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Sunday, May 1, 2016 Serving Maine and Lincoln County for over a century. Volume 141 Issue 17

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4/30/2014 2:00:00 PM
Working Hard a Way of Life for Whitefield Centenarian
Mary Creamer celebrated her 100th birthday on March 26. (Photo courtesy of Betty Grady)
Mary Creamer celebrated her 100th birthday on March 26. (Photo courtesy of Betty Grady)
By Kathy Onorato


Born and raised into a farm family, Mary Edgerly Creamer of Whitefield, now 100 years old, said she considers hard work a way of life.

Edgerly was born March 26, 1914 at the family home on Pike Street in Augusta. "At that time doctors made house calls," she said.

Creamer's family moved to Whitefield when she was five-years-old and she has called the town home ever since.

The walk to school was so far away from her home on the Plains, Creamer boarded with a family in Kings Mills, nearer the school. However on the weekends, Creamer remembers walking two and a half-miles back home for the weekends.

Creamer said she never went to high school and left school after the eighth grade. She said her elementary education took place in a one-room school house with one teacher who taught multiple grades.

"Was nothing like now," she said.

Teachers kept order in the classrooms and when needed executed discipline, Creamer said. "I probably shouldn't talk about the stick," she said.

As a teenager, Creamer said she and her brother looked forward to spending a week in the summer with her cousins in Bath, to get a break from the farm.

"That was our treat," she said.

Creamer said the week consisted of shopping downtown and maybe buying some material to make a dress.

In 1933 she married James Creamer and they lived on Townhouse Road. The Creamer's daughter, Betty Grady, was born in 1936, at Whitefield's own Cottage Hospital, which was located on the same road the Creamers lived.

Creamer said at that time women spent nearly two weeks in the hospital following the birth of a child.

"My mother was always at home with me," Grady said.

Grady said her mother worked from home raising chickens and taking care of other people's children so their parents could go to work.

"We didn't have big jobs then," Creamer said.

She never had a license, but drove anyway. Creamer said people didn't need a license back then. She remembers driving an old Chevrolet from Whitefield to Wiscasset to deliver the butter she made.

"I don't remember the year, but it had a disc wheel, so it was pretty old," she said.

According to her granddaughter, Valerie Pelletier, Creamer has always loved working outside, probably as a result of working on the family farm from a very young age.

On the farm Creamer remembers, as a young girl, she was rolling hay with a pitchfork, hand-picking blueberries and doing whatever else needed to be done, she said.

"Work really isn't work, it's a way of life," Creamer said.

She still is active and loves being outside taking care of her flower gardens, Pelletier said. Until she was 85 years old Creamer used a long-handle scythe on her property, which the family ended up taking from her because of the fear she would hurt herself.

The past January after a blizzard, Pelletier said she caught her grandmother shoveling the snow to make a pathway into her house.

Pelletier says her grandmother rarely turned down the chance to help someone out.

"She has a kind heart," Pelletier said.

s Pelletier shared memories of her grandmother's hard work, Creamer responded, "You make me sound so alive, but I'm really half-dead."

At this point in her life Creamer enjoys visits from friends and family and is especially fond of her three grandchildren who drop by to check on her from time to time.

Creamer, Whitefield's oldest citizen, was awarded the town's Boston Post Cane in 2010. Her brother Loring Edgerly, now 97 was awarded Woolwich's cane last December.

She considers making it to her 100th birthday quite an accomplishment, but takes no credit for hitting the milestone, nor offers any lifestyle tips.

"My long life isn't up to me," she said.



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