Hope Historical Society
Meeting of June 17th 2010
President Donovan Bowley called the monthly meeting to order at 7:05 PM at the Hope Library. Also present were: Bob Appleby, Barbara Bentley, Joe Berry, John & Jean Boeckeler, Phelps Brown (President, Appleton Historical Society), Hope Chase, Dan Dalrymple, Herb Hart, Bill & Judith Jones, Eleanor Lacombe, Lew McGreggor, Lee Pelletier, Ron Smith, Linda Stewart, and a visitor from Cushing whose name I missed.
In the absence of Treasurer Faith Hart, the president postponed the treasurer's report until the next meeting. The secretary asked if there were additions &/or corrections to the April 20th meeting minutes which had been circulated. There were not. The secretary read the minutes of the May 18th meeting. The minutes were approved as read.
For the Website Committee, Vice President and Webmaster Bob Appleby reported that use of www.hopehist.com continues to grow and reached 157 hits per day in May! All Hope gravestones are now pictured on the site (except those in the addition to Hope Grove). Volunteers to complete this project would be welcome. Minutes of previous HHS meetings are starting to be put up. www.hopehist.com is linked with the much-less-used Town website. Bob also noted that he would begin adding biographies to gravesite photos and asked those able to supply such information to contact him.
The president thanked all who had helped with our food and craft sale on election day. Proceeds were $609. Even though this was just a primary election, demand for our baked goods and other food was strong. We sold out well before the polls closed and many had to go without.
The president welcomed Ron & Dottie Wright to the club of major collectors of returnable bottles and cans. They join Al & Martie Cooper, Dick & Gwen Brodis, Ron & Ann Leadbetter, Ken Blakeley & Jill Lang, and Zelda Kaler. Take your returnables to the Coastal Workshop collection center on Limerock Street in Camden and specify that they are for Hope Historical Society, or call Bill Jones and he will take them for you.
The secretary admitted that he had made two mistakes in the HHS part of the town report. We don't have a new furnace. Jane Hart Mitchell is secretary of Friends of South Hope School.
Old Business: none
The president reported for treasurer Faith Hart that she wanted authorization to pre-buy our fuel oil on June 28th and, hopefully, save. She recommended continuing to buy from Pen-Bay Oli, 500 gals. at $2.74/gal. plus $229 for the service plan. The Society unanimously approved expenditure of $1,603.50 for this purpose (more than needed because we have a credit from last year).
The July meeting will feature Mrs. Best, a Rockland descendant of Hope's Trues, who kept and donated to us the spectacular Victorian hair art creation made by the women of Hope from their own hair, probably during the Civil War. The meeting will be Tuesday July 20th at Hope Historical Home at 7 PM.
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Donovan closed the business meeting and Bill Jones introduced our own Eleanor Lacombe, researcher at Maine Medical Center's Vector-borne Disease Lab. Using words, slides and samples, she explained a great deal about how ticks and Lyme disease fit into our ecosystem.
The Lyme disease spirochete is injected into humans (& other animals) on deer tick saliva (not that dog ticks or other local kinds of ticks) they use to keep blood flowing when they fill up. The incidence of the disease, and of the deer ticks, is highly correlated to deer population. For statisticians, the R2 = 0.64! Deer ticks use deer (which don't get Lyme disease) as hotels; males check in and wait there for females, who come, mate and drop off.
Maine, between European contact and first European settlement, was going through global cooling. We are at the northern end of the white-tail deer's range now, so our climate was a real stretch for them then. Besides, there were few grasslands and forest edges that deer like, consequently few deer. And few deer ticks.
In Knox County, as settlers poured in, forest was cut for farm land, pasture & hay fields, and to feed the limerock industry with fuelwood and barrels. Venison was prized. Hope was poor deer habitat. It was only in the 20th Century, when both lime and livestock industries faded and forest re-grew and climate warmed, that deer and deer tick population boomed.
Eleanor showed scary graphs of Lyme disease incidence growing dramatically in recent years and of where in Maine it is worst. The latest figures for Maine are 67.4 cases/10,000 people. Knox County is highest with 169.2!
Where deer have been eliminated (e.g. Monhegan), the deer ticks and the disease virtually disappear. For now, you can minimize disease risk by staying out of woods and brush; deer ticks dry out and die on lawns. You can use Frontline on pets that go outdoors. Since you can't stay on lawns, you should tuck your pants into socks and shirt into pants. You should check your body and clothes for ticks and get them off in less than 36 hours. This may be hard because deer-tick nymphs are tiny. If a tick that has been on you more than 36 hours is a deer tick, you are at risk of getting Lyme disease. Lacombe explained how you can check your areas for ticks, which months the ticks lurk in high grass and brush waiting for a large mammal like you to come by, how hundreds of gross moose ticks can kill moose, why keeping Guinea fowl will not work to control ticks, how to remove ticks and identify them, and much, much more. There was a lively discussion period. Useful literature was handed out. A copy will be filed with the minutes.
Bill Jones, Secretary