garland, June 29, 1912, the only child of George W. and Grace (McComb) Ballard. She was a National Honor Society 1930 graduate of Foxcroft Academy and attended Maine School of Commerce (now Husson College). She was secretary at the Dover-Foxcroft School Department superintendent’s office and Foxcroft Academy for 17 years. She was one of the early organizers of the Maine School Secretaries’ Association and served as secretary and president. She also worked at Lary Funeral Home, Piscataquis Observer Publishing Co. and for 20 years was secretary to Robert G. Hall, antique dealer and auctioneer. Madelyn was a member of the Dover-Foxcroft Congregational Church, serving as organist for 27 years, also as Church Clerk for many years. She was a life member and organist 36 years for Miriam Chapter No. 40 Order of the Eastern Star and was appointed twice as Grand Organist for the Grand Chapter of Maine. She was generous with her musical talent, willing to assist O.E. S. chapters wherever needed throughout the area. She was a life member of Wenonah Rebekah Lodge, No. 11, serving many years as its secretary. She was a charter member of the Dover-Foxcroft Historical Society, serving as secretary; a life member of the Maine Genealogical Society; and member and secretary of the Thompson Free Library Association for 37 years. She was a member and past president of the Cosmopolitan Club and member of the Percolator Club. Madelyn was awarded the Boston Post Cane as the oldest resident of Dover-Foxcroft in June, 2014. Madelyn had a keen interest in local Maine history, genealogy, antiques and enjoyed crafts, especially needlepoint. (obituary for Husson University, via Stephen Hoffman)
Dresden appears to continue the tradition. In November 2004 the Board of Selectmen were researching the use of a medallion to present in lieu of the cane.
1909: The website www.cowhampshireblog.com lists the first 1909 recipients in each town and noted Albert Ham received the first cane in Dresden at 90 years old.
Dyer Brook has reportedly lost their cane.
East Machias continues the tradition. The most recent recipient was Madeline Scott Flood, 98, on September 15, 2003. (Bangor Daily News, Sep 20, 2003 via SueEllen Chamberlain)
1909: The website www.cowhampshireblog.com lists the first 1909 recipients in each town and noted Matthias T. Crocker received the first cane in East Machias at 86 years old.
Eddington continues the tradition. The current holder is Clinton Ackley in May 2005.
The Town of Eliot has its original Boston Post Cane on display in a beautiful case at the Municipal Office along with a plaque showing all past recipients. The Board of Selectmen hold a small ceremony and issue a plaque to the recipient prior to the opening of the Annual Town meeting in June.
June 2015: Dorothy Spinney Manson attended the Eliot High School Association Reunion banquet to celebrate the 80th year since her graduation and walked away with the town’s Boston Post Cane as the town’s oldest citizen, Sunday at the Regatta Room at Eliot Commons. Manson, 98, was surprised by the presentation. “I knew nothing about it,” she said several times. The cane was presented by the Board of Selectmen, Town Clerk Wendy Rawski and Town Manager Dana Lee. Mrs. Manson was born at Eliot Neck on December 8, 1916, the oldest in a family of eight children. She attended School Number 7 on Pleasant Street and the Laura V. Dame School on Main Street. She graduated from high school in Eliot in 1935. After a semester at Gorham Normal School (now part of the University of Southern Maine), she married Delwyn (Jim) Manson and they built their home in Eliot; she lives there now “by the grace of God and many friends,” said her sister, Sybil Raitt. The Mansons had two daughters, Judy and Joyce. Manson worked at the former Kittery Electric Light Company and was a volunteer in Eliot’s schools. She now enjoys crocheting and board games. “I win at Scrabble,” she said, and, after receiving the Boston Post Cane, said she plans to live to be 100. (slightly abridged Seacoast Online article and photograph by Ralph Morang, via Stephen Hoffman) [Mrs. Manson is still the cane holder at 104, says Melissa Albert, Admin. Asst. with the Town of Eliot, in Sept. 2020]
June 2009: Elizabeth C. Libbey, a longtime resident of Eliot was born on August 16, 1907. Mrs. Libbey was 101 years old when she was awarded the cane in June of 2009. When she was informed of her award she said she felt the secret to her longevity was her walking, running and genetics. These days she enjoys watching the birds and television and still maintains her sharp sense of humor. (via Wendy J. Rawski, Town Clerk of Eliot, in Dec. 2009). She died on June 4, 2014 at the age of 106! (Seacoast Online Obituary)
March 2000: Louise MacDonald held the cane since March 2000. She passed away in April 2006, a few months short of her 104th birthday. (Portland Press Obituary)
1909: The website www.cowhampshireblog.com lists the first 1909 recipients in each town and noted William Remick received the first cane in Eliot at 90 years old.
The Town of Embden continues the tradition.
July 2013: Thelma Berry Dunphy, 94, was presented the ceremonial Boston Post Cane from Embden as the oldest resident. The Embden Historical Society made the presentation July 7. Dunphy is a retired school teacher and the parent of four children: Gary, Betty, Robert and Larry.
June 2012: Elizabeth “Betty” Miller was presented the town’s Boston Post Cane by Carol Dolan, Embden Historical Society’s Vice-President as family, friends and EHS members gathered at the historical Embden Town House to celebrate Betty’s accomplishment with cake and refreshments. (The Irregular newspaper article via Stephen Hoffman)
The Town of Etna appears to carry on the tradition.
May 2007: Kenneth Woodrow Graves, 92, passed away May 19, 2007 at his home, surrounded by his loving family. He was born November 3, 1914 in Etna, a son of Charles and Gladys (Sylvester) Graves. He attended schools in Etna and graduated from Carmel High School. On April 3, 1937 he married Arlene Peterson. They spent 70 loving years together. Kenneth was a loving father and grandfather to 7 children, 19 grandchildren, 35 great grandchildren and 5 great great grandchildren. He was a self-employed woodsman and farmer. His love of gardening made him many friends, and he ran a vegetable stand at his home in Etna for many years. At the time of his death, he was planning this year’s gardens. He also was an avid sportsman, enjoying hunting, fishing and trapping. Kenneth passed this along to his children, grandchildren and many of his great grandchildren. He was a life-time member of the Maine Trapper’s Association and a member of The Sportsmans Alliance of Maine. He was a respected member of the community and he held the Boston Post Cane, honoring him as Etna’s oldest citizen. (found obituary from TheDailyME via email from Stephen Hoffman, Aug 2011).
Exeter continues the tradition. They still have their original cane.
Mar 2013: Florence Brayson, age 93, was given a Boston Post Cane for holding the title of oldest living citizen of the town. Florence lives at Bangor Nursing and Rehabilitation Center now, so that’s where her family and friends joined her for the party. ” Proud to have been the receiver of the cane from Exeter this year. It’s something that you don’t get often and I’m very proud to get mine,” said Brayson. ” She’s the epitome of what everybody should be. She’s worked hard, she’s raised her kids, she’s never drank or smoked and she’s always willing to help people,” added Brayson’s daughter, Doris Ann Watson. Brayson tells us the secret to a long and happy life is to keep your mouth shut and mind your business. Her family tells us she, has a great sense of humor. (via WABI-TV5 story by Carolyn Callahan, video frame from WABI-TV5)
Jun 2009: Exeter’s cane was was awarded to Mildred Crane. Mildred was presented the cane by her grandson, James, who is the chair of Exeter’s Board of Selectmen. Mildred was born in February of 1918. She married a farmer, George Crane, and lived in Exeter her whole life. She now spends the winter in Venice, Florida. The Crane family farm continues to this day, Jim’s sons are now the 4th generation to work on the farm she and George started.
1909: The website www.cowhampshireblog.com lists the first 1909 recipients in each town and noted Elbridge A. Chandler received the first cane in Exeter at 89 years old.
Fairfield continues the tradition.
May 2017: The town of Fairfield has presented its Boston Post Cane to Vivian R. Field, who recently reached the age of 97 years. The previous holder of the town’s Boston Post Cane was Mary McCormick, who recently passed at the age of 100. (Town Line article and photograph via Stephen Hoffman)
Jun 2015: Fairfield’s cane was presented to Mary “Winnie” McCormick a few days before her 99th birthday. The previous holder of the town’s Boston Post Cane was Eileen Gould, who recently passed at the age of 104. (via email from Joshua Reny)
Aug 2006: Fairfield’s cane was awarded to both Vivian Crabbe and then Eileen Gould. Both are 96 years old and Vivian is just 18 days older. Vivian moved to senior housing in September and Eileen became the town’s holder in October. (via Central Maine Morning Sentinel)
Aug 2005: Fairfield’s cane was awarded to Grace Bellows, 99.
Falmouth appears to have their cane and a good history of its recipients.
August 2013: Florence McCann, 102, received Falmouth’s Boston Post Cane from Town Council Chairwoman Teresa Pierce at the Town Council meeting on Monday, Aug. 26. McCann is the 26th recipient of Falmouth’s cane. (article in The Forecaster, via Stephen Hoffman)
Feb 2012: The “Forecaster” reports that Herbert Hamilton, 100 and Ruth White, 105, had their names inscribed on Falmouth, ME’s, Boston Post cane plaque. (via email from Steve Hoffman)
In 2000 the cane was awarded to Margaret Deering Strout.
Farmingdale has their original cane, but it recently came back in two pieces — so now they award the recipient with a plaque. They are working on getting the cane into a display case for safe keeping.
June 2010: Percy R. Tibbetts, 98 years young, received the Boston Post Cane award from the Farmingdale Selectmen June 17, 2001. Mrs. Tibbetts, only 93 years young, plus their daughter Janet and her husband Michael Dana were also present to witness the presentation. Mr. and Mrss Tibbetts are long time residents of the Farmingdale-Gardiner area. They have resided in Farmingdale for 14 years. The award was presented during the Farmingdale summer monthly Senior Dinner. A special cake was prepared and presented to Percy Tibbetts. (via Eugene Moreau)
The Town of Farmington, Maine has retired its original Boston Post Cane. It is on display in an oak case in the lobby of their municipal building. The Town continues to award a similar-looking cane to the oldest citizen of the Town.
Jun 2015: Farmington’s cane has been held by Leona Cross (age 105). She received the cane in 2010. (mentioned in Lewiston Sun Journal, via email from Stephen Hoffman)
Apr 2006: Farmington’s cane was held by Dorothy Winter, who is 104 years old. (via email from Richard P. Davis, Town Manager)
David Williams received the Boston Post Cane in July 2004 for being the oldest citizen in Franklin Maine as of July 10th. He turns 92 on December 31st. A relative of his, Dalton Reed supposedly received this very same Boston Post Cane many years ago until he passed away. (via email from Mike Williams, grandson of David Williams and great-grandson of Dalton Reed, July 2004)
Feb 2012: The February 7, 2012 issue of the online newspaper “Forecaster” reports that Kathleen McIntee, 100, received Freeport, ME’s, Boston Post cane pin. (via email from Steve Hoffman)
Freyburg appears to have their cane. The 2000 recipient was Norman Annis. They have records going back to the early ’50s, plus a few older references.
April 7 2011: Mary Elizabeth “Betty” Walker was presented the Town of Fryeburg’s Boston Post Cane last week by the Fryeburg Board of Selectmen for being the oldest resident of their community. She was also given a beautiful plate noting the special occasion of her being awarded the Boston Post Cane. A retired teacher, Betty taught school for over 36 years, from 1936 through 1972 at the Village School (now the Office of the Superintendent of Schools). She was teaching principal at the Pine Tree School in Center Conway, New Hampshire, before coming to Fryeburg to teach. “I enjoy it — I’m not ashamed to tell my age, like some of them are. I have good health,” she said, at the party held in her honor as recipient of the Boston Post Cane. “And, in spite of everything, I’ve had a good life. I had a wonderful husband, and one son, Michael, who graduated from Bowdoin College and the American University and died at 41. And, I have three granddaughters — Kristen, Wendy and Tracy — and three great-granddaughters.” Born on Nov. 29, 1908 and raised in the town of Mexico, Betty fondly recalls her childhood. Her mother, Christine Ionta, was a very proactive suffragette who lived to be 95 years old. Her twin sisters, Marjorie and Margaret, reached the age of 98. Marjorie passed away recently, but Margaret still resides in Duxbury, Massachusetts. (from an article in the Bridgton News by Lisa Williams Ackley via email from Stephen Hoffman)
Friendship continues the tradition.
Keith Havener provides this detailed history of Friendship’s cane in:
- Ivy Bell (Manchester) Gould was born 24 Nov 1911 in Addison, ME and died 14 Mar 2011 in Friendship. She received the cane 6 Jul 2009. She was married to Thurman W. Gould.
- Mildred “Mid” A. (Simmons) Reed was born 31 Oct 1907 and died 31 May 2009. She received the cane circa 2001. She was married to Philip “Bud” Alvin Reed.
- Elva Lee (Winchenbach) Benner was born 10 Sep 1899 in Friendship and died 17 Dec 2000 in Waldoboro, ME. She received the cane in March 1995. She was married to Perley Eliphalet Benner
- Sylvia M. (Genthner) Collamore was born 4 Aug 1892 in Waldoboro, ME and died 1994 in Waldoboro, ME. She received the cane in 1993 after her sister Annie L. (Genthner) Delano died. Sylvia was married to Charles L. Collamore.
- Annie L. (Genthner) Delano was born 26 Nov 1890 in Waldoboro, ME and died 14 Aug 1993 in Camden, ME. She received the cane in 1988. She was married to Perley B. Delano.
- Millie E. (Delano) Morton was born 12 Jun 1880 in Friendship and died 1983. She received the cane about 1977. She was married to Leslie I. Morton.
- Charles D. Murphy was born 23 Mar 1877 and died 1976. He received the cane in 1967. He was married to Lillie Maude Cook.
- Laura Maud (Jameson) Davis was born 15 Oct 1870 in Friendship and died 10 Feb 1967 Waldoboro, ME. She received the cane about 1965. She was married to Ralph Webster Davis.
- Mary Ellen “Nellie” (Luce) Thompson was born 5 Dec 1865 in Cushing, ME and died 28 Jan 1965 in Friendship. She received the cane in 1963. She was married to Rolland Rufus Thompson.
- Eugene Horatio Brown was born 13 Jan 1877 in Friendship and died 9 Mar 1963 in Friendship. He received the cane circa 1957. He was married to Lois (Webb) Goldey.
- Byron Nash was born 16 Nov 1861 in Waldoboro, ME and died 1956. He received the cane circa 1952. He was married to Laura M. Wallace.
- Fessenden “Fess” W. Wincapaw was born 10 Aug 1860 and died 27 Feb 1952 in Bath, ME. He received the cane in May 1951. He was married to Mamie J. Thomas.
- George Edwin Doe was born 4 Jun 1860 in Windsor, ME and died 1951 in Rockland, ME. He received the cane 23 Jun 1949. He was married to Martha F. Lermond.
- Wilbur A. Morse was born 18 Sep 1853 on Hungry Island (off Waldoboro/Bremen coast), ME and died 23 May 1949 in Friendship. He received the cane about 1948. He was married to Nancy Maria Collamore.
- Elliott T. Prior was born 11 Nov 1842 and died in 1936. It is unknown when he received the cane. He was married to Laura A. Morse.
There are many missing from the list, especially those from 1909 to about 1930. But, without any records those people are lost forever. Unless an old newspaper clipping shows up somewhere. (Keith Havener’s 2012 research on Friendship, ME Boston Post Cane holders and here is what he found from scrapbooks etc. The selectmen in Friendship never kept any records of the recipients from its start in 1909 to recent years.)
April 2011: The town of Friendship presented the Boston Post Cane to Sally Roberts on Monday, April 25. Roberts is currently 94 years old. Rit Roberts, Sally’s son, was with her when town selectmen made the presentation.
March 2011: Ivy Bell (Manchester) Gould, 99, passed away peacefully surrounded by her loving family on March 14, 2011, at her home in Friendship. Ivy was holder of the coveted Boston Post Gold-Headed Cane in
Friendship as the oldest resident of the town. When she received the cane she was very surprised and delighted. She was quoted as saying, “I thought I owned the world!”
July 2009: On July 6, 2009 Friendship’s cane was presented to Ivy B. (Manchester) Gould. Ivy was born on Nov. 24, 1911. She and her husband, Thurman Gould, both grew up in Jonesport, a small fishing village in Washington County. They were married July 26, 1931. (via email from Ivy’s granddaughter, Jean Beal, December 2009).
Before Ivy Gould received the cane in 2009, the prior holder was Mildred Reed.
The Town of Georgetown, Maine still has the original Boston Post Cane and it is remarkably good shape. The Selectmen recently decided to just do a presentation with the cane and a certificate of award and not to leave the cane itself with the citizen, to avoid its loss. There has been recent discussion (but no conclusion) to give it to the Historical Society for display and take out only for awarding to a new recipient. Georgetown’s most recent Boston Post Cane holder was Rheta Morgan who passed away on December 8th, 2010. The next in line for the cane is Mrs. Ruth Kosalka but she has declined to accept the cane. (history and update via email from Mary McDonald, Assistant to the Georgetown Board of Selectmen)
Some of the Georgetown cane’s history:
Mr. Ebenezer Moore was the first recipient of the Boston Post Cane in Georgetown, which he held from 1909 to 1911.
From 1911 to 1914 it was held by Mr. Oliver Langdon.
In 1914 Mr John Hunt briefly and also Mr. Leander Berry briefly.
From 1914 to 1916 was Mr. John Lang Berry.
From 1916 to 1919 it was held by Mr. Todd Elwell.
From 1920 to 1923 it was held by Mr. Henry Doe Smith.
There is a gap but in 1930 it was turned in by the family of Mr. Sewall Parker Oliver after he passed away… so somewhere in between 1923 and 1930 it was awarded to him but not noted….
From 1930 to 1943 it was held by Mr. William Berry.
From 1943 to 1949 it was held by Mr. Fred Rittall.
In 1949 it was held by Mr. Edward Wren.
From 1949 to 1955 it was held by Mr. Thomas Norman Williams.
From 1955 to 1963 it was held by by Ms. Mattie Edith Bowen, the first Georgetown woman to receive the cane.
From 1963 to 1965 it was held by Ms. Izetta Pinkham.
From 1965 to 1966 it was held by Mr. Will Attwood Todd.
From 1966 to 1967 it was held by Mr. Jimmie Stevens.
There is another gap here where the cane languished in the Selectmen’s Office but in 1980 it was turned in by the family of Ms. Eva Campbell.
From 1981 to 1987 it was held by Mr. Stinson Davis.
From 1987 to 1990 it was held by Ms. Edith Berry Horne.
From 1990 to 1992 it was held by Ms. Emma Frey.
From 1993 to 2001 it was held by Mrs. Louise Reid Butler.
From 2001 to 2003 it was held by Mr. Adolph Ipcar.
From 2003 to 2004 it was held by Ms. Marjorie Higgins.
From 2004 to 2005 it was held by Ms. Christhild Solvesen.
From 2005 to October 2009 it was held by Mrs. Stella Williams.
From 2009 to June 2010 it was held by Mrs. Christania Stevens.
From June 2010 to December 2010 it was held by Mrs. Rheta Morgan (Georgetown Selectmen actually had a presentation planned for this but it was not done prior to her passing. The Boston Post Cane was awarded (and the Certificate done) but sadly not presented in time…)
In December 2010 Georgetown sent a note to the next recipient she has declined.
Jun 2015: Georgetown has awarded its Boston Post Cane to Margaret Zorach, age 98.
Gouldsboro continues the tradition.
Oct 2016: Everett Potter, age 100, has been awarded Gouldsboro’s Boston Post Cane. He started on the water when he was about 8 years old, armed with seven old, heavy, wooden lobster traps. “I kept at it until I was 70,” Potter said recently from the Narraguagus Bay Nursing home. “I had to quit because of macular degeneration. I lost one eye and then the second, so I had to stop,” Potter said. He had many close calls on the water over the years, but the most serious was when his hand was caught in a pot hauler, which is used to raise the lobster traps out of the water. The only way to stop the cable from moving was to use his free hand to turn off the switch. Potter owned many boats over the years, starting with Polliwog, an 18-foot wooden motorboat. His second vessel was 24 feet and he bought it in Sullivan for $35. His father, Steve Potter, put seven new planks in the bottom and soon Everett and his older brother, George, were out fishing in the larger boat. In those days, Potter said, it was not uncommon to overload the boat with catch and creep back home, praying for calm seas. Once he was carrying 2,600 pounds of hake and water started trickling in over the stern. Potter said his life was filled with fishing, hunting — a comparable love to fishing — and square dancing with his late wife, Katherine. The two were together for 78 years. Asked why he has lived so long, Potter said he never drank and quit smoking when he was 50. And, “my mother told me to be a good boy,” he said. Reaching the 100-year mark, he said, is somewhat scary. “I get a little timid about making it,” he laughed. (excerpts from Ellsworth American article and photograph by Jacqueline Weaver, via Stephen Hoffman)
Grand Isle continues the tradition and has a very good record of past recipients. The Greater Grand Isle Historical Society became the caretaker of their cane in 2008 (after a 25 year absence).
Aug 2015: Grand Isle’s cane was presented to Mrs. Lucille Cormier Parent, age 95 years & 4 months. (via email from Gerald Soucy)
Past Grand Isle recipients (courtesy of Gerald Soucy):
Sep 2008: Azilda Chasse Leonard, age 91, (born 9-20-1916) received Grand Isle’s cane. Azilda passed away on 5-27-2015 at age 98.
The cane was misplaced from 1983 to 2008.
