Islesboro's own 'WPA' creates Paradise Park

Jun 17, 2020

June 18, 1896

Pierce & Smalley are putting Winchester hot water heaters into the residences of T. W. Pitcher, Franklin street, and L. T. Shales, Congress street. They are also putting in at their store a full line of the “Hub” ranges and heaters, with the latest improvements.

The Fire Department. The Department has given a trial to the two hand engines and find both to be in good working order, and they are now in the engine rooms ready for instant use.

June 20, 1901

The Belfast Light & Power Co. is wiring the court house extension for electric lights.

June 23, 1932

Leslie E. Smith, an influential and wide-awake citizen of Islesboro, has had cleared ten acre of field and woodland, which he has placed at the disposal of residents of that beautiful island in Penobscot Bay. He has not named the park, but his townsfolk have named it Paradise Park.

The unemployment situation is partly responsible for it, though Mr. Smith does not pretend that his reasons for making the park were wholly altruistic. He has long had a vision in which these gently undulating lands, topped at intervals with growth of virgin hardwood trees, appeared as cleared spaces in which folk could roam at will, hold picnics or disport on quaint little beaches which border on one side of Paradise Park.

Last winter, when so many men were out of work, he decided to put his long-dreamed plan into operation. Some years ago he acquired the small farm holdings known as old Warren and Herrick places, bordering on that picturesque inlet known as Crow Cove. During the long winter months the clearing of these acres of undergrowth and making of the miniature forests sylvan glades, kept eight and ten men employed daily, the work providing a veritable boon to men who would otherwise have been many weeks idle.

Now the “park” is open and Mr. Smith invites his townspeople and others to come and share its beauties.

June 22, 1950

Six tons of tender, barbecued chicken with all the fixings served piping hot from huge outdoor barbecue pits will be the menu attraction at Maine’s colorful Broiler Day Festival here July 8.

The Pine Tree State’s largest “chicken feast” will feature 3,000 (14-week old) birds weighing over four pounds each and barbecued over two 100-foot long charcoal pits set up in scenic Belfast City Park overlooking Penobscot Bay.

Chicken lovers attending the state’s “stuffingest” feed will each be served with a two-pound broiler half, plus potato chips, soft drinks, milk, and pickles, and all for one dollar.

Compiled from archival holdings by Sharon Pietryka, Reference & Special Collections Librarian at the Belfast Free Library.

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