This past Friday, the Belfast Garden Club tour took us to Northport. Rani and I met up with Chris and Tammy for a mini bus ride up to Oak Hall Estate. Built in 1912 for Chicago financier Ira M. Cobe, Oak Hall is the largest Colonial Revival mansion in Maine. The 30,000-square-foot house, high on a hill overlooking Penobscot Bay, has been called home by only five families, most recently purchased in 2020 by technology executive Brady Brim-Deforest, whose family has a passion for preserving historical properties. Oak Hall was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983. Thank you to the Brim-Deforest family for opening their gardens for all of us to enjoy. A truly special place!

Perhaps you will have heard about the 4,000 — yes, four thousand — beagles that the Humane Society of the United States and the Justice Department have rescued in Virginia, because of violations of animal welfare laws, and that will soon be available for adoption. The number is staggering, and I got lost down a rabbit hole (no pun intended) trying to understand how this could be.

Apparently the dogs were bred to be used for “toxicity testing,” among other things, by a company called Envigo. While down the rabbit hole of Envigo’s website it appears they also breed rabbits and mice along with beagles for the purpose of providing tissue samples (blood, organs) for big pharma to use in trials, as well as materials used for testing “around the world to identify fungal contamination in a variety of crops, such as rice, wheat, corn, hops, barley, peanuts, citrus fruits, soybeans and sorghum.”


It just makes you want to rescue one of these beagles, especially when they say they have never even walked on grass. It also really makes you think about eating local, knowing your farmer, avoiding pharmaceuticals if at all possible. Honestly, I hadn’t even thought about labs using more than mice for experiments in decades, not since the infamous PETA monkey rescue in 1981 from a Silver Spring, Maryland, facility.


I am saddened to share the passing of Jo Cooley. Our heartfelt condolences to her family. I will miss her ready smile and easy company at our spinning and knitting get-togethers. Her knit hats, a profusion of color and always adorned with Lisa’s Molten Mama glass beads, were a delight to behold. She worked hard to get a fledgling Jackson Book Group off the ground. Her company will be missed.

Town Office

The next Select Board meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 26. The town of Jackson is accepting bids for snow removal and sanding for approximately 19.5 miles of town roads. Mail or drop off bids at the Town Office. Bidders must include a list of all equipment to be used and insurance info. All bids will be opened at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 9. FMI: 722-3439.

Jackson Food Pantry

The next food pantry will be on Monday, July 25, from 9 to 10 a.m. Cindy Ludden shared the following: In the difficult times that we are in now, even the food pantries are seeing shortages. Our meat items that we used to give out so much of, are not available (that we can afford) to purchase through Good Shepherd anymore. THANK YOU to No Greater Love Food Pantry for their help, so we will now have meat available for this month for our clients.