Bi-Centennial Banners


You will be seeing some new banners posted around town soon, marking Monroe’s Bicentennial celebration. Many thanks to Norma Whitman for designing them and having them created. And thanks to the volunteers who help install them.

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Posted in Features, History

Monroe Bicentennial Kick-off Dance

A great time was had by all who attended the Monroe Bicentennial Kick-off event that began with a pot luck supper in the Town Hall, followed by a Historical Talk, then concluding in a rousing Contra Dance featuring local musicians Seth Yentes and Tyler Demere, as well as caller Chrissy Fowler of Belfast. Thanks to everyone who helped put this together!

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The Story of Monroe — Part 1

The Performing Historian

[The following is a synopsis of a short-talk given by Eric Rector at the Monroe Bicentennial Kick-off Dance held Saturday, February 3rd, 2018. He would like to thank the help of other Monroe historians for their contributions: Guy Sanderson, Charlie Biebel, Norma Whitman, Paul Jacobi, and all the folks at the Town Office who made the Archives available.]

The Story of Monroe is actually the story of citizen landowners who were freed to pursue their own ideas of sovereignty and economics. It is, truly, the story of the United States experiment writ small: at the scale of 39 square miles.

After all: who owned the trees and mountains of Monroe before the Revolutionary War? The King of England. Land was “owned” by only Kings and Queens and sometimes religious leaders, and only those monarchs could grant other people the right to work on the land. Monarchs could give AND withdraw land rights, and this gave them the power to reward their allies and punish their political enemies. Land “ownership” was really just a cascading set of sub-leases beginning with the Monarch or the Pope and leading down to Princes, Cardinals, Dukes, Viceroys, Bishops, etc. An individual could NOT actually “own” land unless they were already a monarch, or until that individual became a monarch through succession or through violence on the Old Order.

That’s basically what happened in the American Revolution: a group of nobles in the British Colonies committed violence on the Old Order and re-allocated the control of the land that had formally been simply Colonies. Instead of appointing a King landowner in the usual manner who would then share that land among the new nobility, the United States tried something different. After all their rebellion had already been formed under some pretty radical ideals about self-determination and freedom.
Read more ›

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Elementary Questions

On a snowy December afternoon, six Monroe residents sat down upstairs at the Town Hall with about twenty children from Rachel Norgang’s class at Monroe Elementary School to discuss the history of our Town in light of the upcoming Monroe Bicentennial celebrations.

The residents sat on two benches facing the children who sat across from them. They answered each question as best they could, mostly to the delight of the children. Marylou Neally and Neva Moody are sisters who have lived in Monroe most of their lives. Neva “married the farmer next door” (Dale Moody, sitting next to her).

Marylou began by explaining that the Town Hall we sat in was built by Civil War veterans who used their “mustering out” money to give their town a new municipal building after the former building burned down. The group also pointed out that the Town Hall also used to serve as the High School until 1958.

What was school like?

“Most were one room schools, with one teacher and children in grades one through eight all together,” Walter Clements pointed out. “There were eight schools like that all over town, and after eighth grade you came to Town Hall for High School.” Walter has lived in Monroe for all of his 80+ years, and married Connie Clements, who was born in Massachusetts before her family moved to Monroe. “But Maine used to be part of Massachusetts, right?” She said.  “So I don’t think I’m really ‘from away’ because of that.”

Mike Whitcomb, who has lived in Monroe for “40 some-odd years,” said that even though the children would play basketball on the second floor, there wasn’t enough room for the lunch break, so all the students would walk a block up to the elementary school in the village to eat lunch.

How many children were in each grade?

“One year, in second grade, I was the only person in my class!” Marylou said.

Neva said, “My class was big – there were 12 of us.”

Connie said there were six children in her class, then Mike added that there were only 25 to 30 kids in the entire high school. Read more ›

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More About Monroe’s Revolutionary Residents

From a September 1978 article in a Belfast Republican Journal article written by Monroe resident (at the time) Ginny Rimm:

Peggy Liley: Unsung Revolutionary Heroine, or Myth?

Her grave lies in the far corner of a small country cemetery on Stovepipe Alley, surrounded by a white picket fence, sheltered by stately old elms and evergreens. The joint headstone is simple and fairly new, the information on it sketchy. “Soldiers of 1776,” it reads. “William Winchel, Peggy Liley.” Nothing more. Nothing to hint of the tantalizing tale handed down in the quiet village of Monroe for generations–a tale of a quadroon girl who who fled southern slavery, disguised herself as a man and joined the Revolution.

An official Revolutionary marker distinguishes the grave, but it honors only Winchel, described variously as a Lieutenant and as a Quartermaster. Despite the headstone’s plural caption no recognition is extended to Peggy, and the American flag placed on her grave each Memorial Day flies only in memory of Lt. Winchel.

