Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Historical Society saves the day

Friday August 30, 2013
Lubec, Maine


A breakfast with no pictures.

Yes, you heard it right.  We went to the Wharf restaurant for breakfast this morning.  If you will recall, early in our stay David checked out every restaurant in town and concluded that the best breakfast could be had here.

When we arrive at 8am there is one couple in the restaurant.  There appear to be three people working at the counter.  It does not say wait to be seated so we choose a table.  Shortly someone brings the menu.  And that’s about it.  We wait 15 minutes while the couple who is seated is served, another couple comes in and gets drinks.  Finally a woman apologizes with no explanation and asks what we want to drink.   Another 15 minutes go by before she brings David coffee and me hot water with lemon.  She starts to leave and I say “we’d like to order now’.  We order what I consider to be very expensive breakfasts.  $9.50 and $8.50.   It’s nearly a half hour before our food arrives.  Breakfast is not a complicated meal.  In the mean time, another couple comes in, gets menus, their order is taken and their food arrives.  A third couple comes in their order is taken and their food arrives right after ours.  Their wait was less than 10 minutes.   As for the food.  It was fine.  Nothing to brag about and certainly not worth those prices.  The french toast which David had was excellent.    There are no pictures of this fiasco as I do not wish to remember it.   If you come to Lubec try somewhere else for breakfast is my advice.


I have been trying to find a copy of the Cobscook Bay Trail Guide which Cindy at the campground loaned to me.


It is a great little trail guide to this area and I’ve been everywhere trying to get a copy of it. The most recent suggestion made was “check with the Historical Society”


This seems unusual to me.  Not sure why they would have a trail guide.  But I’ve tried everywhere else in town and on the outskirts so after the breakfast irritation we stop on our way home.


Last Friday in Lubec 001


The little historical society building is right on the edge of the road shortly before the campground.

I go in and ask about the guide.  Joe and Deb say no they don’t have one but when I see the inside of the building, I motion for David to come on in.  He loves this old stuff.

We have erroneously come in the back door so we walk over to the other side to begin the “tour”.

Joe is a serious history buff and is eager to tell us all about Lubec’s early history and its canning hay days when there were twenty some canning operations in this town.  I can’t imagine it.   The museum has great pictures and artifacts of these times.  Unfortunately you are not allowed to take any pictures of things donated to the museum.  But I did get this the picture of Joe later when I returned with my camera.  At that time I found him reading a recently donated copy of Maine Sardine Industry History 1875 to 2000.


Last Friday in Lubec 004



Remember the crumbling building?


For those who follow us and especially Terri who was particularly interested, you may remember that falling down building we paddled by on our kayak venture.  Joe tells us that actually it is out in their backyard and they are trying to get a grant to tear it down.   It was the Columbian Canning Company and the building we are in was the Columbian Company Store in front of the cannery.   Brings to mind “another day older and deeper in debt….I owe my soul to the company store”.   Joe says that’s just about the way it was.

This is a picture of Columbian Can before it became the ruins behind the store.  More about how I got this picture later.  Notice most of the workers are women.


Columbian Can


We go into another room which has some beautiful vintage clothing from around the turn of the 20th century.   From there we go into the “school room” where information on Lubec’s schools and on the military commitments of the citizens of Lubec are kept along with vintage aerial photos of the area.  Joe tells us that nearly every man in town and some women fought in WW II which was just what we surmised from seeing the war memorial names. 


In the final room I meet Deb who is sitting at the counter of the 100 year old general store.  There are  grocery items behind the counter and hardware across the room.  The rear of the room contains an old barbershop.  It’s a great museum. 


Last Friday in Lubec 006



I spend a nice hour talking to Deb about the 1889 “signed” quilt on the wall done by three sisters for a fourth.  And about other items in the store.


The Wormell sisters


I later look on line and find that many of the pictures in the Lubec Historical Society Museum are on line at MaineMemory.net, Maine’s statewide digital museum and an amazing resource.  One picture that I find is of the Wormell Sisters who made the quilt.  It’s the picture Deb showed me.  Maine Memory tells me that the sisters were the daughters of Ebeneezer Wormell who was the West Quoddy Lightkeeper during the 1840’s and 1850’s.

And that there were actually six sisters originally.  One died and her husband married her sister and then he became the lightkeeper ten or so years later.   This town has some stories all right.


Deb has an interesting story all her own.  She is from Gloucester Massachusetts but moved to what we call Southside Virginia thirty years ago.  After some changes in her life she decided to just up and move to Lubec to be nearer her mother in Gloucester.  When I asked her why not return to her home town, she says it’s too expensive to live in Massachusetts anymore and she found a perfect house to rent on the county road here and likes it very much.



