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Children’s Playhouse Newest

Addition to Memorial Garden


Plots Available in Community Garden


 Pictured here with the new children's playhouse at TAMC Memorial Garden are (from left): Tyler Emerson, Mackenzie MacDougal, Keenan Charette, John Kaleta, principal of FFMHS; MaryLou Doughty and Kerby Doughty. Not pictured are Liam McNamee, Ryan Player, Alyssa Poitras and Chris Caldwell, FFHS students who also participated in the project. photo/David Deschesne


By:  David Deschesne

Fort Fairfield Journal, June 21, 2017


   A children's playhouse has been added to TAMC's Community Garden area at their High Street location in Fort Fairfield.  The playhouse idea was conceived by MaryLou Doughty and her daughter, Barb Ireland last Fall.  MaryLou's son, Kerby Doughty and students in his Industrial Technology Class at Fort Fairfield High School designed and built the log playhouse this past Spring.

   “This was built in the wood shop at Fort Fairfield High School.  It was presented to me as a project  last Fall by my mother,” said Doughty.    “I got together with Katahdin Cedar Log Homes in Oakfield and S.W. Collins and donations were made.  We have about a thousand dollars worth of purchased items and the rest were donated.”

   The project took approximately two and a half months of class time to build.  “Every day was a learning experience.  We had no idea what we were going to do until the logs got here and we decided how we were going to build it.  We knew what size we wanted, which was six foot by eight foot.  I had six students that wanted to grasp it, we took it by the horns and got it all put together.”

   Katahdin Cedar Log Homes, donated the logs for the building while S.W. Collins and the Easton Amish donated additional materials.  Fort Fairfield Publics Works helped out by moving the completed playhouse to its present location at the Community General Hospital Memorial Garden.

    “This means a lot to my mother and our entire family,” said Barb Ireland.  “My brother and my sister each lost children at a young age and the community was very supportive of the family during that time.  This is a way that we can give back.”

   The Memorial Garden is part of the much larger Community General Hospital Legacy Project that has brought both a memorial garden and a community garden to the site of the former hospital in Fort Fairfield. Plans for the garden were unveiled in July, 2015 as part of the Maine Potato Blossom Festival activities.  The community garden was unveiled at that time, which gives local inhabitants free access to space to try their hand at gardening and grow their own vegetables.

   Over the past two years, thousands of dollars worth of items have been donated to the garden, such as benches, trees and shrubs.  A pavilion was unveiled last year, donated by Dr. Arthur “Don” and Patricia Pendleton, and a winding pathway on site is in memory of J.R. McGillan.  This children's playhouse is the most recent addition, donated in memory of Fort Fairfield children who have passed away.

   “When TAMC, or any business, partners with a community to help the people of that community, it's a benefit for all,” said Fort Fairfield town manager, Jim Risner.  “This has been a great collaborative effort to improve citizens' physical health by what they can grow in the community garden and their mental health by providing a quiet, green space to go and reflect in the memorial garden.”

   The memorial garden is located on the site of the former Community General Hospital, which was razed in 2014.  The community garden is located nearby, on the former grounds of Community General Hospital and features a dozen 20'x13' plots which are available for local inhabitants at no cost.  “This is a great opportunity for people who want to garden but don't have the space or the ability to till up a garden,” said Risner.  “For families with kids, in addition to providing home grown vegetables, it helps the children learn where these products come from.”

   Guidelines and an application to obtain a plot in the community garden are available at or by calling the town office at 472-3800.