May 1970: Jean Beaupre, age 83 (born 11-12-1886), received Grand Isle’s cane. Jean passed away on 10-12-1983 at age 96.
Jul 1969: Narcisse Chabre, age 86 (born 1883), received Grand Isle’s cane. Narcisse passed away on 4-3-1970 at age 87.
Their cane was misplaced for a couple of years.
Aug 1959: Paul L. Cormier, age 82 (born 5-13-1877) received Grand Isle’s cane. Paul passed away on 1-1-1966 at age 89.
Sep 1949: Alexis Morneault, age 80 (born 7-13-1869), received Grand Isle’s cane. Alexis passed away on 7-31-1959 at age 90.
Circa 1945: Remi Morneault received Grand Isle’s cane. Remi passed away on 6-15-1952.
Jan 1940: Come Lizotte, age 61 (born 1879), received Grand Isle’s cane. Come passed away on 8-14-1949 at age 70.
Oct 1930: Rosimond Sanfacon, age 85 (born 11-30-1845), received Grand Isle’s cane. Rosimond passed away on 12-10-1939 at age 94.
Mar 1915: Amiable Tardif, age 76 (born 1841), received Grand Isle’s cane. Aimable passed away on 9-3-1930 at age 91.
Oct 1909: Pierre Ouellette I, age 85 (born 6-29-1824), received Grand Isle’s cane. Pierre passed away on 2-27-1915 at age 90.
For many years Gray did not continue the tradition. The town lost its cane in a house fire in the 1920s. In September 2016 the Board of Selectmen voted to reinstate the tradition. (Town of Gray website)
Feb 2017: The Town of Gray’s Boston Post Cane was presented to the oldest resident, Charlotte Frost, at a brief ceremony on Thursday, February 23. There were about thirty family and friends in attendance. Charlotte is the first woman in Gray to be awarded the Boston Post Cane. She is turning 97 this month and has lived at her current address in Gray since she was three years old. She was nominated by her granddaughter, Sandy Foster. Only one or two local men have been awarded the town’s Boston Post Cane and the last time the town presented it was close to 100 years ago. Gray’s original cane is believed to have been burned in a fire in the 1920s; the Town purchased a replica last year in conjunction with reviving this New England tradition. (submitted by Debi Curry)
The last report of the cane was a newspaper clipping from 11-April-1920: GETS POST CANE: John W. Frank of this town has recently been awarded the Post gold-headed cane. Mr. Frank is a Civil war veteran and a “49er.” He has one daughter, who is a teacher in Boston, and two brothers, M. P. Frank, a prominent Maine Democrat, and General Royal Frank, U.S.A. (via Elizabeth C. Bullen, Deputy Clerk, Town of Gray)
It appears that Greenbush is attempting to revive the tradition in their town. In the October, 2011 Greenbush, ME, town newsletter, it was announced that the tradition of the Boston Post Cane was to be revived and nominees for the honor were being sought (via email from Steve Hoffman)
It appears that Greene continues the tradition and may have their original cane. The recipient receives a certificate to keep after the ceremony.
December 2012: Elizabeth R. Smith, age 95 was awarded Greene’s Boston Post Cane on Dec. 16. Born in Greene on Oct. 2, 1917, to Edward and Jennie Odiorne Rackley, she graduated from Auburn School of Commerce and taught school in Calais and Rockland before changing her career to become a case worker for the State of Maine Department of Human Services. She married Matthew “Jack” Smith; they lived for many years on her family’s farm where Elizabeth was born, Rackley Farm on the Merrill Hill Road. Later they built a home on property they owned on Merrill Hill Road, before moving to the Meadows Independent Living Center in Greene. Jack passed away in 2005. (Sun Journal article via Stephen Hoffman)
June 2011: Mildred Covell received Greene, ME’s, Boston Post cane on June 26, 2011 (via email from Steve Hoffman)
April 17 2009: The cane was passed to Barbara Nelson, age 99. Barbara was a former Captain in the U.S. Army serving in Burma, India. She is reportedly was the first woman to command a company-sized unit. (via email from Peter Beaudry noting a Lewiston Sun Journal article).
Greenville carries on the tradition.
Feb 2009: Alice Chesbro, who was a co-holder of the cane since 2006, passed away. [obit]
circa 1930 Theodore B Taylor (born 6-Jun-1841, died 1-Feb-1933) received Greenville’s cane. (via email from Jayne Allen, 2nd great granddaughter of Theodore).
Greenwood still has their cane. It is kept in the town office, with a photo of the current recipient. The most recent recipients have been Helen Chase (DOB 10/12/1912; awarded 1/26/2005); Mae Dunham (DOB 11/18/1912; awarded 2/1/2006); Leora Farrington (DOB 11/14/1914; awarded 2/1/2007); and Vivian Hoy (DOB 1/18/1916; awarded 5/14/2014). (via email from Amy Chapman)
May 2014: Vivian Hoy, 93, was recently awarded Greenwood’s Boston Post Cane, honoring her as the town’s oldest resident. A native of New Brunswick, Canada, Mrs. Hoy moved with her parents to Portland’s Munjoy Hill neighborhood as a child. She met her husband, Ralph, in Portland, and after his service in the Navy, they settled in Attleboro, Mass., where Mrs. Hoy worked as a nurse and they raised their two sons, Doug and Lenny. The family had always skied at Mt. Abram, and following Ralph’s retirement they returned to Maine full-time, moving to Greenwood in the mid-1970s. PHOTO: Fred Henderson, Chair of the Greenwood Board of Selectmen, presents the town’s Boston Post Cane to Vivian Hoy. (article and photography courtesy of Amy Chapman, via email)
In April 2006 Gouldsboro awarded the cane to Mr. Allen A. Webber who was born in August 1910. He is 95 years old and is currently living in his home in Gouldsboro. (via email from Eve Wilkinson, Town Clerk)
Continues the tradition of awarding the cane to the oldest resident. (The town may not have its original cane.)
Jan 2012: Hallowell’s cane is presented to Beatrice Robbins, age 102. She says the most important thing she has learned was inspired by a Nike commercial: “Just Do It”. (Kennebec Journal article via Steve Hoffman)
Hampton appears to continue the tradition.
Feb 2012: Hampton’s cane holder, Edna Louise Bragg passed away at age 106. She came of age in a day when logs and bootleggers were still found on the Penobscot River. She once earned money by picking beans for a penny a pound and strawberries for 3 cents a box and during World War II, rolled bandages and sewed for the Red Cross. Born on April 1, 1905, Bragg died peacefully Tuesday at a Bangor health care facility, according to her obituary. In several birthday stories that the Bangor Daily News published about Bragg over the years, she credited being happy and not worrying for her extraordinary longevity. Although she spent the last two years in Bangor, she continued to hold her hometown’s Boston Post Cane. By the time she passed away on Valentine’s Day, Bragg had outlived her son, George Bragg Jr., who died in 1989, her husband of 64 years, George Bragg Sr., who died in 1991, and her daughter-in-law Constance Bragg in 1996, according to her obituary. She also outlived all 10 of her siblings. (Bangor Daily News Article via Steve Hoffman)
Hancock continues the tradition.
Jun 2016: Marion Dow, the town’s newest recipient of the Boston Post cane, has had a long life of hardship and regrets interspersed with happiness. Dow will be 93 on Oct. 26 and on June 10 was presented the cane by the Hancock Historical Society in honor of her longevity. She was eager to tell her life’s story, one that began with a childhood in Harrington, daughter of a fisherman and housewife. Dow recalled her father and uncle catching smelts in nets in the fall and then icing and salting them for shipment to Boston. She was a good student — her school had her skip eighth grade — with a particular interest in history and English. Dow said she was oblivious to the ways of the world. Her mother started a hope chest for her, but Dow didn’t really understand the significance. She said her mother told her there was no money for college and that Dow should think about getting married. “I grew up perfectly innocent about what life was about,” Dow said. “That was kind of the way it was. My mother meant well.” But marriage her senior year in high school interrupted her education, although she completed her high school work by taking a correspondence course. Sadly, her first child, a boy, died at 1 month old. Dow is still not sure what caused his death, but said she feared his health was compromised by the cold house in which the family lived in Columbia Falls. “He kept crying and I put him in bed with me,” she said. “When I woke up the next morning, he was still.” Three more children followed, then a divorce and eventual second marriage and another child. The second marriage ended in divorce as well. Over the years, Dow earned money where she could — raking blueberries, working in the sardine cannery in Milbridge and then in a textile mill in Ellsworth. When the mill closed, she took a job at Dunkin’ Donuts, where she worked the night shift for 18 years. “When you work nights, you’re always tired,” Dow said. She didn’t fully retire until she was 85 and stopped selling Avon products in the Hancock Heights mobile home village where she lives. “I would have kept on doing it, but it wasn’t possible,” Dow said. “I figured it was time to get done because I wasn’t making any profit and what if I fell down delivering the books.” “I had good things and things that were hard,” she said, reflecting on her life. “I had good grandparents on both sides and my parents helped as much as they could.” Dow is preoccupied about mistakes she might have made, but said she finds solace in her church. “I tell people the reason I’m so old is because the Lord has been trying to teach me things, but I am slow to learn,” she said. (article and photograph by Jacqueline Weaver, Ellsworth American via Stephen Hoffman)
Harmony continues the tradition.
July 2016: Norman Stadig was presented the Boston Post Golden Cane on July 16, 2016, at the age of 93. The presentation was made by Town Selectman Stanley Bemis and the modest ceremony, at Morrison’s Garage on Route 150, was attended by Norman’s three daughters, Audrey Bemis, Norma Bogan, and Cheryl Fifield, along with extended family and friends.
Norm was born on December 30, 1922, in Saint Francis, Maine. He enlisted in the Army Air Corps during WWII and served in the South Pacific. After returning from the war, it was in Harmony that he met and married Veneine Magoon, and then built a home, raised their daughters, and became an integral part of the community.
Dora Stadig, Norman’s mother, held the cane until she passed away in 2003 at the age of 100. The previous holder of the cane, Manson Willis Taylor, passed away on May 17, 2016. (via Terry Fifield)
Dec 2015: The Town of Harmony recognized Manson Willis Taylor, 94, as its oldest citizen on Dec. 24, 2015. Manson was presented with the Boston Post Cane from his two children, Scott and Bonnie.
Manson was born Jan. 29, 1921, and lived in Harmony his entire life. He survived his wife of 62 years, Rita Marble. He has two grandchildren, Stephanie and Christopher, and one great-grandson, Carter Zimmerman. Manson is a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. (article and photograph from centralmaine.com, via Stephen Hoffman)
Nov 2005: Harmony’s Board of Selectmen conferred the cane to Ray Chadbourne, 90, in November 2005. It’s the only cane Mr. Chadbourne owns. The previous holder of the cane was Dora Stadig who passed away in 2003 at the age of 100. (reported by Morning Sentinel)
1909: The website www.cowhampshireblog.com lists the first 1909 recipients in each town and noted Reuben Bemis received the first cane in Harmony at 90 years old.
As of April 2015, Harpswell has decided to resume the tradition. They have their original cane, which apparently was missing for a time but was returned in 2007.
Apr 2015: A committee has been formed to decide how to award Harpswell’s cane. (mentioned in article by Walter Wuthmann in the Forecaster, via email from Steve Hoffman).
Harrison continues the tradition.
Jan 2013: Harrison’s current holder of the cane is Edna Lord, age 105. She received the cane in 2007 on her 100th birthday. (Article page 1 and page 2 via Dennis McCuneo, Edna’s nephew).
Hermon continues the tradition.
July 2011: Ninety-six-year-old Linnet Archer has lived in Hermon since 1947. She still lives in the farmhouse she and her husband bought back then. Four generations of her family were on-hand to see her receive the cane. Linnet noted “Well it’s quite an honor in a way. But it’s kind of a different honor, all my life and this is my moment of glory for my age.” (noted in an article by Meghan Hayward, WABI via email from Stephen Hoffman)
Hiram continues the tradition. The Town of Hiram’s cane was reportedly stolen from a home several years ago. The story goes that the thieves tossed the cane into the Saco River. The Hiram Historical Society has for years given out lapel pins to the past recipients though unfortunately at this time we do not have a complete list of recipients. In 2015 the town clerk looked into finding a replica of the Boston Post Cane and one was purchased by the Town at that time it was decided that the cane would be displayed in the Hiram Town Office and they are going to start a perpetual plaque showing the recipients.
Oct 2015: Hiram’s Boston Post Cane was awarded to Howard Forsythe at the young age of 95 on October 6th. (via email from Marylou Stacey, Hiram Town Clerk)
1909: The website www.cowhampshireblog.com lists the first 1909 recipients in each town and noted Elias Gould received the first cane in Hiram at 98 years old.
Hope continues the tradition.
Jun 2015: Viola Fogg, 92, of South Hope, became the newest recipient of the Boston Post Cane during a ceremony at the Hope Historical Society. Born in Lewiston and raised in Portland, Fogg has lived in South Hope since 1955. (excerpt of article by Kim Lincoln in The Courier Gazette, via email from Stephen Hoffman)
Aug 2012: William Pearse, Sr, 92 received Hope, Maine’s Boston Post cane on August 1, 2012 (Village Soup via Stephen Hoffman)
We don’t know if Houlton continues the tradition, but they did at one point.
1921: Philander Fletcher, the oldest man in Houlton and holder of the Boston Post cane, died Friday at the Aroostook Hospital. His age was 93 years. Mr. Fletcher was a native of Amherst, Maine, removing to Houlton 45 years ago, where during his long residence here had acquired many friends. He is survived by one son, Charles Fletcher of Bangor, and two grandchildren, Frank Baker of Oakfield and Mrs. Arthur McElwee of Houlton. Funeral services were held Sunday from Buzzell’s undertaking rooms, conducted by Rev. H. C. Speed, burial being made in Evergreen cemetery. (article in Aroostook Times, via email from Lynn Brower, great-great-great-granddaughter of Philander). Photograph, courtesy of Lynn Brower, shows (l-r) Philander, Charles Fletcher, Melvin Earl, and Wilbur Lee (Lynn’s grandfather).
1909: The website www.cowhampshireblog.com lists the first 1909 recipients in each town and noted James Duffy received the first cane in Houlton at 94 years old.
Island Falls has maintained the tradition of presenting the Boston Post Cane to oldest citizens. The cane was given back to the town in the 1990’s and it was decided that the Historical Soceity should have the care of it. Through a series of moves the cane was supposedly stored in the Jail House Museum of the Society. It was unseen for about 8 years, no one precisely remembering what had been done with it. The cane was found in the fall of ’08 lying in the back of a display case. (via Rebecca Drew, Island Falls Historical Society)
2014: Island Falls presented their cane to Helen Sherman, age 100. Helen was married to Clair Sherman from Oakfield on her birthday, June 12th, 1934. Clair predeceased her on August 30th, 1991. She is survived by her daughter, Merrilee Sherman Kirby of Glenburn, Maine. At the age of 2, her family moved to Island Falls where she resided for 100 years. She attended local schools and graduated from Island Falls High School in 1932. During her high school years she participated in numerous plays and musicals and also played on the basketball team for 3 years. After being a homemaker for several years she decided to return to school and attended the nursing program in Presque Isle the same year her daughter graduated from Aroostook State Teachers College. Helen began her professional career at Madigan Memorial Hospital in Houlton and continued her nursing at Milliken Memorial Hospital in Island Falls. While employed in Island Falls, she took a two year course in medical records. Upon completion she became a medical records technician. When the Island Falls Hospital closed, she transferred to Houlton Regional Hospital where she continued her work in the medical records division. She also became a consultant at the hospital in Dover-Foxcroft. After 5 years she retired from her nursing profession. Helen had a strong Christian faith and has been a member of the United Baptist Church in Island Falls for 75 years. She was a member of the choir for many years and also sang in a trio with 2 of her best friends, Esther Pettingill and Mildred Edwards. Beyond singing in church the trio performed at various local events. The group’s biggest claim to fame was singing on the radio at the Houlton WHOU station during its daily devotional time slot. Her other contributions to the church were playing the organ and piano for services for many years. During her retirement years Helen & Clair enjoyed traveling throughout Maine and the eastern Canadian provinces. Together they enjoyed many Maine County Fairs with a special interest in watching horse pulling events. In recent years she has enjoyed participating in activities with the local Seniors group. In 2014, at her 100th birthday party, she was presented with Island Falls’ Boston Post Cane as the town’s eldest citizen. She also received congratulatory notes from the former President George H. W. Bush (who shares the same birthday), Sen. Susan Collins, former Rep. Mike Michaud and the Maine Legislature. (from Helen’s obituary, July 2016)
Feb 2009: the cane will be presented to Clara Campbell Hathaway who turned 102 on Feb 5th. A certificate of honor will also be presented.
At one point (1980’s?) the oldest citizen refused it.
Isleboro continues the tradition.
May 2014: Eileen S. Boardman was awarded Isleboro’s Boston Post Cane. (via email from E. Konesni)
Jay continues the tradition.
Jun 2013: Jay’s cane was awarded to Anne-Marie Veilleux, age 99 (born Jan. 4, 1914, in Canada) surrounded by family, friends and peers as she was presented with a replica of the Town of Jay’s Boston Post Cane. Jay Town Manager Ruth Cushman and Selectmen Steve McCourt and Pearl Cook presented her with a cane, a certificate and a pin to recognize her seniority in the community. Cook pinned the pin on Veilleux’s shirt, which read Town of Jay Boston Post Cane recipient. State Rep. Paul Gilbert, D-Jay, also gave a presentation and honored her with a Legislature Sentiment marking the occasion. Veilleux’s daughter, Theresa Howatt of Jay, and Veilleux’s son, Ray of Florida, also talked about their mother, who came to the U.S. from Canada in 1947 with her late husband. Veilleux has three children, 10 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren and five great-great-grandchildren, Howatt said. “It’s unbelievable,” Anne-Marie Veilleux said after that ceremony. One reason she has lived to nearly 100 is because she never lets anything bother her, she said. Howatt said her parents bought Emery’s Esso, which was located at the bottom of the hill, across from Community Way that leads to Spruce Mountain middle and high schools, on Main Street in Jay. It used to be where the former McAllister Accounting office was, Howatt said. (Bangor Daily News article via Stephen Hoffman)
Apr 2009: Jay’s Board of Selectmen presented the cane to Nellie Anderson, age 99, along with a pin that recognizes her as the oldest citizen in town. Nellie was born on Aug 7, 1909 in Lamoine and lived in Mount Vernon with her husband Victor until his passing in 1963. It was around that time that she moved to Jay. Nellie is well known for her lemon meringue pies. [article]
The widely accepted story is that Jefferson’s Boston Post cane was destroyed in a fire at Samuel T. Jackson’s home on the Linscott Road in the winter of 1933 and there is some dispute as to whether it received a cane at all (there is no record of the original recipient). In 2009, after a substitute cane was donated by Fran Williamson (a gold-tipped family heirloom), the town revived the tradition in 2010. (From an accounting point of view, we are, for now, assuming it received a cane.)
2010: Rebecca Preston and Blanche Westrich were awarded the cane between 2010 and 2015.
Sep 2015: Frances Williamson, 97, was recognized as Jefferson’s oldest resident, becoming the third person to receive the Jefferson Cane. Williamson was born in 1918 on a farm in Morrill. In 1941 she married Donald Johnston and they moved to a working farm in Jefferson that would become known as Lakeview Orchards. In addition to working on the farm, Williamson had a beauty shop in her home and worked her last appointment at the age of 92. Williamson has been an active member of the community throughout her time in Jefferson, belonging to the Order of the Eastern Star, the Jefferson Historical Society, the First Baptist Church, and the Jefferson Woman’s Club. Following Donald Johnston’s death, she married Andy Williamson. (Article and photography by Alexander Violo, Lincoln County News, via Stephen Hoffman)
Kennebunk’s original cane is on display in the Town Hall and the cane recipients receive a certificate.
March 2011: Kennebunk awarded their cane to George Barner, age 102. Raised in Iowa, attending Harvard Law School and graduating from Boston University, passing the bar in 1934. He moved to Kennebunk in 1969. He attributed his longevity to playing tennis and not smoking. (Seacoast Online article via Steve Hoffman) He passed away in September 2013. (Portland Press Herald Obituary)
1909: The website www.cowhampshireblog.com lists the first 1909 recipients in each town and noted Joseph B. Tripp received the first cane in Kennebunk at 87 years old.
Kennebunkport revived the tradition in 2017 and ordered cane replicas and a plaque since the original was lost. One cane and the plaque inscribed with each recipient’s name is kept at the town hall, and the other cane is awarded to the oldest resident.
Apr 2018: The current cane holder is Frank Handlen who received it in 2018 at the age of 101. The well-known artist was written about in Seacoast Online noting he “has many accolades and accomplishments on his resume, but the latest, he said, is merely an award for survival.” (SeacoastOnline-042618 by Donna Buttarazzi)
Kingfield continues the tradition with a presentation of a symbolic cane in the form of a certificate,
Lifelong resident of Kingfield, Maine, Beulah E. Moore (born April 20, 1915) was able to obtain an “original” gold knob from a friend out of town and took it to Trask Jewelry Store in Farmington and had Kingfield, Maine engraved on it. It was then presented to the Town of Kingfield on September 1, 2002 during the dedication of a monument honoring soldiers of the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Civil War and the Spanish American War. At Beulah’s request, this cane will always be kept at the Town Office.A certificate will be sent out to the oldest resident. Beulah Moore also presented the Town of Kingfield with three dozen certificates to be presented in the future.During the ceremony in Kingfield on September 1, 2002, the oldest citizen was present and held the cane during the ceremony. He is Floyd Ellis whose 99th birthday was the following day. He continues to feel fine and lives alone in his own home (as of October 5, 2002).Beulah Moore reports that there used to be a “Boston Post Cane” in Kingfield. She did trace it back to a family she knew that used to have it; and was told to “drop it because they didn’t want to talk about it.” (from Beulah Moore via email from Linda Miller, Oct 2002)
The Town of Kingfield was one of the original recipients of a Boston Post Cane. Over the years, it became lost to the Town, although resident Beulah E. Moore traced it back to a family she knew that used to have it, but said she was told to “drop it because they didn’t want to talk about it.”
