Media Archive

106 Birthdays and counting...

Article from The Piscataquis Observer, Vol. 165, No. 8, February 19, 2003
Pearl Hamlin of Brownville celebrates seeing three centuries with family, friends

Observer Photo/Jessica Lee
CELEBRATING 106 - Pearl Hamlin, right, of Quarry Pines in Brown ville turned 106 years old on Valentine's Day, Feb. 14. Here, she celebrates with her best friend, Phyllis Mutzenard, 89, also of Quarry Pines.

BROWNVILLE A lot has changed in the past three centuries : just ask Pearl Hamlin.

Hamlin celebrated her 106th birthday on Feb. 14 -- Valentine's Day. She was bom in 1897, lived through the 1900s and still has as much spunk today, as ever.

Friday, surrounded by visitors, flowers, and piles of birthday cards, along with a framed letter of congratulations she received from the President and First Lady on White House stationary, she said that the world has changed much, but she still feels like a young girl.

"I sit back and think when I was a child, it doesn't seem like it's been many years," she said, while sitting in a recliner at her apartment in Quarry Pines. "I remember my father had a garden and I was always asked to go out and pick the corn, and I can still hear my mother say, 'Go out and get a cuke for supper.'"

Hamlin was bom in Willimantic, but grew up in Milo. She later traveled the world and lived in various U.S. states, including California, Massachusetts and Michigan.

She gives thanks every lunchtime for finding a home in Quarry Pines in the late 1970s, says her best friend Phyllis Mutzenard, who is 89 years old and also a resident of the housing development.

She graduated Milo High School and married Oscar Hamlin. Together, they had three sons: Carl, Robert and George. Carl, the eldest, now lives in Bangor and Lakeview Plantation, while Robert is a selectman in Brownville. George, the younest, has passed away.

Hamlin has eight grandchildren and many more greatchildren.

A birthday party in her honor was held Saturday at the American Legion Hall in Milo.

She worked as a schoolteacher for a short period, and a cook at Milo Hospital. Her husband, Oscar, was the manager of Kineo Trust and later Merrill Trust bank in Milo. He died in 1969.

Her son, Robert, said his mother has always been healthy.

"I've never heard her say she had a headache, or a stomach ache. She's not a worrier. She never drank or smoked," he said.

Her friend, Phyllis, says Pearl is the Queen of Quarry Pines.

On Friday, staff from Maine Rural Development visited Hamlin to award her a gift certificate to Miller's Restaurant in Bangor, as
well as congratulate her with a birthday card and flowers on attaining the status of oldest resident of an assisted living facility in the state.

Phyllis says that means Pearl is "The Maine Queen."

'This is too much," said Hamlin smiling.

NOTE - This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of the TRC Alliance Team.