By Carol McCracken (Post # 2,687)
The Eastern Promenade on Munjoy Hll has long been a destination place for special occasions – weddings, graduation photographs – and Saturday it was the site of a family reunion for forty-five (45) members of the Rowe family and one dog!
Rowes came from up and down the east coast to visit with each other and keep the seventeen (17) year old tradition alive and well.. The Gazebo at Fort Allen Park was the appropriate place since Morning and Waterville Streets played an important role in the family’s lineage. In fact, the Rowe’s have deep Maine roots. Coming the longest distance for the reunion were Janet and Jim Rowe, of Miami. Florida.
The family’s matriarch Sally Rowe Fraser was born in Rumford as was her brother John. (See left, above photo.) Their father was a family doctor who delivered former Senator Edmund Muskie, a beloved Maine politician who was responsible for environmental laws that the US now enjoys. Sally’s husband was with GE and they moved around every few years. Her favorite home was in Wilton, Connecticut \where she lived for eleven (11) years. The proximity to New York City and all it had to offer made Wilton a favorite for Sally. She now lives in Williamsburg, VA.
John lives in Champlain, NY near the lake. He taught high school chemistry and physics for thirty-two (32) years. He graduated from nearby Bowdoin College as did his daughter who attended the reunion as well. John said he never had any interest in administrative work because he preferred being in the classroom with his students. There were seven (7) children in the family. Sally and John are the two surviving children. Dan, whose father was a sibling of Sally and John, graduated from Villanova and became a civil engineer. He lives in Rhode Island currently. The three were the oldest at the family reunion in 2016 on Munjoy Hill.
Munjoy Hill? The lineage of this warm and gracious family dates back to the 1890’s. William Rowe and Marion Littlefield lived on the Hill. He attended Bowdoin College and then went on to medical school. The young couple moved to Rumford where most if not all of their seven children were born and raised. Sally and John remain of the seven.
John was the last to hold a family reunion at his home in Champlain, near the Lake. in 2013. Sixty-five (65) people attended that one. The family is growing exponentially he said. Many of them have young families and it makes it hard to come to an event like this one. The first reunion was held in 1999 and hosted by Dr. Linwood Rowe who has since died. It was held in Peru at Worthley Park.
Plans are already under way for the next Rowe Family reunion in Maine – in Rumford – where else!
The Reunion was deliciously catered by Salvage BBQ of Portland. (See above left photo.)