Moore was able to obtain an “original gold knob from a friend out of state and had it engraved at Trask Jewelry Store in Farmington, reconfiguring a Kingfield cane. It was then presented to the Town of Kingfield on September 1, 2002, during a dedication to a monument honoring soldiers of the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, the Civil War and the Spanish American War. At Moore’s request, the actual cane is always to be kept at the Town Office, with the oldest resident receiving a special certificate.
During the 2002 dedication, the new “Boston Post Cane” was presented to the oldest Kingfield citizen at the time, Floyd Ellis, then 99, who passed away on September 4, 2007, at the age of 104.
Sep 2007: Kingfield resident Richard E. “Dick” Lambert, who celebrated his 100th birthday on September 15, 2007 was awarded the cane on September 18, 2007. Mr. Lambert was born on September 15, 1907 in West Freeman, the son of Harry E. and Jenny Gray Lambert. He attended Strong schools and married Lucille Mitchell of Phillips at age 20. The couple had two children, the late Rosalind L. Starnes and Maurice Lambert.
He worked at Starbird Lumber Co. for 35 years, serving as the foreman of the garage, engineering and overseeing the building of the debarking plant; doing electrical work and acting as the foreman of the upper long lumber mill for 13 years.
Mr. Lambert then moved to Kingfield, running the Esso Gas Station on Main Street for 20 years with son Maurice, retiring in 1972. Mr. Lambert joined Farmington Baptist Church, where he served as a deacon for 14 years. He was recognized for his milestone birthday and long service to the church with a special Sept. 16 gathering in Farmington. Mr. Lambert also was a corporator for Kingfield Savings Bank and served on the Kingfield Budget Committee.
The couple moved to Strong, and Lucille died in 1996. Lambert moved back to Kingfield in 2006 to make his home with Maurice and his wife, Dot. Mr. Lambert’s hobbies include reading western novels. His favorite author of that genre is Louis L’ Amour.
In April, 2009, Beulah Moore donated a maple case, constructed by Sten Jespersen of Farmington, to house the cane at the Town Office.
March 2009: Tynne Neimi Pillman, Age 98, Date of Birth: July 10, 1910, Presented on March 12, 2009.
Tynne Pillman was born July 10, 1910 in Viamaro County, Laitilia, Finland, the daughter of John and Kristiina Niemi. She attended some school in Finland. At the age of 11. She arrived at Ellis Island in New York with her mother in 1921. In October of that year, they took the two-day train ride to Kingfield, where she attended school.
In 1928, she moved to Quincy, Mass. where she married Alfred Pillman in 1930. Tynne became a naturilized American citizen on Feb. 10, 1949 in Farmington. Her husband died feb. 26, 1978 after 48 years of marriage.
The couple worked together in the timber industry for 40 years and she also worked at the H.G. Winter Mill and Wing PSpool & Bobbin woodturning mills.
Many remember the couple’s steam bath (sauna) business they operated in Kingfield for a number of years.
Kittery continues the tradition. The cane is displayed at town hall along with a copy of the proclamation and a photo of the recipient for the remainder of the recipient’s life or until they move from Kittery.
May 2021: Malcom Foss received recognition in May 2021 at age 103. A ceremony at the Kittery Historical & Naval Museum was held with family and town leaders. President of the historical society, Bob Gray, also gave Foss a hat and coin to commemorate Maine’s bicentennial from 2020. The Portsmouth Herald quoted him as saying, “They say I’m half as old as the state of Maine!” Foss recalled growing up in Kittery Point and sledding on a 10-man double-runner sled on Haley Road down Tenney Hill Road. After spending over 90 years of his life in Maine’s southernmost town, traveling across country and joining the army in the Pacific during the WWII, Foss said his loving family has always been his constant. (SeacoastOnline-050621 by Ian Lenahan of Portsmouth Herald, photo from Bob Gray)
March 2019: Barbara Whittemore Millar, age 102, received the Boston Post Cane honor in 2019 with a party at Kittery Estates. The event was attended by several of her former students, having been a teacher for much of her life. An article in Seacoast Online wrote, “A family member said Millar’s first-graders were her ‘pride and joy,’ as she didn’t have children of her own.” Although much of her past was spent in New Hampshire, Plymouth and Portsmouth included, she moved to Kittery Estates in 2009. She passed away in April 2020 at age 103. (J. Verne Wood Funeral Obituary and SeacoastOnline-041520 article by Hadley Barndollar and photo by Ioanna Raptis)
April 2016: The Town of Kittery presented Ellen Megquier Tufts with the Boston Post Cane in April 2016 at the age of 104. Town Clerk Maryann Place presented the cane to Tufts at an intimate ceremony in her apartment at Meetinghouse Village. Ellen’s first childhood memory was sitting on the porch with her mother when her father drove up in a Ford Model T which made them the first family in Gray, Maine to have an automobile. She grew up on the Collyer Brook Farm and sold eggs to the first Shaw’s Supermarket which was based in Portland. When asked what her secret is for living so long, she said, “I am just blessed.” (Paraphrased from an SeacoastOnline-042816 article by Brian Early and photo by Ioanna Raptis) Ellen passed away on March 11, 2020 at the very impressive age of 108. Read her obituary for additional stories about the interesting life she led (J.S. Pelkey Funeral Home Obituary).
October 2012: Wilma Edwards, age 106, was presented with Kittery’s cane. She spent most of her life in Alabama, lived through Jim Crow laws and the Voting Rights Act, and always got by with a sense of humor and a deep belief in her God. Wilma lived on her own until she was 100, moving into Kelvin and Royaline’s home for four years before recently going to Durgin Pines. She never drank, smoked or drove a car, preferring to walk everywhere, he said. She remains quite a reader, and always has a book on the nightstand. (Seacoast Online article via Stephen Hoffman)
June 2009: On June 3, 2009, Mrs. Doris Littlefield of Kittery Point, Maine received the Boston Post Cane at the Durgin Pines Retirement Home where she resided. Mrs. Littlefield was 102 years young, as the Portsmouth Herald announced in its June 4th edition. She was to be 103 sometime in November. (via email from Judith Potter, June 2009). Doris Littlefield passed away over the winter. (via email from Judith Potter, April 2010).
April 2007: Kittery’s cane (an original) was awarded to Evelyn Deady, age 99, in April 2007. The Town Council authorized her induction into the record books with a personalized plaque honoring Deady’s lifespan. The cane will continue to be displayed in Kittery’s Municipal Building’s hallway with a picture of Deady by its side.
June 2001: A prior recipient was Constance Samuels on June 4, 2001.
Knox continues the tradition.
September 2011: Coral Furrow was presented with the Boston Post Cane on Sept. 17 by Knox selectmen Galen Larrabee and Willie Ingraham.Coral was born Feb. 21 1918 in Portage Lake and moved to the area when she was a child. (Waldo Village Soup article via Stephen Hoffman)
Lamoine continues the tradition.
June 2012: Lamoine’s Boston Post cane was awarded to June Davis, age 92, on June 7, 2012. The cane was awarded at the regular Selectmen’s meeting held at the Lamoine Town Hall. (via Merle Bragdon)
The Town of Lebanon continues its tradition of declaring the oldest resident, although the cane remains on display at the town hall accompanied by a nameplate that lists all recipients through the years.
May 2019: Margaret “Peggy” Furbush, age 97 as of April 2019, was announced the new cane holder at a board meeting on May 9, 2019. (via Lynne Davis, Town of Lebanon Administrator)
Sept 2014: Elsie May Bernier was given the cane in 2014 at her home surrounded by selectmen, her son Sam Bernier, and the media. She turned 100 only about a week prior, but when handed the cane she declared “I don’t need one of those. They’re for old people.” Noting that she’s always been healthy, she still lives on her own, enjoying sports on TV which was a favorite pastime developed with her father and continued with her children (her favorite – Bobby Orr, Number 4 with the Bruins). She claims she never smoked or drank alcohol but mostly attributes her longevity “to having four beautiful children.” (Paraphrased from a RochesterVoice-090314 article by Harrison Thorp of the Rochester Voice) Elsie passed away at 102 on September 10, 2016. (Edgerly & Son Funeral Obituary)
Nov 2010: Beatrice Lord, age 96, was awarded Lebanon’s Boston Post Cane in 2010 at a celebration held at the Lebanon Fire Station with family, friends, and town officials, including State Rep. Joan Nass. Foster’s Daily Democrat wrote: “It’s a bit of a dubious honor,” Lord said dryly after accepting the cane and a plaque from Selectmen Jason Cole and Bob Frizzell. “I had to expect it, because time tells.” Born in Lebanon, Beatrice was a member of the Appalachian Mountain 4000-Footer Club. (Fosters-111810 article by Jake O’Donnell of Foster’s) Bea passed away on October 19, 2013 at the age of 98. Her obituary mentions she entered the field of computer programming at a time when very few women did. (Carll-Heald & Black Funeral Obituary)
Dec 2009: Marion Morris celebrated her 106th birthday in December 2009 and the town had a large party for her. (via Jason Cole, Selectman, Town of Lebanon) Marion passed away on February 23, 2010 (Legacy Obituary). Her obituary describes that her hobbies included crocheting, crossword puzzles, and word games — No doubt helpful in keeping her sharp for so long! During the 2010 ceremony to pass the cane to the next recipient, the article mentioned above by Jake O’Donnell notes that the selectmen also honored Marion’s family. “Morris’ daughter, Lucille, estimated her late mother was first awarded the cane in 2000. [Selectman] Cole said Morris likely kept the cane longer than anyone else in its 100-year history in Lebanon.”
Lee continues the tradition. Lee’s original cane is encased at the Selectmen’s office. A replica is given to each person for the family to keep.
August 6, 2007: At a public meeting the cane was presented to Mildred Drake Crocker of Lee who is 94 years old. She still drives her car and travels to Florida each year by herself. She teaches tatting at Springfield Fair each September and has been a presenter at The National Folk Festival in Bangor, Maine for the last 6 years with her tatting. She lives alone and does not want to live with any of her family yet. She stated that she hoped she wouldn’t need “the cane” for many years to come. (via Gail Mallett Rae, President of Lee Historical Society)
Previously, the cane was presented to Viola Maxwell who held it for 4 years while in the nursing home. The next person in line refused to have it presented to her. Madeline Dingley died without officially holding the cane. (via Gail Mallett Rae, President of Lee Historical Society)
Leeds continues the tradition. Recipients receive a replica of the cane. Leeds’ original cane is on display in the Town Office.
Feb 2023: Elizabeth Murphy was presented with the Boston Post Cane in recognition of her status as Leeds’ oldest resident. At 95 years old, she was presented with the cane on behalf of the town by Selectman Dwight Buckley in a ceremony at Curtis Corner. A testament of her longevity and loving spirit, Murphy’s children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and soon-to-be great-great-grandchild, came to celebrate the occasion. A lifelong resident of Leeds, Murphy is the daughter of Royal and Edwina Stevens. After graduating from Monmouth Academy, she married Joe Murphy, and they moved to the brick house atop Bishop Hill. Murphy eventually worked for Albany Felt, now Tex Tech, in North Monmouth, and worked there for 22 years. She also worked at the Leeds polls on voting days and was the treasurer of the Leeds Center Cemetery for many years. This information and more can be found in the attached article by Turner Publishing Inc. (Leeds Boston Post Cane presented to Elizabeth Murphy – Maine News)
June 2022: Constance Smith Buckley is the current holder of the Boston Post Cane. Mrs. Buckley was born on February 29, 1925. She was presented with a replica of the cane by her son Dwight, a Leeds Selectman, at a small gathering at her home on June 3, 2022. (from Pamela Bell of the Leeds Historical Society)
Sept 2011: Marion Additon was presented with the Boston Post Cane at a recent gathering of family and friends, celebrating her 95th birthday (she was born on September 22, 1916). Selectman Errol Additon, her oldest son, presented the cane on behalf of the Town of Leeds and the Leeds Historical Society. (Sun Journal article via Stephen Hoffman)
It appears that Levant continues the tradition.
Aug 2001: Helen Ada Higgins, holder of Levant’s cane, passed away at the age of 107. Helen was born on March 21, 1894, in Bangor, the daughter of Charles Arthur and Lunette Frances Cotes York. Helen was educated in Bangor schools, graduating from Bangor High School in 1912. She served as town clerk, treasurer and excise tax collector for the town of Levant for more than 50 years, and was a past matron of Good Samaritan Chapter, O.E.S. of Kenduskeog. She was a member of Minverva Grange of Levant, where she recently received her 90 year certificate, and the Penobscot Pomona and State Granges. She was an active member of the Levant Village Baptist Church, now known as Harvest Chapter. (from obituary, Bangor Daily News, via Stephen Hoffman)
Liberty may continue the tradition. Their original cane is held by the town and not given to the recipient.
Sep 2011: Flora Flanders, holder of Liberty’s cane, passed away on September 10th after a brief illness. She worked for many years at Hebert Candy Mansion in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts. In Liberty after she retired, Flora was secretary of the Sheepscot Lake Sports Club for many years and was a member of the snowmobile club. She was an active member of Liberty Baptist Church. (excerpt from article by Cindy Canavan, The Republican Journal, via Stephen Hoffman)
Limerick Maine awarded their cane, to Marie D. Carroll, 93, in 2003 so the tradition there continues. Marie continues to hold the cane as of August 2005. (via email from SueEllen Chamberlain, October 2003)
Limestone maintains the tradition of passing the cane to their oldest citizen. In 2000 the cane was awarded to Dora Bennett
Lincolnville maintains the tradition.
Nov 2012: A clerk at the town office reported that Alice Carver, 99, received Lincolnville’s Boston Post cane in November, 2012 (via email from Stephen Hoffman)
Apr 2012: Margaret Robbins, holder of Lincolnville’s cane, passed away at the age of 102. (Camden Herald via Stephen Hoffman)
Jan 2009: Diane O’Brien’s “Lincolnville News”, appearing in villagesoup.com, notes that Margaret Lermond Robbins, who turned 99 on January 5, is the current holder of Lincolnville’s Boston Post cane. (via Stephen Hoffman)
At one point Linneus had their cane also but hadn’t given it out because the town cannot decide who should have it.
Lisbon continues the tradition of recognizing their oldest citizen.
November 2014: Virginia Tardiff, age 100, was presented with Lisbon’s cane by the Lisbon Town Council. With family and Lisbon Town Clerk Twila Lycette present, outgoing Town Council chair Lisa Ward presented Tardiff with the cane Monday morning with a plaque she will keep. The cane will be displayed at the Lisbon Town Hall, along with a picture of her receiving the cane, honoring Tardiff. Tardiff graduated in a class of 10 in 1931 in the old Columbia Hall. Her family just found her diploma still wrapped in a pink bow. Originally a Goddard, she was the youngest of eight children whew grew up on Oak Street in Lisbon Falls. The home still stands today. After moving to Bowdoin, a woman up the road who had run the post office asked if she’d take over. Tardiff wasn’t sure if she could handle it, but did wound up filling that role for 26 years — right at her home at 142 Store Road. A porch on the house became a post office, and she was the first Postmaster not appointed by the president. Fuller herself served as postmaster for 15 years, starting in 1976, and continuing after that with the U.S. Postal Service for a career spanning 34 years. Tardiff, who had seven children, not only served as postmaster, but her family also worked a farm, with cows and growing produce — both for the family and commercially. She learned to farm, cook and can. Her husband had a seven-passenger car and ran the Silver Taxi Co., driving people from Lisbon Falls to Lewiston; the business had a three-digit phone number. he grandmother of 17 and great-grandmother of 32, Tardiff has proudly been a member of the Eastern Star for 84 years and is also a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution. (photograph and (excerpted) article by Darcy Moore, Times-Record via Stephen Hoffman)
Feb 2013: Stella Carville, age 99, was presented with the town of Lisbon’s Boston Post Cane award recently by Councilor Lisa Ward, in recognition of her status as the oldest town resident. Stella and her husband, Lester, who died in 1984, raised six children on their farm, which they bought in 1943 for $2,500. (Sun Journal article via Stephen Hoffman)
The cane was most recently awarded to Flora Berube D’Amour at age 99 (Flora was born on November 24, 1902)
Litchfield’s original cane has been lost for decades. A replica cane was purchased from an estate sale and engraved with the Boston Post Cane insignia. In October 2005 the cane was presented to Germaine Fortier, 97.
Littleton lost its cane in a fire. A replacement, the Ross cane, donated to the town by Ruth Ross during the 1956 Centennial ceremonies in memory of the Ross Family. The tradition continues using the Ross cane.
Livermore continues the tradition.
Jul 2013: Myrtle S. Gordon, 98, a World War II veteran was presented a plaque and flowers by the Board of Selectpersons to commemorate the event. Gordon was born May 19, 1915, in Sumner, her daughter Sandra Harmon said. The two live on Church Street with Harmon in an apartment above her mother’s home. Gordon grew up on a farm in Hartford. She graduated from school at 16 and went to Farmington State Normal School and became a teacher. She taught for two years in a one-room schoolhouse in the Hartford-Sumner area, Harmon said. In 1943, at age 28, Gordon enlisted in the U.S. Woman’s Army Corps. She opted to stay stateside during the war and was based at Fort Devens in Massachusetts. She was in charge of the medical supply section, according to Sun Journal archives. Gordon was one of several area veterans who made the trip to Washington in May 2004 for the dedication of the National World War II Memorial. Gordon also served as an Army reservist during the Korean War and was stationed in medical supply at Fort Devens. Harmon said her mother had many other jobs, including tax collector for Livermore and working at the Livermore Shoe Co. She also worked with her husband, Reuel Gordon, at their blueberry business on Bear Mountain. She also was a pianist and Sunday school teacher at the Livermore United Methodist Church. “She is a very sweet all-around person,” Harmon said. “She doesn’t have a mean bone in her body. She has a sense of humor and cracked jokes with selectpersons during the presentation. Gordon walks to get the mail and the newspaper in the good weather. Reading the paper is one of her favorite pastimes, her daughter said. She does not watch much television. She has been active in the American Legion and had been in all of the parades up until a few years ago. She is also a 75-year member of the Norway Grange. (article in the Franklin Sun Journal via Stephen Hoffman)
May 2007: Town Manager Martin Puckett presented Sadie McLaughlin, age 97, with the Boston Post Cane as the town’s oldest resident. Sadie was the first woman granted a license to drive a taxi in South Portland in 1946.
Livermore Falls continues the tradition. The status of their cane is unknown. Recipients of the cane receive a plaque.
Mar 2015: Livermore Falls Board of Selectmen presented the town’s cane to Hyla Friedman, age 96. Friedman has been active in the community since she and her husband, Albert, now deceased, arrived in Livermore Falls in 1970. She just stopped driving a couple of weeks ago. Friedman was instrumental in the development of the veterans memorial near the Jay-Livermore Falls town line and many other community projects, including heading up the town’s U.S. Bicentennial Committee. Friedman is originally from Pennsylvania. She and her husband had two sons, one of whom is deceased. She has five grandchildren and one great-great-grandson.(excerpted from article in the Sun Journal by Eileen Adams, photo by Eileen Adams, via email from Stephen Hoffman)
2009: Louise Moulton was awarded the cane (referenced in the Mar 2015 report)
Lovell continues the tradition. Lovell’s cane is returned to the Historical Society for safe keeping. The honoree receives a certificate.
October 2012: Richard Fisher, age 94, was awarded the Boston Post Cane by the Lovell Selectmen. Richard was born in 1918 in North Abington, Mass. Richard was one of those who truly walked a long distance to go to school so he could become an electrician. He was one of many who drafted into the army during World War. II. He hit Normandy Beach as a private but by the time the beach was secured he was a corporal. By the time he was discharged he had made the rank of sergeant with 28 men under his command. This makes Richard the oldest living World War II veteran in Lovell. Later in life he and his Arlene were looking for a summer house. They looked at three on Kezar and walked into one in North Lovell and that was it. Together they had one daughter, Linda, who still stays in the house when she visits. (Conway Daily Sun article via Stephen Hoffman)
Oct 2012: Former Lovell recipients were Pauline Smith, Gladys Littlefield, John fox, Theadora Dallinger, Beatrice Libby, and Ruth Stanford.
Sep 2008: The Town of Lubec has a Boston Post Cane, but does not have any older records of recipients. They plan to keep records at the town office going forward. (via Maureen Glidden, Town Administrator)
Machiasport appears to be continuing the tradition.
July 2013: WGME reports that Cora Proctor Quimby, 104, received Machiasport, ME’s Boston Post cane today at the town’s 250th anniversary celebration. Her great grandson, town selectman Michael Murphy, presented her with the honors. Cora’s great, great grandchild was there, too. Cora was one of eleven daughters. She had three children herself and worked packing fish and raising her family. Sixty years ago, her father, James Proctor, also received the town’s Boston Post Cane. (via Stephen Hoffman and WABI online story)
Madison’s original cane is in the custody of the Madison Historical Society. A replica of the cane is kept in the Town Office.