Peggy’s name is not listed in the town’s cemetery records, either. Compiled during the Roosevelt years under a W.P.A. program, many of them have proven inaccurate, according to [Monroe] Town Clerk Vesta Rand. Mrs. Rand’s own ancestors are incorrectly listed in the wrong cemetery, for example.

Strangely enough, the Monroe W. P. A. records do included a listing for one “Moll Pitcher.” No cemetery location or plot are included on the card nor is there an enlistment date. But according to the card, Moll Pitcher “enlisted as a drummer boy.” She is described as “a colored woman.” Read more ›

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Revolutionary Residents

From an article published in the Republican Journal, November 29, 1877 titled HISTORICAL PERSONAGES OF MONROE:

A correspondent of the Kennebec Journal, writing from Monroe, in this county, gives some facts in regard to former inhabitants of that town, which we think will be new, even to many residents of the town. The writers says–

In a little quiet country graveyard in the town of Monroe, in this State, lie the bodies of two persons, who in their day enjoyed a good reputation, which lives only in the memory of a few old people, and with them, will soon pass away all remembrance of these heroic ones, for no monumental pile marks their last resting place, nor is there any record to perpetuate their names.
Read more ›

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Monroe Town Meeting 2017 as reported in The Republican Journal newspaper

In Monroe:  Ready for Solar Power, Town awaits Final Terms” published June 22, 2017 in The Republican Journal by reporter Ethan Andrews

MONROE — Residents at the annual town meeting June 19 voiced interest in trading tax credits for enough solar panels to power all municipal buildings and facilities. But the majority wanted to see the details before signing off.

ReVision Energy of Portland has proposed installing a 52 kW solar array on the roof of the Town Hall and Community Library. Under the broad terms of the agreement, ReVision would pay for the panels and installation, then sell energy back to the town, recouping its own costs through the sales and renewable energy tax credits.

The array would generate enough electricity to power all town facilities, including the Town Office, fire station, transfer station and street lights, according to Rick Hillman of the Monroe Planning Board, who spoke about the proposal Monday night.

The panels would feed electricity into the grid, allowing the town to offset its bill through net metering. Hillman said the system would be similar to one installed by ReVision in Lincolnville earlier this year.

Voters in attendance Monday night appeared willing to sign off on the deal, but resident Paul McCarrier noted that townspeople had not seen its final terms. He suggested, in the interest of good governance, that the town authorize selectmen to negotiate with ReVision, with the final agreement subject to voter approval at a special town meeting. The motion passed without debate.

Hillman said, regardless, the project would not happen until 2018 because ReVision could not benefit from the tax credits this year.

Selectman Tyler Demere, Planning Board members Rick Hillman and Seth Yentes, Fire Chief Ken Clements and Assessor Lynda Oliver were re-elected in uncontested races.

New officers included Vicky Depersiis to the Planning Board and Kim Tinsman to the Regional School Unit 3 Board of Directors. Neither was present Monday night, but both were said to have indicated before the meeting that they were willing to take the positions.

Voters added $1,000 to the roughly $7,000 already saved for next year’s bicentennial celebration. Organizers are seeking historic photos — contact Marge Sheridan, 525-4428.

Fisher and Jackson roads are on the docket for road construction last year. Voters approved taking $100,000 from new taxes and $200,000 from surplus for those roads.

Posted in Uncategorized

Memorial Day Parade – 2017

Our second year to have a Library presence in the parade.  Dr. Seuss hats, rocking chairs and lots of candy!

Mt. View High School Band following behind.

Photo: Nathan Hillman



Posted in Library

1946 Ford Maxim – Memorial Day Parade

Monroe’s first fire truck, repaired and on the road for the 2017 Memorial Day Parade.  Jimmy Knight driving and Sonny Clements riding shotgun.

Photo: Nathan Hillman



Posted in Features

Informational Meeting on June 1, 2017 re: Solar Proposal for Monroe Town Hall

solar panels
The Monroe Planning Board will be hosting an information program about a proposal to put solar panels on the Monroe Town Hall to generate electricity for the town facilities.
Please join us at the town hall on Thursday, June 1 at 6:30 pm for an informational meeting which will be presented by Andrew Kahrl of Revision Energy.  Please let everyone that you have contact with know of this event.  All are welcome.
The Monroe proposal is similar to what other towns in Waldo County have implemented.
Here’s a Village Soup article dated April 2017:  Solar Power Lights Municipal Buildings in Lincolnville.
We will be discussing the solar proposal and voting it at the Monroe Town Meeting on Monday June 19, 2017.
For more information, contact the Monroe Planning Board.
Posted in Features

2017 Town Meeting June 19


The 2017 Monroe Town Meeting was held on a pleasant June evening this year, and progressed quite smoothly.

The article that got the most discussion was Article 49:

To see if the Town will vote to authorize the Board of Selectmen to negotiate a solar power purchase agreement, including related license agreement and easement, between the Town and ReVision Energy Investments, LLC of Portland, Maine or it nominee, for the installation of a solar electric generating facility on the rooftop of the Monroe Town Hall and Library for a contract term of 6 to 20 years, with an option for two 5-year extensions, on such further terms and conditions as the Board of Selectmen determines to be in the Town’s best interest, and to execute such agreements.

