Community News & Events


Who: Machias Bay Chamber of Commerce Dinner and Auction

When: 5:30 p.m. Friday, May 25

Where: University of Maine at Machias Kilburn Commons

What: Lots of fun!!

Here are some teasers to entice you to get your tickets now for the Machias Bay Chamber of Commerce’s annual dinner and auction, May 25, at UMM’s Kilburn Commons. Tickets are $30 pp and include dinner, cash bar, annual awards and the auction. Tickets are available at the Chamber’s train station.

Here are some highlights: Bangor Savings Bank is bringing their money grab machine filled with hundreds of dollars to win! Auction prizes include a 55″ Smart TV: a full week at a camp by Gardiner Lake – host a family reunion, set up hunting week, enjoy a retreat; a fall weekend at The Frisky Fish cottage in Machiasport, right on the water!; a professional family photo shoot; and an amazing weekend rental package of equipment to get your yard ready for spring: a mower, a trimmer, and a tiller. AND THERE WILL BE MUCH MORE! Call and reserve your tickets now: 255.4402

2018 Machias Chamber of Commerce Boston Red Sox Trip


Join us for this fabulous trip!

Last season’s Boston Red Sox trip was so popular that we’re doing it again. We just the got the date of July 14 (vs Blue Jays) and purchased 45 tickets for Box 1, Right Field – great seats! We have reserved the bus, which will leave from Machias but can pick up along the I95 corridor. And we are now negotiating for the best deal from the hotel. Get your name on the list now so we can notify you when details are solidified. This bus fills up fast! Call 255.4402.
Wouldn’t this make the best Christmas present for your Red Sox fans??? Or a special weekend in Boston for gal pals or sisters?

2017 Machias Chamber of Commerce Blueberry Festival Vendors


Yogi’s Doughboys & More
Doughboys, Funnelcakes, hotdogs, hamburgers, French fries, BBQ, soda & water

Sunshine Lunch Wagon
Lobster rolls, Hamburgers & Hotdogs

Sabastian’s Wood Fired Pizza
Wood fired pizza

Swamp Yankee Barbecue
Barbeque dinners, sandwhiches, soda & water

Fast Eddie’s
Ice Cream, Shakes, Sundaes & Water

Kings Concession
Sausage, steak & Cheese, French fries, onion rings, and bacon dogs


Rachel’s Jewelry
Themed handmade jewelry

Hand Knitted 4 You
Crochet top kitchen towels, knit dish cloths, swiffer covers, scarves, knit socks, hats, mittens, baby items, towel bibs

J & S Animal Collection
Handbags, Ceramics, Sunshades, Earrings

Vintage & Estate Jewelry, hand crafted Christmas ornaments made with vintage jewelry

Scentsy fragarance items

Two Apple Farm
Hand woven baskets, Adirondack chairs, folk art signs

Maine Lottery
Lottery products

Chayak Crafts
Summer dresses, blouses, jewelry, hats, dream catchers & t-shirts

Willoughby Studio
Paintings, prints, stationery items, décor, fabric crafts

Image Maker
Photo art & photo greeting cards

3 Basket Cases

Coastal Whims
Coastal sea glass jewelry & décor.

Braggs Bags
Handmade tote bags


Maine Blackfly Breeders Association
Blackfly t-shirts, hats, sweatshirts, mugs, coffee, magnets, playing cards, bumper stickers

The Ark Animal Shelter
Dog & Cat toys, pet supplies, and Ark promotional goods.

Thirty wooden Adirondack chairs will be auctioned beginning at 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1, at Station 1898. These chairs have been handpainted and carved by local artists and are true works of art. They will be on display all that day at the Station. Doug Guy will be the guest auctioneer and all proceeds go to the Machias Food Pantry. We can only accept cash or check. Winners are responsible for taking their chair with them at the close of the auction unless other arrangements are made. A video of all the chairs is on the Machias Bay Chamber of Commerce Facebook page.

If anyone wishes to make an absentee bid on a particular chair, you must contact the Machias Bay Chamber of Commerce office at 255.4402 by 3 p.m. Friday with your bid, name, and contact information. You must arrange your own shipping or pick up if you win the chair. You would pay for the chair through the Chamber’s PayPal account on this website.joes-chair

2016 Machias Chamber of Commerce Blueberry Festival Vendors

Craft Vendors

Washington Academy

Kelly’s Kreations
Handmade aprons, crocheted clothes, wall hangings and more

Attitude Photography
Beautiful framed pictures, paintings, painted buoys

Sons and Daughters Farm
Handmade poly & clay jewelry, reclaimed furniture, photos & various other arts & crafts

Knotty Creations
Handpainted signs, wood turned bowls, repurposed wood working

Maine Coast Creations

Moonbear & Crow
Art prints,stationery, leather masquerade masks and jewelry

Beachbody & Shakeology
Shakeology and beachbody products – Health & Fitness

Image Maker
Photographs & Photo art cards

Talbot House Inn & Local Artist
Inn brochures and art work

Faye Hodgkins
Quilts, quilted items, doll clothes, placemats and home decor

Kurt Potter Woodworking
Wood turning bowls

Bevy & Ginny Creations
Vintage material items – bags, kitchen items, etc.

