Articles by Kathryn Olmstead

Lucy would not even look at me when I called her to come in.

Dog reminds writer of the importance of exercise

By Kathryn Olmstead on Oct. 10, 2013, at 6:05 p.m.
It’s 7:30 a.m., and I am practicing my Bach for an upcoming piano lesson. My chocolate Labrador retriever Lucy tiptoes into the living room and sits down close to me behind the piano bench. Could she be ill? She usually retreats to the farthest reaches of the house when I …
Dr. Narayana Prasanna, Lil Costello, Larry Berz and Grier Ostermann approach the 35-mile mark in Easton on their 50-mile hike from Littleton to Limestone Aug. 31 honoring the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy's call for national fitness and vigor.

Aroostook County astronomy teacher hikes 50 miles in 1 day — Houlton to Limestone — in memory of JFK

By Kathryn Olmstead on Sept. 12, 2013, at 1:43 p.m.
Anyone old enough to remember the assassination of President John F. Kennedy can tell you where they were and what they were doing Nov. 22, 1963, after shots rang out in Dallas and the nation came together around the television set to share the loss of a leader and of …
Carl Robert Langley (named for his Langley and Milliard grandfathers) at age 12, the year a malignant  brain tumor took his life.

Aroostook boy lives on through benefit ride, hike

By Kathryn Olmstead on Aug. 15, 2013, at 9:56 a.m.
Carl Robert Langley was 8 when he learned he had a rare malignant brain tumor. Headaches, vomiting and low blood sugar counts had been attributed to sinus infections several times before it was discovered that a pinealoblastoma was creating irreversible pressure on his brain. The life of the Fort Fairfield …
The Francis Malcolm Science Center in Easton has launched a $1.5 million fundraising campaign with a postcard declaring the center will be forced to close in less than two years without an infusion of donations.

Easton science center is ‘exciting educational resource’ worth saving

By Kathryn Olmstead on June 20, 2013, at 12:26 p.m.
Francis Malcolm never entered the building that bears his name in his hometown of Easton, but the vision it represents makes him familiar to thousands of people he never knew. He would be saddened to know that the future of his legacy is at risk. Founded in 1983 with an …
A 10.5-foot-tall moose sculpture graces the entrance to the new U.S. Customs and Border Protection port of entry in Van Buren.

Aroostook moose sculpture: symbolic artwork or undue expense?

By Kathryn Olmstead on June 06, 2013, at 2:30 p.m.
When Glenn Hines of southern Aroostook created a life-sized bronze moose in 1998, he was not seeking to replicate the animal that prances across Maine highways without regard for traffic. He wanted to capture the essence of a creature that is “both comical and majestic at the same time.” An …
Expansion of the hydroponics greenhouse is one of the many future projects that excite Luke Shorty, executive director and academic dean of the Maine School of Science and Mathematics in Limestone. Shorty is also an alumnus of  MSSM.

Maine School of Science and Mathematics alumni drawn to give back to magnet school

By Kathryn Olmstead on May 23, 2013, at 2:07 p.m.
Alumni of the Maine School of Science and Mathematics in Limestone are giving new meaning to its identity as a magnet school. Founded in 1995, the school’s first graduates are reaching an age when giving back is a way to express appreciation for valuable experiences. For some that means returning …
Art lovers of all ages flocked to the Wintergreen Art Center in Presque Isle on May 3 for an art auction to benefit a forthcoming Northern Maine Cultural Center. Pencils in hand, bidders vied for 70  12-inch-by-12-inch canvasses donated by artists throughout Aroostook County and County-lovers from the West Coast, Midwest, southern Maine and other New England states.

Art walks revitalize downtown Presque Isle

By Kathryn Olmstead on May 09, 2013, at 2:24 p.m.
Let’s see if I can explain this. The first Friday of every month is art walk night in Presque Isle. But as the event grows in scope and popularity it has become more and more challenging to take in all that is offered. May 3 was particularly complicated for me. …
Greg and Joy Johnson welcome visitors to the log home that was dismantled in New Sweden and rebuilt on their salt water farm in Harpswell.

Navy admiral finds Swedish roots in Aroostook log home

By Kathryn Olmstead on April 11, 2013, at 11:46 a.m.
Adm. Gregory G. Johnson never forgot his Aroostook County roots. His career in the U.S. Navy took him all over the world, ultimately as commander of U.S. Naval Forces in Europe, headquartered in London, and commander of Allied Forces in southern Europe, headquartered in Naples, Italy. But the Westmanland native …
Kathryn Olmstead

Visitors experience wonders of Aroostook County

By Kathryn Olmstead on March 28, 2013, at 2:05 p.m.
Every month, Portland-based Maine magazine takes its readers to a different part of the state through a regular feature titled 48 Hours. For the March edition — also the Food Issue — Editor Susan Grisanti and Associate Publisher Steve Kelly traveled to Aroostook County; Susan to Presque Isle and Steve …
Gail Maynard of Orchard Hill Farm in Woodland welcomes Rep. Carol McElwee of Caribou to a gathering of small family farm owners and Maine legislators March 9 at The Whole Potato Cafe and Commons in Presque Isle.

