Curiosity uncovers historic sundial
September 1, 2009
For the first time in more than 30 years, the previously hidden face of the19th century Kennebec County Courthouse sundial and meridian marker was exposed to the light of day.
BY BETTY ADAMS, Staff Writer
AUGUSTA -- Shade covered the dark face of the courthouse sundial, the first time daylight even came close to striking the marker in more than three decades.
Years ago, the horizontal sundial and meridian marker displayed the time and figures to determine the precise location of the Kennebec County Courthouse. That was before a broad maple spread its limbs, cutting off direct sunlight to the marker.
Then there was the metal and wood cover. It probably was built to protect the sundial during the winter, then remained indefinitely.
The cover frustrated retired attorney Norman Bourget, who had seen the monument uncovered once more than three decades ago.
He appealed to Sheriff Randall Liberty to remove the cover, and the request got the approval of county commissioners.
Last week, Bourget, his wife, Margaret, and son Stephen watched Liberty wield long-handled cutters to snip the rusted locks.
"There must be something historical about it," Norman Bourget said. "It's been there all my life and I'm 81."
"Every time we go by, he says, 'There's a beautiful sundial under there,'" Margaret Bourget, said.
He was correct. ...
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