Essential oils

Rodan & Fields
Skincare Products

Origami Owl

Temporary Ink Sanity
Temporary airbrush tattoos

Riverside Electric
Generac Generator Display

Chayak Crafts
Blouses, dresses, hats, bags, jewelry, dream catchers & tshirts

Handknitted 4 You
Crichet top kitchen towels, swiffer covers, dish cloths, pot scrubbies, baby items, towel bibs, scarves, hats, scissor holders, mittens

Washington Academy
Education Display

J&S Animal Collection
Handbags, ceramics, sunshades, earrings

Maine State Lottery
Lottery items

93.7 The Wave
Broadcasting live

Two Apple Farm
Hand woven baskets, adirondack chairs, folk art signs

Iris Designs
Exquisite sea & stone jewelry and buttons from the Coast of Maine

BBG Imaginations
Vintage & Estate jewelry

Scentsy fragrance products

Nora’s Crafts
Aprons, pot holders, quilts, pillow cases, fleece, etc.

Rachel’s Jewelry
Hand made jewelry

Maine Blackfly Breeders Association
Blackfly t-shirts, hats, mugs, bumper stickers, cards, magnets, coffee, sweatshirts, baby blackflies

Kaia Smith
Henna Art/tattooing

Zwitter Glass Art
Glass art

Willoughby Studio
Paintings, prints, stationery items, fabric crafts, egg crafts

Lehann Bronson
Yarn bowls, ceramics etc. pickled asparagas, various baked goods, knitted items

Bragg’s Bags
Handmade totebags, table runners, etc.

Attitude Photography
Beautiful framed pictures, paintings, painted buoys

Kelly Kreations
Handmade aprons, crocheted clothes, wall hangings and more

Origami Owl

Rodan & Fields/doTerra
Skincare products & essential oils

Bevy & Ginny Creations
Vintage material items – bags kitchen items, etc.

Kurt Potter Woodworking
Wood turning bowls

Faye Hodgkins
Quilts, quilted items, doll clothes, placemats, home decor

Capn Jims ReTreasure
Various jewelry and home decor created from gathered treasure from beach and forest, to original real Maine music CD’s – Jimmy Barnes

Talbot House Inn & Local Artist
Inn brochures & art work

Image Maker
Photographs & photoart cards

Beachbody & Shakeology
Shakeology and beacbody products – Helath & Fitness

Moonbear & Crow
Art prints, stationery, leather masquerade masks & jewelry

Knotty Creations
Handpainted signs, wood turned bowls, repurposed wood working

Food Vendors

Yogi’s Doughboys & More
Doughboys, funnelcakes, hotdogs, hamburger, french fries, BBQ, soda, water

King’s Concession
Sausage, steak & Chese, french fries, onion rings, bacon dogs, baked potato wedges

Jax’s Sundae & Ice Cream
Ice cream sundae, pre-packaged ice cream

Tyler’s Maine Squeezed Lemonade

S&S Concessions
Cotton candy, water, soda, BBQ chicken, corn, sausage & meatballs subs

Sabastian’s Wood fired Oven
wood fired pizza – a variety of toppings including pepperoni, bbq chicken, etc.

Sunshine Lunch Wagon
Burgers, lobster, popcorn, drinks, breakfast sandwhiches, french fries, hot dogs, coffee, offer gluten free

Fast Eddie’s
Ice cream, shaved ice, cotton candy, rootbear floats, sundaes, shakes

Non-Profit Vendors

The Ark

Washington County Republicans
Republican party literature

University of Maine at Machias Alumni Association
Raffle tickets

MACHIAS, Maine — The Machias Bay Chamber of Commerce is hosting a meeting for all area railroad enthusiasts who would be interested in forming a club or organization to assist the Chamber with accurately promoting the history of the railroad in the area.

The Chamber recently historically renovated Station 1898, the 118-year-old railroad station in Machias, which currently houses a small collection of Maine railroad memorabilia. The Chamber will be seeking grants to eventually grow its collection and establish a railroad museum. The role of this new club or society would be pivotal in that growth.

