Stratton in spring

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We planned to rendezvous over breakfast with friends at The Lonely Moose in Stratton this morning, but it was closed (spring hours). Instead, we chowed at The Stratton Diner. Loved it, and definitely will return. Here’s why: It’s spotless. It’s cheap. It’s got that country-diner-charm-decor thing. Service was prompt, friendly, and efficient. What’s not to like?

Afterwards, we popped over to the Dead River Historical Society to check its hours, and found Pat Simpson, a local with deep, deep roots, bustling about and awaiting a cleaning crew. She let us pop in for quick look-see, even though the museum doesn’t officially open until Memorial Day weekend (thereafter, Saturday and Sunday only, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.).

For fusty museum fans, this place rocks. It’s chock full of artifacts and memories from Stratton, Eustis, and the lost town of Flagstaff, now buried under the lake that carries its name.

Get Pat talking about her memories: She started collecting her finds at the dump more than 30 years ago, when she realized the town’s residents were discarding them. There are pieces in here that would make an Antiques Road Show appraiser’s eyes pop. We’ll definitely return when it’s officially open, after Pat and her crew of volunteers have cleaned up and organized it for the season.