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Past Events

Note: This page gives a brief description of past events, with the most recent at the top.  Pictures are available in some cases.


The Christmas Party was held on Sat, Dec. 14. Although it was the “usual” pot luck event with around 40 attendees and Christmas Carols after dinner, it was also the usual great time that never fails to put one into the spirit of the season.  In addition to John on his guitar, Nonie Irving played keyboards this evening.  A little snowfall near the end of the night made it picture perfect. No notes recorded below for 2012, but it was the same (Dec. 10) except music was guitar only.

BBQ at Camp Wohelo was held on August 18. The weather was cooperative but attendance was a little low at around 41.  We held our annual meeting and the members approved the existing board of trustees plus new trustees Jim and Ann Stewart, who own the Manning House. Paul is stepping down as President and Frank Chambers bravely volunteered to lead us for the coming year or two.

Strawberry Festival: We made this event special this year by tieing it in with the first Raymond Garden Tour, held the same day (June 29). This highly successful tour benefited the Raymond Village Library and will be held every two years going forward.  We started the Strawberry Festival earlier than usual at 3:30 and featured author and speaker Judy Paolini, a professional designer who recently published a book entitled, “The Inspired Garden”.  Her book and remarks inspired many of us to undertake new creative projects in our own gardens. The dessert and social followed at around 5. We had nearly 60 attendees on a warm and slightly muggy but pleasant enough day. Thanks to all the Garden Club and Library volunteers who made this entire day such a success!


BBQ at Camp Wohelo was attended by around 35 members on August 19.  Since it was a fine day, we were a little surprised at the lower than average turnout.  We held our annual meeting and the members approved the existing board of trustees and officers for another year.  In addition, the members approved an increase in annual dues from $10 to $15 per family, the first change in about 10 years and badly needed to help us continue to maintain the house amid rising costs and declining volunteerism.

Strawberry Festival / Bicentennial Celebration: To commemorate the 200th birthday of the Hawthorne House we held a bigger, better Strawberry Festival this year.  The local papers helped by featuring stories about the house. Trustee Melanie Champniss selected and donated numerous posters and framed items to decorate the walls of the house and make it more interesting for visitors.  We featured two speakers at the June 30 event: Gorham Builder David Johnston spoke about home building techniques then (1800) and now.  Dave has built many homes during his career and has performed major repairs on the Hawthorne House itself.  USM actor Patrick Molloy portrayed Nathaniel Hawthorne himself and spoke about what life was like in those early days. Approximately 80 people attended the event, including many local residents who had not formerly been involved with the Hawthorne Association. You can see some pictures of the speakers by clicking HERE.


The Christmas Party is always a great time and this year (Saturday, Dec. 10) was no exception. We had about 45 attendees, mild weather (as the whole winter has been) and fun with the gift exchange and singing of Christmas carols together.  A special treat this year was the Victorian decorations created by Jana Drummond.  Many people commented that the house never looked prettier. Since we had missed the annual meeting in the summer, those present voted in our “new” board of trustees consisting of Paul Tracy, President; John Manoush, VP and Secretary; Rebecca Tracy, Treasurer.

The BBQ planned for Sunday, August 28 had to be cancelled due to a little inconvenience called Hurricane Irene.  We made this decision on Friday and it certainly turned out to be the right one!  Although the hurricane was not especially severe, it was not BBQ weather and most areas lost power by around 2 PM.  Some parts of Raymond did not recover their power for over 2 days. No rescheduling is possible so we will just have to include a membership meeting at our Christmas party.

Approximately 60 people took part in The Strawberry Festival on Saturday, June 25. We had clearing skies and comfortable temperatures following a rainy day.  We enjoyed learning some new facts about Hawthorne and some of his [Bowdoin] college friends from our guest speaker, Dr. Steven Rogers. Steven and his wife Sally Ann have been summering in New Gloucester for over 20 years, but only recently learned of the Hawthorne Association. He recently retired as Senior Historian for the Department of Justice’s war crimes and human rights office in Washington, and we feel fortunate to have the Rogers as new members.


The Christmas Party was celebrated on Saturday, Dec. 4. We had a beautifully decorated tree, a reasonably mild evening and plenty of Christmas spirit. It is always fun to see old friends and meet new ones, and what occasion could be better than Christmas? As has been our custom, we presented “grab” gifts to many of the attendees and everyone joined in singing carols before we closed up the house for another season.

The BBQ took place on Sunday, August 22.  Our luck with the weather ran out this year and it either rained or threatened to rain all day, so no beautiful sunset!  Attendance was down to about 45 stalwart members, who nonetheless enjoyed a typically delicious meal served in the dining hall.  The members voted to reconfirm John Manoush as president and Becky Tracy as treasurer.  Frank Chambers stepped down as VP due to heavy business obligations and Paul Tracy accepted the VP position.  Dick and Judy Day agreed to serve another term as trustees and were unanimously approved. They and our other trustees were thanked for their service over the past 5 years. We ended the meeting with a recap of accomplishments for the past year and suggestions for future directions.

