The General Store at Flagstaff
A RPPC (real photo postcard), dated probably in the 1940's, of the "E. J. Leavitt" general store and post office in Flagstaff, Maine.
EVAN JAMES LEAVITT came to the town of Flagstaff by 1935, with his wife Evelyn and their two young children. He was first employed at a local saw mill prior to taking over operations of the general store in town. Attached to the building was the town's post office, and he took charge of the facility on 9 Dec 1941.
There were around 125 residents in Flagstaff when it was announced, in June of 1948, that Central Maine Power was going to build a dam at Long Falls, on the Dead River, which would create a man-made reservoir, Flagstaff Lake. In the process, it would inundate the town and neighboring Dead River Plantation. For twenty years, CMP had been purchasing properties in the vicinity of the river, and there was always talk within town that this would be the end result. Their decades long fear had now come true, and their town would now be destroyed.
Valuable lumber was cut, houses were moved, while others were simply burned down or left standing for the rising waters to claim. Cemeteries that held the early town settlers were reinterred elsewhere.
Postmaster Leavitt announced on 19 Oct 1949 that the town's mail would now be delivered out of New Portland by rural carrier, effective on the 31st, and he closed down the post office on November 1st. There were only 20 families now remaining in town, but Evan chose to stay behind to run his store until all had left. The dam was due to be finished that winter, with the flood waters soon to follow.
With the new year came spring run off, which rapidly began filling the new lake, and so the end of the town was near. Evan stayed on as store keeper until the last week of March, 1950. A new home and store had been built over in Eustis, so it was now time to move on.
For the next couple of years, any buildings still standing, which included the general store, would again be seen when the lake was lowered in the winter (to avoid overflowing the dam that following spring). They were all eventually burned down by 1952.
Evan died in 1977, aged 72, and was buried in Flagstaff Cemetery in Eustis. He shares a stone with his wife, Evelyn (Wing), who died in 1986. They can be found in the Descendants of Samuel Leavitt v.5, pg 135.
The Bangor Daily News, 6/28/1948, pg 5; 11/2/1949, pg 13; 3/24/1950, pg 6
Portland Press Herald, 7/5/49, pg 7; 11/25/1949, pg 8\
Map of Somerset County, Maine, 1860 (on Library of Congress website)
USGS Topoview Maps [link to index of available maps]
Leave a Reply.
A Leavitt Photo archive
Photographs of our Leavitt cousins, and brief write-ups about them
Other Blog Pages:
Stones and Stories