Despite the annual spring alewife festival in Damariscotta Mills being canceled due to COVID-19, the festival committee is still raffling a locally designed and crafted queen-sized alewife festival quilt.
The quilt was pieced by Betty Lu Brydges and machine quilted by Lynn Vogt. It includes silk screened designs drawn by local artists. Proceeds from the raffle will be used for essential repairs to the public access to the fish ladder and the community’s new “Bridge the Gap” campaign. One of the Damariscotta Mills Fish Ladder Restoration Committee’s goals is to raise funds to replace the aging foot bridge that spans the pools. Local historian George Weston estimates that the foot bridge was fist built in the early 1950s.
Only 700 tickets will be sold in the raffle. The winning ticket will be drawn at the end of September or at a chowder festival, depending on COVID-19 regulations. Raffle tickets are available at damariscottamills.org/quilt-raffle-post or by calling David Brydges at 832-1790.
Individual quilt squares are also available for purchase to create table-runner, placemats, or pillows. Squares are $15.00 each, including shipping, handling, tax and online transaction charges. Online orders for quilt squares and other festival goods may be placed at damariscottamills.org/fish-goods-gear.
The fish ladder in Damariscotta Mills has been in operation for over two hundred years. Built in 1807 by the combined efforts of the towns of Newcastle and Nobleboro, the fish ladder was constructed to allow alewives to bypass the mills blocking the falls between Damariscotta Lake and Salt Bay.