July 2011: Arlene Hilton, 100, was recently presented the Boston Post Cane and an honorary membership to the Madison Historical Society. Hilton has been a Madison resident since 1954. She was born in South Solon, grew up in Norridgewock and earned her college degree at the Farmington Normal School as a school teacher. She briefly taught grades 1 through 12 in Norridgewock. She worked for Somerset Telephone in Norridgewock as a switchboard operator. She is a member of the Baptist Church, and is a lifetime member of the Somerset Extension. (via article in the Morning Sentinel via email from Stephen Hoffman)
May 2011: Mary Russell Foss, 106, Maine’s oldest citizen, has passed away. Aunt Mary, as she was known to all her family members and friends, was born in East Madison on July 9, 1904, to Lewis Whittier Russell and Lillase Alma Russell. She married Henry Foss on June 27, 1931. (Obit)
September 2005: Madison’s cane was presented to Mary Foss, 101. (via article in the Morning Sentinel, Sep 27, 2005)
Manchester’s cane has been missing for many years (as of 2016)
Marion is assumed to continue the tradition. Marion’s cane was awarded to Iva Leonard Griffith in 2007. Iva passed away in Feb 2010 at the age of 100.
We know that at one point Mechanic Falls continued the tradition, but we haven’t heard from them in quite a while.
Jan 1991: Florence Herrick, 97, (born March 16) was awarded Mechanic Falls’ Boston Post Cane. Town Councilman Lloyd A. Boyd Sr. and Town Manager Dana K. Lee presented the cane at Herrick’s home, after Town Clerk Sheila Grey’s research showed that Herrick was the town’s oldest person. Herrick, the widow of mariner ”Hank” Herrick, who died 26 years ago is in good health and spirits and keeps up with the world and local events largely by reading each day’s newspaper, although she sometimes watches one of her two television sets She has lived all her life in Mechanic Falls, the last 32 years have been spent in the same house. She was born on a farm less than half a mile away. Herrick crochets, makes quilts for Christmas gifts, grows vegetables and flowers, bakes cakes and pies, does all her own housework and drives her car, a 1980 Plymouth, for shopping. Herrick was educated through three years of high school in Mechanic Falls. She repaired shoes for 15 years at a shop in Norway and worked for another 15 years in the laundry office at the old Poland Spring Hotel. She has one daughter, five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. “I’ve never had a cigarette or alcoholic drink,” she said as she received the cane, “and I expect to live to 103”. (article and photo in Sun-Journal by Howard Kany, via Stephen Hoffman)
Jan 1991: Josephine Mason, died at the age of 105. Her family turned over the symbolic mahogany rod to town officials.
We believe Mercer continues the tradition. Town officials participated in a cane ceremony as part of the Feb 28, 2009 Somerset County Bicentennial but we have no other information as to the recipient or how the tradition is observed in the town.
Mexico has their original cane, which is kept at the Town office along with a list of past recipients. In June 2014 there were indications that the Town of Mexico is seeking to restart the tradition. Awardees receive a plaque.
Feb 2016: Myrtle Mileage, age 100, has been awarded Mexico’s cane. Myrtle, who has lived in Mexico her entire life, is the oldest of six daughters of John and Christine (Cyr) Knauer. A sister, Pauline Dawson, celebrated her 98th birthday, also on Dec. 26, 2015, at Rumford Community Home, but she passed away last month. Myrtle has two other sisters in their 90s — Geraldine Burns, who turned 96 in January, and Janet Hamann, who is 94. At a birthday celebration in January at Rumford Community Home, Myrtle was asked if she had any secrets to reaching 100. “I kept busy,” she said. “I had a home and a camp. I’m one who makes everything. I have a big garden, always made flowers. I’ve had a busy life and I’ve liked it like that.” She said she lost her youngest child, Frederick, in Vietnam in 1968, followed by her husband, Frederick, who died in 1970. It took her a while to get her life back together before she decided she wanted to be involved in helping people. Myrtle said she enjoyed supporting veterans and until a few years ago, would participate in the Memorial Day ceremony at the Mexico Greens by naming the war heroes who had lost their lives during the Vietnam War. Myrtle’s granddaughter, Lynn LeClair, said Myrtle worked in the school cafeteria for many years, and in later years, she found her calling in life by working for Androscoggin Home Care and Hospice. She comforted many patients and their families in very difficult times and enjoyed helping anyone in need. She always had a gift of flowers or homemade crafts for her patients and friends. Myrtle would knit little caps for newborns and bring them to the hospital. She received several awards throughout her life for her outstanding dedication to others. Some of Myrtle’s many talents include knitting, sewing, crafts and flower gardening. She also enjoys helping at her granddaughter’s flower shop. Myrtle said she was raised during a time when people knew their neighbors and would do what they could to help someone who was having a hard time. “It’s been an interesting life,” she said. “My family has been good to me. I just feel lucky, enjoy what I have.” (excerpted from article by Bruce Farrin, River Valley Sun Journal, photo by Bruce Farrin, via email from Stephen Hoffman)
1909: The website www.cowhampshireblog.com lists the first 1909 recipients in each town and noted Abel Farrington received the first cane in Mexico at 82 years old.
Dec 2010: Milbridge Town Manager Lewis Pinkham presented the town’s Boston Post Cane to Bill Kelley on December 21, just 7 days prior to Kelley’s 91st birthday. The previous custodian of the cane was Muriel Beal who recently moved to Harrington. Born in the family home on the Kelley Road in Milbridge in 1919, Kelley went to grammar school on the “east side” and graduated from the Milbridge High School in 1937. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps for 7 years and was stationed at Quantico, Virginia and on the USS Texas, a tour of duty his daughter, Marilyn Worden, said he really loved. Kelley rose to the rank of Gunnery Sergeant while in the Marines. He returned to his hometown after the service and worked for Sawyer’s Garage for 10 years and then delivered mail for 24 years as a Rural Letter Carrier. He married Ruth Chipman in 1947 and they raised 4 children. Ruth died in 2001. He still gets “out and about” and really enjoys going to “Meals for Me” and out to breakfast every Wednesday with friends. He and his cat, Lilly, enjoy visits from family and friends. (via email from Phil Duggan, Feb 2011 – text from Milbridge News).
Milo continues the tradition. Milo’s cane is being held by the town office. Milo is looking into having a replica cane made for the oldest resident, and to have the original put on display in the Historical Society. The Milo Cane is reportedly not in the best of shape. (trcmaine.org via Steve Hoffman)
Mar 2013: Milo’s cane was presented to Elmer Kirke Cunningham, born March 2, 1916. (via Bill Cunningham, Elmer’s nephew)
Minot continues the tradition.
2014: Noella Hemond, age 94, was awarded Minot’s cane. When asked about why she was awarded the cane Noella said “That’s the only reason – because you’re the oldest person. It’s not that you did a lot. It’s not that you’re famous. It’s just that you’re old.” Noel’s still accomplished a lot in almost a century of life. She donated a fire truck to Minot and set up a scholarship for local students, and her dairy farm was selected as the best in Maine by the state’s largest milk company. (excerpt from NPR report by Daniel Kosinsky-Larsson)
Monmouth continues the tradition. Their original cane is kept safe in the Town offices. Recipients of the cane receive a certificate. (2016)
1909: The website www.cowhampshireblog.com lists the first 1909 recipients in each town and noted George S. Fairbanks received the first cane in Monmouth at 94 years old.
Monson continues the tradition.
Apr 2016: Monson’s Boston Post cane recipient is Virginia Day Zimmerman, a long standing resident of Monson, born and raised here. Ginny was born to Arthur and Leola (Weeks) Day and lived at the north end of town, near the Elliotsville Road; she was educated at the Monson Academy and Husson College. She later married Murray “Icky” Church who passed away in 1974, with whom she had two children. While living in Monson, Ginny worked many years in the office at Moosehead Manufacturing for John and Jim Durham. She was employed there until she moved to Augusta with her second husband, Myron Zimmerman, where she trained as a Certified Nursing Assistant and became a Healthcare Supervisor at the Walter’s Home in Hallowell. She continued to spend her summers at her camp on Lake Hebron, though, and finally moved back to the camp to live year-round in 2013; as she says it, she couldn’t see paying rent to live someplace else when she had a perfectly good place to live in Monson. Living here full-time now, she occupies herself with reading (having read most of the books in the Monson Library) and weekly cribbage with “the boys” (Tom, Gary, and Ed), whose money she’ll gladly win from them. Her claim to fame, though, and possibly accounting for her longevity, is that she swims every morning from the traditional Memorial Day to her birthday at the beginning of October. Even now, at age 87, she is anxiously awaiting that first swim on May 30th. And it should be noted that she is the 3rd member of her family to receive the Boston Post Cane, that honor having gone to her father, Arthur Day, and a Cousin, Jettie Thomas Bennigan. (update and photograph via email from Rick Wing)
Nov 2015: Dagmar Greenleaf, age 92, was presented with Monson’s Boston Post Cane at a dinner at the American Legion hall. Dagmar served as Monson’s postmaster for 22 years (she retired in 1989). With her late husband, Robert, she raised six children: Jim, John, Susan, Jeffrey, Joel and Shelley. (Shelley is the postmaster in Abbot). She was born in Greenville and moved to Monson in 1945. She married Robert, a World War II veteran and POW, when he was discharged from the service. She currently lives with her son Jim. A lifelong swimmer she was also active in the American Legion Auxiliary and the Order of Eastern Star. (adapted from an Eastern Gazette article via email from Joel Greenleaf)
Monticello continues the tradition.
April 2011: The town of Monticello presented its Boston Post Cane to Faye Cole, 95, on April 21. Cole’s
birthday is Jan. 12, 1916. (via email from Joseph Cyr)
Montville Maine still continues the Boston Post Cane tradition.
Cynthia Johnson born April 17, 1915 is our current holder of the cane at 94 years old. (via email from Abbie Hills, Town Clerk, August 2009).
Mount Desert continues the tradition. They have their original cane.
Apr 2015: Town Manager Durlin Lunt presented Mount Desert’s cane to Connie Madeira, age 97. Madeira grew up in New Jersey and later lived in Boston. Her family often spent several weeks in the summer at the Asticou Inn in Northeast Harbor. In 1930, at the age of 12, she took part in her first Hayward Cup sailing race, an annual event of the Northeast Harbor Fleet. The dock at the Asticou was the center for summertime boating activities in those days. Madeira recalled that the land that is now the town’s marina was “swampy,” with no buildings and no large docks. “It had one little float that was barely floating,” she said. As a teenager, Madeira and her friends enjoyed watching movies at the theater on Main Street. “We would go sit in the balcony with our feet up on the railing and be obnoxious, I’m sure,” she said with a chuckle. She continued to spend part of every summer in Northeast Harbor and then became a year-round resident in 1978. Her community involvement has included serving on the board of the Mount Desert Nursing Association. She also has been a strong supporter of the Island Housing Trust. (article and photograph by Dick Broom, Mount Desert Islander via email from Steve Hoffman)
Mar 2011: Mount Desert’s Boston Post Cane will be presented to Meredith “Bud” Bordeaux on Thursday, March 17, 2011 at 480 Sound Drive, Mount Desert. A majority of the Board of Selectmen may be in attendance. (newsclip via Stephen Hoffman)
Mar 2008: The Town of Mount Desert has an original Boston Post Cane. The most recent holder passed away last month and we are planning to present the Cane to Marjorie Bucklin, age 98 (soon to be 99). Although I had suggested to our Board of Selectmen that the Town retain the Cane and present our oldest citizen with a replica and certificate of appreciation, the Board decided to present the actual Cane. With Marjorie’s permission there will be a small ceremony with the local press present to document the event. In my 14 years with the Town, Marjorie is the third recipient. The previous holder received the Cane at age 98, and passed away at age 103. The recipient before that received the Cane at age 97 and passed away at age 99 ½. (Joelle Nolan, Mount Desert Town Clerk)
There are reports that the Mount Vernon cane was stolen from its display in the town office. (2016)
Held by Lill Webber (date unknown)
The tradition is alive and well in the town of New Gloucester. Transfer of the cane to the oldest resident is part of the Town Manager’s duties. The transfer of the New Gloucester Boston Post Cane from one town elder to another is honorary. The actual cane is displayed in the lobby of the Town Hall, located on Intervale Road in New Gloucester’s Lower Village. (via email from Linda Gard, New Gloucester Historical Society Archives – August 2011)
Jul 2016: Lillian Picard, age 96, was recently awarded the Boston Post Cane Certificate as the oldest living citizen in town. Born in 1919, Picard will be 97 in September. Picard and her four sisters were raised by their mother in Lewiston. She never knew her father, who died when she was young. When the girls turned 16, they went to work to help support the family. “Eventually, I found my Romeo,” said Picard. After leaving home, she married Romeo Picard. The two were married for 53½ years until Romeo’s death. Their son, Richard Benner, and wife Diane have two daughters. Picard also has four great-grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren, including a young man named Romeo. Asked what she remembers about World War II, she said that she went to work in the Androscoggin Mill in Lewiston. “My job was to inspect and trim fabric squares for making parachutes (for the troops),” she said. “I remember a big parade when the war ended.” When asked about other memorable historical events, Picard said, “I shook hands with President John Fitzgerald Kennedy when he visited the Auburn airport. I was wearing white gloves. I said that I would never take off those gloves!” Picard’s secret to longevity? “I never had a drink, and I never smoked,” she said. In her spare time, she enjoys playing cards and doing jigsaw puzzles. (article and photograph from the Sun Journal Connections)
2003: The cane was most recently held by Adeline B. May, till her passing at age 92. (via email from Rev. Linda K. Gard – January 2003)
1909: The website www.cowhampshireblog.com lists the first 1909 recipients in each town and noted Franklin A. Copp received the first cane in New Gloucester at 93 years old.
New Sharon continues the tradition and has their original cane. (They are considering no longer presenting the cane so that it will be properly preserved.)
April 2014: The Selectmen have New Sharon’s cane back from Velma Pearson, who passed at the age of 107 in 2013. They are now in search of the oldest resident to present. (via website from Lorna D. Nichols)
New Sweden continues the tradition. Jean B. Duncan has written a wonderful summary of New Sweden’s recipients of the Boston Post Cane.
2008: The current holder of New Sweden’s cane is Edmund F. Anderson (born 1912). (via Jean Duncan’s page mentioned above.)
Mar 2008: Helen Lydia Johnson Borjeson, 97, died Thursday, March 20, 2008, at Maine Veterans’ Home residential care unit in Caribou. She was born Oct. 9, 1910, in a log cabin on the Lebanon Road, New Sweden, the eldest daughter of Axel and Augusta (Englund) Johnson. As New Sweden’s eldest citizen, she was the holder of the Boston Post Cane. (Obituary via JP Hulbert)
Newburgh continues the tradition.
Feb 2011: On February 28, 2011 the Town of Newburgh presented a replica of their Boston Post Cane to Mr. Robert Marshall Witham Jr. Robert was born October 22,1917. He has been a resident of Newburgh for over fifty years and still plays a mean game of cribbage. He had a very nice evening of cake, sharing, and laughter. He was honored at a recent selectman meeting and in this years town report. (via email from Rick Briggs, Town Manager)
In November 2004 Elsie Kimball Brough, 90, of Newburgh received the cane during a ceremony at the Philips-Strickland House in Bangor.
Newcastle continues the tradition with a replica presented to the oldest citizen.
Newcastle’s cane went missing for a number of years. James Dalton was the holder of the cane in the 1970’s but when he got sick and moved out to Connecticut with a nephew, the cane was lost. He was one of 12 children and was selectman in 1876, and died in 1979. The cane was missing from then until 1999, when a grand-nephew found it and brought it back to Newcastle in 1999. (source: Lincoln County News, 26-Jul-2006, Kim Fletcher)
Apr 2008: Lincoln Home resident Erma Ross was recognized as the town’s oldest resident by Newcastle Selectmen Pat Hudson, and surrounded by family and friends, was presented Newcastle’s replica of the Boston Post Cane.
As of July 2006, the Newcastle Historical Society was seeking the oldest resident for the cane. Clara Storm passed away in November 2005.Newcastle continues the tradition. Clara Storm, 101, was presented the cane on June 19, 2003. Newcastle presents a replica of the cane to the receipient. (via article in the Boothbay Register, June 26, 2003)
Newport continues the tradition and is believed to possess their original cane.
Apr 2017: Newport has awarded their Boston Post Cane to Marion Austin. (via submission from Becky Steinnes)
Nobleboro continues the tradition.
Apr 2017: We know that Arthur Jones, age 99, is the holder of the Boston Post Cane in the town of Nobleboro. We don’t know when he received the cane. His older sister, Ruth Applin, age 100, was awarded Wiscasset’s cane in April 2017 (photo from Ruth’s award ceremony. Arthur is seated to the right of Ruth in the photograph). (noted in Lincoln County News article and photograph by Charlotte Boynton, via Stephen Hoffman)
2006: On Aug. 10, Mildred Genthner of Nobleboro will celebrate her 100th birthday and Nobleboro selectmen Stan Waltz and Al Jones presented her with the Boston Post Cane.
July 2005: the current holder of the cane is Ruth Dow(inferred from some newspaper reports)
Norridgewock continues the tradition.
Sep 2016: Grand marshal Ervina Goodridge led the parade. Goodridge, 98, is the oldest citizen in Norridgewock and was awarded the Boston Post Cane. “I’m flabbergasted,” Goodridge said about being chosen to lead the parade. She’s lived in Norridgewock her whole life and said her secret to longevity is to keep busy and work hard. (from article by Madeline St. Amour, centralmaine.com)
Feb 2009: Town officials participated in a cane ceremony as part of the Feb 28, 2009 Somerset County Bicentennial but we have no other information as to the recipient or how the tradition is observed in the town.
1909: The website www.cowhampshireblog.com lists the first 1909 recipients in each town and noted Rosewell M. Baker received the first cane in Norridgewock at 89 years old.
North Berwick continues the tradition. Their original cane is on display at Town Hall. Recipients are given a plaque honoring the accomplishment along with a replica cane.
Nov 2019: Catherine Davis was announced the current cane holder during the selectmen meeting minutes of November 19, 2019, who was 97 at the time. (Confirmed by Town Clerk Christine Dudley in September 2020)
Mar 2017: North Berwick’s cane was awarded to Mary Elizabeth Steves, age 99. Mary is a life-long resident of North Berwick and will turn 100 on July 7, 2017. Mary is a lively, friendly, sharp lady who loves doing puzzles of all kinds from jigsaw to crosswords. She’s an avid reader and devoted Red Sox fan. She lives on her own in an apartment adjacent to her granddaughter Bonnie Emmons’ home. She’s surrounded by numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren most of the time and they clearly love her as much as she loves them. (submission by Nancy Tuttle, Weekly Sentinel reporter)
Jan 2010: North Berwick’s cane is held by Donald Staples. (via email from Janet Hooke).
May 2005: The cane holder was Virginia Wick (via email from Janet Hooke, May 2005)
North Haven continues the tradition.
December 2014: Sam Beverage, who held the Boston Post Cane in North Haven, ME, died at the age of 97. After several postponements caused by weather, the Selectmen presented the cane to Lewis J. Haskell, who was born March 12, 1920 and is North Haven’s oldest resident. (via email from Joe Stone)
December 2010: On Saturday, December 4, 2010, the town of North Haven, Maine, awarded the Boston Post Cane to Samuel H. Beverage, two days shy of his 93rd birthday. Sam was born on North Haven on December 6, 1917. He became the town’s oldest resident on the death of the cane’s previous holder, Clara Waterman, who died on her 101st birthday, October 27, 2010. (via email from Joe Stone, North Haven Town Administrator).
2006: We learned that the current holder of the cane was Clara Waterman. Clara received the cane in May of 2000. (via email from 3rd grader Megan Goodell, March 2006)
North Yarmouth carries on the tradition. Their original cane is on display at the Town Hall lobby in a display case made by resident Guy Watson along with a list of past recipients. North Yarmouth’s criteria for awarding the cane requires that the person not only must be the oldest resident in town, or of a nursing facility within 30 miles of Town Hall, but he or she must have lived in town within the past five years, and been a legal resident at least 15 of the past 40 years. The person must also be able and available to accept the honor in person, or via a family member.
Dec 2015: Lona Amelia York, holder of N. Yarmouth’s cane passed away on 29-Dec.
Sep 2012: N. Yarmouth’s can has been awarded to Lona Amelia York, age 98. Amelia was born in Wilkie, Saskatchewan, Canada on 30-Sep-1914. She later moved to Prince Edward Island as a child and that was the Province she proudly called home. She attended schools in Pownal, P.E.I. and received a diploma from the Charlottetown Business College in P.E.I. in 1934. She emigrated to the United States in 1950. (from Guardian obituary in Dec 2015, via email from Doug MacDonald)
August 2011: The current holder of North Yarmouth’s Boston Post Cane is Ruth E. Ristich. Ruth was presented with the cane on June 21, 2008 at the age of 93 years. Ruth has lived in North Yarmouth for thirty years and is a Veteran of World War II. (North Yarmouth town brochure via email from Stephen Hoffman)
Northfield continues the tradition, although it currently does not reside with the oldest resident, Helen Winslow, 105 (and that’s just fine with her).
Northport continues the tradition.
September 8, 2010: Northport’s cane was presented their oldest living resident, Mr. Bruce G. Grant. Mr. Grant is 101 years old and up until his 100th birthday was still gardening and cutting firewood. He was born on May 27, 1909 in Melrose, CT. He lives in Northport with his son and daughter in law. (via email from Barbara O’Leary, Northport Town Administrator)
Oakfield has reportedly lost its cane.
