Sylvia Sawyer of Osborn lives in the farmhouse that has been in her family since being built in 1843. An English literature graduate from the University of Maine, she relishes spending time with her two daughters, granddaughter, and two great-grandchildren. PHOTO BY BRAIN SWARTZ

Osborn resident Sylvia Sawyer



Her Osborn roots go deep for Sylvia Sawyer, who lives in the elegant farmhouse at Moosehill Farm on Route 179 near the Osborn Town Office.

“I actually was born down in East Mariaville,” but “I grew up in this house, until I was 14,” she said. “This has been in the family since it was built in 1843.”

After attending the one-room Monticello School in Osborn, “I went to Lee Academy,” she said. “My parents drove me up, and I lived in a dormitory.”

Lee Academy “was good to me. I’m an only child. I enjoyed having other girls my age around,” Sylvia said. “I was a cheerleader. I liked the boys; that lasted a long time.

“I got a good high school education, because when I went to college, I felt the first year was just a repeat” of her education at Lee Academy, she commented.

Earning her bachelor’s degree in English literature at the University of Maine, Sylvia moved to Manhattan to work a few years for a publishing company located at 23 East 26th Street. She lived at “55 West 11th Street in an old brownstone. I met interesting people, and I did enjoy living in New York.”

Sylvia met and married Joseph Lupsha, a Long Island resident trained as a forester. He took a post at a research station in Flagstaff, Arizona. “I missed the ocean, but I liked Arizona,” Sylvia said. “One time we lived in Eager, Arizona, everyone but us were Mormons. They were nice people.”

Joseph later became a service forester with the Maine Forest Service. The family, including daughters Margaret and Kathryn, moved initially to Island Falls. When Joseph became a marketing forester with the state, the family  relocated to Hallowell, and “the girls went to school there” at Hall-Dale High School, according to Sylvia.

After she and Joseph divorced, Sylvia worked as a social worker at the Stevens School in Hallowell. “Incorrigible girls were sent there,” she recalled. “Sometimes they were abused at home or were truant,” required by their mothers to care for their younger siblings at home.

One day “a man I had known slightly before I was ever married called me up, and we started dating,” Sylvia said. He was Richard Sawyer, an Ellsworth native and a retired school superintendent now living in Milo, to which Sylvia moved after their wedding.

The Sawyers visited Richard’s Florida home in the winter. Sylvia enjoyed visiting Civil War battlefields and other historic sites while traveling to and from the Sunshine State. The Sawyers “used to go to camp a lot” while living in Milo, she said.

After Richard became the interim superintendent for six small towns north of Ellsworth, the Sawyers moved to Moosehill Farm. Adding on to the house and making some renovations, “we enjoyed living here,” Sylvia said.

The Sawyers were married several years when Richard unexpectedly died.

Sylvia loves spending time with her family, including a granddaughter and two great-grandchildren. A daughter visits every weekend. “They like coming here,” she said. “It’s a nice old farmhouse.

“I play dominoes every Thursday at a friend’s house, and Sylvia belongs to “a very good group,” the Red Hat Society in Osborn, Aurora, Amherst, and Great Pond. She attends the Amherst-Aurora United Church of Christ.

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