EDDINGTON, Maine — No living descendants of Col. Jonathan Eddy, the town’s namesake, made it to the three-day bicentennial celebration held over the weekend, but at least one family that has been here since the beginning made a strong appearance.
“My family has lived on the beautiful landscape of Comins homestead land since Maine was the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,” Courtney Carroll, 12, said Sunday, reading from an essay she wrote. “I am proud to say I am the eighth generation to live here. My ancestors walked the same fields I enjoy so much today.”
The soon-to-be-seventh grader is the daughter of Pam Carroll and granddaughter of Margaret McKinney, who still lives in the original homestead and is the chairwoman of the bicentennial committee.
Courtney Carroll entered an essay contest sponsored by the town’s historical society and won in her age group for her essay that answers the question, “Why you like living in Eddington?”
She took the stage on Saturday during the town fair celebration to read her essay and later was recalled when it was announced that she took top honors.
“It was a nice surprise, nobody knew,” said her mother.
Eddington became the 184th town in the District of Maine on Feb. 22, 1811. To celebrate the 200th anniversary, several events were held throughout the weekend, including a chicken barbecue Friday night, a parade, town fair, dance and fireworks on Saturday and community baseball game and a choral concert on Sunday.
“It was wonderful,” Pam Carroll said.
One event organizer, Susan Dunham-Shane, who also sits on the planning board and is the spokeswoman for Historic Comins Hall, which was constructed in 1879, was pleased with the turnout.
“I was happy because people brought their kids to all the events,” she said.
For Saturday morning’s parade, “There were 12 different public service units and 13 floats and we had almost 30 Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts marching and 26 classic cars and trucks, plus the Marine Corps League color guard and Sen. [Richard] Rosen,” Dunham-Shane said.
The historic society’s float easily won the best float contest, she said.
“They had an antique John Deer tractor pulling two hay wagons and they had quilts and a wash line with bloomers and a washboard with scrubbing, and a lumber section with a person splitting wood with an axe, and a school room on the back,” Dunham-Shane said.
The town was named for Eddy, a Revolutionary War soldier who moved to the area with 19 of his compatriots after petitioning and receiving land a decade after their service at Fort Cumberland, Nova Scotia, in 1776.
He wasn’t the first settler, but “because he was such a major person in forming the town and in the area, they named it after him,” Pam Carroll explained.
Her daughter is one that is happy for the events of 200 years ago.
“I can’t help think that my ancestors might have enjoyed the same things I do now,” Courtney Carroll said. “Eddington is an amazing place to live and there is nowhere else I’d rather be.”