RICHMOND — The fun started early here Saturday as the town hosted its annual Richmond Days fete.

The sun came out in plenty of time to start the corn hole competition, the parade and some roller skating in the street.

The downtown near Waterfront Park was closed to traffic so the festival-goers could roam back and forth among events, vendors and the outdoor inflatable water slide. Green-carpeted lobster crates were carried to a wharf on the Kennebec River, ready to be placed into the water for the annual Lobster Crate Races.

Six-year-old Landyn Skelton climbed into the 1922 Ford Model T parked on the sidewalk outside of Pierce’s Country Store. He had ridden in the antique vehicle in the parade, throwing candy to spectators and pocketing a few pieces for himself.

“We bought the store in the ’70s and my father ended up doing this,” said uncle Matt Pierce, talking to an admirer of the vehicle. “It comes out for the parade and other special events.”

Over by Enterprise Grange, which just hosted a pancake breakfast, players competed in the Daniel Lamoreau Memorial Corn Hole Contest where a top prize was $500 cash and where proceeds went to scholarships and/or nonprofit organizations such as suicide awareness groups.

It was formerly a softball competition started by Lamoreau’s family after losing Daniel to suicide 17 years ago.

“I changed it over to cornhole this year,” said Steve Lamoreau, Daniel’s father, explaining that the numbers of softball teams had dwindled over the years. On Saturday, he had 32 two-person teams in the “pro” bracket — essentially those who registered early — and more teams in the amateur bracket.

Given the enthusiastic response, it’s more than likely to be cornhole competition again next year, he said.

Those seeking shelter from the sun as well as some historical lore headed into the Southard House Museum on Main Street where the Victorian house exhibited items from the years between World Wars I and II.

Museum co-owner and director Carolyn Case explained the first floor exhibits, saying she divided the collection of items reflecting the interwar years between international and national items. The museum is open some holidays with themed exhibits. For instance, Case said, “For Memorial Day, I wanted to highlight women’s experiences in war.” On those holidays and Richmond Days, admission is free; other times it is $1 per person. Details are available on the museum’s website at southardhousemuseum.com.

In the Richmond history display set out for Saturday, Case showed a recent donation, a panoramic photo from 1923 showing the entire student body of Richmond High School.

It was donated by Russell Ring Jr., who graduated from Richmond High School in 1949. “This one in the cardigan sweater and the four-in-hand necktie is his father,” Case pointed out. The relatively new building in the background burned in 1927, she noted.

Her family is from Richmond as well. Her maiden name is Cooper, and she said her family consists of “the Coopers, the Smiths and the Libbys.”

Maxine Cray Willis and her sister Shirley Cray Leslie had driven from Wiscasset Saturday morning to check out the festival, and they paged through annual reports and yearbooks on the first floor of the museum seeking names of family members.

Later, they were planning to head to Marcia Buker School for the alumni banquet of those who attended of Richmond High School.

“I grew up here,” said Willis. While she started high school in Richmond, she finished in Wiscasset.

“I graduated from here in ’63,” Leslie said.

It was the first visit to the museum for the pair, but they say they’ve always admired the stately 1880s Victorian house on Main Street.

Museum visitors explored throughout the museum plus the adjacent Carriage House where museum co-owner Fred Case showed off his collection of vintage plastic and metal toys as well as carpentry and cabinet-making implements.

Jennifer Chase, who bicycled with her husband from their Pleasant Pond camp to the town center to enjoy the events, admired the items from the Russian community in Richmond. “I didn’t know anything about the Russian/Slavic community,” she said.

One of the heaviest exhibits on the first floor of the Carriage House is a life-sized, granite statue of T. J. Southard, who “personified the independent Maine businessman, shipbuilder and ship owner, blacksmith, and builder of great edifices.

The statute is the property of the Richmond Historical Society.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

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