The Selectmen explained that they had talked to several companies about this opportunity for the Town to fix and lower its cost of power for the next few decades, and that ReVision had the most experience and could offer the Town exactly what was needed to do the project. At the time of our meeting it was too late to schedule the project with ReVision for 2017 and thus the intention was to negotiate a contract for installation in 2018.

The Article was amended to add–

Final authorization will take place at a special town meeting to be held when a final contract is presented to the Town.

The Article was passed with very few No votes tallied. The Selectmen will announce when a contract is completed and available for Town residents to review in advance of the special town meeting that will be called for final authorization.

Posted in Features

Monroe Fire Trucks in the Fire Station


Posted in Features

Free Rabies Clinic

Brooks Fire Station

October 22, 2016

9:00 – 11:00 am

Posted in Business

Town Meeting 2016

Monroe held its town meeting on June 6th, 2016. The most significant business conducted was passing an Intent to Build article which requires town residents to notify the town if they intend to make permanent changes to their property in excess of $2000. There is no fee associated with the notification, but property owners found to have made significant changes without notifying the town may be issued a fine.

The Selectmen also asked attendees to give them feedback about an idea that wasn’t able to make it onto the warrant for Town Meeting but that they thought would benefit from some discussion: should the town spend surplus funds to purchase an LED Electronic signboard to replace the manual signboard in front of the Town House?

The major discussion at Town Meeting dealt with an effort to take advantage of the recent low cost of asphalt (tied to historically low oil prices) and low interest rates by borrowing to accomplish about four years worth of road repair in one year. The expectation is that the savings in material costs would off-set at least the interest costs on the loans, and the town would “lock-in” their roads costs over the next few years.

Posted in Business

Northern Pond


Northern Pond Map

NPNA Trail Guide

DIRECTIONS: Maps to the trails are available in a box on the bulletin board in the lobby of the Monroe Town Hall. To reach the area, drive east on Route 139 from the junction of Routes 141 and 139 and take the first left onto the Monroe Road. One mile farther on, turn left onto Dahlia Farm Road and in 1.5 miles watch for a small sign on the left: Northern Pond. In late spring, summer and fall, you can drive to a small parking area from which the trails depart. Beyond the small parking area, this access, which continues on to the canoe launch, is very rocky and uneven. It’s wise to proceed on foot or in four-wheel drive vehicles with high clearance. This access road is not plowed in winter. Then people park along the side of Dahlia Farm Road.

Not far into the woods off Dahlia Farm Road in Monroe, Maine, Northern Pond lies surrounded by marshland and upland forest of mixed hemlock, balsam, pine, spruce, birch, oak, and maple. Fed and drained by Thurlow Brook, the pond and surrounding area stretch unbroken for more than half a mile.


The pond has been a place for fishing, both summer and winter, for many years. Generations of children, first brought to the pond on family picnics, have spent their free hours there, fishing, finding frogs and beaver dams, watching birds, and creating their games.


In 2005, after years of preparation, the citizens of Monroe voted to put Northern Pond and about 160 acres of the town-owned woodland and marsh surrounding it into a conservation easement as Northern Pond Natural Area.


Under the direction of the Monroe Conservation Commission, many people continue to work on creating and maintaining hiking trails, bog walks, and a canoe launch, and marking boundary lines. The easement is held by Landmark Heritage Trust, which counts a number of Monroe residents as members. Regardless of future changes in political power, NPNA will remain forever wild and available for public enjoyment.



Pausing while hiking or paddling at Northern Pond Natural Area, one feels far from human habitation. As in any wilderness area, we follow the rule of pack in, pack out. Leave no cans, bottles, paper, plastic, or foil behind.


Bring yourself, your snack and water. Take with you your trash, your memories and photos. One Monroe resident’s comment after her first visit: “It’s the jewel of Monroe.”



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Important Stuff

8 Swan Lake Ave.
Monroe, ME 04951

Town Office Hours
Monday 8:00am to 5:00pm
Wednesday 8:00am to 2:00pm
Wednesday 4:00pm to 7:00pm
Friday at 8:00am to 5:00pm

Transfer Station
Saturday at 7:30am to 12:00pm
Monday at 4:30pm to 8:00pm

Selectman's Meeting
Wednesday at 7:00pm

Planning Board Meeting
3rd Monday at 7:00pm

Fire Department
2nd Tuesday
(Business Meeting) at 7:30pm
4th Tuesday
(Training Meeting) at 7:30pm

Conservation Commission
1st Monday at 6:00pm
If this is a Holiday then the meeting will be the following Monday

Monroe Community Library Hours
Monday 10:00am - 1:00pm
Wednesday 4:00pm - 7:00pm
Friday 10:00am - 1:00pm

Town Documents