Plans for the first Old Hallowell Day appeared in the Kennebec Journal on April 8, 1967, with the lead sentence: “The Hallowell Improvement committee met Friday to make plans for Hallowell Days scheduled for July.”

The first Old Hallowell Day was organized by the Hallowell Improvement Association that had formed in 1966 to “concern itself with the enchantment of Hallowell’s beauty.” The committee of volunteers chose cleaning up the riverfront as its first project.

Thie removal of many loads of trash and the addition of grass, flower beds, and herb gardens was so succesful that the group decided to show its work. In February 1967, Mac Masciadri, chairman of the committee, reported there was real enthusiasm for a Hallowell Day and Saturday, July 22, was selected for the one-day affair.

Rachel Craig and Lynn Huff were appointed co-chairwomen and given the go-ahead to select committee chairmen and committees. By mid July, final preparations were being made for the first Old Hallowell Day.

The day began at 10 a.m. with a house and garden tour that started at the Hubbard Free Library and included the Beeman-Carr House, Watts-Payne House, DeWitt-Smith-Hunt House and the Vaughan Homestead. The tour ended with a demonstration at Sherrymike Pottery.

Hallowell’s many antique shops were open all day for those who liked to browse.

Prizes for the most attractive garden on the riverfront and the most attractive antique flower container in the front of shops were donated by the Hallowell branch of Depositors Trust Co.

The Crossroads Coffee House served complimentary coffee to those with house and garden tickets. Robert Monheimer and his musical saw performed in the afternoon.

The Harlow Gallery showed an exhibit of paintings by Peter Cook and John Folinsbee. Members of the Kennebec Art Association demonstrated watercolors, pastels, oils and sculpture in clay and in marble in Riverfront Park, where a children’s art show was also featured.

Lewis Beers and Frank Terry conducted a rug braiding and rug hooking demonstration at Bradstreet’s Antique Shop.

The Cox Memorial Methodist Church served lunch and the ladies auxiliary of the Hallowell Fire Department held a home-baked food sale at Kennebec Row.

The Hallowell Community Band performed at 4 p.m. at Riverfront Park, and were followed by a Kennebec Squares square dance exhibition and a community picnic.

The celebration concluded at the Crossroads Coffee House with readings by movie actor Gary Merrill.

This year, 2012, is the 45th Old Hallowell Day and we look forward to many more.

Shirley McKay was Old Hallowell Day Citizen of the Year in 1994.

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