Pittsfield Historical Society’s
History of Pittsfield

Personal Remembrances of Pittsfield

Long or short reminiscences of life as lived here in Pittsfield.
Please email us with a few lines of your memories to include here.

I Remember When...

[18-Feb-2007] Hello! I was looking through your site and saw that you had some “mysteries” on your site looking to be identified.My parents are from Pittsfield, graduating from MCI in 1953 and 1954. My father lived there for most of his school life. They lived on the farm on the Eelweir Road on the left hand side. It was a poultry farm and he has a wonderful picture of it I will scan and submit to you at some point. It was owned by his folks, Floyd & Charlene Lovejoy.

Anyway, they were over last night and I was showing them all the goodies on your site which they truly enjoyed. They will stop by the Historical Society and pay it a visit to see everything. When I asked them if they knew any of the mysteries, they immediately knew the Drive In. They said it was called the Midway Drive In and it was in operation in the 1950. My mom laughed about the green mosquito coils that they used to have to use in the cars. If you need to put the name of who identified it, you can put their names if it hasn’t already been identified — Elwood and Gloria (Bridgham) Lovejoy. I am just the “computer owner”. Ha ha.

My mom was a waitress at the Lancey House for many years. She talked of having to clean the chandeliers and the wonderful buffet they would have.

My dad enjoyed the picture of the band marching in the parade – he said he was in there somewhere and said it was the first marching band (I assume for MCI). He was quite proud of it.

Thanks for doing such a great job on your site. It is very nice. I had emailed with another member of your society about locating a copy of my parent’s wedding announcement for their surprise 50th anniversary party. She offered her help to get it if I could not get to the Pittsfield Library to locate it.

Thanks again –

Kris Barron

[2006] Hi. I lived in Pittsfield in 1957 in the old red brick apartment building on South St. that I understand used to be a hotel. Is that so, and what was its name? I have fantastic memories of being in the library, at the radio station, taking off in a DC-3 from the airport, and visiting England Brothers.
Thanks, Bruce Levinson

[2006] Born in Pittsfield in l940. Moved away in l954 and have been back a few times. Pittsfield has changed, but still has the flavor of small town upbringing.

Remember living “down” the hill at the woolen mill, just north of Main Street on the right. Has become part of CianBro I believe. When I lived there us children had pretty much free reign weekends. The homes were owned by the mill and we rented. Father worked at mill . The watchman, on weekends, would unlock the warehouse. This was to give us children a place to play. We had more fun jumping around burlap bags full of woolen strips. That place was a gold mine for kids with little else.

We used the church hill above the mill for sliding. Also, were able to slide down the roads adjacent to the mill. I guess automobiles were of little concern on weekends. Mill was closed on Sundays and left us with freedom to do about anything outdoors.

We used the river to “raft” down. My mother had a fair share of frightful moments wondering what happened to me. My friends and I could get a good distance from the house on handmade rafts. Can’t remember how we got home. Probably slipped a little cardboard in our shoes and hoofed it.

Us kids (had four brothers and sisters) spent a lot of time at the movies. My father worked as the “pop-corn man” while we were there. It was convenient for him to watch us (Mom at work) and work his part-time job at the same time. I think most of the movies of the 40’s and serial shows are embedded in my brain somewhere.

Could write on and on about the things kids did during WWll and Korea, but for another time. Just remember collecting paper for the war effort. Also, some of us were spotters of aircraft at the airport. We had to call Dow Air Force Base identifying planes, direction flying, weather conditions. Can you imagine! We were probably 12 or 13 year old kids!

My family was disrupted by the closing of the mill in 1954 (I believe). We moved to Waterville with furniture and five kids piled in the back of an old stake truck. Closes thing to the “dust bowl” experience I ever experienced.

I go on,

Wayne H. Cochrane

Original Version: 18-Feb-07.


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