It is reported that Oakland’s cane went missing in 1980, but as of 2012 it appears the tradition is continuing in some form.
Apr 2012: Nora F. Tuttle, 95, of 78 Fairfield St., Oakland, Maine passed on from this world December 2, 2012 in Waterville, Maine. 2. “Nana” to her family and friends, was born into a very large family in Grand Isle, Maine , on April 5, 1917, daughter of Marguerite O. (Beaulieau) and Gilbert Ouellette. As a young child, Nora attended grade school in Van Buren, Maine and St. Francis de Sales Church in Waterville, Maine, graduating from Waterville Senior High School, Class of 1935. Nora and her High School classmates met every year, and she cherished these friendships her entire life. With Nora as Committee Chairman, they held their 50th Class Reunion in 1985, and they continued to meet for many years after. Shortly after her marriage to Norman J. Tuttle, Sr., Nora moved to Oakland, Maine. She said many times that the first thing she did was to visit the Oakland Public Library, which soon became her favorite place in town. She was an avid reader, and loved the social atmosphere of the library. She volunteered at many book sales and fund raising events. Nora loved to garden, and could think of nothing better to do than rise early and spend the morning picking strawberries or apples. She was an excellent cook, and always had an apple pie or biscuits for shortcake ready for visitors. Nana’s spaghetti sauce with its secret ingredient was often imitated, never improved, and always in demand at family gatherings. Later in life she loved to have lunch with family or friends, and spend the afternoon shopping or playing cards. Nora received the Boston Post Cane from the Town of Oakland in April 2012. Nora enjoyed her family and friends, and was quick with a hug and a smile for everyone she met Nora was an enthusiastic member and president of several local clubs, including the Oakland Area Garden Club, the Tuesday Club, and the MNO (Mother’s Night Out) Club. (excerpt from Nora’s obituary, via Stephen Hoffman)
The Wells-Ogunquit Historical Society maintains information about Ogunquit’s oldest resident, presenting them with a replica pin and certificate, and adding their name to a plaque kept in the museum. There is no original cane for Ogunquit since the town was still part of Wells in 1909 when the Boston Post Cane tradition began.
2003: According to the plaque, William Grow was the last recipient recorded in 2003. (via Bryce Waldrop, Curator of Historical Society of Wells & Ogunquit)
May 2002: A recent recipient, William Warren Smith Jr. passed away on July 30, 2002 at the age of 101. William was awarded the cane on May 30, 2002. (York County Coast Star via SueEllen Chamberlain, November 2003)
Orrington has a long tradition of awarding the cane to its oldest citizens. The original cane received by Orrington nearly 103 years ago hangs in the town hall and copies were made years ago by Owen Gray & Son in Brewer.
The original holder of the Boston Post Cane in Orrington, was George Brooks. He received the Boston Post Cane on Oct. 17, 1909. Other holders of the Boston Post Cane for Orrington in recent years have included Bernice “Bunny” Hanscom, widow of Harry E. Hanscom, who received the cane at age 96 in June 1999. In the late 1980s and early ’90s, Frona Thornton held the Boston Post Cane for Orrington. The most recent recipient was Worth L. Noyes, 98. He was given a hand-carved cane that represents the Boston Post Cane on September 26, 2003. (Bangor Daily News, Oct 2003 via SueEllen Chamberlain)
June 2012: Carolyn Delle Quimby Howard, born in 1918, was awarded Orrington’s cane. The nonagenarian was presented with an engraved replica cane on Monday during the town’s annual town meeting, with about 20 family members in attendance. Carolyn has lived within a half mile of the family farm her entire life and continues to help out by feeding her pet rooster and ducks, said her son, who is in his 70s. “I’ve lived here my whole life. My mother has lived here her whole life and her father [Sherman Quimby] lived here his whole life,” Jimmie Howard said. (from David Howard). [Article]
1909: The website www.cowhampshireblog.com lists the first 1909 recipients in each town and noted George Brooks received the first cane in Orrington at 94 years old.
Orland continues the tradition. Their cane went missing for several years in the 1990s, which is why it’s unclear how many recipients came and went before contemporary recipients. Orland’s cane stays in the town office. Recipients are presented a plaque to take home with them instead.
Sep 2016: Margaret Oxley, age 95, was awarded Orland’s cane. When asked what her secret was for making it to the top, Oxley quickly responded “Stubbornness! Nobody’s going to tell me what to do.” Especially not her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. “She still shovels snow, mows the lawn and climbs up ladders to fix the roof,” said Oxley’s 55-year-old grandson, Clyde Keniston. A few years ago, Oxley got stuck on the roof while fixing shingles on her house on Castine Road, an area she has lived around since 1953. But that mishap didn’t stop her from doing the sort of work most people a quarter of her age dread doing. As if anything could. “What’s the point of stopping her?” Keniston said. “Let her do what she loves to do.” Some of that tenacity, Keniston explained, may have been caused by growing up during the Great Depression. Oxley cleaned houses, worked in a fish factory, a shoe factory and a poultry house to get by, and all that elbow grease made for a strong foundation. “That’s what made her last so long, growing up with that,” Keniston said. “She’s tough.” And Oxley knows it. “If I want something done, I won’t wait around for someone to do it,” said the Kennebunk native, who likes to hit the treadmill in the Orland fitness center for a 20-minute walk three times a week. She already has a couple canes at home, but they see as much use as the Boston Post Cane — which stays in the Orland town office. “I don’t feel that old, just keep going,” she said. “If you fall down, get up!” (Ellsworth American article and photograph by David Roza, via Stephen Hoffman)
2016: Virgina Bridges, 100, holder of Orland’s cane, has passed away.
Orono continues the tradition. Their original Boston Post Cane is on display in the Town Office lobby and a reproduction is given to the recipient. The town restricts candidates to those whose parent or parents were Orono resident(s) at the time of his or her birth and who has resided within the Town for no less than 20 years (not necessarily consecutively).
In March 2004 Otisfield’s cane passed to George Howard Dyer.The cane is still in existence in Otisfield, and though handled by many elderly persons, one can still read the name of the donor on it’s golden knob.Recent known holders of the cane were Leona Wentworth, Ethel Hirst, and Lillian Perkins.
February 2014: The current holder of Otisfield’s Boston Post Cane is Hazel Raymond, age 94. (via email from Duke Harrington)
Oxford continues the tradition.
September 2008: Oxford’s cane was awarded to Gertrude Hesse, born January 11, 1905. (via email from Patty Hesse, Jan 2011).
Palmyra continues the tradition. The cane is kept on display at the town office and the recipient is given a framed certificate. The Palmyra Historical Society now finds the oldest resident for the town and the Selectmen present the cane.
Jan 2016: Palmyra Select persons continue the tradition of the Boston Post Cane and had the honor to present their cane to Ethel Florence Byram Taylor who will be 103 in March (born March 6, 1913). The Palmyra Historical Society presented Mrs Taylor with a Genealogical history of her family the Byram’s back to 1506 to Winwick, Cheshire England. (Reported by Nathaniel Foss, Jr. Photo: L-R 1st row is Juanita Robinson [daughter], Ethel, Jessica Robinson [Granddaughter In Law]; back row: Selectpersons Brian Barrows, Vondell Dunphy, Ronald Row and Michael Cray.)
Mar 2012: Mr. Louis Paquet passed away on August 31st 2011, On March 14 2012 Palmyra’s cane was presented to Mrs. Jesse [Porter] Brann-Hering who was born September 14, 1919 in Grindstone Maine. (report from Nat Foss, Jr., Palmyra Historical Society)
June 2010: On June 23, 2010 Palmyra Maine’s selectmen presented their cane to Louis P. Paquet, he was born July 16, 1911 in St. Johns New Brunswick and came to this country when he was 14 years old, he worked for Great Northern Lumber as a equipment operator until he retired when he was 62. He lives with his wife and daughter. He will be 99 on July 16, 2010. (via Nat Foss Jr., Palmyra Historical Society)
As of September 2006 Palmyra was seeking a new recipient for the cane. Aurora Ouellette held the cane for six years till she passed away in August 2006 at the age of 103.
Palermo continues the tradition.
Sep 2022: Here is a complete list of Palermo, Maine’s recipients of the Boston Cane.
Boston Cane Recipients of Palermo, Maine via Kathy Neenan
- Benjamin Tibbetts – 1818 – 1912 (94)
- Sarah Bailey – 1835 – 1930 (95)
- Daniel Hannon – 1850 – 9/8/1931 (81)
- Woodbury Tibbetts – 1851-1946 (95)
- Elon Kitchen – 3/10/1855 – 10/3/1949 (94)
- Lewis Day – 9/14/1863 – 9/21/1956 (93)
- George Davis – 8/22/1874 – 11/19/1963 (89)
- Carrie Norton – 8/28/1882 – 12/11/1966 (94)
- Carrie Worthing – 12/23/1875 – 5/28/1974 (98)
- Henry Pollacek – 9/27/1883 – 7/7/1976 (92)
- Gertrude Jordan – 9/7/1888 – 9/3/1980 (91)
- Arthur Boynton – 9/17/1890 – 2/20/1985 (94)
- Claude Archer – 11/30/1892 – 9/4/1985 (92)
- Gertrude Towle – 10/14/1895 – 2/15/1990 (94)
- Beatrice Worthing Glidden – 2/1/1898 – 10/25/1991 (93)
- Charles Frank Gerrish – 1/23/1899 – 6/16/1993 (94)
- Willie Merrithew – 5/26/1901 – 10/15/1993 (92)
- Mary Merrithew – 3/14/1903 – 12/26/1999 (96)
- Clara Foster – 2/1/1905 – 2/20/2001 (96)
- Ruby Elliot – 6/13/1907 – 3/31/2003 (95)
- Freda Bradstreet – 4/27/1911 – 2/25/2007 (95)
- Vaughn Cail – 8/12/1913 – 4/4/2008 (94)
- Edith Ward – 3/12/1916 – 11/20/2012 (96)
- Virginia Dowe – 12/8/1913 – 2/4/2011 (96)
- Mildred Priest – 5/30/1918 – 11/6/2013 (95)
- Leah Banton – 10/19/1920 – 5/17/2014 (93)
- Hilda Leeman – 12/28/1921 – 7/26/2015 (93)
- Madeline Belden Haskell – 5/29/1922 – 2/26/2016 (93)
- Charles Merrithew – 2/15/1924 – 4/7/2018 (97) – Received 2017
- Virginia Cullivan – 9/22/1923 – 10/25/2020 (97) – Received 2018 or 2019
- Paul Dixon – 2/19/1926 – 8/25/2022 (94) – Received 3/23/2020
- Joan Robertson – 11/4/1926 – current – Received 9/22/2022
March 12, 2011: During Palermo’s annual town meeting Virginia Dow was awarded the town’s cane. Virginia was serenaded by the town’s residents during the ceremony as the meeting happened to coincide with Dow’s 95th birthday. Selectwoman Sophie Glidden spoke about some of Dow’s accomplishments in life — a mother of two, Dow served as Palermo’s town clerk for 41 years (serving until 1993). “She was always more like a relative than a town clerk,” said Glidden, recounting Dow’s friendly and familiar nature in carrying out her official duties. (article by Village Soup / Republican Journal via Stephen Hoffman)
Parkman appears to continue the tradition.
Sep 2011: Arlene M. Cullicutt, age 94, was presented with the Boston Post Cane as the oldest person in Parkman. Arlene died Oct. 3, 2011, at her home. She was born Sept. 19, 1917, in Sangerville, daughter of Alonzo and Hattie (Gray) Ireland. She worked for many years at Hardwood Products Co., Guilford, retiring at age 65. During her life she enjoyed traveling. Her favorite places to visit were Prince Edward Island and the Amish country in Pennsylvania. She was a member of South Sangerville Grange for many years and was a member of Senior Citizen’s, Guilford. She was predeceased by her husband, Hartley W. Cullicutt; and a son, Kenneth Ireland. She is survived by a son, Weldon Cullicutt and his wife, Dodie, of Parkman; two daughters, Jeanette Gilbert and her husband, Merle Sr., of Parkman, and Helen Conant and her husband, Floyd, of Appleton; 11 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren and 18 great-great-grandchildren. (from Arlene’s obituary)
Parsonsfield awarded the cane in May 2006 to Edwin Patterson Bradshaw. Edwin passed away on Dec 29, 2007 at 98. (via Bob, Jan 2008)
Patten continues the tradition. In 2007 the current holder of the cane is Lillian Perry Wheaton, age 96. Lillian was presented with Patten’s cane in August 2006 at their Pioneer Days celebration. Lillian considers it bad luck to have the cane in her home and refused to take it home with her. The cane resides in the Patten Town Hall. (via email from Christine Montano, Feb 2007)
The Pembroke cane is shared by Kathleen and Waldo Tarbell (age 99 and 102 respectively). (via Mary Zwolinski)
Penobscot continues the tradition.
May 2013: The Penobscot Historical Society and board of selectmen presented Muriel Derosier with the Boston Post gold cane on Monday, May 20. Derosier, at 97 years old, is the town’s oldest citizen and was recognized as such at an event at the historical society’s one room schoolhouse amid four generations of her family and dozens of well wishers. Derosier, who was born in Sedgwick, spent much of her adult life in the Boston area, but returned to Penobscot at the age of 91 to be with her family. (article in Castine Patriot, via Stephen Hoffman) Watch a video of Muriel receiving the cane.
Perry still has their original cane and they continue the tradition.
Aug 2016: Frances Morrison Raye has been awarded Perry’s cane. (via email from Kevin Raye)
Nov 2004: Perry’s cane was passed to Rose Pottle (who is at the Eastport Nursing Home) The previous recipient was Gladys Brown of Perry (via emails from Frances Raye – April 2002, Nov 2004)
Partial list of other Perry recipients (compiled by Kevin Raye):
May 2016: Didi (Bishop) Hundley, age 88. (b. 13-Oct-1928, d. 24-Jul-2016)
2014: Frances (Seeley) Loring, age 93. (b. 7-Aug-1920, d. 29-Jan-2016)
2007: R. Virginia (Golding) Pottle, age 92. (b. 3-Apr-1915, d. 27-Aug-2013)
ca 2005: Evelyn (Flood) Pottle, age 97. (b. 6-Nov-1908, d. 31-Aug-2007)
Nov 2004: Rose B. (Adams) Pottle, age 96. (b. 26-Jun-1906, d. 12-Dec-2005)
1993: Gladys May (Gorwood) Brown, age 97 (b. 8-Nov-1895, d. 13-Dec-2002)
Feb 1993: Ada Mae (McPhail) Trott, age 98. (b. 10-Feb-1895, d. 10-Jun-1993)
Nov 1978: Harris E. Hibbard, age 90. (b. 27-Sep-1888, d. 10-Dec-1992)
ca 1977: Katie B. Johnson, age 91. (b. 19-Jan-1886, d. 29-Sep-1978)
unknown: Florence “Flossie” Gove (b. 1881, d. 1977)
1965: Robert N. Golding, age 89 (b. 25-Nov-1875, 12-Jan-1969)
unknown: Hugh F. Hibbard (b. 1850, d. 1944)
Peru continues the tradition.
Nov 2011: Elizabeth “Betty” Child, 98, was joined by family and friends at the Town Office where she received the Boston Post Cane. She was born Sept. 15, 1913, and has lived in Peru almost 80 years. Her parents, Fred and Ruth Eastman, lived in Manchester, N.H., at the time of her birth. Child fondly remembered her early days as a resident in Peru when she worked at the Diamond Match mill. “I made $11 a week and paid $4 a week to live in a boarding house,” she said. (Sun Journal Article via Steve Hoffman)
2012: As part of the 200th anniversary of the town, Phippsburg planned to resurrect the Boston Post Cane Tradition in 2014. At one time, Phippsburg did have a Boston Post Cane, but its owner and history have slipped away in time. A new Boston Post Cane has been purchased and is ready for presentation to Phippsburg’s oldest resident. A memorial plaque will also be hanging at Town hall with the recipients’ names and the year of the award of the cane. (Phippsburg Annual Report 2012 via Stephen Hoffman)
Pittsfield continues the tradition. Their original cane has gone missing. They have a replica cane that is used for ceremonies. The recipient receives a certificate.
July 2013: The Pittsfield Historical Society presented the Pittsfield BP Cane to Persis Smith, age 98 (born June 11, 1915) on July 19, 2013. (via Bill Cunningham, a Friend of Mrs. Smith and the Pittsfield Historical Society)
Pittston continues the tradition. We believe their original cane is missing.
May 2017: Pittston has presented their Boston Post Cane to Verna Annenko, age 97. Annenko has lived in Pittston since 1959. She was born on March 30, 1920, in the Ukraine. She was married to Nick Annenko. She has one child, Luba Annenko. Annenko takes great pride keeping her home lovely and inviting. She especially enjoyed entertaining in her home. She also enjoys gardening. She was active in the St. Alexander Nevsky Russian Orthodox Church in Richmond, where she was a “Senior Sister.” (CentralMaine article and photograph via Stephen Hoffman)
Aug 2014: Pittston awarded their cane to Hazel McCaslin, age 95, on Aug. 20, 2014 at the Pittston Town Office. Hazel worked in the cafeteria as a cook for many years at the Pittston School Department, I believe she was even there when it opened! (via email from Valerie)
Plymouth still has its original Boston Post Cane and is slated to resume the tradition in 2014. (via email from Rebecca)
Poland’s cane is reported to be safe and sound in a vault and only comes out to be photographed for ceremonies. The Poland Historical Society maintains a plaque of all known Boston Post Cane holders, which is on display in the Poland Town Office lobby.
April 4, 2009: Carmen Beaudry, age 92, was awarded Poland’s cane at the annual town meeting. (via Carmen’s son, Peter).
Porter keeps the tradition alive. The cane was most recently awarded in May 2006.
Princeton, Maine also has a Boston Post Cane. Their cane was missing for a few years, but miraculously was returned by an anonymous person in the mid 1980’s. The town now presents the cane to our oldest citizen, but the cane stays with the Town. A plaque is given to the recipient.
February 2011: Upon Lovina Cochran’s death in 2008, Orris Seavey (born 1915) was presented the cane and still holds it as of February 2011. (via email from David Herrick, Town Clerk)
August 2004: Princeton’s cane was awarded to Lovina Cochran at age 100. (via email from Grace D. Hiland, Town Clerk)
Presque Isle may still have their original cane. They don’t appear to be continuing the tradition.
Mar 2015: We received an email from Patrick Coughlin that his great grandmother, Nancy Fornier, received a cane on her 100th birthday in the town of Presque Isle in 1959. He is still in possession of the original cane. (via email from Patrick Coughlin) [Note: This report of the cane’s current status does not align itself with the status recorded by Barbara Staples in her book. A mystery for someone to resolve.]
1909: The website www.cowhampshireblog.com lists the first 1909 recipients in each town and noted Joel Howard received the first cane in Presque Isle at 86 years old.
Prospect continues the tradition.
February 2011: Barbara Tilley, keeper of Prospect’s cane, presented it to Faustina Rose Otis at her home on February 10, 2011 .
Also present at the ceremony were nephews Steve Hathaway and Lester Thompson and his wife Gertrude. “Aunt Rosie” turned 91 on January 28th. She lives alone with limited housekeeping help. (via email from Steve Hathaway)
April 2010: Prospect, Maine, presented its Boston Post Cane to Edward Morris Holmes, who is 99 years old (born September 27, 1910) on April 2, 2010. Edward, who is known as Ted, moved to Maine in the late 1930’s with his wife Jane. They lived for several years on Gotts Island, near Bass Harbor, Maine. They also lived in various coastal towns, Boothbay Harbor, Winter Harbor, and Bernard. Inland, they lived in Princeton (Maine), Ellsworth Falls, Ellsworth, New Vineyard, Old Town, and Winterport. Ted moved to Prospect in 2003 to live near one of his daughters.
Ted began teaching high school English in 1947 in Ellsworth, after a checkered career organziing lobster fisherman cooperatives, digging clams, delivering lobsters to the Boston fish market, working as first mate on the cruise schooners out of Camden, and working in the shipyards during World War II. In the fifties Ted returned to school and acquired a Masters and a Doctorate in English from Brown University. With those degrees he was able to teach at the University of Maine in Orono, which he did until he was about 85 years old.
Ted was an excellent teacher, attested to by phone calls and letters he still occasionally receives from past students, who want him to know what they have been reading!
Ted is the author of three books of short stories and pieces, Driftwood, Mostly Maine, and A Part of the Main.
Ted has three daughters: Caroline S. Marsh who lives with her husband, Lawrence Marsh in Solon, Iowa, Virginia Holmes who lives with her partner, Shirley Glubka in Prospect, Maine, and Constance J. McCarthy who lives with her husband, Daniel McCarthy in Belfast, Maine. He has four grandchildren, Anna McMaken-Marsh of Arlington, Massachusetts, Lucy Marsh of Putney, Vermont, Jacob McCarthy of Lansing, Michigan, and Robin McCarthy of Belfast, Maine. He has two great-granddaughters, Sylvie and Willa McMaken-Marsh
(Ted’s story relayed via email from Virginia Holmes)
Randolph appears to continue the tradition and has their original cane.
June 2009: The Boston Post cane of Randolph, Maine, was presented to Virginia “Babe” Harriman, age 95 at the time (born 20 November 1913). The selectmen had held the cane since the death of the previous holder in 2001. She is still alive and active at this time, living with her son and daughter-in-law in Randolph in the summer and in Florida in the winter. (via email from Stephen Gauss, Nov 2010)
Rangely continues the tradition.
