Our very first MCHP community meeting was July 3 in New Portland. We couldn’t have asked for a warmer welcome or more interesting kickoff – a look around town, lunch and tons of interesting stories. We started off the morning with a tour of the bicentennial exhibits at the fairgrounds and a tour of the historical society. Like many small towns all over Maine, New Portland has a very interesting history – even if the rest of us are aware of it. The NP Historical Society is the storehouse for local history, full of photos, clothing, objects and information about the history of life along the Carrabassett River in western Somerset County. The NP team, comprised of educators from SAD #74, folks from NP Community Library and the Historical Society, met and immediately identified dozens of important (and interesting) topics that contribute to the history of the town. They’re about to dive into their community resource inventory and really find out what resources support the telling of their history. This is one committed team! In the interest of the project, they decided to meet together over the next month to work on the Community Resources Inventory and even declined to be reimbursed for travel expenses to Orientation so that more funds would be available for their project expenses. They’re investigating several topics and some of the potential themes are: agriculture (apples, sheep, maple syrup), industry (wood products, ice and others), wars and the NP homefront, the Wire Bridge, the New Portland Fair among others.