Hope Historical Society

Meeting of July 15th 2014



At the Hope Corner Firehouse President Donovan Bowley called the meeting to order at 7 PM. Also present were: Thornton Batty Jr. (presenter), Marie Berry, John Bielamowicz (Northport), Dick & Gwen Brodis, Richard & Elizabeth Laiho Crabtree, Nancy Ford, Tom Hardy, Obed Hart, Linda Hillgrove, Bill Jones, Willis Keene, Ann Leadbetter, Barbara Ludwig, Lewis & Florance Merrifield, Eliot & Jane Mitchell, Emma Mitchell, Ron Smith and Diane Sprowl.

The June 2014 meeting minutes were summarized & unanimously approved.

Treasurer Gwen Brodis presented the Treasurer's report. It was unanimously received. Over the past month, expenditures were $825.61 for the construction projects, $51.99 for office supplies from Staples, $2,034.45 for fuel and $269. for the service contract on the heater (total = $3181.05). Balances are $13,079.60 in our savings account and $1489.65 in our checking account after a $3,000. transfer to pay the month's bills.


Gwen reminded members and guests to buy chances on Florance Merrifield's twin-bed quilt, which would benefit the Historical Society.

Donovan (1) noted that there would be a pause in construction at the Hope Historical Home until the end of blueberry harvest. Paul Hart's electrical work will be paused pending our getting the framing done. (2) Volunteer help is needed for the memory garden. (3) The big wingding for the Searsmont bicentennial will be August 9th.

Thanks to Nancy Ford for providing the refreshments for this meeting and to Linda Hillgrove for doing so for the August meeting.

New Business

A $1266. insurance bill is due. Gwen needs authorization to pay a bill this big. Ann Leadbetter moved and the Society unanimously approved authorizing the Treasurer to pay regularly scheduled bills provided that they don't vary widely from anticipated amounts.

Treasurer Gwen explained a fund-raising promotion available. HHS would get $6 for every movie-ticket book for the Flagship theatre sold for $25. Reaction was favorable. Ron Smith suggested that the route volunteers for the Hope Community Calendar could sell the booklets in August when they deliver the calendars. (The calendars are a project of and fund-raiser for Hope Volunteer Library and Hope Elementary School.) Volunteers should see Gwen.

The meeting adjourned at 7:24.


Ann Leadbetter, Program Committee Chair, introduced Thornton Batty Jr. of Spruce Head who spoke on the Civil War soldier. He held members and guests spellbound for over an hour and a half. There was the usual account of how the war went, but much more. Batty dressed in and explained the uses of the full uniform and kit a Union soldier carried and why. On his banjo, he played songs the soldiers sang around campfires: Rally 'Round the Flag Boys, Battle Hymn of the Republic, She'll Be Comin' 'Round the Mountain, and the nostalgic Tenting Tonight on the Old Camp Ground.

Batty explained that Maine's contribution to the war and to its heavy casualties was higher per capita than that of any other state. And so was Hope's. Our town, which had 1065 people at the 1860 census, sent 73 enlistees and 10 draftees to fight. That's 8% of the population and between a quarter and a fifth of the adult men. Nineteen were killed, 8 in battle, 1 in a POW camp and 10 by disease. That's one out of every 56 men, women and children - roughly one of every 20 adult men. And a lot of the rest were wounded, without even counting stress disorders. He had researched and presented us with a list of all the names, except those of the three deserters. The anti-war movement of ship-builders and others along the coast didn't affect Hope. The family names are mostly familiar. Batty gave the Bowleys as an example. 8 Hope Bowleys served in the Civil War. 5 of them died.

Informal discussions continued after the meeting formally ended at 9 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Bill Jones, Secretary