A meeting will be held AT 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 6, at Station 1898 (the big red railroad station across the street from Helen’s Restaurant in Machias) to assess local interest and begin formation of a group. All interested hobbyists and former railroad workers are welcome to attend.

All concerts start at 7PM at the Centre Street Church!!!

July 12 – Masanobu Ikemiya and Friends – Classical to Ragtime

July 19 – Jonathan and Susan Aceto with Marisa Solomon (piano trio) – Classical

July 26 Fred Moyer (piano) – Classical and Jazz

August 2 Brian Nadeau’s Big Band – Jazzy Jazzy Jazz

August 9 Creative Ensemble Collective – Jazz concert

– Blueberry Festival Week off –

August 23 Trio Cleonice (piano trio)

Interested in a dog park in Machias? Here is your last minute invitation to join us at 5pm tonight, June 16th, at Station 1898 (the Chamber of Commerce office across from Helen’s) for an initial organizational meeting to discuss what a dog park in Machias might be like and how we can get it done.
What is a dog park? It is basically a fenced area where dogs can be allowed to run off-leash and play with other dogs. Although we live in a rural area, many dog owners don’t have a place where owners can let their dogs exercise freely without fear of losing them.
For more information, call Downeast Coastal Conservancy at 255-4500. Join us to hear opinions and provide your own voice in whether and how this happens!
Here is our summer FREE outdoor movie schedule! All movies will began at sunset at the box car next to Station 1898 (across from Helen’s Restaurant.) They will be offered every other Saturday from mid-June to August.
June 18 – Minions, sponsored by Down East Community Hospital (with “real” minions)
July 2 – The Good Dinosaur, sponsored by Bold Coast Cannabis
July 16 – HOME, sponsored by Brown, Holmes and Milliken Agency, and State Rep. Will Tuell
July 30 – Mr. Peabody and Sherman, sponsored by American Legion Post #9: Sons, Auxiliary and Legionnaires
August 13 – Pan, sponsored by Machias Savings Bank, and University of Maine at Machias
August 27 – Zootopia, sponsored by Machias Savings Bank, and Living Innovations

How Sweet It Is will be selling their delicious treats!

The Machias Bay Chamber is hosting a forum this Thursday, 6 p.m., at the train station, to gather input and ideas from our members and community. Please come and share your thoughts! Coffee and munchkins will be served!
May 14 UMM graduation
May 15 Mud Run Challenge, 255.3741
May 20 Machias Bay Chamber Annual Dinner
May 27-30 Down East Spring Birding Festival
By Memorial Day – Get Comfortable in Machias Chairs will be placed throughout community

June 5 Machias Memorial High School graduation
June 6 Washington Academy graduation
June 11 Margaretta Day, Machias FB or 255.3433, Carlene Holmes
June 18 FREE outdoor movie at train station – Minions
June 18 UMM 5K and Chili Cookoff
June 18 Wesley’s Fun Run and 5K FB register by 7:30 a.m.
June 27 Bay of Fundy International Marathon,,

July 2 FREE outdoor movie at train station – The Good Dinosaur
July 4 Machias Fourth of July parade, 6 p.m., and fireworks 255.6096
July 15-17 Bold Coast Sea & Sky Festival, Machias, FB,, Bill at 974.9694
July 16 FREE outdoor movie at train station – HOME
July 29-30 Shriners’ Sportmans’ Day, Machias, UMM Gymnasium Brad Prout
July 30 FREE outdoor movie at train station – Mr. Peabody and Sherman
July 30-31 Grand Lake Stream Folk Festival

August 3-7 International Homecoming, Calais,
August 13 FREE outdoor movie at train station – Pan
August 18 Blueberry Festival Chicken BBQ by Grand Lake Stream Guides and Fire Department, 4:30-6 under the tent on Centre Street
August 19 Blueberry Festival Children’s Activities, UMM Mall
August 20-21 Machias Wild Blueberry Festival
August 21 Slavic Soul, Balken band concert, 1 p.m. church steps on Centre Street
August 27 FREE outdoor movie at train station – Zootopia

Sept 10 First Responder Appreciation Day, UMM, 9-3 255.4402 or
Sept 9-11 Eastport Pirate Festival FB
Sept 12-13 BikeMaine Machias, Facebook or Machias Chamber, 255.4402,
Septr 17 Machias Color Dash, 255.3741
Sept 17 Machias Harvest Festival and Pumpkin Chucking,, 255.4402
Sept 17 Machias Wine and Beer Tasting Festival,, 255.4402

