“The plane lost its tail section nearly a quarter-mile
before the crash site, leaving speculation that the plane
was sabotaged. Later that same day, another B-25 took
off from Presque Isle and crashed in Fort Fairfield,
Maine. Investigations resulted in two Nazi sympathizers
“The townsfolk that were here back in that day said they
actually had to cut a road in to where the plane had crashed
because it was so remote. And part of that road is what we
now use as a snowmobile trail.”
Stitham says quite a bit of wreckage remains at the site.
“The fuselage was taken away, but the wings were left.
There are engines and the landing gear out there,” he said.
“And you can still see to this day where the plane came
down. The impact and the fuel that it was carrying burned
and scorched the land so badly that the trees have really
struggled to regrow.”
The Washburn Trail Runners’ clubhouse is situated right in
Washburn itself. It’s an old fertilizer storage facility that’s
been renovated and it features a restaurant-quality kitchen
that offers breakfasts and lunches to passing snowmobilers
or anyone else looking for a tasty home-cooked meal.
“There have been days where there’s been 100 people here
sitting down and a line of 40 out the door waiting to come in,”
said Stitham, adding the weekend meals are offered from the
first weekend in January to the last weekend in March.
“It’s a community of
snowmobilers here. If there’s
somebody in need, it doesn’t
matter what we’re doing. We
will drop whatever that is and
–Tim Stitham, Washburn Trail Runners Snowmobiling Club
“We’re not out in the middle of nowhere. We are right in
town,” Stitham said. “It is a great spot for the community to
come here on the weekends and gather, have a nice meal, sit
at the table, talk with people that they may not have talked
with all year long.”
Stitham says the weekend meal program, which has
become an important fundraiser for the club, wouldn’t be
possible without the commitment from dedicated volunteers
such as Dick and Audrey Hartford, who have been running
the kitchen for close to a decade.
“Everything we do here is volunteer. Nobody makes a
penny on what we do, from kitchen staff to the people
who wait tables and whatever,” he said. It’s all members
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