By Carol McCracken (Post # 1,209)
You are invited to attend a groundbreaking celebration for the Adams School Condominiums next week. The celebration is set for next Thursday, September 13th from noon until 1:30 pm. on the site of the former Adams School on the Hill. A light lunch will be served and local and state dignitaries will be in attendance.
This celebration comes four years after Avesta Housing, a highly regarded developer, began the process when it submitted a proposal for the redevelopment of the site. Originally, it called for 40 moderately priced condominiums. Largely due to the economy, the process was slow and almost derailed, but it was thorough. There was an Adams School Reuse Committee co-chaired by Dan Haley. However, the project is now smaller than originally proposed; 16 units will be built – 8 are two bedroom units and the other 8 units are three bedroom units. Completion is expected for the spring of 2013.
Following is a quote from the deceased Donald L. Ferguson, who wrote a self-published book in 1982, “Munjoy Hill Portland’s Scenic Peninsula,” about Marada Adams.
“During her seventy-two years as a teacher, the oldest active teacher in the United States, Miss Adams indeed saw a host of pupils influenced by her counsel and instructions. Fifty of those years were in Munjoy Hill schools: first as principal of the Shailer School, then going to the Emerson Grammar School as its first principal in 1898, where she taught until her retirement in 1935. She died three years later at the age of 92. Miss Adams had the capacity of being able to recall the names of pupils years after they had graduated from the Emerson School, to their astonishment. Always a no-nonsense teacher and a strict disciplinarian, Miss Adams meted out considered punishment to offending pupils. It sometimes meant two or three cracks across the palm with her always ready rod, or a simple admonishment, depending on the severity of the offense. Yet, she was a patient teacher and a friend who inspired her pupils to a love of learning.
Her long teaching career began in the front room of a frame house in Linneus, Aroostook County, when she was sixteen years old. The house had replaced the log cabin where she was born November l, 1845. Between teaching terms she attended Ricker Academy in Houlton. But she also found time to pursue her love of fishing, exploring and riding horseback in the beautiful Aroostook countryside. She recalled that as a girl she lightened her dishwashing chore by practicing the waltz while wiping plates.
From the beginning of her career at the Emerson School, Miss Adams decreed that art appreication, her favorite subject, would be part of the curriculum. She enhanced studies with statuary, paintings, and pictures which she bought on her many travels through Europe. Every pupil kept an art-appreciation notebook illustrated with pictures she furnished of classical artists……..The legacy that Miss Adams left to generations of Munjoy Hill students runs like a golden thread through the lives of us who were influenced by her in our early school years.”