Oct 28 Trick or Treat on Main Street, Machias 3-5 p.m. Chamber 255.4402

Save the Date: The Machias Chamber of Commerce is hosting an informational forum at Station 1898 at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 15 to discuss issues such as the proposed minimum wage hike, new overtime rules, etc. that will be impacting our area businesses. We are courting an amazing panel of experts and hope to see many of our local business owners there. Confirmed panel members so far include Pamela D. Megathlin, Bureau Director of the Maine Department of Labor; Jon Reisman, economics professor at the University of Maine at Machias; and Andrew Seeley, local business financial advisor. Please mark your calendar for this important event.
The Machias Chamber will be hosting a volunteer gathering at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 21, at Station 1898. Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer greeter is welcome. Refreshments will be served. FMI: 255.4402
Schedule of events for Margaretta Day:

Friday, June 10:
7-10 p.m. Street dance, live band, local craft beers @ Pat’s Pizza, 168 Main Street, Machias

Saturday, June 11:
7-9 a.m. Pancake Breakfast, American Legion Hall, Court Street, Machias
9:30 a.m. Laying of Wreath at Courthouse by the Sons of the American Legion
10 a.m. Parade from Helen’s to University of Maine at Machias

@UMM until 3 p.m. Colonial Day on the Mall
11:15 a.m. Greater Machias Bay Area Homeschoolers’ Historical Play
noon 195th Army National Guard Band, Community Covenant Ceremony, Battle of the Rim, The Black Robe Regiment, impersonations of historical figures
2 p.m. UMM Ukelele Band, music
5-7 p.m. Wine Tasting at The French Cellar

FMI: or 207.263.5886

Margaretta Days is a presentation of the Machias Historical Society

Machias Savings Bank is offering two FREE business seminars:

Social Media and Digital Marketing
Machias – Ed Hennessey Training Center, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. May 4

The Way you Finance Healthcare
Machias – Ed Hennessey Training Center, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. May 5

Business seminars are free. Please register by May 2. FMI: Cheryl Hayward, 255.9383 or

The members of the UMM Alumni Association are holding a raffle to raise money for our scholarship fund. We have three great prizes donated by alum, Troy True. They are as follows: 6 front row tickets to the Sea Dogs home game on August 25 that have a value of $60; 2 tickets to the Boston Red Sox home game against the Yankees on September 18 that have a value of $252; and 2 tickets to the Patriots home game against the Ravens on December 12 that have a value of $178. The cost of the tickets is $5 for one or 5 tickets for $20.
If anyone is interested in buying tickets, you may contact Julie at, Jo-Ellen at, or Mary Beth at
Two wonderful music events coming up at the University of Maine at Machias:
7 p.m. Monday, May 2 – UMM Fine Arts Performances
7 p.m. Tuesday, May 3 – Community Chorale
Both events are free and are held in the Performing Arts Center at UMM.
More than 30 local artists are working hard to transform everyday Adirondack chairs into wonderful street art! The chairs will be displayed around Machias all summer and auctioned off in the fall to benefit the Machias Food Pantry! We are so excited to see what all the artists come up with! This is a project of the Machias Bay Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with the Wild Blueberry Festival. If your interest is piqued, we still have two chairs left for artists that wish to participate – 255.4402

Chair sponsors include:
Woodwind Gallery
We Care Baby Center
Faye Mack Photography
Machias Marketplace
Whitney’s Tri Town Marine
Machias Valley News Observer
Cori Collins
Helen’s Restaurant
Axiom Technologies
Axiom Education and Training Center
Machias Hardware
Down East Community Hospital
Maine Black Fly Breeders Assn.
Maine Coast Creations
ReFind Furnishings
University of Maine at Machias – five chairs
Washington County Regional Communications Center
Machias Laundromat
D & R Plumbing
Leslie Gray – four chairs
Healthy Acadia – two chairs
Centre Street Congregational Church
Machias River Inn – two chairs
Berry Vines

Due to circumstances beyond the Chamber’s control. the business forum scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday has been bumped forward to Thursday, May 26. The station is not quite ready to receive visitors. We apologize for any inconvenience. Please plan on coming to give your Chamber directors ideas, suggestions and thoughts that will be used to create our direction moving forward. Thank you!
How to Run Your Business From Your Mobile Device

Date: Friday, May 6th
Time: 9:00 AM – Noon
Location: Machias CareerCenter, 53 Prescott Drive, Machais
Cost: $20.00

Learn how to manage your sales, marketing, emails, documents, people, bookkeeping, and organizing your apps with instructor Jesse Perez!