June 17, 2009: Angie Ivers passed away. She was tremendously honored to have received the cane; it was long a dream of hers, as was becoming a centenarian, which she also accomplished. She was a couple months past her 100th birthday when she died. (via email from Michelle Caminos, Angie’s granddaughter).
November 5, 2008: Rangeley Town Manager Perry Ellsworth presented Angie Ivers, 99, the Boston Post cane as oldest resident of Rangeley. (via Thomas Lockel) [article]
July 2003: Ooie Russell is the oldest person in Maine’s resort town of Rangeley. As such she carries a Boston Post gold-headed cane, which was presented to her at a luncheon arranged by the town’s municipal officers. Mrs. Russell’s front name is Ruth, but a baby sister could come no closer than Ooie, which stuck and she’s been Ooie for 98 years. When I write to her, I refer to her as gnadige Frau Vogelfrei, because her father was a German immigrant in the Springfield, Mass., area and the words are apt. Our family has been fortunate to have known Ooie for nearly half her time and the foregoing opens the moment to several subjects. (article by John Gould, via Thomas Lockel)
Raymond keeps its cane on display at the Raymond Town Hall. It is taken out for the ceremony conferring the cane to a new holder. The tradition continues in Raymond. (Sep 2005)
Readfield continues the tradition in the traditional way: they present their original Boston Post Cane to each person and they do hold on to it until their timely death.
Nov 2016: Ray Seigler of Readfield received the Boston Post cane from Valerie Gay Pomerleau, chair of the Readfield Board of Selectmen. Ray, age 97, who was born in Long Island, N.Y., and served in the U.S. Coast Guard during World War II, has spent most of his life in the Readfield area and worked for the Kennebec Journal for 35 years, retiring as managing editor. Now the oldest resident living in Readfield, he had six children with his first wife, Madeleine, who died in 1993. Between them, he and his second wife, Lois, 90, have 18 children, 33 grandchildren, 43 great-grandchildren and five great-great-grandchildren. (Turner Publishing article and photograph, via Stephen Hoffman)
Feb 2007: On February 5th, 2007 Readfield awarded their Boston Post Cane to Mildred Donaldson. Mildred’s birthday is October 26, 1907, so she will turn 100 in October. (via email from Robin Lint, Town Clerk, Readfield, ME)
Richmond has its original cane and keeps it under lock and key to avoid loss. It was lost in the 1970’s for over 20 years and then rediscovered in the closet of a past recipient.In December 2006 the cane was awarded to Carrie V. Holman, age 98. Carrie receives a miniature cane and a certificate of recognition.The prior holder was Opal Pickett who passed away on July 1, 2006 at age 101. (via the Kennebec Journal)
Rockport continues the tradition. The recipient keeps a plaque honoring him/her and the cane is on display at Town Hall with the recipient’s name.
May 2016: Maurice Granville, age 100, has been awarded Rockport’s Boston Post Cane. Granville, who also carries the nickname, Butch, said he was happy, and was proud of Rockport. When asked what the secret is to living to be 100 years old, he replied he didn’t know and would let us know in a year. “My family should be very happy and proud of us,” he said. “And I think they are.” According to Carol Blyberg, Granville’s daughter, Granville was born in 1915 in LaGrange, Texas. Granville was described by his family as a natural athlete and even at 100 still avidly follows college games. He was valedictorian at his high school and attended the University of Texas in Austin. He headed east to Cambridge, Mass., where he earned a master’s degree in chemical engineering. He married his wife of 69 years in January 1945. They had two children and over the years moved from New York, to Texas and then back to New York as Granville’s career with Texaco brought increasing responsibilities. After Granville retired from Texaco as chairman of the board, he and his wife, Janet, moved to Rockport in 1984. “I think this is just lovely,” Blyberg said. “I really don’t know how he’s going to react. You never really know.” Blyberg said the one thing she remembers about her father is his integrity. “He will love this,” she said. “He’s a people person. He still tells a story better than anyone.” Granville said he was quite a golfer, considering the number of holes he had played, and he remains a member of the Megunticook Golf Club. His ability to tell a good story and make it sparkle earned him the title of official raconteur or Head Raccoon. (article and photograph by Chris Wolf, Penobscot Bay Pilot via Stephen Hoffman)
Mar 2007: There was a report Rockport’s cane was passed to ??? Rhodes.
Rome continues the tradition.
Oct 2015: Rome’s Boston Post Cane recently was presented to Frederick “Freddy” W. Weston Jr. at the Rome Community Center. More than 50 family, friends and neighbors attended to honor the 92 year-old. The event was coordinated through the Rome Recreation Committee, in cooperation with the Board of Selectmen. Weston was presented with a Resolution of Recognition and Award by the Rome Board of Selectmen. He received the cane and will be listed on a new plaque at the Rome Community Center to honor the town’s oldest citizen. Weston was born in 1922 in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania, the son of Frederick and Phyllis Whitcomb Weston. He married the late Ruth Lambert in 1953 in West Long Branch, New Jersey. After retiring from New Jersey Bell Telephone Co., he moved to Rome in 1983. Weston grew up summering in Rome and Belgrade. (article and photograph from centralmaine.com via Stephen Hoffman)
As of 2016 Roxbury continues the tradition. Their original cane is on display at the town office. Current recipients of the cane have their name on a plaque.
The town of St. Albans has participated in the tradition since its beginning and they still have their original cane (which is on display in the town office). A photograph of the most recent recipient is also displayed with the cane.
Apr 2016: Laura Edwards Smith is the new recipient of the St. Albans cane. (via email from Dean Smith, Laura’s son) Smith was born Oct. 6, 1922, in Carmel to James and Edith Edwards. She married Elmer Smith on June 27, 1942, and has made her home in St. Albans since 1949. Prior to 1949, after Elmer served in the U.S. Army during WWII, they lived in Flagstaff where Elmer helped cut the wood for the area that would later become Flagstaff Lake. Laura raised her four children, twin daughters Diane and Donna, and sons Dennis and Dean, much of the time on her own after the untimely death of her husband in 1967 at the age of 45. She never remarried. In her younger years, she could be seen each fall picking potatoes with her husband in the potato fields of Lionel Warner. Later on she worked for many years as a care taker for Gladys Bigelow, who was like family to her. She was an active member of the Helpful Workers and Christmas Club, before the organizations dissolved. For many years she organized the spring and fall rummage sales to help raise funds for Summerfest. She continues to be independent, living by herself, driving her car, working in her flower garden, and cooking and canning for her family. She enjoys feeding and watching her birds and taking walks. Smith is a member of the St. Albans Union Church and over the years has worked on many suppers and provided many snacks for various programs. She is affectionately known as “Nana” to many people in town, children and adults alike. In addition to her children she has seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. (article in Central Maine / Kennebec Journal)
Mar 2016: Velma “Binga” Sawyer, holder of St. Albans’ cane, has passed away.
2009: A 2009 Town Report stated “Mrs. Thera Finnemore, Town’s Boston Post Cane recipient passed away 06/26/2009. Going forward, Town Manager will recognize the oldest male & oldest female resident.” (via email from Stephen Hoffman)
1909: The website www.cowhampshireblog.com lists the first 1909 recipients in each town and noted Hiram Haws received the first cane in St. Albans at 92 years old.
Saint George continues the tradition.
Jul 2012: Douglas Edwin Anderson (born 14-May-1917) was the recipient of Saint George’s cane. He was married to his wife Verena for 75 years. Douglas passed away on August 31, 2013. We don’t know who the next recipient is. (via email from Valerie Garrigan, Douglas’ granddaughter)
Oct 2008: Elizabeth Chadwick, maiden name Teel, received the cane at an official ceremony at the Saint George Town Office building in Tenant’s Harbor, Maine on October 6, 2008. She is 92 years old and is one of the granddaughters of Rufus Teel of Teel’s Island. The Teel family has been the subject of numerous books and acticles on the island’s of Maine and Wyeth paintings of the family homestead. Elizabeth Chadwick currently resides with a daughter in Tenant’s Harbor, Maine and is known by many of the community residents as “Aunt Lib”. (via Jeanine Chadwick Whiting, granddaugther of Elizabeth).
Some history from Jeanine Chadwick Whiting: My great-grandmother’s name was Gussie Chadwick at the time she received the cane. Her maiden name was Stone and she married Alvah Chadwick. I believe she received the cane in the late 1960s to early 1970s. I cannot remember the exact year as I was a teenager at the time. Her husband and grandson, Wilbur M. Chadwick were once on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post in March, 1946 edition. I believe the painting used to produce the cover was called Lobster Boy and was painted by Mead Schaffer.
The Historical Committee of the Town of Sanford currently possesses Sanford’s Boston Post Cane. It disappeared for several decades, but was then anonymously returned around 1999 (via Paul Auger, Sanford Historical Committee). It is now kept at the Sanford-Springvale Historical Museum at 505 Main Street in Springvale (confirmed by Harland Eastman, President of Sanford-Springvale Historical Society). The website www.cowhampshireblog.com lists the first 1909 recipients in each town and noted Lyman Hooper received the first cane in Sanford at 93 years old.
Scarborough has their original Boston Post Cane. There is a small ceremony where a plaque and pin is presented to the recipient for them to keep. The cane is also recognized during the ceremony; however, the recipient does not actually keep it. Information regarding the application process on the Boston Post Cane can be found here.
Nov 2016: Irene Kosky, 97, received Scarborough’s Boston Post Cane recognizing her as the town’s oldest resident. The ceremony, which took place at Kosky’s home on Oct. 28, included the presentation of the cane from Daisy Higgins of the Boston Post Cane Committee as well as a plaque and pin from the Scarborough Lions Club, presented by Pam Hartford, Gary Tapley, Bill Pape and Gerry Butts. Kosky’s daughters, Karen Lothrop and Dianne Mills, as well as other family and friends were on hand to celebrate the honor. Kosky grew up on a farm in Scarborough, located on Beech Ridge Road. Her first years of school were spent at the Beech Ridge School House on Holmes Road. In 1937, she was named valedictorian of her Scarborough High School graduation class. Kosky notes that she is the only remaining student from her class. After high school she worked at Maine General Hospital in Portland and at a Dunstan-based inn to save money to further her education. In 1939 she signed a contract to work one winter at the Palm Beach Biltmore Hotel, a luxurious Florida landmark. She explained that she shared expenses with other girls driving to Florida. Looking to further her education, Kosky attended nursing school In St. Petersburg. She gained her RN diploma while working at Mount Park Hospital. In 1944, she met her soon-to-be husband, Anthony Kosky, who was in the Army. They married in 1945 and moved to Massachusetts soon after World War II. By the 1950s, they had moved back to Maine and into the Beech Ridge Road house where Kosky grew up to care for her parents. During this time she worked at the Osteopathic Hospital. Irene and her husband had two daughters, Karen and Dianne. Kosky lives with her daughter Dianne Mills and her husband on Spurwink Road in the summer. During the winter, Kosky lives with her daughter Karen Lothrop in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Scarborough Leader article and photograph via Stephen Hoffman)
Oct 2015: Virginia E. Simpson, age 101, was presented with Scarborough’s Boston Post Cane on Oct. 22nd. On behalf of the Scarborough Lions Club, Rodney Laughton presented Mrs. Simpson with a plaque and pin. Daisy Higgins, a member of the Boston Post Cane Committee, presented her the cane. Family and friends were also present during the presentation. Born in 1914 in the little town of Greenwood, Maine, to Harry and Elvira Maxfield, she later moved to Falmouth where as a teenager she met and married Harold E. Simpson. Harold was a young entrepreneur known in Portland’s Morrill’s Corner area for his portable popcorn machine. After living in Westbrook for several years they yearned to own their own restaurant specializing in the well-known Simpson hamburger. So in 1945 they purchased Burnell’s Tavern on Route 1 in Scarborough at the comer of Millbrook Road, taking occupancy the day World War II ended. The restaurant was extensively remodeled into a small apartment for their family of four and their original take-out hamburg-hot dog investment. Hamburgers were 15 cents, hot dogs a dime and all drinks a nickel. Son Larry remembers his mother frying, and him, at age 12, serving their first hamburger to a trucker. His sister Nancy also worked in the family business. Harold entered into exchanging WWII food rationing coupons to buy meat, sugar and other necessary items to keep the restaurant open. Simpson’s Famous Hamburgers with fried onions was operated by Virginia and Harold for more 25 years before selling and retiring in the mid-70s, spending their summers in Maine and winters in Florida. Harold died in 1989 and Virginia shortly afterward moved back to Scarborough into a small apartment at Beech Ridge Farm owned by daughter Nancy and husband Jim Pearson. Today, Ginny’s eyes light up and she gets extremely excited when old friends and customers reminisce about how they would love to again have a Simpson hamburger. Virginia and Harold had two children, Larry and Nancy. She enjoys various activities and the accomplishments of five grandchildren, four great and three great-great grandchildren. (excerpted from article from the Scarborough Leader, photo copyright Scarborough Leader,
via Stephen Hoffman)
Nov 2013: Scarborough’s cane was awarded to Euphemia Larrabee. Euphemia passed away in January 2014. (via email Duke Harrington)
Aug 2013: Almeda Urquhart passed away (via email from Duke Harrington)
Nov 2012: On Monday, Nov. 12, Almeda (better known as Aunt Mena) Urquhart, of Black Point Road, was honored by Scarborough Lions Club members George Gruber, Rodney Laughton and Daisy Higgins for being the oldest resident in the town of Scarborough. Almeda was born April 27, 1913. She was given a replica of the Boston Post Cane, a plaque and a lapel pin which Gruber told her to wear proudly. Along with the Lions Club, in attendance were her nephew, Arnold Libby, his wife, Evelyn, and their three daughters, Terri, Suellen and Dee Dee, along with her husband, Doug Norton, and their daughter Kara, her great-great niece, longtime friends Maude and Ken Libby, and her Comfort Keeper, Susan. Almeda looks forward to her 100th birthday and to be on Willard Scott’s Smuckers jar in April 2013. (article in Scarborough Leader via Duke Harrington).
Aug 2009: Scarborough lost their Boston Post Cane holder, Blanche Cook, in June of 2009. However, on August 30, 2009, Eldred H. Harmon will be the next recipient. His wife Patricia submitted his name in 2004. Mr. Harmon was born August 30, 1910 and has lived in Scarborough all his life. (via Tody Justice, Town Clerk of Scarborough).
Oct 2005: Blanche Cook, holder of Scarborough’s cane, turned 104 in October 2005. (thanks to Sylvia Most for Blanche’s name).
Searsmont continues the tradition.
Dec 2010: First Selectman Bruce Brierley presented the Searsmont Boston Post Cane to the town’s oldest citizen, Viola Cushman, in her home. Viola is 97 years old, and moved to Searsmont when she was 12 years old. (article in Village Soup via email from Stephen Hoffman)
The cane was presented to Ira Packard, 95, on November 22, 2005.
Sebago has their cane and it is on display at the town hall.
May 9, 2009: Sebago’s Boston Post Cane was passed on to Mary Frances O’Neil, Sebago Maine’s oldest resident at a ceremony at the Sebago Historical Society. Mary Frances was honored by acting as the Marshall and leading the Sebago Days Parade on July 18, 2009. [picture] (via email from Susan Gasset, August 2009)
Sep 2008: The Sebago cane was awarded to Lillian Amrhein who is 101. (via Susan Gassett)
Sebec proudly continues the tradition using the original cane as intended. Sebec’s cane shows some wear and tear but still brings great pride and distinction to its holders.
Feb 2012 an article from trcmaine.org reports Sebec’s Cane is held by Sadie Ames, who is nearly 100 years old. (no reference date, trcmaine.org page via Steve Hoffman)
June 2007, the cane was passed to Lillian Herring.
June 2007, the previous recipient, John Cotton, passed away at 96 yrs. after holding the can for a year. Sadie Ames was the holder prior to John for a number of years. (via Walter Emmos, Selectman)
Sedgwick appears to have continue the tradition in recent years.
Mar 2005: Ethel H. Byard, 96, Sedgwick’s oldest resident, holder of the Boston Post cane, died March 7, 2005, surrounded by her family at her son’s home in Sedgwick. She was born Nov. 11, 1908, in Brooklin, the daughter of Frank and Etta (Candage) Herrick. Ethel was a member of the Sedgwick Baptist Church and a member of the Harborview Chapter of the Eastern Star. She was predeceased by her husband, Ronald E. Byard in September 1982. (excerpt from obituary in RootsWeb via Stephen Hoffman)
Shapleigh continues the tradition of awarding the cane. The town has an online photo gallery of some of the more recent recipients of the cane.
July 2013: With the passing of Bernadine Ridley Webber Dunnells at the age of 99, Shapleigh’s Boston Post Cane Award has been passed on to Anthony “Tony” Grant on July 27th. (via Debbie Petersen)
February 2011: It appears the new holder of Shapleigh’s cane is Bernadine Dunnels. (via email from Stephen Hoffman)
July 2009: The holder of Shapleigh, Maine’s Post Cane, Eleanor Loija, passed away on July 17. The Acton-Shapleigh (via email from Scott Burgess). The Acton-Shapleigh Historical Society has a nice article on Eleanor: read the article.
April 2009: The current holder of the cane is Eleanor Loija, who was born on Nov 21, 1911. She received the cane in July 2008. (via Scott Burgess, Eleanor’s great-grand-nephew). (article)
2007: Gaston Lebeau, holder of Shapleigh’s cane passed away.
August 2006: the current holder is Gaston Lebeau. Mildred Grant was presented with the Boston Post Cane on Friday, March 21, 2003. (via email from SueEllen Chamberlain, November 2003)
Shirley continues the tradition.
October 2013: Shirley recently gave the cane to Mrs. Verona Dinnen, who was born on 11/24/1917. The town gave Verona a certificate instead of the actual cane because she didnt think she needed a cane…(she has quite a sense of humor). (via Elizabeth Palmer, Town Clerk of Shirley)
Sidney still has its original cane, which is now kept at the Sidney Town Office. As the gold head had become dented, it was decided a few years ago to no longer give out the cane. The Sidney Historical Society (formed in 2008) voted to purchase a replica, have it engraved, and award (with the blessing of the town) the replica to the town’s oldest resident. They plan to build a display case at the town office for the original cane and bestow the cane to their oldest resident in September. (via email from Charlotte Sawtelle, August 2010).
Sep 2016: Sidney’s Boston Post cane was presented to Polly Furber by Sidney Historical Society President Sally Nelson. Furber, 96, who has lived for some time in a historic house in Sidney, is the oldest resident of the town. Furber has given the society countless hours of her time researching deeds. (Central Maine article and photograph, via Stephen Hoffman)
1909: The website www.cowhampshireblog.com lists the first 1909 recipients in each town and noted Cyrus W. Gilman received the first cane in Sidney at 86 years old.
We believe Solon continues the tradition. Town officials participated in a cane ceremony as part of the Feb 28, 2009 Somerset County Bicentennial but we have no other information as to the recipient or how the tradition is observed in the town.
Jan 1984: John Waugh, age, was presented with Solon’s Boston Post Cane. John was born in Farmington, the son of Charles and Rose Waugh and has lived on the same farm in Solon on French Hill for over 50 years. His wife, Edith, died in 1960. He has farmed and worked in the woods most of his life, even helping to do the raking and mowing last summer. John is the father of 12 children, 10 of whom are still living. one son Colby, died in World War II and Norman more recently. His other children are Lillian Hilton of North Anson; Malcolm of Banning California; Coburn of Bingham; Caroline Waugh of Solon; Raymond of Cornville; Marilyn Leeman of Gray; Stanley of Solon; Merrill of Ebden; Pauline Messer of Anchorage, Alaska, and Robert of Oklahoma City Oklahoma. (Sentinel article and photograph by Helen Viles, via Joseph Sweet)
South Berwick has a reproduction cane that’s kept in the town hall, and a plaque is given out instead of the cane itself. (via Norma Keim, April 2013)
2009: Stuart Carlysle Chaplin was given the Boston Post Cane in 2009 when he was 99 years old. He was the Headmaster at Berwick Academy in the 1950s and worked on the very first commercial computer at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. He passed on May 7, 2011, aged 100 years. (Tasker Funeral Home Obituary)
2006: The last known cane holder is Jane Sewall of Sewall Road which was named in her honor. She received the cane in the early 1930s and was 104. (via Town Clerk Barbara Bennett, July 2021)
South Thomaston’s original cane is still in use and was presented to George Van Wert (93) on April 10, 2003. Mr. Van Wert’s beloved wife, Beth, was the previous holder, although she refused possession, stating it should go to someone who actually needed it.The town has have a record of cane receipients from the past 25 years. (Inquiries can be sent to town office at firstname.lastname@example.org(via e-mail from Penelope Alley, Selectman, April 2003)
Oct 2015: Edgar Post, 94, was honored with the South Thomaston Boston Post Cane on October 13th at his home. Edgar and his wife, Helen, 93, have been married for 72 years. (excerpt of article by Juliette Laaka from Village Soup, via Stephen Hoffman)
Southport continues the tradition. When not with an awardee, the cane is kept at the Town Office.
2012: The most recent holder of the Southport cane was Ruth Rhodes Lepper Gardner. According to her obituary, Gardner was known as “Red” for both her fiery personality and hair color. She died April 16, 2011 at the age of 105.
Nov 2002: Evelyn (Dox) Stratton, 98, received the Boston Post Cane. Her grandfather, Royal Luther, and two aunts, Louise Luther and Evelyn Luther Pratt, also held Southport’s Boston Post Cane.