Lubec Pirate Invasion 386


Clearly she is interested in the historical because the house she picked is a rare mid 19th century traditional Maine farmhouse with the house on one end, the kitchen, other work rooms in the middle and then the barn on the other end.  All are connected so that in the winter, you don’t have to go outside for days if you can’t.  Deb is disappointed that the barn has been turned into a garage and she hopes some day to be able to buy the house from the owner who lives “away” and eventually return the garage to the authentic barn.   She says originally the outhouse would have been on the barn end and that the animals’ heat would help to keep the building warm.

I spend a very pleasant 90 minutes with Joe and Deb.   Thank you both so much.



Now about these parts that were discovered right next to the end of the slide steel ram cylinders back when we were at Narrows Too THREE weeks ago..


Way back then, David was getting something out of the back basement bin on our driver’s side slide.  He sees a shiny aluminum part just sitting on top of the basement compartment visible through a cut out around the ram cylinder.  The part is not attached to anything.  He picks it up wonders what it is doing there and why it has not vibrated off.  On investigation he finds another part of the same dimensions with the same three holes in the exact same spots sitting on top of the ram cylinder itself.   This one is made of white nylon.  Put the two together and they match perfectly.  With a flashlight he looks back in side to see where they might have come from.  An empty slot just the right size is on top the ram cylinder where it goes back into the steel frame on the chassis. 

So now the fun begins.  Call HWH.  

“Well you can’t walk to a technician for a week or two.  They are too busy backed up with calls.” 

“Well I need to know whether it is safe to put my slides in with these parts missing.”  

We email them this picture of the parts he has found.

original part picture

“Ok someone will call you back.”  

They call.  We’re out of range, in this sketchy cell phone service area.  Not available.  They leave a message. 

David calls back.  They are on the phone. 

“Leave a message. They’ll call you back.”

And on and on and on. 

Finally over a week later, they say they recognize the pieces and that we will need a new kit that won’t require any special tools or any instructions. 

We order the kit.  It comes and this is what we get.  There is a whole lot of other stuff here with no explanation.   The original TWO pieces are there at the bottom right.  The kit to replace them comes with THIRTY THREE pieces.


Moosehead arrival 021

If you know what this is or why it came off or how to make these 33 pieces replace it, I hope you’ll let us know.

In the meantime,  we are still waiting to talk to a technician about why what they sent us is SO much more than the two pieces in the picture we sent them.  

They assure us it is not dangerous to leave it out.  We can put it back if we want to or not.  It isn’t a safety issue.

WHAT?  Then why did you put these in in the first place if we can just leave it out or NOT.  I think we need a second opinion on that.  But the first one was so hard to get it will be weeks before we can get another one.

Here’s David under the slide trying to figure out where all these little parts go.


Last Friday in Lubec 009


Last Friday in Lubec 010


We’re STILL waiting for a call back.  It’s going on a month now.


I’d say the Lubec Historical Society Museum was the highlight of our day wouldn’t you??   Thanks Joe and Deb.


  1. Oh my! 33 pieces!? That would unnerve me for sure, not to mention George. I definitely think the Historical Society was the highlight :)

  2. ummm errrr don't ask me but if I figure it out i will call you back when I am less busy...

  3. More fascinating history of this quaint seashore town. Many stories remind me of those in Astoria's history, especially the demise of the fish canning industry.

    Can't help with the slide parts. Maybe there are some diagrams on-line or perhaps you can e-mail the photos to HWH. We like to get a person's name and extension which sometimes helps with the call backs.

    1. We did email the original photos to HWH and they of course know what they sent us back. At HWH the technicians do not give out their direct number. You have to go through an "operator". It's very frustrating. They are one of the most frustrating businesses I've ever dealt with.

    2. Ok... your turn... What is HWH? We've called Winnebago, but never HWH;-((

    3. HWH makes all of Winnebago's hydraulics. Like your jacks and your slides. Have trouble with either of them - the only trouble we've ever had with Winnona - and you end up calling HWH. They called back while we were on top of Burnt Jacket Mountain and of course, left a mess, waiting for a call back now. LOL - wonder how many months we cna play telephone tag???

  4. Yikes. You can sell your own replacement kits from all that.

  5. Sherry,

    I'd call Winnebago Customer Service 1(800)537-1885 (with Winnona's sercial number handy) and see what they say.

    I've seen two metal plates like yours on a friend's Winnebago MH that were laying on top of one of the compartments under the slide. We looked for a long time and could not find where they went. The slide worked just fine, so we thought maybe they were just left over from when the MH was built.

    I'm interested in what you find out.

    1. Hi Paul, We always call Winnebago first since they are SO helpful. They told us to call HWH which has always turned out to be a major PIA. Ours was lying on the top of the compartment too. So what are they for if they aren't needed??? And why were they there in the first place would have been my questions to HWH if I'd been talking to them.

