Boston Post Cane given to Southwest Harbor resident

(From left) Willard Colson and Southwest Harbor Select Board Chair George Jellison.

SOUTHWEST HARBOR — Willard Colson recently received the town’s Boston Post Cane, which signifies that he is the oldest resident of Southwest Harbor. 

Select Board Chair George Jellison handed 99-year-old Colson the community heirloom in early March.  

The Boston Post Cane is a tradition that started in 1909 when the now-defunct Boston Post newspaper gave out canes to 700 towns in New England, which included those on Mount Desert Island.  

Colson, a Maine native who turned 99 on Jan. 20, has been a resident of Southwest Harbor for 68 years. He worked at the former Stinson Canning Company, which was located at Dysart’s Great Harbor Marina, for 46 years. Colson’s wife passed away roughly 10 years ago. His retired son Peter and daugther-in-law Cindy are Colson’s primary caregivers. Colson now has dementia, sometimes has difficulty hearing and gets around in a wheelchair. 

“He can have a full-on conversation as long as he can hear you,” Peter said. 


**This story was updated.

Ninah Rein

Ninah Rein

Writer at Mount Desert Islander
Ninah Rein, an MDI native, covers news and features in the Bar Harbor area. She is glad to be back in Maine after earning a bachelor's degree in San Diego from the University of California.
Ninah Rein

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