For more information call Sharon Foss at (207) 255-4917.

To register go to:

Date: Wednesday, May 4th
Time: 6:00 PM
Location: 92 Court Street, Machias
Cost: Free

Cover Story is a sequel to Buchanan’s first book in the Joe Gale series, Quick Pivot. Published by Carina Press, Cover Story is an e-book first imprint of Harlequin. It’s available as an ebook and accessible through Overdrive.

Author Buchanan is a lawyer at the Portland firm of Warren, Currier & Buchanan. A Westbrook resident, she is a former board member of the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance.

Refreshments will be available. Porter Memorial Library is located at 92 Court Street in Machias. Call 255-3933 for more information or visit

Date: Wednesday, May 25th
Time: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Location: Machias CareerCenter, 53 Prescott Drive, Machias, ME
Cost: $149.00 or apply for a Sunrise County Economic Council Scholarship by May 5th

Comprehensive ServSafe® Training and Exam (Includes Textbook and Answer Sheet):
Eight hour Classroom Instruction
Diagnostic Test Review
Proctored Exam with Answer Sheet
*PLEASE NOTE: Reading this textbook before attending the course is key to your success on the exam.
Limited Enrollment – Register Now

Date: Thursday, May 5th
Time: 1:30 PM
Location:85 Court Street, Machias

Justices of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court and state, county and local officials will dedicate the newly renovated and expanded Washington County Courthouse in Machias.

The Dedication Ceremony is free and open to the public and media.

Dates: Wednesday, April 27th
Time: 9:00 AM – Noon
Location: Machias CareerCenter;
53 Prescott Drive, Machias

This three hour workshop is designed to walk future business owners through the steps in acquiring business loans and grants.

Sponsored by the Women’s Business Center at CEI, Sunrise County, Economic Council, and the Maine Woods Tourism Training Initiative, this workshop will be facilitated by Ruth Cash-Smith, certified business counselor with the Women’s Business Center at CEI. For over nine years, she has provided confidential one-on-one business counseling and training throughout Washington County.

To register, please contact Pete Rensema at or by phone at 255-0983.

Downeast Sunrise Trails are now fully open.
The Chamber is going to launching a new event early this spring: a youth fishing derby and outdoor skills day. We are working with the Maine Warden Service, Machias Valley Sportsmens Club and the Pleasant River Fish and Game Club to provide a multi-faceted experience for our youngsters. We are currently seeking anyone that is skilled in outdoor crafts: snowshoe making, canoe making, hide tanning, trapping, archery, etc. We would love to have a number of these craftspeople sharing their expertise and skills with the kids. The event is scheduled for June 4 and we are waiting for final confirmation of the location (which will be generously stocked with brook trout and brown trout.) Please call the Chamber at 255.4402 if you are interested in sharing your skills or if your business would like to help sponsor the event!
Just wanted you to know that the Chamber is offering a major discount on spaces in our lots at the Wild Blueberry Festival to all Washington County vendors – if you live in Washington County, it is only $75. Let me know If I should save you a spot! 255.4402
The Machias Bay Chamber of Commerce is nearly ready to move into Station 1898! As part of our summer tourism efforts, we will be seeking several volunteers who can give the Chamber an hour or two a week (on a date/time of your choosing) to greet tourists and answer their questions about the area. We will have a short training workshop (with refreshments) closer to Memorial Day and will firm up a schedule then. Just so you know, when there are no visitors around, we have a very comfy chair and hassock that will be in front of a warm fireplace so you can put your feet up, read and relax. When the weather is warmer, you can sit on our baggage platform and watch the eagles soar. Anyone interested in volunteering, please contact Sharon or Susan at the Chamber, 255.4402, or
The Bold Coast Art Collective (BCAC)

Have you ever wondered how to get that photographic special effect, the best way to frame your painting, or

where the next artwork exhibit is taking place in our area? Well, there’s a new group in Washington County

that can provide you with that information and more!

The Bold Coast Art Collective’s purpose is to learn from and assist each other, collaborate as artists, promote

each other’s work, and educate the public about the nature of all art forms. All artists are welcome to be a part

of the group.

The BCAC is the brainchild of Brita Nettleton, Kris

Larson, Sally Brann \, and Bob McCollum

– all local artists who saw a need to collaborate with

others with similar interests. They are inviting anyone

who is interested in art to attend their next meeting on

Wednesday, December 2nd at 5:30 p.m. in room 228 of

Torrey Hall at the University of Maine at Machias.