  6. I have called Winnebago with questions and was happy with their service. Did you do a google search for that trail guide? you may be able to find a copy online.

    1. We did call Winnebago first and they said they didn't know since it was an HWH part. I also googled the search guide and didn't find anything so now I have to ask Nancy what she did that I didn't do. I did email the publisher and eventually found out the same information she did much more easily.

  7. Ha... I tell ya ... lots of things I just let go on by... but this kind of frustration drives me insane. wth ... well? thank goodness you have David to figure it out. 33 pieces to replace two and no instructions? oh, ha. and a month?

    and listen... that kind of service? I have left. If, for breakfast? I come in for coffee? and they left me for l5 minutes??? I would and have walked up to the counter and asked for my coffee.

    I have been told when I did that ~ we will bring it to you. I said ... I don't think so. I've raised a family waiting on you. IF I get a look of ... go sit down old woman... I leave.

    I have absolutely no patience with that kind of crap. Are they paying me to eat there? I think not.

    1. your font larger? I just noticed I had absolutely no problem reading ! I usually do the enlarge thing for reading then unenlarge to see the pictures! outstanding

    2. I didn't change a thing on my font Carolyn which is actually pretty large since I have to be able to read it. LOL. Not sure what makes it appear differently on your machine. Do you use a phone? Tablet? Or full laptop??

    3. It's a MacBook Pro... full laptop. I dunno. This aging business really gets on my nerves. Whatever! it was larger today ~ maybe all that cleaning I've done has cleaned out my eyeballs... I know nothing.

  8. Looks like you found a gem with the Historical Society. I looked online and the 2013 Cobscook Bay Trail Guide is sold out and they are in the process of creating the 2014 version;o(( Saw that you are having rain in Moosehead...bummer! Hope when the rains stops, the moose come out to play;o))

    1. Yes rain rain and more rain. I looked on line too and couldn't find anything about it. Guess I'd better find out what search engine you are using and take some on line search lessons from you. I think this is twice you've found something I could not find.

  9. How annoying: the breakfast and the waiting for a call about 33 pieces!!! I would definitely say the historical society did save the day! Interesting history and people. Can't complain about that :)

  10. I would be worried about having loose parts too. Have you tried posting for help on one of the Rv forums? I use Rv-Net Forum or IRV2 forum. I have good luck there. Or you could try a Winnebago owners forum (I'm sure there is one)

  11. Sounds like you got dooped for the price of parts that you probably didn't need. Winnebago put their name on the coach so even if the part was made by HWM. It would have paid you to inch the slide closed and go sit on HWM's door step until they addressed the issue. Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

    1. Don't think I want to drive out to Moscow Idaho to sit on their doorstep given I'm in Maine. :-)) Winnebago does use HWH on their coaches and they try to help but there are some things about HWH products they just don't know. In the main, Winnebago is seriously great at helping.

  12. Here's to a fun Historical Society visit, anyway. Sorry for the lousy breakfast service and oh so frustrating dealings with HWH. Life would be a lot easier if people would just do their jobs (says the unemployed one).

  13. Hmmm. Very interesting that Paul's friend had a similar part appear. It looks like some kind of spacer so it could be that the slide will work fine without it.

  14. The museum sounds like a great place to visit. I remember seeing many old farmhouses in Southern Germany where they still keep animals in a barn room attached to the house.

    I hope you can figure out what you should do with the items sent to you, and that you can find someone to explain them. How about another RVer in your campground?

  15. Seeing a picture of the Columbian Can back in its heyday makes it sad to see it now in its current state.

    33 pieces to replace two??? That makes no sense. I sympathize with your frustration. Good luck with that mystery!

  16. No RV parts are cheap or easy to fix/replace. And don't even get me started on impossible to get to. It's a racket to promote their service business.

    Sucky deal for breakfast. I hope you told someone. But the Museum looked real interesting.

  17. Oh, I love that "parts" story. How ridiculous. Is it easier to just send every size in case they misjudged the correct piece? Nutsy, but I know that David loves a challenge!

    1. P.S. Maybe the "Wharf" only likes locals? They are hoping that you will tell all of your traveling friends not to come there. :-)

  18. The Wharf did have a great view of the water and a great looking bunch of pies they bake right there in the kitchen. You can talk to the pie baker over the counter as you walk into the place as the kitchen is right there. Too bad we had such a bad wait or we might have had pie for our breakfast dessert.

  19. I'm so glad you enjoyed our building and hope you come back this way again I would suggest the Water St. Tavern to eat breakfast next time better wait time. lol

  20. I'm glad you enjoyed our building and Lubec's history. I hope you come back and if you do then try The Water St. Tavern for breakfast a much better wait time lol


Your comments are the best part of this blog for me.
I LOVE hearing from you!