Mainely Camden Blog #2, November 26, 2023

The Story behind Mount Battie’s Christmas Star

The Mount Battie Christmas star is in place and began shining on Thanksgiving night as is tradition. Numerous volunteers keep the star shining, from donations of gasoline, storage, light bulbs, manpower in erecting the star each season, and the people that drive up the mountain every day with 2-3 gallons of gas to fill the generator that lights up the star. It certainly takes a community to keep a tradition like our star–including State Park personnel, Timbercliff Tree Service, Rankins Hardware (thanks for all you do, Lisa Burgess), Frost & Bryant for their lift, Village Variety for the gas, and the Camden Lions Club. BRAVO to all the volunteers.

According to Bob Oxton (Fire Chief Bob in my book) the process of erecting the star each year used to take up to 2 weeks and required some group efforts to hoist it up and fold it up on its hinge. After 25 years of making the drive up, Bob Oxton considered giving up the job…until Mrs. Dan Richards heard he might quit, and invited him to visit the senior citizen residents at Camden Community Hospital and Health Care Center. In the center of the complex there was a large glassed-in room where they would gather the residents (even wheeling some from the hospital) to view as the star was lit up. He watched as the senior residents clapped and exclaimed their appreciation. The scene moved him to tears, and he promised the star would continue being lit as long as he was able.

Bob Oxton told me that by the 2000s, Tommy Jackson and Randy Stearns have been leaders in getting the star up to the mountain each November. Then a group of about 10 rotating volunteers drive up with the gasoline to fill the generator each day. Of course they have been some hairy times with weather, being this is Maine, right? Having to plow both up the mountain and back down, using chains, and fighting winds have been some of the obstacles, but as yet, no one remembers a night when the star didn’t burn bright!

In fact, there have been a couple of instances where the generators have been used to help folks in town during power outages, and the star was lit in red and white bulbs during the pandemic.

Stop by Camden, if you don’t already live here and see the star–everyone in the town has their favorite viewing spots–I like the harbor park view. And come on by during Christmas By The Sea the weekend of Dec 1-3. I will be reading and autographing my new children’s book, “Mount Battie’s Christmas Star” around town (12/1 @1 PM at Owl & the Turtle, 12/2 @1 PM at Maine Sports and 12/3 @2 PM at the Camden Public Library). You can purchase my book from me when I visit the library, or from Owl & Turtle Book Shop Cafe, Sherman Books as well as Zoot Coffee. We LOVE to shop local of course!

The pictures are NOT my own. I cut and pasted them from past news articles and social media posts. I thank the photographers.

Mainely Camden Blog #1 10/29/2023


I want to tell you about a FUN activity that relates to my new children’s book Mount Battie’s Christmas Star. A good friend Jeanne painted and put epoxy on hundreds (yes, hundreds) of rocks. And then we hid them around Camden and the midcoast area. YOU can look for a painted rock, post a photo, get entered into a drawing for a free book, and then re-hide the rock wherever you like.

As of today, FIFTEEN (15) rocks have been reported found. As of today, rocks have been found as far away as North Carolina and New York (not hidden by me, but re-hidden by others). How cool is that! The story of Camden, Maine, and the Christmas Star is spreading!

Instructions or a QR code are on the back of the rocks. So, everyone who finds a rock can find me/my book!

Look at the awesome photo below that the very FIRST rock-finder posted on my Facebook page!! Super cool to see Lenny the Lobster holding one of Mount Battie’s Christmas Star rocks up on Mount Battie!! Yippee for Isabella!–she is entered into the drawing for a free book!

Happy Rock hunting!

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