While Brita Nettleton started taking photographs at a

young age, her hobby instantly became a passion when

she bought her first digital SLR camera and took a

photography class back in 2011. “My love of

photography and the outdoors go hand in hand. I try to

capture the beauty of Downeast Maine whenever I’m outside.”

Larson’s fascination with photography started when his family received a photo book called The Family of Man

when he was just 11 years old. Twelve years later, in 1976, his photography career began in earnest when his

father gave him his first 35mm Olympus camera (which was purchased from L.L. Bean!). Larson is an avid

black & white photographer. He has had several photos exhibited in local galleries and art shows.

Brann is a very recent resident to the Machias area. She is an artist who enjoys exploring many mediums

including ink and pencil drawings, spray paint, and watercolors. Her most recent endeavors have been a

combination of charcoal, gesso, and acrylic. She enjoys both her commissions and her personal work and looks

forward to becoming a part of the local art community.

McCollum, who is a Massachusetts native, is celebrating one full year of retirement. He is a Roque Bluffs

resident who now has the time to pursue his passion in photography. He is becoming known locally for his

attractive hand-crafted photo art greeting cards. “We are hoping to generate some excitement and interest in the

world of art on a local basis. For example, the 2015 Maine Photo Project was a statewide effort with 37

exhibits, but the closest exhibition location was in Eastport.* I think the greater Machias area should have been

included,” said McCollum. (*Source: Maine Gallery + Studio Guide 2015)

For more information or to RSVP for the upcoming meeting, please call 207-255-0333 or e-mail Bob

McCollum at (please put the word “Artwork” in the subject line of your e-mail).

This initial meeting of the new art group is sponsored by the Machias Bay Chamber of Commerce.

Down East Hospice Volunteers invites the public to a free event – a Celebration of Remembrance, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 7 in the community room at Machias Savings Bank in Machias. Celebrate the lives of those who have passed away and those who are far from home. Bring a pot luck dish to share, beverages and music will be provided. RSVP: 454.7521 or 454.9204,
Downeast Lakes Land Trust is pleased to be hosting a Wilderness First Aid course. Wilderness First Aid is the perfect course for the outdoor enthusiast or trip leader who wants a basic level of first aid training for short trips with family, friends, and outdoor groups. Led by Stonehearth Open Learning Opportunities (SOLO), students will learn the basic skills of: Response and Assessment, Musculoskeletal Injuries, Environmental and Medical Emergencies, Survival Skills, and Soft Tissue Injuries. Cost per student is $150, and CPR will be offered for an additional fee. Lodging and meals are not included. For more information or to pre-register, please contact the Downeast Lakes Land Trust at (207) 796 – 2100, or email

1. Build an awesome scarecrow, a herd of scarecrows, or a family of scarecrows.

2. Call the Machias Bay Chamber of Commerce, 255.4402, and let us know where to find your scarecrow.

3. Cross your fingers.

Judging for the Third Annual Scarecrow Contest in Machias will be held Friday, Oct. 16, in two categories: residential and business. Prizes will be given to the first place winners in each category.

Local businesses that have donated gift certificates and prizes include: Axiom Technologies, Helen’s Restaurant, Parlin’s Flowers, Michael Hoyt, Machias River Inn, Katherine Mahon, Machias MarketPlace, Faye Mack Photography, Happy Tails, Whitney’s Tool Shed, Main Street Discount, Machias Marketplace, Court Street Styles, BaaHurrah Farm, Skywalker’s Bar and Grille, Christy Kilton, The French Cellar, How Sweet It Is, Bluebird Ranch Restaurant, Bold Coast Coffee.

This event is sponsored by the Machias Bay Chamber of Commerce, 11 Main Street, Machias

There will be a Downeast Community Walk to benefit the American Diabetes Association on October 24 at 10 a.m. The walk will begin at the Ellsworth Middle School and there is a free t-shirt to anyone raising $50 or more. Dress funky, scary or silly for chance to win prizes. The event is sponsored by Bar Harbor Bank and Trust and Machias Savings Bank. FMI:
“Dinner At The Redclyffe” to benefit Downeast Hospice will be held at the Redclyffe in Robbinston on Friday, Oct. 16. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and dinner will be at 6 p.m. Tickets are $25, tip not included, cash bar. For reservations call 454-7521, ext. 126.
The annual Trick or Treat on Main Street will be held from 3-5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 30 at the following participating businesses:

