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This photo shows a children's parade on Main Street in Lincoln in the 1950s. The stores in the background have all been torn down. Veterans Memorial Square is at this location today. Photo courtesy of Karl McGillvray.


Lee Rand Photo

January 30, 2009 - Today, Friday, January 30th, the Town of Lincoln is 180 years old. "An Act To Incorporate The Town of Lincoln" was passed by the Maine State Legislature on January 30, 1829. A petition at the time calling for our first Town meeting was signed by Alfred Gates, Benjamin Hammond, Zadoc Gates, H. Bradbury, Chesley Hayes and Humphrey Merrill. On April 6th, 1829, the Town chose for that meeting Ira Fish as Moderator. He along with Benjamin Chesley and Israel Heald were chosen as the Town's Selectmen, Assessors and Overseers of the Poor. Chesley Hayes was chosen as Treasurer. And, that was the way it was 180 years ago in Lincoln!

We've come a long way since my direct ancestor Asa Kneeland "took a lot on Fish Hill" in 1823, and later lived on Half Township. Born in 1791, he died in 1882. A number of area families can trace their families back to the early days of this, and area towns.

The book, "History of Lincoln" is a good place to start your journey through Lincoln's early history. Written by Dr. Dana Fellows, it was published by his widow in 1929. It's available for download at in our History section here on

I sometimes wonder what our ancestors would think of the town if they came back today. The majestic elm trees that lined our streets are, for the most part, gone. Lost in the 60's. The riverdrivers who risked life and limb as a vital part of our forestry economy are gone, but their memory and deeds are celebrated here every July. The roads are paved and have been for nearly a century now. The Ku Klux Klan no longer marches down Main Street. The woolen industry came and went. In place of the old high school is the junior high on the shores of Mattanawcook Pond. So many people and events over the years that this short column can't begin to do justice to Lincoln's colorful past and the people who contributed to make it the nice, pleasant little town it is today.

Photo at right: Main Street in Lincoln in the very early 1900s.

In the past, as far as we can tell, Lincoln had no special celebrations commemorating its birthday, except for its 100th in 1929 and its 150th in 1979. Both years the town had a big parade, but it wasn't in January. The parade was held in the summer, and I can surely understand why! Several people have e-mailed us telling us a few things that were part of the birthday celebration. In 1979, the men in town had to get a permit at the Town Office NOT to grow a beard! And, thanks to Tate Aylward, we have a mint copy of the 150th Birthday program that was distributed around town. It's pictured at the end of this article, and has been donated to the Lincoln Historical Society. Also see below a photo of the parade that year.

Below, courtesy of the Lincoln Historical Society, are a couple of photos of Lincoln's 100th birthday parade from 1929:

Here's a photo from George King. The picture was taken on July 21, 1979, during Lincoln's Sesquicentennial Grand Parade. (See program below for other activities that took place during that celebration.)

If you have photos of Lincoln's 150th birthday events, please share them with us! You can e-mail photos to us. Please include as much information about your photos as you can.

So, in conclusion, "Happy Birthday Lincoln"!! Your best days are ahead and we've certainly had some glorious, interesting and entertaining ones behind us! I doubt I'll be around for our 200th birthday but I have a hunch there'll be one helluva celebration!!

- Lee Rand

Photo at left: Ballard Hill Community Center, formerly a school.

Photo by Lee Rand

This great photo of Lincoln's 4th of July parade in 1950 was brought to us by Barbara Fogg Brown. Barbara's father, Wayne Fogg, was driving the fire truck in this picture. He was Lincoln's assistant fire chief at the time, and was later chief.

George King loaned us this photo of Lincoln's 1979 Sesquicentennial parade. The Methodist Church has had its steeple modified since then, and the old movie hall visible in the picture has been torn down. If you have any old photos of the Lincoln area, we'd love to share them with our viewers!

This photo was taken by Jeannette King in 1954 during the Fourth of July parade, somewhere along West Broadway.

This parade photo was taken in 1962. Lincoln's movie theater can be seen in the background.

This photo was taken in 1950.

Below is an assortment of old parade photos, in no particular order. We don't know when these were taken, but each one offers a glimpse of a celebration that happened during happy times in Lincoln's past.