Local newspaper celebrates 175th anniversary

    DOVER-FOXCROFT — For 175 years, The Piscataquis Observer has been the source for news in the Penquis region.

    Launched on June 1, 1838 as the Piscataquis Herald, the first issue laid out to the public the vision of owner and editor George Edes. “The Herald,” he wrote, “will … contain the news of the day, and such matters of general intelligence as will make it interesting as a Family Newspaper.”

    That mission hasn’t changed. The Piscataquis Observer, to which its name was changed in 1847, is still concerned with bringing to the public the local news of the week along with the stories and views that breathe life into our region.

    “The Piscataquis Observer is one of the oldest continuing businesses in the region and we take our mission — ‘Serving the interests of Piscataquis County’ very seriously,” said Mark Putnam, managing editor. “Everything we do is focused on how best to serve the community – our readers.”

    The front page now features news from school boards and selectmen halls, business developers and community activists, all laid out around a couple of colorful, and hopefully telling, photographs.

    The newspaper’s location has changed throughout the years. First, the newspaper was put together in a building in Merrick Square, then it moved to five locations around Union Square before going to the second floor of the current True Value Hardware building. In 1905, The Observer moved into the so-called Flat Iron building, which now is the home of The Dover-Foxcroft Historical Society. The paper stayed there until August of 1997, when The Observer took up shop in its current office on East Main Street.

    Today, the community newspaper features a full-time staff of four — news reporters Stuart Hedstrom and Bill Pearson, advertising sales representative Keri Foster, and customer service associate Jeannette Hughes. Chad Raymond and Leisa Clement are employed part-time as drivers and delivery persons for the weekly newspaper. Linda Kain also fills in on occasion when regular staff are on vacation. All seven employees live in the region and are dedicated to providing a final product that people here are proud of.

    “In 12 to 16 pages each week, the newspaper staff attempts to give complete and timely coverage of Piscataquis County and neighboring regions,” noted Putnam. “Through a combination of news stories, briefs, photographs, community calendar items, letters to the editor, sheriff and court logs, obituaries, display advertisements, classified advertisements, inserts and special supplements — readers are made aware of the goings on in their communities. If it sounds like a tall order, it is.”

    Through The Observer’s office, customers can access a full line of printing services, including business cards, poster, raffle tickets, brochures, flyers, banners up to six-feet long and much more.

    Prospective brides can stop by the office and order printed wedding and social stationary and other wedding-related items, now offered at 20 percent off the list price.

    The Observer staff can be reached by calling 564-8355 or via e-mail at observer@nepublish.com. Customers can also stop by the office, located at 12 East Main St., Suite A., in Dover-Foxcroft or visit the newspaper website at www.observer-me.com.

Get the Rest of the Story

Thank you for reading your4 free articles this month. To continue reading, and support local, rural journalism, please subscribe.