Brown and Milliken Agency
Bluebird Ranch Restaurant
Bar Harbor Bank and Trust
Dunkin Donuts
The IT/Ebay Store
Machias River Inn
Woodwind Gallery
Machias Dental
Machias Savings Bank
Camden National
Tom’s Mini Mart
Centre Street Congregational Church
Bags O Rags
Main Street Discount
Machias Bay Chamber of Commerce
Mid Town Auto
US Cellular
American Legion Post 9
Bella Vita
Living Innovations
Addison Point Agency
Machias Hardware
Bangor Savings Bank
Machias One Stop
Hingh Gardens
Advance Auto Parts
Machias Laundry
Re Find Furnishings
Berry Vines
Smittys Trading Post
Machias Fire Department – in parking lot of Maine Street Discount
Marshfield fire Department – in parking lot of Main Street Discount
Blueberry Ford
Irving/Circle K
Marshalls Health Care
Davis Estates
We Care Community Baby Center
Dead River
Gary’s Coastal Auto
Bragdon Kelley Funeral Home – parked on Main Street
Pineo Hardware
Helen’s Restaurant
JL Huntley Plumbing & Heating
Jordan Gardens
Machias River Redemption
Pat’s Pizza
Machias Friendly Pharmacy
Walls TV & Appliance
Wings for Families & Children
Sunrise Opportunities (by Pat’s Pizza)
Leighton Jewelers
Columbia Falls Pottery
Machias Bay Antiques and Fine Art
Whole Life Natural Market

Two Categories: Business and Residential
Special Ribbons and prizes for winners in each category; Judging will take place October 16.
Register at the Machias Bay Chamber of Commerce – or 255.4402
Go to to check the status of Maine’s amazing fall colors!!
From Maine Biz – Machias on the Move!

