Learning All About our Local Communities

Ms. Hanauer-Milne’s fourth and fifth grade students in the elementary gifted program learned some interesting facts about our local communities. Oakland was once the axe capital of the US, if not the world! Belgrade hosted many famous visitors during the heyday of its grand hotels and sporting camps, and Sidney is named for Sir Philip Sidney… but no one knows why! Historical societies from all three communities met with students and provided information and answers to student questions. The students then turned their in-person, primary source, and online research into projects that shared their learning. Those projects were collected on the website below to share with the wider community.

In addition, students in Oakland made a diorama that depicts several water-powered industries – not only its axe shops, but also Cascade Wollen Mill and Oakland Electric Light Company which eventually became CMP. You can see the diorama on display at the Oakland Public Library along with logos the students made to represent the town. Students in Belgrade and Sidney also made logos which have been shared with their historical societies. The project was inspired by a grant from the Maine Arts Commission in celebration of Maine’s bicentennial. It also includes a middle school oral history project which will be completed later this month and added to the website.


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