Southwest Harbor continues the tradition. Here is a list of recipients as researched by the Southwest Harbor Historical Society:
Mar 15, 2022: Willard Colson received the cane. Born 20-Jan-1923. Article by MountDesertIslander-032622
Dec 22, 2020: LaVerne Redlon received the cane. Born 25-Jan-1921, passed away 13-Oct-2021. Article by MountDesertIslander-010821
Jun 10, 2015: Mary Orcutt Harkins received the cane. Born 17-Jun-1919, passed away 5-Aug-2020.
Jan 30, 2014: Ferne Rumill Leonard received the cane. Born 10-Jul-1917, passed away 5-Apr-2015.
Feb 4, 2013: Raymond Morris received the cane. Born 24-Jul-1915, passed away 14-Nov-2013.
Feb 2011: Edna Jellison received the cane. Born 25-Sep-1912, passed away 25-Dec-2012.
Jul 2009: Carrie Wentworth Morris received the cane. Born in April 1907, passed away 21-Oct-2010.
Jul 16, 2008: Elizabeth King received the cane. Born 27-Nov-1905, died in April 2009.
Cane not presented for 2 years.
Apr 2000: Hester Martel received the cane. Born 6-Apr-1900, died in April 2006.
Cane not presented for 1.5 years.
Fall of 1996: Elizabeth Berry received the cane. Born 16-Aug-1897, died 16-Dec-1998.
1989: Ruth E. Carlson Wiberg received the cane. Born 6-Feb-1894, died 10-May-1996.
Dec 1980: Laura B. Leonard received the cane. Born 12-Jun-1884, died 8-Sep-1989.
Date unknown: Ella Bates Spurling received the cane. Born 15-Oct-1877, died 21-Nov-1979.
Feb 21, 1957: Charles E. Haynes received the cane. Born in 1867, died 18-Dec-1958.
Feb 1922: Thomas M. Newman received the cane. Born 28-Aug-1835, died 8-Sep-1942.
Apr 1912: Robert S. Newman received the cane. Born 15-Apr-1825, died 25-Feb-1922.
Aug 1909: Jacob S. Mayo received the cane. Born 14-Jun-1819, died 24-Apr-1912.
We believe Spruce Head continues the tradition.
Apr 2008: George Emmet Van Wert, 98, a resident of Spruce Head, died Tuesday, April 29, 2008, at the Homestead in Owls Head, Maine. George was born on Sept. 2, 1909, in Kingston, N.Y., the son of Charles J. and Lillian O. Emmet Van Wert, and graduated from Union College in 1932. He was employed as a manager of the Union Manufacturing Co. in New Britain, Conn., in the 1950s, and later, he was president of the G.E. Van Wert Co. Inc. in Rye, N.H. For the last 38 years, he had resided in Spruce Head, where he was the oldest living resident and holder of the Boston Post Cane. He was an excellent violinist and an outstanding athlete. (from seacoastonline obituary via Stephen Hoffman)
Standish continues the tradition. The town’s original cane is held at their town hall. The recipient receives a replica cane.
November 2009: Doris Coletti, age 98, of Hearthside Road in Standish, was presented the Boston Post Cane by Glena Jamison, of the Standish Historical Society, during a special ceremony at the Steep Falls Fire Barn. Coletti, who has lived in Standish for three years, was joined at the ceremony by four generations of family members, including her great-great grandchildren. During the short ceremony, introduced Coletti to about 40 senior citizens attending a bimonthly meeting at the fire barn. Standish Town Manager Gordon Billington then read a history of the distinctive cane and presented the cane to Coletti. Following the ceremony, those gathered ate cake in honor of Coletti’s 98th birthday, which she celebrated the day before the ceremony. (via article from keepmecurrent.com via Stephen Hoffman)
May 2005: Florence Sturgis held Standish’s cane through 2009. Prior recipients were Hazel Wescott (1999-2005) and Eva Stuart (1994-1999)
The town of Starks continues the tradition.
March 2014: Starks’ Boston Post Cane was awarded to Justine (Lewis) Taylor, born October 29th, 1923. Justine has been a Starks resident since 1949.
Carrying on a tradition that began more than a century ago, Starks leaders this month presented a black ebony cane to Justine, the mother of five and a longtime resident of Poor Farm Road. Inscribed in its gold top: “Presented by the Boston Post to the oldest citizen of Starks, Maine.” (article via email from Jennifer Zweig Hebert, Town Clerk).
August 2010: Starks’ Boston Post Cane was awarded to lifelong resident Beula Lorraine Farrand Hebert, age 88. While her family has resided in Starks since 1790 she is the first to receive the cane. [article] (via Jennifer Zweig Hebert)
Stonington continues the tradition.
September 2012: Mary Cousins, age 104, received Stonington’s cane at a party celebrating her 104th birthday at the Island Nursing Home on Thursday, September 20. Cousins was born on the Island in 1908, and lived here all her life except for a few years around the end of the World War I. The oldest of three girls, she grew up in a home on West Main Street, and lived with her husband in the house next to the former Stonington Elementary School, according to a piece about Cousins in Island Heritage. Over the years, Cousins worked as a bus driver, a telephone operator and librarian in Stonington. She has seen a lot of change in her time, especially changes brought by the building of the bridge. “It made a difference when the whole island was alone by ourselves,” she said. “You didn’t have to be careful of strangers, everybody was our aunt and uncles.” (Island Advantages article via Stephen Hoffman)
Strong appears to continue the tradition.
Dec 2011: The “Irregular” online weekly newsletter reports that Zelda Harnden, 99, received Strong, Maine’s, Boston Post cane on December 4, 2011 (via email Steve Hoffman, Feb 2012)
1909: The website www.cowhampshireblog.com lists the first 1909 recipients in each town and noted William E. Bates received the first cane in Strong at 88 years old.
Sullivan continues the tradition.
December 2010: Sullivan awarded its cane to Bessie Martin, age 96. One of 8 girls Bessie was born in Milbridge. She moved to Sullivan in 1936 working at a local B&B, meeting her husband Leonard shortly thereafter. (via email from Steve Hoffman and fenceviewer article (pdf)).
Sumner continues the tradition and may be one of the few town’s that still awards its original cane to the current recipient.
April 2010: Sumner awarded its cane to Vernal Andrews, born Jan 6, 1917. (via email from Duke Harrington)
Surry continues the tradition. They have their original cane which is used in the presentation ceremony, but it is returned to a display rack at Town Hall and the recipient is given a replica.
October 2010: Viola Buzzell, age 95, was awarded Surry’s cane by Selectmen tephen Bemiss and Dale Sprinkle on October 28, 2010. Born in Massachusetts in 1915, Buzzell said she was 3 years old when her family moved to Surry’s Toddy Pond Road, an area where she has lived for most of her life. (via email from Stephen Hoffman and article from The Weekly Packet)
Swan’s Island continues the tradition and has kept a good record the past few decades.
May 4, 2009: The Selectmen of Swan’s Island presented their cane to Stephen McCormick. (via email from Dexter Lee, Selectman).
From the Bar Harbor Times – May 7, 2009 by correspondent Ken Dutille: “Lt. Col. Steven McCormick is the new person on Swans Island to receive the Boston Post Cane. He was presented with it at a gathering at Ken and Georgia Heller’s on Monday evening of this past week. Alberta Buswell had held the Boston Post Cane since Feb. 22, 2003. Steven is the former White House correspondent for Mutual Radio, and served as vice president of the Radio Network. Steve is a great friend and I always enjoy listening to his stories about life in Washington, D.C. And at 95 he still drives a vehicle and has a very strong voice, and Swans Island is very proud to have him and his wonderful wife, Theo, as year-round residents.”
Media: island-journal-article; swans-island-gold-cane;
Prior recipients of Swan’s Island’s cane were: Howard Staples ?-1967; Minnie Parker 1967-1968; Maud Bridges 1968-1976; Raymond Stinson 1976-1976; Lilla Moulden 1976-1984; Helen Stanley 1984-1985; Jennie Staples 1985-1986; Winfield Merrithew 1986-1986; Hazel Staples 1986-1988; Marguerite Orcutt 1988-1990; Ruth Moulden 1990-1991; Olive Heller 1991-1995; Irene Kent 1995-2003; Zulma Higgins 2003-2003; Alberta Buswell 2003-2009.
April 2009: Alberta Clara Buswell, 98, died peacefully April 22, 2009. She was born July 25, 1910, on Swans Island, the daughter of Nelson and Clara (Stanley) Sprague. She grew up on Swans Island and in Rockland. Alberta moved back to Swans Island after her marriage to Ted Buswell, and she lived the rest of her life there. She was constantly busy with various self-employment jobs, including sheep raising, managing a bed and breakfast, building and renting cabins, knitting and various other handicrafts. Her sweaters and quilts are treasured by those who own them. Her cooking ability was well known and enjoyed by all. Alberta’s family included a son, Albert Buswell of Swans Island; four daughters, Theo May and Leona Buswell, both of Swans Island, Theresa Orcutt of Bremen, and Etta Morrison of New Harbor; 23 grandchildren, 39 great-grandchildren, 24 great-great-grandchildren and two great-great-great-grandchildren. (via email from Dexter Lee, May 2009).
Topsham keeps their cane in a custom case made by a local craftsman and is housed at the Municipal Building. It is planned to have a more public display with the completion of a new Municipal Complex.Ralph Williams, from the Topsham History Commitee recalls the cane “having been in the possession of Frank E. Carver, late police chief of Topsham and for whom the Police Station and Rescue Barn are dedicated, and as he was nearing the end of his life asked that I carry it back to the town because he feared that greedy relatives would try and dispose of it. Frank “dated” my grandmother for the last 16 years of his life. He passed away just prior to his 100th birthday.”(via email from Ralph A. Williams, Chairman, Topsham History Committee)
Apr 2017: After a hiatus, Topsham has decided to revive the tradition. (The Forecaster article by Alex Lear via Stephen Hoffman)
Mar 2009: Topsham awarded their cane to Ruth Mann, age ~104. Ruth passed away in December 2009 at age 104.
2001: Topsham awarded their cane to Gretchen Knight, age 101. (Gretchen subsequently moved to Florida.)
The cane is still in existence in Turner and is on display at town hall. Recipients names are recorded on a plaque honoring them since 1925.
Dec 2016: A new person was awarded the cane in Turner, but we don’t have any details.
Apr 2016: Ruth Leavitt became Turner’s 37th Boston Post Cane recipient on her 97th birthday. Born in Lewiston and raised in Auburn, Ruth Janet Goss was an only child who married another only child, Merton Leavitt, in 1947. She lost her husband 16 years ago after 53 years of marriage. Ruth Leavitt graduated from Edward Little High School in 1937, and from Bates College in 1941. Known as Ruthie in high school, she was consistently an honor student, a member of the Latin and French clubs, the Camera Club, the Music Appreciation Club and the Senior Drama Club. She also served on the Program Committee, was a member of the Girls Athletic Association and the varsity bowling team, according to the 1937 Oracle, Edward Little’s yearbook. Leavitt continued to shine at Bates College, starting in the fall of 1937, earning her Bachelor of Arts degree in French in 1941. She was a distinguished member of the Lambda Alpha honor society for four years, and the Phi Sigma Iota, a foreign language honor society. Leavitt participated in the French Club at Bates for three years, at that time called Le Petite Academie. Her name and photo were published under the heading “Our Service Leaders” in the 1941 Bates College Yearbook, for her contribution to the Christian Association, and the Christian Service Club. After graduation, she taught French at Leavitt Area High School until she and her husband started their family. Once her youngest son was in school, she went back to college to earn a degree in library science and served as librarian at Leavitt high school in Turner for 16 years. Her favorite genre of literature is the biography, because, “you can learn so much from reading a biography,” she said. Highlights of her life? “My four children, five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren,” Leavitt said. She enjoyed cooking and her daughter, Mary Leavitt, said her mother’s dinner table always had room for one more. “Especially when we in our 20s,” friends gravitated to the Leavitt home. “I don’t know how she did it, but she would start cooking a meal for six, and end up serving 12,” Mary said, “but it always worked!” (from Lewiston-Auburn Sun Journal article by C.M. Harthorne via Stephen Hoffman)
Jun 2012: Turner’s cane was awarded to Wilma Jordan.
Nov 2010: The current holder of the cane is Leota Seaward, born Oct. 6, 1910. (Sun Journal Article via Stephen Hoffman)
Sep 2001: It was awarded to Mrs. Bernice Mason on September 5, 2001
Union continues the tradition of awarding the cane to the oldest resident. Status of the original cane is unknown.
Jan 2011: Union’s cane was presented to Irene Payson, age 95. Irene is a longtime resident of Union and was a high school basketball champion in her youth. Irene was born in Prospect and went to school in Rockland. She was a member of the class of 1933 at Rockland High School and played on the basketball team, which won the state championship. Asked the secret to longevity, she said she doesn’t like smoking and noted that she has kept all of her teeth. (article from Herald Gazette via Stephen Hoffman).
The cane is still in existence in Unity, which celebrated its bicentennial in July 2004.Thelma Vroom (age 96) was presented the cane on July 1, 2006.The prior holder was C. Irving Porter, 94. He inherited it from Hazel Hubbard. In the past couple of decades, one or two other ladies were eligible to possess the cane but declined as they did not want neighbors to know their ages. It was awarded to Hazel H. Hubbard (age 96) September 7, 2001.
On September 22, 2002 The Boston Post Cane was presented to Aubrey Raye in recognition of being the oldest living resident of The Town of Vanceboro.The Cane is on display at The Vanceboro Historical Society.
Vassalboro’s cane turned up in Monterey, California, in the home of an unidentified antique hunter who had purchased the cane. He was about to have the head of the cane melted down, but after he saw the name on the head of it he became curious and called the town manager to ask about the historical significance of the walking stick. He wanted to sell it for the same price he had paid for it. A Historical Society member purchased the cane and it is now back in Vassalboro, Maine. Anyone with information on how the cane ended up in California should contact the Vassalboro Historical Society.
Jun 2016: Vassalboro is seeking to restart the tradition, perhaps to coincide with Vassalboro Days in September. There is no record of who received the cane when it went missing.
Veazie continues the tradition. Unsure if they have their original cane (a replica is used in the presentations).
Mar 2012: Margaret Van Aiken, age 97, was presented with a Boston Post Cane for holding the title of oldest resisdent in Veazie. Her friends and family were also there to celebrate her 97th birthday. She has three children with her late husband that she was happily married to for 61 years. Margaret worked as a sticher in a shoe factory before she retired. When asked how it feels to be 97, she says that she really doesn’t feel much different then she always has.”I don’t feel a bit different, if my head would go away, I’d feel fine. From here down, I don’t have an ache or a pain. I feel fine, like a 16 year old, really.”The Van Aiken’s have five living generations. Maragret has lived in Veazie her entire life, but enjoys traveling. Friends say it’s her spirit that keeps her going. (WABI-TV5 story)
We have reports that Vienna continues the tradition, but the cane used is a substitute. The status of their original cane is not known. (2016)
Vinalhaven, Maine has their original cane. Their records are not complete, but they are working on trying to find all recipients of the cane beginning with its its original owner. Their information to date records Gilford Young receiving the cane, no year given, but he died in 1919. Their research has uncovered 22 recipients to date. The last was 100 when she passed away in 2008. The town’s oldest citizen then refused the cane, and in 2010, the town of Vinalhaven gave the cane to the historical society for safekeeping. It now resides with them permanently and a plaque and or certificate will be given henceforth. (email from Susan D. Radley Dirctor of the Vinalhaven Historical Society)
Waldoboro continues the tradition. Waldoboro reserves the original cane in its town vault and hands out a wooden replica.
Apr 2013: Ed Werler received the Boston Post cane as eldest resident of Waldoboro, Maine, on April 9th, 2013. He is 99, worked as a Baxter State Park ranger in the 1940s, living at Chimney Pond, accessible only by a steep trail. He wrote a book, “The Call of Katahdin,” when he was 90. (via Steve Cartwright, Waldoboro Selectman)
Oct 2011: According to the Lincoln County News, Francis Golffing received Waldoboro, ME’s, Boston Post cane on October 3, 2011. (via email from Steve Hoffman, Jan 2012)
Dec 2010: Albert Eames, holder of Waldoboro’s cane since 2005, passed away on Dec 17th. In 2005, on Albert’s 99th birthday, the Town of Waldoboro presented him with the town’s traditional Boston Post Cane as their oldest resident – an honor he was very proud to receive and cherished. [albert-eames-obituary] (via Stephen Hoffman)
1909: The website www.cowhampshireblog.com lists the first 1909 recipients in each town and noted Isaac W. Comery received the first cane in Waldoboro at 89 years old.
Warren continues the tradition.
Nov 2015: Catherine Lunt Poor, age 94, was presented with the Warren’s cane on November 6th. Poor was born Feb. 27,1921. She attended Lee Academy and graduated from Bar Harbor High School in 1942. (via Stephen Hoffman)
Aug 2008: The holder of the Warren cane is Anita Wyllie Messner, born in the family homestead parlor on August 15, 1906. (via David George, Anita’s grands0n).
We have a report that Washburn has their original cane in the Town Office. As of Nov 2016 it is not known if the town continues the tradition. (via email from Becky Burnham)
Washington continues the tradition. The Select Board is in the process of determining the next holder of their cane.
Jul 2017: Constance R. Johnston, age 94, was presented with Washington’s Boston Post Cane. Born Constance Raynes, she grew up in Augusta and graduated from Cony High School in 1941. A close friend introduced her to Talbot Johnston at the Windsor Fair, and after a brief courtship, they were married in Washington, according to her daughter, Martha Johnston Nash.. Early in their marriage they moved a few times wherever work took them, and by 1945 they were towing three young children with them. They moved to the farm in Washington where Talbot grew up with his grandfather and step-grandmother, which they purchased. Connie fell into the farming life easily, learning quickly how to can vegetables and make every penny count. Grammie Blanche, Talbot’s step-grandmother, lived with them until her death and during that time taught Connie to make the best doughnuts, among other things, Nash, said. Three more children would round out their family by the mid-’50s. Over the years, Connie has been involved in and was usually a leader of Eastern Star, Grange, PTA, Cub Scouts, the church choir, Hill and Gully Riders snowmobile club, Schooner Belles chorus, Ladies’ Guild, 4-H Club, and numerous other groups. She watched for enemy planes during the Cold War years, and took the census for the town. She was always ready to lend a helping hand when needed, whether it was from loss of a home from fire or making sure one of the neighbors got to an appointment, Nash recalled.. After the children had grown, she became a “female mailman” and delivered mail throughout Washington and part of Burketville. While raising her own children, she would find herself also taking care of Talbot’s uncle, who moved “back home” from California in the early ’60s. He was a double amputee who required much care, but Connie just took it on with everything else, Nash said. Still, she and Talbot found time to do some traveling together, enjoying trips to Quebec and throughout the United States. Talbot and Connie were finally slowing down and spending some time in Florida when Talbot died in early 1993. Undeterred, Connie purchased a park trailer in Zephyrhills, Fla., which she still occupies in the winter months. (Village Soup article and photograph by Charlotte Henderson via Stephen Hoffman)
Feb 2011: Washington presented their cane to Lillie Young Weissenberger of Old Union Road. Lillie was born on March 27, 1917 in Waterville, Maine.
She met her future husband at a high school fundraiser. She jokes that when she first met him he was using his adoptive last name, Anderson, and when they thought of marrying, she was happy to think her name would go from second letter from the bottom of the alphabet to the top letter of the alphabet. She shrugs in mock frustration that Raymond decided he’d take back his birth name so she only moved up two letters. Raymond and Lillie lived in Patterson, New Jersey for a time and several other places in the country. He was a mechanic and worked on race cars.
Mrs. Weissenberger is proprietor of Lillie’s Emporium in Washington Village. The shop sells eclectic items including quilts (a not-to-be-missed specialty), books, art, collectibles and handmade children’s clothing and much more. She shows her infectious smile again and reflects, “Handmade clothes are rare today, hard to find. When we were young everyone made their own clothes, often from other garments cut down and re-sewn into something new.” It took World War II to change that, she remembers, “Before that we were all hungry.”
She states with pride that she has one of the first Social Security cards issued when the program began in 1935. When asked her secret of longevity, Lillie thought a few moments. “I guess I just kept on living.” Probing further we asked, “Did you drink or smoke or carouse around?” Lillie broke into a big grin, “Oh, yes. We hung around with racing people, remember. We did all of that!” (via email from Charlotte Henderson)
January 2011: The most recent Boston Post Cane holder for Washington, Maine, Estern Herbert Wellman, died on December 22, 2010 at the age of 94. He was born in Washington on September 14, 1916. He attended Washington schools and served in the U.S. Army in World War II. Following his military service, he was employed by the (then) Augusta State Hospital, the Veterans’ Affairs Center in Framingham, Mass, and at the Togus VA Hospital in Augusta, Maine. After retirement he enjoyed woodworking, gardening and reading to acquire knowledge. He was a member of Mount Olivet Masonic Lodge #203 and the Farrar-Ross Post 9437 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. His wife, Christine, and a brother, Owen, survive him. (via email from Charlotte Henderson)
Waterford may continue the tradition.
Jul 2012: Waterford presented their Boston Post Cane to Agnes Lahti, age 95. (via Waterford Historical Society)
In 2007 Wayne was looking to reinstate the tradition. They don’t appear to have the original cane. (via Pamela Grimshaw, Manager, Town of Wayne) (There are other reports that says the original cane is in storage, but in poor condition.)
