[FNCA History]

FNCA Timeline

Compiled by FNCA Historian, Trevor

A lively correspondence about starting a "New Church Summer School" occurred between Rev. John Whitehead, Walter A. Robinson, Rev. Baman Stone, and Rev. Herbert Small.
Rev. Herbert Small held a New Church gathering in Center Lovell.
Rev. Louis A. Dole, new pastor of the Fryeburg New Church, along with Rev. John Whitehead and Mr. Walter A. Robinson decide to start a "New Church Summer School" in Fryeburg ME the following year with Rev. Dole as it's first president.
First session. One week. At the Fryeburg New Church with meals at the New Church Hall [now the Fryeburg Grange] and rooms in the village, with young people tenting at Lovewell's Pond. Lectures by Rev. Wm. L. Worcester, Rev. John Whitehead, Rev. Louis A. Dole, Rev. Paul Sperry, Rev. George H. Dole.
Session extended to 2 weeks. Rev. Harold Gustafson and Rev. Paul Dresser added to staff.
From the report of the FNCA Business Manager, Harold R. Gustafson: "Interest has also been stimulated in the idea of purchasing a permanent site for the School. ...We feel that the Summer School is no longer an experiment and that it wall be a permanent and growing institution."
Housing and meals at Fryeburg Academy.
1. The Assembly incorporated as a non-profit, religious organization. Bought 12 acres on the Saco River near the State Line.
2. The young adults, still tent camping at Lovewell's Pond, one night around the campfire decide to start a camp group for the young people, calling it The Flames.
First building: the present day Kitchen.
1. The current Dining Hall was built. It was referred to as the "Assembly Room" with the back half used for dining, and the front half for lectures and socializing [until Whitehead Lecture Hall was built in the mid-1970's]. The back field held a lawn tennis court. Lectures and Flames class on the grounds, Sparks classes held in town at the Fryeburg New Church.
2. The FNCA gets it's first piano, extremely likely the one we still have now. The Fryeburg New Church parsonage in town was given a new piano so they donated the old one to the Assembly.
1. A "Fryeburg Carnival" was held at the Boston New Church as a fundraiser for the Assembly featuring classical music by the Lawrence Capon trio, "Blue Beard" operetta in two scenes with the libretto by Alice Monroe Foster, a buffet supper, dancing, group singing, a display of photos, as well as "Side Shows, Indoor Sports, Fortune-telling, Candy and Cake Tables, Ice Cream and Punch". "
2. First cabin built: the Goddard Cabin.
3. Second cabin built: the Faxon Cabin.
Third week is added to the session due to a full solar eclipse the week following the regular dates.
First known record of the Sales Table.
First known meeting (but quite possibly not the first) of the "Ladies of the Assembly", a gathering of all the women at camp to raise money to help fund the FNCA. First president: Mrs. Asa Goddard.
A "Committee to keep the Summer-House" (now the Main Building) is created. It would eventually become today's Buildings & Grounds Committee.
1. Hurricane devastation of the trees made it financially possible to buy the land between the original property line and the state line.
2. The Ladies of the Assembly officially changed their name to "The Women's Auxilliary of the Fryeburg New-Church Assembly".
3. Third cabin built: the Taft Cabin.
After 20 years, Rev. Dole steps down, with Rev. Charles H. Kuenzli becoming the second FNCA president.
The Women's Auxilliary was given an American flag that had belonged to Rev. & Mrs. John Whitehead by their three daughters, and begins discussion on funding a flag pole. 
The Assembly did not meet because of World War II.
Rev. Kuenzli having passed on, Rev. Dole agrees to be president for one more year.
Mr. F. Gardner Perry becomes the third FNCA president.
The Murdock Cabin is built by Florence Murdoch.
1. The 25th session of the FNCA received much attention as an "Anniversary Session" with reunions of the "young people" as well as many "old timers" attending after many years of absence.
2. The Twitchell Cabin is built in honor of Frances Twitchell. Mrs. Twitchell was the Assembly's first treasurer who also served for a bit as recording secretary and was one of the original signers of the Assembly's constitution in 1921.
3. Using money from the Women's Auxiliary, a wooden flagpole made from a tree grown on the Assembly property was erected on the upper lawn at the center of the top of the hill, and the American flag donated in 1941 was (finally!) raised at the Assembly for the first time on August 13, 1950 at 8:00 in the morning.
1. Mrs. Asa Goddard donates funds to enlargen the porch of the Goddard Cabin, roof it over, and screen it in.
2. A fenced in play yard for the children was built in the grove of trees between the Main Building and the boys tent.
The first Sales Table Auction is held.
1. The FNCA gets its first laundry machine, a Bendix Washer.
2. A wooden tent platform is built near the Faxon Cabin for a new tent to house just the "little boys", who up until now had been sleeping in a tent with the teen and college-age boys; hence, the beginning of the Little Boys Tent which was where the current clothesline is next to the Mack Cabin.
1. The Fryeburg New Church in town sold the New Church Hall (where the Assembly's lectures and meals were held in our earliest years) to the Fryeburg Grange. It's been the Fryeburg Grange Hall ever since.
2. Before the camp session, the Bray Cabin was built in memory of Leonora "Orah" Hutchins Bray who died at camp during the Assembly session the previous year and whose offspring (as of 2016) are in their 5th generation at the FNCA . Her husband, Rev. Everett K. Bray, was a core lecturer at the Assembly from the 1930's through the 1960's.
Before the camp session (or perhaps possibly maybe in the Fall of 1955), the Woofenden Cabin is built by Rev. William R. and Louise Dole Woofenden. It is the first cabin to have a kitchen and electric heat (instead of a woodstove like all the other cabins had), and was the only cabin built without a porch or a deck.
