June 24, 2018
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‘Lost on a Mountain in Maine’ author to return to Bangor museum

John Clarke Russ | BDN
John Clarke Russ | BDN
Donn Fendler, who was lost in the Mount Katahdin area for nine days as a youngster in 1939, will give a program at 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17, at Cole Land Transportation Museum, 405 Perry Road, Bangor. He is seen here at his summer residence on Sebasticook Lake in Newport in July 2009.
By Roxanne Moore Saucier, BDN Columnist

BANGOR — Donn Fendler, who spent nine days lost in the Mount Katahdin area as a 12-year-old in 1939, will make his annual visit to the Cole Land Transportation Museum, 405 Perry Road, at 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17.

Fendler, co-author of the Maine classic “Lost on a Mountain in Maine,” will sign books beginning at 11 a.m. in the covered bridge by the museum. The program is set for 1 p.m. in the museum conference room, with seating on a first-come, first-served basis. Fendler will sign more books afterward.

Fendler’s annual presentation generally draws hundreds of people to hear his thoughts on how his faith and Boy Scout training helped him survive until he came upon a camp in Stacyville, 35 miles from where he started.

Fendler never profited from the book, but Maine schoolteachers have kept it in print, thinking the slim volume was just right for young readers.

Fendler, who lives in Tennessee, has spoken to countless classes of schoolchildren around the state while he summers in Maine, emphasizing the importance of staying with one’s group while hiking and during other outdoor adventures.

Fendler calls it “giving back” to the state where hundreds of volunteers turned out to search for him and countless more prayed for his safe return all those years ago.

His yearly appearance at the Cole museum continues to be tremendously popular, according to Galen Cole, who founded the museum and flew with Fendler on an airplane flight over the Katahdin area a few years ago with then-Conservation Commissioner Pat McGowan as pilot.

Admission to the museum, home to more than 200 vehicles and several military memorials and exhibits, will be at a reduced rate of $5 for adults on Saturday. Those age 18 and under always are admitted free. There is no charge for the Fendler presentation.

The museum is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. May 1-Nov. 11 each year. For information, call 990-3600.

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