The Weld Historical Society holds the cane for the town of Weld. The current holder is Dorothy Winter (100 this past October) and she was ceremoniously presented with the cane and then it was returned to its case at the Society headquarters. (Courtesy of Sean Minear, President, Weld Historical Society – April 2002.)The first recipient of the Boston Post Cane for the town of Weld, Maine was Ephraim Robertson , a farmer & finish carpenter.
The Wells cane is in the historical society and the tradition was revived a year ago. A replica pin is awarded the recipient along with a certificate. The recipient’s name is also put on a plaque in the Wells-Ogunquit Historical Society. The oldest resident of Ogunquit is also presented with the pin, certificate, and plaque as Ogunquit was part of Wells and split off in . (via Philip Grow, May 2003)
2003: According to the plaque, Beatrice Spiller was the last recipient recorded in 2003. (via Bryce Waldrop, Curator of Historical Society of Wells & Ogunquit) Bea passed on August 17, 2011 at the impressive age of 105 years old. She was very involved in the community as teacher, church member, historian, and more, including advocating adult education to assist GIs returning home from WWII. (Bibber Funeral Home Obituary)
2002: According to the plaque, Nella B. Stevens was the recipient in 2003. (via Bryce Waldrop, Curator of Historical Society of Wells & Ogunquit)
West Gardiner presents the cane to its oldest citizen and it returns to the Town Hall between recipients. Victor Litiere, 96, born in Belgium in 1907, was awarded the cane on October 23, 2003. (via the Kennebec Journal, October 27, 2003)
It appears that West Paris continues the tradition.
2011: It was reported in the Lewiston/Auburn Sun Journal that Pete Andrews, 96, was presented with West Paris, ME’s, Boston Post cane on August 2, 2011. (email from Steve Hoffman)
Whitefield appears to have possession of its original cane and keeps it safe at the town offices. Recipients are presented the cane, but are not allowed to keep it. Instead they receive a photo of the ceremony.In October 2004, Whitefield selected its two oldest citizens to share the honor but not the object itself. A photograph of the presentation attests to the recognition of the women while the ebony stick will remain in the town office. The honorees were Florence Russell, 102, who lives in a boarding home in Hallowell but spent nearly 95 years in the town; and Mabel Bucklin, 104, originally of Morrill, who now lives at Country Manor Nursing Home in Coopers Mills.
Wilton continues the tradition.
Here is the research done on past holders by the Wilton Farm and Home Museum through 2009. (via email from Becky Burnham)
- Mr. Miranda Woodward (Sarah) held the cane from Aug 1909 to Oct 1910. Son Of Timothy And Polly (Butterfield) Woodward (Passed away at age 97Y 1M 6D)
- No record / cane missing 1910-1919
- Simon Smith (Martha) held the cane from (unknown) to Jan 1919 (Passed away at age 102Y 2M 20D)
- No record / cane missing 1919-1926
- Nancie Wilkins (Mosher) held the cane from 1926 or 1928 to Mar 1934. (Passed away at age 96Y 6M 19D)
- Horace S. Mosher (Julia) held the cane from 10-Jul-1934 to Dec 1934. (Passed away at age 91Y 8M 18D)
- Almeda Butterfield (Phillips) held the cane from 1935 to Aug 1935 (Passed away at age 89Y 4M 3D)
- No record / cane missing 1935-1945
- Warren E. Smith (Ada) held the cane from 1945 to Sep 1946 (Passed away at age 96Y 2M 21D)
- Abbie E. Collins (Horn) held the cane from 1946 to Sep 1951 (Passed away at age 97Y 10M 17D?)
- Hattie J. Bragg (Choate) held the cane from Oct 1951 to Apr 1953. (Passed away at age 96Y 10M 9D)
- Mary A. Bass (Miss) held the cane from 19-May-1953 to Jan 1964. (Passed away at age 105Y 7M 24D)
- Gould, Jeanette (Butterfield) held the cane from 12-May-1964 to Jun 1966. (Passed away at age 95Y 10M 25D)
- Minnie Keating (Marble) held the cane from 11-Jul-1966 to Nov 1968 (Passed away at age 98Y 4M 24D)
- Dora Bean (Pike) held the cane from 15-Dec-1968 to Oct 1971 (Passed away at age 97Y 9M 20D)
- Celestia Farrar (Butterfield) held the cane from 2-Jun-1972 to Feb 1974 (Passed away at age 98Y 8M 13D)
- Dr. Silas Arthur Reed (Agnes) held the cane from 1-May-1974 to Aug 1976. (Passed away at age 101Y 16D)
- Edith Lake (Mosher) held the cane from 12-Oct-1976 to Jul 1980 (Passed away at age 101Y 2M 13D)
- Ms. Emma Mooar held the cane from 9-Dec-1980 to Jan 1981. (Passed away at age 97Y 7M 17D)
- Ruth Allen (Richner) held the cane from 22-May-1981 to Jan 1988. (Passed away at age 100Y 1M 4D)
- Elsie Ranger (Smith) held the cane from 4-Oct-1988 to Oct 1993. (Passed away at age 103Y 6M 3D)
- Earlon Knowles (Rosanna) held the cane from 25-Jan-1993 to Mar 1994. (Passed away at age 97Y 5M)
- Anna Allen (Blasl) held the cane from 19-Jul-1994 to Mar 1996. (Passed away at age 101Y 6M 28D)
- Gertrude FitzPatric (Collins) held the cane from 25 Mar 1996 to Aug 1997. (Passed away at age 101Y 1M 22D) (Note: last name is spelled correctly)
- Minnie Jellison (Hildreth) Woodman held the cane from May 1998 to Nov 1999 (Passed away at age 100Y 1M 10D)
- Leanora Macdonald (Hiscock) held the cane from 7-Apr-2000 to Jan 2005. Born 11-Mar-1904 and died on 13-Jan-2005 (Passed away at age 99Y 10M 2D)
- Elspet Johnson held the cane from 25-Mar-2005 to Aug 2007. Elspet was born on 14-Feb-1908 in Jay, ME. She passed away on 4-Aug-2007 at age 99Y 5M 21D.
- Edna Davis held the cane from Aug 2007 to Nov 2007. Edna was older than Elspet by about four months and when that was discovered, Edna thought Elspet should keep the cane. Edna received the cane upon Elspet’s death. Edna was born on 13-Oct-1907. She passed away on 17-Nov-2007 at age 100Y 1M 4D.
- Fredrick Cunliffe (Eric) held the cane from 9-Jun-2009 to Aug 2011. Fredrick was born on 9-Oct-1911 and passed away on 8-Aug-2011 at age 99Y 9M 30D.
Windham continues the tradition. The status of their original cane is not known. There is a cane on display at town hall, but it does not appear to be the original cane. A replica, manufactured by Windham Millwork, has been presented to the recipient since 1999.
Nov 2015: Windham has awarded their cane to Isabel Taylor, age 101. She was also handed a paper certificate and wooden cane holder, made by a local woodworker, as part of the celebration. Taylor was born in Mexico, Maine, on July 14, 1914, but has lived in Windham since 1951. She graduated from Stephens High School in Rumford, as well as from the State Normal School in Farmington and the University of Maine at Orono. In 1935 she got married and began her teaching career in a two-room schoolhouse in Roxbury, according to a short biography of Taylor provided by family members. Taylor taught for 24 years in Windham, including at the Arlington and New Manchester schools, according to her son, John Taylor, Jr., who was at her home on Taylor Lane last Friday, along with her daughter-in-law Carol Taylor, who lives in Windham, and her daughter Alberta Peavey and son-in-law Brian Peavey, Sr., who live in Massachusetts. Taylor has two other daughters, Elaine Libby and Barbara Taylor who live out of state and could not attend last week’s celebration. Taylor retired from teaching in 1975. Two years ago, during a 40th school reunion at Manchester School, Taylor – who taught third grade there in 1973 – was presented with a “golden ruler,” moments after being recognized by other former teachers as a mentor and inspiration to others. According to the family, holidays are a special time for Taylor since she gets to spend time with her six grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren. (excerpted from article by Kayla J. Collins, Lakes Region Weekly, photo by Kayla Collins, via Stephen Hoffman)
Aug 2015: Clista Loring, who holds Windham’s cane, has passed away at the age of 107 (cited in Nov article above)
Sep 2012: Ruth Grant, age 100, who lived on Windham Center Road from the age of 5 until last year, when she moved to the Ledgewood Manor nursing home on Tandberg Trail was to be awarded Windham’s cane, but passed away a few days before the ceremony. Town Clerk Linda Morrell went through an unusually long search for a worthy recipient, following the death of 102-year-old Dolly Ingalls, who received the cane four years earlier. (Portland Press Herald article via Stephen Hoffman)
1909: The website www.cowhampshireblog.com lists the first 1909 recipients in each town and noted Elijah Cook received the first cane in Windham at 91 years old.
Windsor reportedly lost its cane in a house fire circa 1938-1940. (2016)
We have a newspaper report that Winslow’s cane went missing in the 1980s. (2016)
Winter Harbor continues the tradition.
May 2012: Winter Harbor awarded its cane to Bruce Mackay, age 92. He was born in Winter Harbor on Dec. 30, 1919, and grew up on Newman Street. He attended Sumner Memorial High School and graduated from Ellsworth High School. He attended the University of Maine for two years and transferred to Husson University. It was while he was studying there as a newlywed that the U.S. government appeared on a recruiting mission. Mackay and his late wife then moved to Washington, D.C., where he worked for the U.S. Treasury Department for two years. He still has breakfast with friends every morning at 7am and plays golf during the summer. (news article via Stephen Hoffman)
Winterport continues the tradition. In November 2005 Ernest Tuttle, 96, accepted the cane as Winterport’s oldest citizen.In 2004, Town records show that since 1909 the Winterport cane has been held by 13 residents.Previous receipients of the cane were Katharine A. Woodward, 97, in September 2004, and Victoria Grant (date unknown).
Winthrop continues the tradition. Their original cane is on display at Town Hall. A certificate is presented to the awardee.
Sep 2015: Winthrop awarded its cane to Kenneth Barden, age 101.
Jun 2011: The Kennebec Journal reported that Antoinette Fleury received Winthrop, Maine’s Boston Post cane on her 100th birthday, June 9, 2011 (via email from Stephen Hoffman)
1909: The website www.cowhampshireblog.com lists the first 1909 recipients in each town and noted Moses Briggs received the first cane in Winthrop at 95 years old.
The Town of Wiscasset, Maine’s Boston Post is currently in their vault at the Town Office. The town is considering displaying the cane in the Municipal meeting room. They are also discussing a certificate program to recognize the oldest citizen in Wiscasset while maintain the cane at the Town Hall. (via email from Laurie Smith, Wiscasset Town Manager, Feb 2011)
Apr 2017: Wiscasset has awarded their cane to Ruth Applin, age 100. Her brother, Arthur Jones, age 99, is the recipient of the Boston Post Cane in the town of Nobleboro (seated to the right of Ruth in the photograph). Ruth moved to Wiscasset when she was 5 years old to live with her aunt and uncle, Harriet and John Jackson. She was the third generation of her family to graduate from Wiscasset Academy, the predecessor to Wiscasset Middle High School, after her grandmother, Mary Sears Jackson, and her mother, Ruth Merle Jones. Applin graduated in 1935 and has never missed a Wiscasset High School alumni banquet. She plans to attend the 2017 alumni banquet next month. Ruth married Robert Applin on Dec. 26, 1940, at her home on Churchill Street. They spent their honeymoon in Belfast. The couple met in the late 1930s. Robert joined the U.S. Navy prior to the beginning of World War II. While he was home on furlough in 1940, the couple decided to get married. He remained in the military until the war ended. Ruth and Robert were both very active in the local American Legion and American Legion Auxiliary, Robert serving in most post offices, including commander, and Ruth in most auxiliary offices, including unit president several times. Ruth became a widow March 8, 1983. After the death of her husband of 43 years, she continued to serve veterans of all wars through volunteer work, and until recently, supported the auxiliary craft shows by donating a variety of handmade crafts for sale to support auxiliary programs. Every Memorial Day and Veterans Day, Applin attends the veterans service at the town’s veterans monument, regardless of the weather. When she could no longer drive herself to the event, her children started bringing her. Applin has served as grand marshal of Wiscasset’s Fourth of July parade twice, and has received recognition from the American Legion for her service to the community. (Lincoln County News article and photograph by Charlotte Boynton, via Stephen Hoffman)
Woodland appears to continue the tradition.
Apr 2011: Mary G. Margison, 94, wife of the late Alfred Margison, died April 14, 2011, in Fort Kent. She was born May 10, 1916, in Woodland, daughter of the late Frank P. and Alma (Wiggins) Thomas. In 2009 Mary was the recipient of the Boston Post Cane as Woodland’s oldest resident. Mary was a schoolteacher for 37 years, having taught school in Mars Hill for several years and the Caribou school system, until her retirement in June 1980. She was an active member of First Baptist Church, Woodland, serving as a deaconess, choir director, pianist, organist and librarian, and was also a member of the Mission Circle. She is survived by a daughter and son-in-law, Susan and Stephen Boehm of Browns Mills, N.J.; a grandson, Charles Donnelly and his wife, Gina, of Burlington, N.J.; and two nieces, Priscilla “Pat” Dobson and Elaine Thomas. She was predeceased by her husband, Alfred, May 1, 1998; and a brother, Leonard Thomas, in 1991, and his wife, Pauline. (Bangor Daily News obituary via Steve Hoffman)
The original cane is on display in Woolwich’s town office. A replica of it is given to the recipients. A plaque with a list of all of the recipients is planned. According to the 2000-2001 town report there have been about 35 recipients of the cane in Woolwich since 1914.
Jul 2016: Woolwich has awarded its cane to Victor S. Knight, age 95. Longevity must run in the Knight family. From September 1987 to August 1990, Knight’s father, Albert Victor Knight, had the honor of being Woolwich’s “keeper of the cane.” He lived to be 97. Knight was born in Madison, Connecticut in 1921, but has lived in Woolwich in the same farmhouse on River Road since 1957. For many years, he and wife Ruth raised dairy cows in a barn across the road. Mrs. Knight said they sold their milk to Oakhurst Dairy for 30 years. The Knights were married in 1946. Asked by the newspaper if he had any advice to offer to today’s younger generation, he said simply, “To stay happy and healthy.” The Knights have four sons; James, Charles and Richard live nearby in Woolwich while Albert Knight resides in Biddeford. The Knights said they are blessed with many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. (Adapted from article by Phil Di Vece, Wiscasset Newspaper, photograph by Phil Di Vece).
Apr 2016: Alice Willard Bond, 96, is the new keeper of Woolwich’s Boston Cane given to the town’s oldest resident. Selectmen David King Sr., Lloyd Coombs and Jason Shaw presented Mrs. Bond with the ceremonial walking stick April 27, at the town office. She became the town’s oldest resident following the recent passing of Clint Hilliker at age 98. Mrs. Bond was born Jan. 15, 1920 in Hartford, Connecticut and grew up in Wethersfield, the state’s oldest town. It was settled in 1634 by some of her ancestors. After graduating from Norwalk School, now Central Connecticut State University, she became a teacher and taught in East Windsor and Wethersfield schools. She married Edwin Burnham Bond of Essex, Connecticut. He died in 1990. According to Mrs. Bond, her husband was descended from one of three Burnham brothers who immigrated to Maine from Bristol, England on the ship Angel Gabriel. The ship landed in what’s now Bristol, Maine in the 1600s and sank off Pemaquid Peninsula in a hurricane. Mrs. Bond said she and her husband had owned a Volkswagen dealership in Old Saybrook, Connecticut for 18 years. It was among the first dealerships to sell the famous Beetle automobile. They enjoyed traveling together and visited Europe, Greece and Turkey. They moved to Maine in 1974. Mr. Bond opened a bicycle shop in Brunswick, Brunswick Cycles. Mrs. Bond worked for Coastal Enterprises, Inc. in Wiscasset. For a time, she served as secretary of St. Phillips Episcopal Church on Hodge Street in Wiscasset. After selling her home on Route 218 in Wiscasset she moved in with her daughter Nancy and her family on Old Stage Road. The Bonds have two daughters, Carolyn Burnham Bond (Mrs. Harvey Davis) and Nancy Willard Bond (Mrs. Phillip Gosline) and four grandchildren, Ian Davis, Laura Davis Drown, Justyn Gosline and Courtney Gosline and several great-grandchildren. (article and photograph by Phil Di Vici, Wiscasset Newspaper, via email from Stephen Hoffman)
Jun 2015: Clinton Roscoe Hilliker, age 98, is the town of Woolwich’s new keeper of the Boston Post Cane. (The presentation was made at HillHouse, an assisted living facility in Bath. Hilliker resides there but continues to maintain his residency across the Kennebec River in Woolwich.) He was born April 16, 1917, in Lynn, Massachusetts, where he grew up. He later attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he played ice hockey. After graduating as part of the MIT class of 1939, he began working for the Bethlehem Steel Corporation in upstate New York. In the 1940s Hilliker met the love of his life, Lois Cook; the two were wed in 1944. Following a long and successful business career that took them then from New York to Connecticut, California and Texas, the Hillikers retired and moved to Maine. They settled on River Road in Woolwich and became active members of both the Day’s Ferry Congregation Church and the Day’s Ferry Community Club. For many years Hilliker served as a docent at the Maine Maritime Museum in Bath. He said the 30 or so years he spent in Woolwich were some of the best years of his life. Lois Hilliker passed away in 2012. The Hillikers three children are David Hilliker, Jeffery Hilliker and Deborah LaChapelle. (article and photograph by Phil De Vece, Wiscasset Newspaper, via Stephen Hoffman).
Apr 2015: Loring “Larry” Edgerly. Edgerly died April 9 at the age of 98. He had held the cane since Dec. 2013. Along with being the keeper of the Boston Cane, Edgerly had also been the town of Woolwich’s oldest veteran.
Dec 2013: Loring “Larry” Edgerly accepted the Boston Post Cane from Woolwich Selectmen’s Chairman David King and now reigns as Woolwich’s oldest living citizen. In passing on the cane to Edgerly, King said, “It is my honor this afternoon to present a replica of the Woolwich cane to Mr. Loring Edgerly, our oldest resident at the age of 97. He was born in the town of Whitefield September 7, 1916 and moved to Woolwich in the late 1930’s, when he built a house on property he purchased from his family on Murphy’s Corner Road in 1941 “He was called to serve in the Army in September 1941. He returned to Maine on furlough in 1944 to marry his wife, Geraldine. They raised two children, Sylvia and Dana, who both presently live in Woolwich also.” Edgerly’s older sister, Mary Creamer, 99, of Whitefield, was awarded that community’s post cane in 2010. The secret to the Edgerly siblings’ longevity is a story still to be told. (article in Wiscasset Newspaper, via Stephen Hoffman)
November 2013: Grace E. Smith, 97, of Woolwich died November 13, 2013 at Mid Coast Hospital in Brunswick. She held the Boston Post Cane for being the oldest citizen in Woolwich. She moved to this area as a young child. She attended Woolwich schools and Morse High School. She was employed at Congress Sportswear in Bath for many years. (obituary in the Boothbay Register, via Stephen Hoffman)
Nov 2002: Selectmen David King presented the Boston Post Cane to Stanley Wallace, Woolwich’s oldest resident, on November 6, 2002. In a brief and informal presentation, King offered his congratulations to Mr. Wallace for attaining the honor. Born in Bath 1910, he celebrated his 92nd birthday on June 26, 2002. Eleanor Adeline Jameson was awarded the cane in January 2001.
Yarmouth Maine still honors the tradition – although the cane is temporarily in the hands of the Town Clerk.Yarmouth has notes on who has received the cane in the most recent past (mid 1970’s forward), but it is far from complete. They are considering two policy changes on awarding the cane: (a) require that the recipient be a current resident and have been a resident for a minimum period (5 years?) so that they don’t award the cane to residents of one of their nursing homes who may legally be residents but have never been engaged in the community, and (b) having a replica or other token made so that the original can be on display in the Town Hall or Historical Society with a plaque listing all names of past honorees. (via email from Town Manager Nat Tupper – April 2003)
York recently revived the tradition of the Boston Post Cane and has now stationed the cane in a glass case on display at the York Public Library. The recipient will receive a framed picture of when the honor was given and have their name shown with the cane in the case. Town Manager Steve Burns hopes to have a plaque that will list the honorees over time.
Mar 2022: Rev. Wilbert Gough turned 104 on June 13, 2022, and was awarded the cane by the town of York (article in PortsmouthHerald-031822). The Reverend has since passed away on August 13, 2022 (GoughObituary).
Feb 2021: Dan Patrick Donnell, who turned 103 years on March 16, was presented the Boston Post Cane on February 4 in a ceremony at the York Public Library. Five generations of Donnells attended, although some were on a large screen via Zoom, including Bud’s great-great-grandchild. Among the many things that kept him active was volunteering at York Hospital which earned him a United Way of York County Spirit of Service Award in 2017. According to the York Weekly, “When asked for the secret to his long life, Donnell was succinct: ‘Keep smiling, and keep moving,’ he said, with a twinkle in his eyes.” (Seacoast Online article by Dan Bancroft)
2002: York’s cane is on view in the library of the Old York Historical Society in York. It is believed the cane was last given out by the Rotary in 1984. After the recipient’s death the Rotary gave it to Old York Historical Society. In the mid-1990s the York Senior Center requested the cane and tried to continue the tradition, but found that it was too difficult to keep track of it and returned the cane to the society in 2002. (via Cynthia Young-Gomes, Old York Historical Society)