The Strawberry Festival on Saturday, June 26 was attended by slightly over 100 people.  Despite the early season for strawberries (and just about everything else this year) we managed to obtain plenty of ripe local berries to prepare the main course.  We also enjoyed homemade biscuits this year thanks to the Tracys. John presented Part 2 of a talk begun last year about what daily life was like in the early 1800’s. This year he spoke about what the homes were like and what people ate, drank and smoked.  Lastly, we had a sing-along organized by Florence Chambers featuring songs from the 1800’s with a rousing finale of “America the Beautiful”.  It was good to see a lot of people attend who were not members, showing that these events can spark some community interest.


The Christmas Party on Saturday, December 5 was picture perfect with snow arriving around 5 PM. Thanks to the new sign and decoration the house never looked prettier. Around 30-35 people enjoyed a great potluck dinner and got into the Christmas mood by singing carols and exchanging gifts.

The Strawberry Festival was held on Saturday, June 27 at the Hawthorne House. The weather was cooperative despite the rainy summer we have been having.  Attendance was in the neighborhood of 40 persons. John Manoush spoke about what life was like in the early 1800’s when the Hawthorne House was built.

The BBQ was held on August 28 with about 45 attendees. It threatened rain but did not start during the BBQ. We thanked outgoing president Paul Tracy for the many improvements to the house during his tenure, including a major structural repair, upgrade of wiring, addition of a coat closet and major tree and shrub removal. A new sign on granite posts should also be in place by year end. The new (or not so new) board of directors consists of John Manoush, President; Frank Chambers, Vice-President; and Rebecca Tracy, Treasurer.


The Christmas party was on Saturday, Dec. 6.  Whether it was the earlier-than-normal date or just coincidence, a lot of members were unable to attend this year.  Just the same, we had a very nice time with a more intimate group who were in excellent voice for Christmas carols accompanied by acoustic guitar.

The Strawberry Festival was held on Saturday, June 28 at the Hawthorne House. The weather was a bit threatening in the morning but comfortable for the festival. Thanks to all our volunteers we once again had plenty of ripe strawberries and fresh whipped cream to go around.  Attendance was in the neighborhood of 40 or 50 persons.

The BBQ was held on August 23 with 54 attendees -- we were a bit surprised by this high number and almost ran out of food! We had a perfect day and in an outdoor meeting the membership approved the incoming president, Paul Tracy while thanking outgoing president Cinda Roy. The rest of the officers will remain the same.  We had some good discussion about the results of the fundraising efforts and some ideas for improvement which the Board will take up at its September meeting.


The Christmas Party was held on December 15 and appeared to have about 45 or 50 attendees - a bit less than usual.  We had the usual great food and companionship, however, along with reasonably mild weather. Frozen pipes threatened to make the entire event very difficult, but Abel Bates came to the rescue as he so often has. The sing-along was a capella for a change, since our resident band was taking a break. Ron Sturzenberger gave an update on plans for repairing the house and raising money to pay for said repairs.

The BBQ was held on August 26 with 45 attendees.  We enjoyed good weather and held our annual meeting after the meal was served. The current slate of officers were all willing to serve another year and they were approved by the membership.

The Strawberry Festival was held on Saturday, June 30 at the Hawthorne House. Although we did not have special entertainment this year, we had a very comfortable early summer day and attendance was good at approximately 72 persons.  Thanks to all of our volunteers for doing the preparation, and special thanks to Hannaford for donating the biscuits and to Migis Lodge for donating chocolate covered strawberries.  We were especially pleased to have gained a few new members at this years event.


The Christmas Party on December 16 was attended by just under 60 people.  It was a mild evening, as has been typical for this mild winter so far.  Although not a white Christmas, the good food and friendship made it a warm and enjoyable evening.  It was a special treat to have several children attend this year. They were a big help both with the singing of carols and the choosing of lucky attendees to receive presents from our trustees.  We only have a couple of pictures which may be viewed by clicking HERE.

The BBQ at Wohelo Camp was held on Sunday, August 27. This year we were not so lucky with the weather due to rain. Wisely, the camp had planned to serve the food in the recreation hall and all of the approximately 60 attendees enjoyed a nice meal and conversation. President Frank Chambers held a short meeting after dinner to re-elect the existing officers for another year and to update the membership on house repair activities. Plans for the coming year include painting the exterior and removing trees in front of the house (one spruce is dead anyway). Frank also announced the formation of a membership committee headed by Cinda Roy.

The Strawberry Festival was held on Saturday, July 8, which is a bit later than we have held it in several years. No problem as there were plenty of fresh local strawberries and the weather was pleasant - warm but not stifling.  We had a very entertaining speaker in the form of one Jim McAllister of Salem, MA.  Jim is a Salem historian, photographer, author of Salem from Naumkeag to Witch City (2000), and co-author of the acclaimed book Salem: Cornerstones of a Historic City (1999). More information on our speaker is available on line by clicking on his name above.  The crowd was appreciative and the event was covered in the local paper, Lakes Region Suburban Weekly.  Click HERE for pictures of the 2006 event.


