EDDINGTON, Maine — The town named for the Revolutionary War soldier who founded it, along with 19 of his compatriots, will celebrate its 200th anniversary this weekend with three days of activities.
The expedition Col. Jonathan Eddy led at Fort Cumberland, Nova Scotia, in 1776 was by no means a success. But when Eddy and 19 others petitioned the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for land nearly a decade later, lawmakers were grateful that the little band had been part of the effort to keep some 2,000 British busy at Halifax during the Revolutionary War.
Eddy and the others received land, ranging from 150 to 1,500 acres, in what was incorporated as Eddington in 1811, the 184th town in the District of Maine.
Heading up the planning for July 22-24 are Bicentennial Committee members Therese Anderson, Richard Bowden, Denise Knowles, Ralph Russell, Susan Dunham Shane, Russell Smith, Pat Wilking and chairwoman Margaret McKinney.
Activities kick off Friday at Comins Hall with a 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 starts at 10 a.m. Saturday with spectators viewing the procession along Route 9 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.
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, Boy Scouts, service organizations and a color guard from Bangor Marine Corps League Detachment 1151.
The town fair afterward near the town office will offer exhibits, an updated Ceremony of Incorporation play originally written 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.
Following are the activities planned for the bicentennial celebration:
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, near 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., baseball competition at town office field. Concessions.
• 7 p.m., choral concert, North Brewer-Eddington United Methodist Church. With Singers around the Bend, choirs, folk singers.
For information on the Eddy family, visithttp://www.eddyfamilyassociation.com. “The Eddy Family in America,” by Ruth Story Devereux Eddy, is available at the Bangor Public Library. For information on the bicentennial, visit http://www.eddingtonmaine.gov or contact committee members.