The FNCA rules and daily schedule are first posted in each room of the camp.
1. "A two hour concert was given by Jose Melis of the Jack Paar Show with Jose's son Michael on drums, and Ray and his wife Betty performing Cuban dances. Members of the Woofenden and Dole families also played and sang."
Jose Melis is the younger brother of long-time FNCA member Ray Guiu who emigrated to the USA from Cuba.
2. An article titled "A Brief History of the FNCA" by Mrs. Anita S. Dole, covering 1914-1968, was published in the July 1963 issue of The Maine Newchurchman magazine.
1. The Dole Wing is built in honor of Rev. Louis A. Dole, one of the FNCA's original founders, our first president, and core lecturer for several decades.
2. His son, Rev. Dr. George F. Dole, becomes the fourth FNCA president.
The Perry Wing is built off the back of the Main Building, with two rooms to house people who have trouble climbing stairs.
It's the Fryeburg New Church Assembly's 50th anniversary! A full weekend of events drew lots of people who hadn't attended for years to the celebration.
Flames Games start.
This year, after being filed continuously since 1935, the minutes of the Women's Auxiliary of the Fryeburg New Church suddenly stop, with this years' being the last. Yet the Women's Auxiliary continues to run the Sales Table for 5-10 more years.
The Perry Cabin and the Bath House built.
© Beki Greenwood 20091982
The third week of camp is dropped, bringing it back to the way it was from 1922-1931.
1. A large dinner bell is bought in Pennsylvania by the Rev. Dr. & Mrs. Wm. R. Woofenden and donated to the Assembly. It is braced into a fork of a tall pine tree at the edge of the lower lawn. Before this, program events were signaled by a runner with a handbell circling the entire camp for warning bells and the starting bells throughout the day.
2. A drawing is held at Convention for a free week at camp for two. This is done for a few more years.
1. An open-to-the-public homeopathy lecture was given by Dr. Richard Moskowitz, MD. It was quite well attended by campers, Fryeburg New Church members, and several other local people.
2. Four artists at camp arrange a two-day "Artists' Excursion" during camp into the White Mountains to paint and sketch. A similar trip is planned for the following year.
1. From the Bulletin: "...this summer on August 11, we will have Open House to the public from 2:00-4:00 p.m. (cabins neat and tidy, please!) Refreshments will be served."
2. Professional naturalist and long-time FNCA attendee, Anne Perry, is on staff, doing a program on nature study second week.
The Boys Bunkhouse is built on the concrete slab of the old Big Boys Tent.
Rev. Jim Lawrence becomes the next FNCA president.
1.The Laird Cabin is built and dedicated.
2. Louise Dole Woofenden, daughter of one of our original founders, Rev. Louis A. Dole, is appointed Camp Historian by the Executive Committee.
3. Rev. Gard Perry, grandson of the third FNCA president, becomes the next FNCA president.
4. The retrospective column "Reflections", about the previous year at camp, starts in the FNCA Bulletin.
5. The first Alice F. Vigerstad Memorial Old Lady Canoe trip is a huge success and is repeated the following year and nearly every year since.
Ellen Morin, daughter of former FNCA president Rev. Wm. R. (& Louise Dole) Woofenden and granddaughter of FNCA founder Rev. Louis A. (& Anita) Dole, becomes the next FNCA president.
A special Sunday dinner is held the final weekend celebrating the 50th wedding anniversary of Rev. Dr. William R. & Louise D. Woofenden.
1. Don Foster becomes the next FNCA president.
At their mid-winter meeting, the Executive Committee approves a much-needed update of the FNCA's administrative structure to be more in line with current standards for non-profit oganizations: separating policy making from program running, with an elected Board of Trustees in charge of the former, and a mostly ex officio Summer Session Committee in charge of the later, with the Camp Director also being elected by the membership. This proposal is approved by the membership at the Annual Meeting.
1. The president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer resign from the newly-formed Board of Directors in July, a few weeks before camp starts.
2. Debbie Cook immediately steps in as Camp Director and is officially elected to that position at the Annual Meeting. John Perry steps up as chairman of the Board. And other volunteers immediately step into the other vacated positions pro tem and camp runs without a hitch.
3. The Flames 75th Anniversary celebration is very well attended with old Flames from more than a dozen states.
1. Ken Turley becomes the next FNCA President.
2. Deane Currie is elected Camp Director.
3. At Deane's request, we have our first Tie Dye Day where everyone who has one wears a tie dyed shirt.
1. Debbie Cook re-elected Camp Director.
2. Colgate Serle II becomes the next FNCA president.
1. This website, fryeburg.org, goes live on June 10th, becoming the FNCA's 3rd official website.
2. The Opening Weekend Program starts.
3. At the Annual Meeting, the membership votes to name the lecture hall for one of our unsung original founders. It is now called the Rev. John Whitehead Lecture Hall, Whitehead Lecture Hall or simply Whitehead Hall for short.
Jason Greenwood elected Camp Director.
The first annual LALLA Searle Memorial Scrabble Tournament is held, with the finals held at a special party in Frank Hall.
The first annual Rev. Dr. George F. Dole Celebration Three Mile Road Race (a.k.a. The Dole 3 Miler) is held on the Mountain Division Trail which begins at the Maine Visitors Center directly across the street from the Assembly.
1. Rev. Everett K. Bray Visiting Lecturer program is initiated.
2. The Summer Session Committee (with full approval of the Board) decides to discontinue the camp Bulletin since it is no longer really needed.
For the first time,on the final Saturday of camp, our lectures are live streamed on Facebook with more than 400 live "views" between the two of them. We have truly expanded our outreach!

Main St (Route 302) & Haleytown Rd, Fryeburg, ME 04037 (map)