Christmas Party was held on December 17 with approx. 45-50 people attending.  Music and carols were provided by our “in-house” band, consisting of Nonie Irving and John Manoush.  The weather was cooperative and the food was great as always.

BBQ - Aug. 21, 2005: Close to 60 people attended on a picture perfect day. At the membership meeting (held outdoors this year), the current slate of officers was approved for another year.  Frank mentioned that we would be looking to fill 2 or 3 vacancies on the Board of Trustees as some of our longtime Trustees terms come to an end.  A few pictures from this years BBQ may be viewed by clicking HERE.

Strawberry Festival - July 2, 2005: Eighty-three people attended for the traditional strawberry shortcake dessert. We did not have any special speakers this year, but did have great weather and a chance to welcome all our friends and neighbors back to another summer in Raymond. We received many positive comments about the improvements made over the past year.


Christmas Party: About 55 people attended on December 18. Weather was reasonably mild and we did not have to deal with any foul weather this year.  Everyone appreciated the beautiful new mahogany door that builder Gary Conant installed for us this fall.  Cinda Roy donated a beautiful and unique stained glass design for our raffle.  Music was provided by our in-house “band”, consisting of Nonie and John, and the ever-popular Hawthorne Singers. Special thanks to Florence for leading the group in a rousing “Twelve Days of Christmas” and for singing Silent Night in German.  Door prizes were presented to many of the lucky attendees.  Click HERE to see pictures.

BBQ: We were blessed with a sunny day and attendance of 58 members on Sunday, Aug. 22. New officers for next year were named: Frank Chambers is president-elect, Bill Kelley is VP-elect, Becky Tracy stays on as Treasurer, and John Manoush will be Secretary. Cinda Roy and Bill Kelley will also join us as new Trustees, and Abel Bates will serve another term as Trustee.

2004: Since July 4 was the 200th anniversary of Hawthorne’s birth, we hired Portland actor Sean Demers to play the role of the writer. To those who attended, Hawthorne will forever look and sound like the character created by Demers, who was brilliant in his role.  He spoke for 30 minutes about what it was like to travel from Salem to Raymond and live here in the early 1800’s. He mixed historical fact with humor, anecdotes and even some 19th century trivia. Those who were quick with the responses won autographed photos of Mr. Hawthorne.

Pictures of the 04 event may be viewed by clicking here.

Sound clip excerpts from Hawthorne’s talk may be heard by clicking here.


Christmas Party: About 50 people enjoyed a perfect evening on December 13. The weather was cooperative (a snowstorm arrived the following day). In addition to the usual good food and company, we had a special entertainment treat this year in the form of the “Absolute Brass” quintet. They played several songs alone and also accompanied our own singers for some carols and the traditional Silent Night to end the evening with that warm, Christmasey feeling!  Thanks to all the cooks and volunteers who made this such a success.

Summer BBQ at Wohelo camp:  Over 80 people attended (Friday, Aug. 22) and enjoyed a perfect afternoon, great food and company, and a beautiful sunset.

Strawberry Festival 2003: Over 100 people attended on June 28, including many non-members thanks to the bicentennial-related publicity.  We collected $454 based on $5 per adult and $3 per child, and gained 5 new members. Dr. Trudi Reisenberg of Harpswell spoke on “Hawthorne’s Rome” and John Manoush read the narrative history of Hawthorne in Raymond that is available on this site.  We were blessed with perfect weather that allowed us to move some tables outdoors and reduce crowding.


Christmas Party: 48 people attended on December 14.  It rained a good deal of the day, but let up somewhat for our party.  At least it was comfortable!  The decorating “committee” did a great job with greenery and the traditional tree, both supplied by Carl Bloom.  Although the attendance was slightly below last year’s, this was really a very comfortable sized group for the house.  The food was outstanding as always. We sang Christmas carols after dinner, led by Nonie Irving, John Manoush, Wayne Whitney, Becky Tracy, Nancy Proctor and Frank and Florence Chambers. Bob Dunklee again donated a beautiful hand-made maple clock which was raffled off to lucky winner Florence Chambers.  Santa was a few minutes late, but given his heavy schedule this time of year it was understandable.

BBQ: 81 members attended on August 18.  A warm and humid day. Perfect for enjoying the view of Sebago Lake from Wohelo and a top notch chicken BBQ.  Due to an unusual influx of hungry and aggressive bees (yellowjackets), we served the food from inside this year! We had a short business meeting to update the members on current maintenance issues and to announce the slate of officers for 2003. A good round of applause for Bob Wallace and his administration for leading the Association so ably for the last two years.

Strawberry Festival 2002: Approximately 80 members attended on June 29.  We collected $386 based on $5 per adult and $3 per child. The strawberry shortcake was great and there was plenty for all.  Next time bring some fans - - the room was a little warm!