|The Parish of North Lake and its People|
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| The Community of Green Mountain|
Green Mountain, situated on a high hill overlooking Grand Lake to the north and west, as well as Spednic to the south, about 9 miles north ofForest City, also went by the name of North Lake so called because that was the Postaladdress 1860 - 1954. Principally a farming community (despite the rocky ground), it also had a small lumber mill and blacksmith shop. Now and then a small store would spring up, then fade in a few years. Like the striking of a wooden match common then.
It always seemed a mystery why Elias Foster chose to settle where he did in 1853. With no road connection to Forest City, the location of the Foster homestead seemed to be smack dab in the middle of the woods, over a mile from Grand Lake as the crow flies. Not quite on the highest portion of the land, but still an upward climb of nearly a mile or more from the lake level to reach the site. It would be years before the surrounding forest would be sufficiently cleared to reveal a panoramic view from the high knoll where the house is still standing today.
The following is how Elias' granddaughter, Inez (Foster) Lounder described the community as recorded in hernotes December 20, 1910:
Green Mountain is situated on the Eastern bank of the Grand Chipineticook Lake, Grand Lake being one of the lakes that form part of the boundary line between the Province of New Brunswick and the State of Maine. The place is about 22 miles from Canterbury and about 18 miles from Danforth and Forest Station; the latter two stations being situated on the line of the Maine Central Railway in the State of Maine.
An article in the Daily Gleaner, the daily newspaper from Fredericton, author unknown,described Green Mountain as a scenic community with a blacksmith shop and a couple ofstores. Lumbering and farming were the main industries. Although the land was extremelyrocky, farmers were gradually clearing the land by using dynamite on the rocks and stumps.Obviously, farming was not the main attraction that drew settlers to Green Mountain.
The community erected a Baptist church around 1895, its construction carried out byAlex Boone who was then close to 70 years of age. About 1880, he also built the one roomschool just down the road on the corner of the main road and the Point road.
More functional then elaborate, the church had one room with a high ceiling, woodenhardwood pews, a raised pulpit area with the only upholstered furniture in the building:three ornate chairs. As a child two things fascinated me in this hallowed hall. The twosteel rods that held the top of the walls from spreading outward from the weight of thesteeply pitched roof always had me daydreaming about being a trapeze artist on parallelbars. The other curious thing is that the minister was the only one to sit in theupholstered chairs. Sitting there with head bowed before service opened, I often wonderedif he was asleep and, if so, why he stayed out so late at night.
Annually, the church would hold a "roll call" service to recognized long timemembers as well as a nostalgic look back over the years. In 1985, Kathyrn Foster describedthat year's service:
The usual nostalgia was heightened this year as it was also a memorial to two long time members, Mrs Inez Londer and Mrs Nellie Farrell Gillispie who died recently.
Mrs Lounder was "Aunt Inez" to almost everyone in the church where she was a member for 73 years. Although throughout her 90 years she lived in various places, she kept a home at Green Mountain, just across the road from the house where she was born, the 12th of 13 children.
After becoming widow in 1963, Inez lived alone in her Green Mountain home, except for winters. The last few winters of her life were spent with Nellie Gillispie, her neice by marriage, in Canterbury.
In 1984, while with her only child, Laurel, in Nobleton, Ontario, she underwent a medical emergency and was unable to return home to conduct the roll call service, a custom of hers for a half century. A neice, Pauline Carr, filled in for her. Another neice, Kathryn Foster, made a tape of the service to be sent to Aunt Inez which contained many personal messages added after the meeting. They spoke of their love and missing her. Earlier this year, Aunt Inez answered to a higher Roll Call and did not live to see her beloved home church again. But as she requested, she did return to have her funeral service conducted in the little church which she served for so many years.
Only a few months later, Nellie Gillispie died unexpectedly. During her first marriage to Robert Farrell, a nephew of Aunt Inez, she lived in Green Mountain and served as a member of the church for 51 years. The Farrell family filled many pews this year as a final tribute to a beloved mother and aunt.
Pastor Leo Fletcher, serving the Fosterville to Forest City Field, delivered the sermon. Once again Pauline Carr filled in for Aunt Inez; Cherry Buckingham was the organst.
Due to changing circumstances and population depletion, the doors of the Green Mountain Baptist Church, once a vibrant, active congregation, have been closed for over a year. Sadly, time relentlessly alters even the most cherished traditions. But, memories will survive even the changing times.Now fourteen years later in 1999, the future for the old building looks bleak. Witheven less population, and probably a population who take less interest in the church thantheir forefathers, a once proud institution, if not dead, is nearing the end. Even thememories that Kathryn speaks of will soon fade. The only thing remaining will be briefwritings, such as this, to commemorate those who built the community and the institutionswhich served it.The school has been long since demolished, but in its day many youngsters passed itsportals. In the early years, little emphasis was placed on higher education. It seemedonce a young man, around 1900, could read and write, his services were either needed onthe farm or working in the woods to help provide a living for the family. Young women didfare a little better, although it seems the majority who achieved any advanced learningbecame teachers themselves; at least, until they got married.
During my first year at this school, in 1943, Jean Peck ruled the roost. I dontknow if she stood out in her profession as an educator, but I do know she brooked nononsense. Maurice Farrell discovered this early. I recall one day he did something toannoy her and she made him stand in the corner, just before school finished for the day,as punishment. Now Maurice had a remarkable mind when it came to getting himself into, andout of, predicaments such as this. No more had he taken his accustomed position, nose tothe corner, than he "peed" himself. Memerized by the look on Jeans faceand the puddle trickling across the floor, I wondered how he would ever survive this direevent. She simply sent him home to change his pants. What he found to laugh about as heleft, was beyond me.
On another occasion, during the daily reading of "Bambi" from 1 oclockto 1:15, Maurice interrupted the teacher several times. She never said a word, just openedthe drawer, drew out the strap and started around the desk. Maurice knew what was coming.Before she had even signalled her intentions, his bellows could be heard a half mile away.She thumped him a few times, his howling intensified. But surprisingly, by the time shegot back to the desk, he had stopped and began looking for something else to do. Quite aguy, ole Maurice.
We had double desks in those days. Of course, one did not get to pick a desk partner;that being the domain of the teacher who seemed to delight in the most unlikelypartnerships. I had for my first seat-mate, Kathryn Foster, who was in grade eight. Thatdidnt seem too bad. Not only was she pretty, she could draw real neat pictures on aslate.
Yep. A Slate. Complete with slate pencil. Hard to imagine in this day of computer, thatonly 50 years ago slates were still in vogue. Copy books and readers to learn about Dickand Jane and Spot. Ink wells and fountain pens. Blobs of ink. Wonderful days, games atrecess, stories, learningand sometimes, pure hellery. All faded now into the mistsof memory and time.
The school sat directly across from George McMinn and between his place and HiramVeysey, a road run east to the Albert field, Benny Bell place and Kneeland Ridge, allnamed after people who either lived there at one time or were provided with land grants.The Albert Field, according to Basil Boone, is where Albert Veysey had a house. If so, heprobably obtained it from one of the original land grantees by the name of Gyles.
To the west the road led to Balm of Gilead Point. Wood, Kinney, and Buckingham weregranted land across the west side of Balm of Gilead Cove. Several families made theirhomes in this area until the late fifties when the population dwindled to nothing. Today,nature has reclaimed the farms but the lakeshore is dotted with cottages.