When Helen’s Restaurant was destroyed by fire in July 2014, the loss had both a sentimental and economic impact on a community trying to become a destination rather than a drive-through town.
More than anything, it showed how a small community could pull together to help Helen’s staff of 50 through community fundraisers and an online campaign. Some employees were hired by other businesses. That effort was complemented by the Washington County Career Center’s rapid response team.
“It was like a death in the family,” Sharon Mack, executive director of the Machias Bay Area Chamber of Commerce, says. “I never saw a community rally so quickly and fully in my life. There were meetings to see who would raise funds when. Helen’s always stepped up for others, and that’s what people did for them.”
The restaurant dates to 1950 and has had several owners. Over the years, it has been at the center of local life, a meeting place for local organizations and a family-style eatery with good food. It has also been an employer where many residents got their first paychecks as teenagers.
To that point, David and Julie Barker, the owners since 2008, have themselves been involved with the restaurant since they were teens.
“We have been here so long we know how to do every job necessary,” Julie Barker writes via email, taking a moment during the hectic days before reopening. “David orders the stock and pays bills. I make out the schedules, payroll and menu. We are both on the floor for lunch and dinner almost daily. We try to take a day off, or two, if we are lucky, but are always a phone call away and live within walking distance.”
After the fire, the couple vowed to rebuild. In less than a year, they returned a restaurant similar in footprint, but with improvements to the dining area and kitchen.
“The new concept was to open up the dining space to maximize the view of the river and the fireplace while still having a cozy breakfast counter, and I think that we have accomplished that,” Julie Barker says. “The decor is a mix of rustic and modern with lots of local influences from nature and industry Downeast, like the sea, blueberries and hunting. The back of the house is big and spacious but a bit smaller than before, so it is a little adjustment for some, but we are already trying out the new equipment and getting used to it.”
The reopening is welcome news for residents and for visitors who have long depended on it as a stop, either as part of shopping trips or as a dependable attraction on their travels through Maine. In recent years, the restaurant has even garnered national attention, through mentions in outlets such as National Geographic Traveler, Everyday with Rachael Ray, Parade and Life magazine.
“Helen’s is a big presence in town,” says Town Manager Chris Loughlin. “They’re a Maine icon, and they’re certainly well known outside the area. When people come to Machias, one of things they look for is Helen’s.”
At the same time, the rebuild is just one of a variety of downtown developments, as the community works to revitalize its year-round business potential and bolster its identity as a draw for seasonal visitors.
Across from Helen’s, the Machias Chamber of Commerce is getting ready for the next phase of conversion of a historic train depot to a visitor center. This summer, $6,000 will go into stabilizing the baggage platform, as part of a complete overhaul, though the organization still hopes to raise an additional $70,000 to $100,000. Sited near scenic and recreational attractions — including the 85-mile Down East Sunrise Trail, a thousand-acre nature preserve and the Machias Bay estuary — the plan is to use the building as a cultural, educational and historical center, with the chamber moving its offices there this fall.
Leading up to Memorial Day, restaurants were freshening up menus and businesses were putting the final touches on building and painting projects.
At the Tex-Mex bar and grille Skywalker’s, which opened in 2013, owner Danielle Parker just completed an expansion that involved knocking down a wall and increasing space by a third. A popular venue for live music and billiards, there’s now more room for dancing and a second pool table.
Elsewhere on Main Street, branches of Machias Savings Bank and Bangor Savings Bank have both had renovations over the past year.
Machias hopes to capitalize on its status as a regional hub, with a Hannaford, the Down East Community Hospital, the University of Maine at Machias and other businesses and agencies fulfilling everyday needs.
“Most people from 30 miles in any direction come here for shopping,” says Loughlin. “To get anything more, you’d have to go to Ellsworth or Bangor or Calais.”
Unlike neighboring towns, Machias maintains a stable population of 2,200 to 2,500 residents. The hospital, university and, at last count, 12 restaurants, are key employers that keep residents in town. “Without those, we would see a reduction,” says Loughlin. “We’re bucking the trend for a lot of the county. A lot of other towns have seen huge decreases in population” over the decades, primarily due to the loss of inxdustry such as sardine-packing plants.
Like many towns in Maine, population growth has been static. There’s not much spare land for new home construction. And property taxes higher than surrounding towns might scare off prospective newcomers, Mack says. “As a service center community, 43% of our businesses and agencies are tax-exempt — the hospital, the courthouse, the jail, the university. So to provide the services that people want — police, fire, transfer station — the taxes run a little bit high,” Mack says.
Unemployment here runs higher than the rest of Maine, says Loughlin. If the state unemployment rate is at 5%, then Machias might be at around 7% to 8%. For median household income, Machias in 2012 was $34,725, significantly lower than the state’s median of $46,709.
In the downtown, residents and business owners lament the loss of several businesses, including an office supply store and a computer repair shop, as well as the temporary loss of Helen’s.
But others have opened and survived. A core of specialty shops and artisan galleries includes The Beehive Collective, an artists’ cooperative; the French Cellar, a wine and cheese shop; Columbia Falls Pottery; and Whole Life Natural Market, the only health food store within 65 miles.
No one expected the French Cellar to succeed when it opened in 2011, says owner Betsy French, a retired chef from Maryland. She and her husband landed in neighboring Cutler because its coastal property was “the first ocean we could afford.”
“It’s a hard area to come into and open a business,” French says. “It’s not booming. But I have a decent customer base. It wouldn’t be enough money to raise a family. But for a retiree, it works. My shop has a bit of posh, and people are surprised there’s something like that in this area. You think of it for Bar Harbor, but not Machias.”
Next door, Columbia Falls Pottery opened its store in 2013. “I saw the wine and antique stores were successful, so it looked like it was the right time to come to Machias,” says Columbia Falls Pottery owner April Adams, whose customers are predominantly summer residents. “The area is viable enough to make a go of it. It’s tough sledding up here. But there are niche markets.”
Adams plans to close the flagship Columbia Falls store, which is about 20 minutes south on Route 1. That would free her to put 100% of her effort into the Machias shop and fully participate in the town’s revitalization committee, which supports municipal and chamber projects in order to support and attract businesses, and reverse the town’s physical and economic decline. A slow reversal is in process, says Adams.
In the meantime, Machias hopes to attract more visitors and keep them in town for more than a meal, says Loughlin.
“It’s hard to get people down to this end of the state,” Loughlin says. “We don’t have the traffic going to Canada that we used to have. Since 9/11, that’s dried up because of border restrictions and having to have a passport to get back into the United States.”
Parker says Americans traveling to Eastport and Canadians going to Bar Harbor view Machias as a great stop. “They might be starving and they need to stop and eat, and they say, ‘Wow, we love this place.’ But they don’t stay,” Parker says. “We’re working with ideas to change that, so Machias isn’t just a drive-through town.”
The chamber and individual businesses are working on initiatives to promote the town as a destination for history, culture, scenic and recreational opportunities. These include development of a brochure advertising attractions, tourist publication ads and participation in joint promotion initiatives such as Maine and New Brunswick’s “Two-Nation Vacation.”
“You have, for example, a beautiful working waterfront in Jonesport, but no sit-down restaurants and no place to stay. So Machias provides that,” Mack says. “We all work together. If we can get you past Bar Harbor, and get you up here, we’ve got you.”
Such initiatives are a great step in the right direction, Parker says. “It will take time,” she says. “It’s not going to happen next year, but it will happen.”

Machias Bay Chamber of CommerceCOMMUNITY NEWS & EVENTS