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Guilford, Maine

Where history meets the future

BUILDINGS

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Guilford High School

Text by Zachery Pratt and Katelyn Campbell
Images from the Guilford Historical Society

Guilford High School Construction, 1926
Guilford High School Construction, 1926

Item Contributed by
Guilford Historical Society

In 1882, a new high school was built, costing $15,000. In 1925, a devastating fire flattened the high school. The people of Guilford acted very quickly and the building was rebuilt. The construction was finished just one year later in 1926. Different from the old one, the newly built high school had a price tag of $90,000. The new name to this school was decided to be PCHS or Piscataquis Community High School. The new high school featured a very impressive entrance with huge white columns surrounding it, tennis courts, a beautiful gymnasium, and a new assembly hall with a stage for putting on plays and other events. In 1949, the gymnasium wasn’t meeting the demands of the school, so a new gym was constructed next to the old one. The old gymnasium was converted to a classroom.

Guilford High School Orchestra, 1942
Guilford High School Orchestra, 1942

Item Contributed by
Guilford Historical Society

On August 29, 1958, Maine School Administrative District #4 became a reality. One of the earliest SADs in the state, the new district included the towns of Abbot, Cambridge, Guilford, Parkman, Sangerville, and Wellington.

The fall of 1963 brought the first expansion onto the high school gymnasium with the edition of the superintendent’s office, and laboratories for chemistry and physics. At that period of time, School Administrative District #4 schooled 1,200 students in the high school, middle school, and elementary school.

As the end of the 1960s approached, it became obvious that the current high school building was not going to meet the demands of the district because of the condition of the building and the expansion of SAD #4. Voters of Guilford decided to build a new high school. The high school was built at 9 Campus Drive in Guilford. When the new PCHS opened in 1969, the old high school on School Street became the Guilford Middle School. In 1969, the Guilford Middle School housed only grades sixth, seventh and eighth; today, the middle school houses fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth.

Probably one of the most controversial issues in the 1980s was school bus transportation. Following a series of meetings, the voters of Guilford approved the purchase of a new fleet of school buses. A few years later, the voters also approved the construction of a bus garage next to the high school.

In 1943 and 1948, the Piscataquis Community High School Pirates boys’ team won the Piscataquis County championship coached by Phil Clark. PCHS also offered a baseball team.

Today, Piscataquis Community High School is located at 9 Campus Drive, while Piscataquis Community Middle School is located next to the high school at 25 Campus Drive. A few years ago, a small thrift shop occupied a space in the old high school, but it closed. Today, Herrick Construction occupies the building.


Braeburn Hotel

Text by Jacob Campbell, Elaina Bennett, and Terran Welcome
Images from the Guilford Historical Society

Hotel Braeburn, Guilford, ca. 1910
Hotel Braeburn, Guilford, ca. 1910

Item Contributed by
Guilford Historical Society

The Braeburn Hotel in Guilford, Maine, has been around since 1906. It was considered the finest in residency in its time in the area. It contained a post office, a clothing store, and a drug store on the first floor, and the bedrooms and the kitchen on the second floor, with bathrooms on every floor. The Braeburn stayed in business until it was gutted by fire in 2003.

The hotel was built on March 3, 1906, and stayed well on through the twentieth century as a major landmark in Guilford. It was a small hotel and contained three small businesses on the bottom floor. The residencies were above them. In all, about twenty people lived in the building at one time.

The site it was built on used to be the home of the old Turner House, which burned down. It was bought by Keren-happuch (Norman) Turner. The Turner House served as an apartment building complex.

The Braeburn building finally burned down in early March of 2003. It was thought to be started by an electrical problem. The roof collapsed in on the third floor, and caved in on the second. None of the twenty residents were hurt in the fire, but a firefighter was sent to Mayo Regional Hospital for a badly sprained ankle. It is said that two cats were killed in the fire.

As of today, the vacant lot is still empty, and is trying to be sold to the town. Plans for rebuilding on the lot are still under question, and may not go through. The Braeburn hotel, the Turner house, either way, the lots have housed people for just under one hundred years.


Low's Covered Bridge

Text by Taylor Renner and Bronson Bateman
Images by Guilford Historical Society

Low's Bridge Historic Landmark

Picnic by the Piscataquis River, and travel back in time on the beautiful covered bridge by car or driving ATV. Winter or Summer you can always enjoy the view.

The covered bridge was built for the first time in 1830. The man who built the bridge was one of the first settlers. His name was Robert Low. As you can see, Low’s Covered Bridge was named after Robert Low. It is located on Route 15 in Guilford.

The covered bridge was first washed away by the spring flood of 1843. Many years later in 1857, due to Mother Nature, the bridge had been destroyed again. On April 11, 1987 it was washed away for the third time. This time it had been snapped into two large sections. One section rested in a place down stream. The second section kept on going and went down over the dam in Dover-Foxcroft.

In 1858, the townspeople of Guilford decided to contract Isaac F. Wharff to do the foundation work on the bridge with granite. The cost to the towns was $750, $500 for abutments underneath the bridge, and $250 for lumber and labor. Guilford and Sangerville split the expense. After the flood of 1987, Dwinal Hall and William Hume of Guilford organized the effort to rebuild the bridge once again, at the cost of $625,000. This was completed in October of 1990.

The Guilford Covered Bridge, known as a national historic landmark, is also known as Low’s Bridge. This bridge was dedicated in 1970.

This was due to the hard work of the Guilford and Sangerville citizens.

When driving by the beautiful riverside, take a moment and stop by the bridge with all of your family and friends. Enjoy the unique experience of walking across the historical bridge and picture the most magnificent people that were once here.