The History of
Winslow-Holbrook-Merritt Post #1
On May 9,1919 fifteen former servicemen met at the G. A. R. Hall summoned by Col. Walter H. Butler,consisting of former World War One veterans. The decision to organize an American Legion post resulted from the conclusion of these veterans that the American Legion was the representative veterans' organization in this country. That conclusion has been proven true as today the American Legion is the largest wartime veterans organization with nearly 15,000 local Posts throughout America and over 3 million members who care about America, veterans, their families and our nation's youth.
At the first meeting Col. Walter H. Butler was elected temporary chairman. A decision was made by the attending veterans to file an application for an American Legion Post.
On June 21 1919, a Certificate of Application for a Charter was presented to the State Chairman of the American Legion ( State of Maine ) for the formation of a Post at Rockland, to be known as Winslow-Holbrook Post 1. On June 26, 1919 the Application was returned, approved and a Charter issued. The naming of "Winslow-Holbrook Post was named in honor of Arthur E. Winslow and Lt. Albert D. Holbrook.
In December 1945 they were granted a new Charter Adding Fredrick. D. Merritt to its name becoming Winslow-Holbrook-Merritt Post #1 of the Department of Maine.
Post #1 began its existence in the insurance building on Main Street in Rockland,Maine.
Carl Moran was a United States State Congressman and Veteran from Rockland at that time.
The first post was a 3 story wooden building on Limerock Street behind the Gregory Building and near the mail boxes of the Rockland post office on Limerock Street.
It is now just an Empty lot as it had burned down after World War II. There were 2 income properties contained within the building , one was a ladies hat shop in the front ground floor and the other a shoe repair shop in the rear of the building at that time.
The Second floor housed a recreation area with pool tables and tables for playing card games and various means of social gathering .
The 3rd floor consisted of the main meeting hall for members meetings . Membership at the time of it burning down had reached upwards of 600 members , all veterans of both WWI and WWII.
The next home for Post#1 was at 143 Maverick Street near the Rockland Golf Course.
Its main source of income there was from the canteen on the first floor and hosting other special events. These included Weddings, benefit Dinners , memorial gatherings etc. Douglas Curtis Daughters Wedding , for one and reception following.
The second floor served to host post meetings and Bingo events. There were also 2 smaller rooms for small meetings or group use.
The New building was built on outer Limerock Street up on the site where The 4th Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment camped . In fact , just above the new veterans memorial is the original hole where the camp Flag Pole was erected. The 4th Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment was assembled in Rockland, Maine on By May 20, 1861 with Colonel Hiram G. Berry as its commanding officer. He received four Knox County companies, one from Searsport, Winterport, Wiscasset, and Damariscotta, and two from Belfast. In all, 1,085 men, including a regimental band, were mustered on this location.
Construction began in the summer of 2001 and is the current residence of Winslow -Holbrook-Merritt Post #1. It is a 1 level building with 2 separate areas. The Canteen and members lounge, which includes 2 offices for conducting business and a full canteen with a full Kitchen and walk in cooler and freezer behind it . This kitchen serves both sides of the building as does the canteen.
The other side of the building serves as a Function hall, hosting our bingo, and poker games Sunday morning breakfast and dances as well as various rentals and benefit gatherings. It will host up to 200 persons at one sitting . There is a side deck and BBQ area with horse shoe pits and space for general out door activities. A Smoke shed and Several out buildings in the rear of the building for maintenance and storage. In 2012 there was a major reconstruction to the canteen & kitchen area where a new Walk in cooler was installed with shelves for beverages and sandwiches the Soda canisters and kegs of beer to be chilled .
A Septebber 1945 photo of the VJ Day (Victory over Japan) Parade on Main Street.