EDDINGTON — Col. Jonathan Eddy will be “resplendent” in his Revolutionary War garb. The founder and namesake for the town of Eddington has been asked, and agreed to attend this weekend’s Bicentennial in the person of Eddington resident Joe Sekera.
From the chicken barbecue on Friday evening to Sunday’s choral concert at the Methodist church “at the Bend,” a variety of activities will contribute to the theme “200 Years of Eddington.”
Actually, it was a quarter-century earlier when Eddy and “19 others” received their grant in recognition of their 1776 service at Fort Cumberland, Nova Scotia. (Settling in the area even before Eddy were Alexander Grant, Steven Grant, Daniel Mann, Stephen Buzzell, Jacob Oliver and Patrick Mahoney under a claim of “pre-occupancy.”)
The Fort Cumberland expedition failed, but the effort kept 2,000 British busy in Halifax, preventing them from joining their forces in the American colonies. We know who the “19 others” were thanks to Carolyn Wood’s “Reflections from Eddington,” written for the Eddington Bicentennial Committee in 1976, much of which came from “Historical Sketch of East Eddington Area,” published in 1938 by Burdock Rube, actually Oliver Harrison.
Grantees and the acreage each received were: Jonathan Eddy, 1,500 acres; Ebenezer Garner, 1,000 acres; Zebulon Rowe, 750 acres; William Maxwell, 750 acres; Robert Foster, 550 acres; Parker Clarke, 550 acres; Atwood Fales, 450 acres; Elijah Eddy, 450 acres; William Eddy, 300 acres; Phineas Never, 1,000 acres; Nathaniel Reynolds, 300 acres; Seth Noble, 300 acres; Samuel Rogers, 300 acres; Thomas Lockner, 230 acres; John Day, 230 acres; Anthony Burke, 150 acres; Beckford Carpenter, 150 acres; John Eckley, 150 acres; Jonathan Eddy Jr., 150 acres; William Howe, 150 acres.
Eddington became the 184th town in the District of Maine on Feb. 22, 1811. Its first Board of Selectmen was made up of Park Holland, well-known surveyor and himself a Revolutionary War veteran; Thomas Parker and William Cook.
Heading up the planning for July 22-24 are the Bicentennial Committee: Margaret McKinney, chairwoman; Therese Anderson, Richard Bowden, Denise Knowles, Ralph Russell, Susan Dunham Shane, Russell Smith and Pat Wilking.
“We have been holding events all year since February to celebrate this milestone,” Dunham Shane said, “but now it is time for the Big Party.”
Activities kick off Friday at Comins Hall, which is handicapped-accessible. The monthly supper, usually held on Saturday, will move to Friday for the occasion with the popular chicken barbecue. Afterward, there will be a concert by Nevah, featuring bluegrass-country-rock by Phil Pitula, Ed Russell, Richard Silver, Jack Anderson, Eric Brown, Hal Meyers and Larry LeBlanc.
The parade on Saturday starts at 10 a.m., with spectators advised to find a viewing spot on Route 9, anywhere from Merrill Road to Rooks Road. Participants will include Ida and Ralph Sites. Now 96, Ida received the Boston Post Cane as the town’s oldest resident a few years ago.
A longtime employee of Viner Shoe in Bangor, Mrs. Sites remembers roller-skating at the rink on Harlow Street that later became the location of Sears Roebuck, and now Norumbega Hall; riding on trolley cars; and going to the movies at four downtown theaters — the Bijou, the Park, the Opera House and the Olympia.
Also taking part will be state Sen. Richard Rosen, state Rep. David Johnson, Boy Scout Troop 23, Eddington Historical Society, Grange No. 101, the Eddington Clifton Civic Center, Daisies, Brownies and Boy Scouts, service organizations and a color guard from Bangor Marine Corp League Detachment 1151.
The town fair afterward by the town office will offer exhibits, an updated Ceremony of Incorporation play, written originally by Susan McKinley; music, and former Gov. John Baldacci and Karen Baldacci presenting awards. A representative of U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud will attend.
A community dance party is scheduled for 8 p.m. at Camp Roosevelt, with fireworks at 9:15 p.m. and then the birthday cake — a series of cakes spelling out E-D-D-I-N-G-T-O-N 200.
Services on Sunday are at North Brewer-Eddington United Methodist Church and Eddington Community Church, with a brief visit afterward to the Jonathan Eddy monument on Monument Drive off Route 178. Baseball games and a concert round out the day.
The monument, within view of the river, reads:
Jonathan Eddy 1726, 1804. A captain in the French and Indian War; a colonel in the Revolutionary War; a representative to the Massachusetts Great and General Court 1783; first magistrate on Penobscot River. This town of Eddington named in his honor and part of original grant to himself and soldiers. This memorial erected by his descendants in 1892.
Friday, July 22
• 5 and 6 p.m. Chicken barbecue with “tons of sides” and pies, first-floor dining room, Comins Hall, 1387 Main Road. Handicapped-accessible. $7, $3 children.
• 7 p.m. Concert by Nevah, 1879 auditorium on second floor, Comins Hall, 1387 Main Road. Handicapped-accessible. Free. Concessions available, 50-50 raffle.
Saturday, July 23
• 10 a.m. Parade, “200 Years of Eddington.” Watch from Main Road, Route 9, from Merrill Road to Rooks Road. Floats, bands, decorated bicycles, doll carriages, antique cars, fire apparatuses, marching units. Trophies awarded.
• 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Town fair, by town office. Exhibits by Eddington Historical Society, Forestry Service, fire departments, Maine Search and Rescue. Food for sale at 10 community groups’ dining kiosks. Awarding of trophies, presentation of Historical Society Essay Contest winners, Ceremony of Incorporation play, music, visit by Col. Jonathan Eddy, games.
• 8-10 p.m. or so. Community dance party, Dola Hinkley spinning favorites, ’50s through ’90s, fireworks, birthday cake, Camp Roosevelt Dining Hall.
Sunday, July 24
“Remembering our Founders”
• 10:15 a.m. Services, East Eddington Community Church, founded 1844.
• 10:30 a.m. Services, North Brewer-Eddington United Methodist Church, founded 1846:
• After services, take a walk to the Eddy Monument, the Eddy Cemetery off Hill Street, or Settlers Cemetery behind New Hope Hospice, to pay homage to town founders.
• 2 p.m. Play Ball! Baseball competition at town office field. Concessions.
• 7 p.m. Choral concert, North Brewer-Eddington UMC. With Singers around the Bend, choirs, folksingers.
For information on the Eddy family, visit http://www.eddyfamilyassociation.com. “The Eddy Family in America,” by Ruth Story Devereux Eddy, is available at Bangor Public Library. For information on the Bicentennial, visit http://www.eddingtonmaine.gov or contact committee members.