Houlton Grange Curtain Returns Home

Published: Sep. 20, 2022 at 5:30 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 20, 2022 at 5:31 PM EDT
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When a curtain belonging to the Former Houlton Grange hall was discovered in a Texas antique store for sale, one county native sprang into action, to bring an Aroostook Artifact back home. NewsSource8′s Brian Bouchard has the story.

“Grange halls, which, every town had a grange hall, Grange halls were centers for the community, not only would they buy and sell things, but they would hold plays and events.”

Jane Torres, Executive Director of the Greater Houlton Chamber of Commerce is standing in front of The Houlton Grange Curtain, a relic thought to be lost to time.

“Each grange hall usually had a curtain that went across the stage, and these curtains were made out of canvas and they were hand painted with ads so people sitting in the audience wouldn’t get bored, they could read the ads. When they decided to take down the grange hall, because it wasn’t habitable anymore, someone bought it (the curtain) and sold it to an antique dealer in Texas”

A photo of the curtain was floating around on social media, which caught the eye of Houlton native Jamie Millar, who is currently living in Baltimore.

“Someone, and I can’t even recall who, on Facebook had posted a picture of it. And I knew that a couple people were going to get together to see what they could do to bring it back home, and I heard that and it struck home with me in a way that, I said, “You know what, why don’t I see if I can do that for them”. I want to get it back to where it belongs in my little hometown.”

And so Millar purchased the curtain, and shipped it back home to Houlton where it now resides in the County Co-Op and Farm Store, on loan from the Aroostook County Historical & Art Museum of Houlton. Torres says the curtain is a connection to Houlton’s past, a connection that is still felt today.

“We’re still farming, it’s a farming community. Everybody knew what grange halls were all about and it just brings back memories. Some of the businesses are still here, still in business, Houlton Farm’s Dairy is still in business. It’s been great to have it here.” says Torres.

“My dad and my mom brought me up to do whatever I could to help and I’m just honored to be able to do so” says Millar.

Millar says he hopes to be able to make it back home at some point, to see the curtain on display, in Houlton.

Brian Bouchard, NewsSource8