by Mildred Dixon Haskell
My grandfather, Joseph H. Dixon, lived all his life in Eliot, in the Dixon family homestead, and was a member of the 27th Maine, Civil War, known as the “Medal of Honor” regiment. He was very proud of his service, and of the medal, which he always wore for special occasions. He was very active in the GAR after the war, and kept the complete roster of the regiment.
My father, Otto H. Dixon, grew up in Eliot, and attended school #8, undoubtedly walking there from his home on South Main Street. He was also active in the Sons of Union Veterans.
We lived with my grandparents until my father built our own house on the land next door, so I knew my grandfather well. There probably aren’t too many living now who knew a Civil War veteran!
My Eliot memories are centered around Greenacre, the river, and the schools, which included #6, Laura V. Dame, and Eliot High School, class of 1933.
While we attended #6, we had a field trip to one student’s home to listen to the radio for the inauguration of Hubert Hoover.
We also were taken to see school #7, but the Laura V. Dame opened, and we went there from grades 4 to 8.
We had a “Hot Lunch” program at Laura V. Dame – 7th and 8th graders (two at a time) made cocoa for all!
We sometimes felt that our class of 1933 was a “hard luck” class:
We had no grade school public graduation program because of a diphtheria epidemic.
We had no official class trip our senior year – the banks were closed, with all our money, because of the depression! Instead, our parents put together a camping trip to Lake St. George, NY., and we had a good time. Later on we did get all our money back, delivered to us by the class treasurer.
In a following year, we were invited to go with another class on their Washington trip, and several of us did go, and were grateful for the chance.
Greenacre was a good source of summer jobs for us. It was also a good opportunity to meet people “from away” who helped us to widen our circle of friends and experiences.
In thinking back about growing up in Eliot, I find that I have many happy memories of those days: getting together with friends, picnics on the shore of the river, and the many special events at the Navy Yard, which was quite a center of activities such as band concerts and parades. I also remember riding the trolley from in front of the house, but they were gone while I was quite young. We used the Greenacre station as a play house later on.
Letters of Joseph H. Dixon