DRESDEN — The Dresden Summerfest was like a family gathering. 

“It is a community experience where we see familiar faces,” said Amy Plourde, of Chelsea. “My family is here. My sister’s on the (Dresden Fire) squad, so we get to see a lot of the faces (we know) come through as we sit. 

“It’s nice to come together.”

Plourde, who has lived in Dresden, was attending the festival with members of her family, including her son, 3-year-old Silas Kidder, who loves sharks. 

Silas concentrated on holding still as an artist painted a shark on his face. 

With the Kennebec River seen through the trees, the 21st annual Summerfest took place at the Pownalborough Court House, which is owned by the Lincoln County Historical Association. 


Built in 1761, the courthouse was the first in Lincoln County and is the state’s only surviving courthouse built during the colonial period. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1970 and is now a museum, which is open from Memorial Day to Columbus Day. 

Guests arriving were taxied to the courthouse by carriage driven by John Sczymecki of Hideaway Farms and his two Belgian mares, Evie and Sissie. In the breeze of the Kennebec River, they ate lunch served by the Dresden Fire Department, visited neighbors and played games.

“There is nothing plastic here, no big rides,” said Peter Walsh, who co-chairs the Lincoln County Historical Association with Pat Theriault.

“It is just people getting together and having lunch with the fire department and showing spirit of the community,” Walsh said.

Children learned the names of Poppy the goat and her 6-week-old kids, Merry and Boba Feta, who weighed less than 2 pounds each at birth. 

“The goats remind me of my dog,” said Soleil Moody, 9, of Richmond, as she and her friends fed the goats. “Todd acts just like a goat — he belts and walks around like them, and he’s very curious like them.” 


The goats were owned by Allison Stewart Brown of Journey’s End Farm in Dresden. She was attending the event with them for the second year. 

Stewart Brown said her farm is a home to not only goats but chickens, ducks, turkeys and rescued Newfoundland dogs. 

Nancy “Rusty” Cote of Dresden, center, receives the Spirit of America Award from her husband, Ryan Cote, right, and Lincoln County Historical Society Co-chair Peter Walsh, left. Kennebec Journal photo by Abigail Austin

“(The goats) are my vegetarian dogs,” she said. 

The historical association also held a pie-judging where participants, for a donation, could sample the pies made by local residents and choose their favorites — like Canadian sugar, pina colada, apple and others. Proceeds were donated to the Richmond Food Pantry. 

The event is usually attended by a few hundred people, said Theriault.

The historical association presented the Spirit of America Award to Dresden resident Nancy “Rusty” Cote. She’s often the first to volunteer in community activities in Dresden and Richmond. 


“We’ve hosted the Summerfest for 21 years,” Walsh said, “and any time I ever needed something, Nancy would always say, ‘I will do it.’ 

“She’s always right there.”

Plourde said she and her family moved to Dresden in 2000 from a hectic suburb in Connecticut. 

“We were used to the busyness of going about where no one waved or said hi,” Plourde said. “That is how it is here. 

“It shaped who I am as a person growing up.”

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