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Raymond: From shoe factories and dirt roads to Walmart
The photo above, circa 1910, shows the Raymond Train Depot just a few years after it was constructed. The depot, constructed in 1893, is in the care of the Raymond Historical Society. The society is raising funds to repair the building ahead of the town's 250th celebration next year. Below is the depot as it looks today. (Gretyl Macalaster/Raymond Historical Society)
Plans have been in the works for nearly a year for an elaborate celebration the week of Sept. 13 meant to coincide with the incorporation of the town in 1764.
Longtime resident Sally Paradis, 73, said she and her friends still comment on how lucky they are to have grown up in a town where everyone knew each other.
She recalled quarrels over what to do about the school before the elementary and middle schools were built, a time when double sessions were being held in the town's one schoolhouse.
"Ill tell you, it was not a good situation for many, many years," Paradis said.
Paul Brown, 78, was born and raised in Raymond, in a house very close to the one in which he currently lives.
He remembers seeing horses and wagons on Long Hill Road, which was then a dirt road, and the town's two shoe factories, but said a lot of the business in town was still agricultural.
Soon after that fire, the town established its first fire department and built a water tower, after turning down one offered by the railroad company in 1890.
The local ice cream parlor, Candyland, even named a sundae after the camp. It featured two scoops of vanilla ice cream and loads of chocolate and marshmallow, and many residents still remember the girls coming into town each summer to enjoy the cool treat.
A number of summer boarding houses and resorts dotted the town's shorelines, but the advent of the automobile and the end of passenger rail service to Raymond once again changed the town's direction.
Brown said Raymond was a rather progressive town until about the early 1960s.
"It was the only town around that had its water system in the main part of town. It was quite progressive," he said.
"It's home," Brown said. "Simple as that."
Residents both current and former have been sharing their memories on a website created by the town for its 250th anniversary - www.raymond250.org - and on the committee's Facebook page.
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