State lawmakers visit Aroostook County family farms

By Kathryn Olmstead on March 14, 2013, at 2:12 p.m.
It started in a conversation around a dining room table in Woodland last year. It culminated last weekend in a visit to Aroostook County by members of the Maine Legislature’s Joint Standing Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. The initial conversation focused on Aroostook County agriculture and the future of …
A trio of 3-year-old red deer stags mug for a visitor at Shakaree Red Deer Farm in New Limerick.

Aroostook home to largest, oldest red deer farm in country

By Kathryn Olmstead on Feb. 28, 2013, at 11:55 a.m.
If you search for information on red deer farming on the Internet, one of the first websites to pop up will be Shakaree Red Deer Farm in New Limerick, Maine. With a herd of 1,000 animals on 500 acres of pasture in southern Aroostook County, Shakaree is the largest and …
Terry Kelly of Mapleton designed this contemporary rod-back armchair to be a blend of beauty and function.

Aroostook County man crafts artful chairs, furniture

By Kathryn Olmstead on Feb. 14, 2013, at 5:37 p.m.
When Terry Kelly graduated from the University of Maine in Orono with a degree in English in 1995, he dreamed of writing fiction and poetry, and still does. But his focus changed after he began working at his father’s mill, Kelly Lumber, when he returned to Ashland, where he grew …
Alpacas are gentle, curious and well suited to life in northern Maine where conditions are similar to their native habitat in the mountains of Peru. These three reside at Spudland Alpacas in Blaine.

Alpacas well suited to northern Maine climate

By Kathryn Olmstead on Jan. 17, 2013, at 6:28 p.m.
I have wanted to visit Spudland Alpacas ever since I noticed the sign on Route 1 just south of Mars Hill pointing to the farm and store on the Bubar Road. That would have been around 2003 when Richard Porter decided to add animals to his farm in Blaine. A …
Kathryn Olmstead

Downtown Presque Isle a hotbed of art on first Fridays

By Kathryn Olmstead on Jan. 03, 2013, at 7:11 p.m.
Downtown Presque Isle was abuzz Friday night, Dec. 7. Merchants on the Corner offered wine and beer tastings. The Reed Gallery at the University of Maine at Presque Isle hosted a reception in honor of six artisans featured in the month’s exhibition of “fine craft of northern Maine.” Live music …
Bright beads of solder float on a flat slab of marble as Stephen Boody of New Sweden seals the fine seam on one of 256 pipes he is making for a pipe organ to be installed in North Carolina.

New Sweden man crafts voices of pipe organs heard around the world

By Kathryn Olmstead on Dec. 06, 2012, at 3:01 p.m.
The pipe organ at the Covenant Presbyterian Church in Nashville, Tenn., has 2,974 pipes. The organ in Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas has 5,535 pipes. The organ in the Cathedrale de Lausanne in Lausanne, Switzerland, has 6,654 pipes. A significant number of the pipes for these and dozens of other …
Kathryn Olmstead

Fort Fairfield looking to revive glory days

By Kathryn Olmstead on Nov. 22, 2012, at 2:25 p.m.
Brent Churchill remembers when he was growing up in Fort Fairfield and drivers could not find a place to park on Main Street any Friday or Saturday night. The town was bustling with activity, drawing people from surrounding towns on both sides of the Canadian border. “Fort Fairfield was the …
John Piotti, executive director of the Belfast-based Maine Farmland Trust (right), listens intently as Farm Manager John Hoffses describes the products offered in the MSAD 1 Farm Store in Presque Isle.

School farm connects students to land, culture of work

By Kathryn Olmstead on Nov. 08, 2012, at 3:37 p.m.
When John Hoffses of Mapleton graduated from Presque Isle High School in 2002, he enrolled in the agribusiness program at Northern Maine Community College in Presque Isle. He had worked at the MSAD 1 Educational Farm during high school and looked forward to a career in agriculture. But there was …
Kathryn Olmstead

Program teaching Aroostook residents how to change lifestyles, live healthier

By Kathryn Olmstead on Sept. 27, 2012, at 3:58 p.m.
When Wesley Rankin joined the Healthy Hearts Healthy Community program at Cary Medical Center in Caribou in May 2012, his speech was slurred, he weighed 268 pounds, he was falling down frequently, and he could move only the thumb on his right hand. A pair of strokes in February had …
Paul Tibbets (left), pilot of the B-29 bomber Enola Gay, and University of Maine at Presque Isle Prof. Anderson Giles on Tinian in August 2005 during official ceremonies for Giles' commissioned painting of the B-29 bomber Bockscar leaving Nagasaki with the atomic mushroom cloud behind.

UMPI art professor documents WWII veterans’ Pacific stories

By Kathryn Olmstead on Sept. 13, 2012, at 6:32 p.m.
When Anderson Giles decided to see what he could learn about the island in the Pacific where his father served during World War II, he had no idea his search would evolve into a second career. Professor of art at the University of Maine at Presque Isle, Giles was 4 …
Arthur Mraz is surrounded by a few of the 400 varieties of hostas he nurtures in his yard in Fort Fairfield.

Amazing variety of hostas featured in Fort Fairfield gardens

By Kathryn Olmstead on Aug. 30, 2012, at 6:33 p.m.
The temperature was 90 degrees outside when I rolled into Arthur Mraz’s dooryard Sunday afternoon, but it was 10-15 degrees cooler in the shaded yard surrounding his home in Fort Fairfield. It was even cooler in his house. He had opened a window to let in the warm air from …