ECHOES: The Northern Maine Journal of Rural Culture
HISTORY: Echoes was founded in 1988 by Gordon Hammond and Kathryn Olmstead and published quarterly until 2017, first from offices in Bridgewater and Westfield, and, after 1992, from an office in Caribou, Maine. The first issue was a brochure commissioned by the Association of Aroostook County Chambers of Commerce. Because the brochure looked like a magazine, people wanted to subscribe. Their interest ignited a successful campaign for charter subscribers, offering the brochure as a free “Premiere Edition” with every order for a one-year subscription. Orders flowed in and Echoes took on a life of its own. As the identity of the magazine evolved, community became the dominant theme of its content, inspiring the subtitle Rediscovering Community.
PURPOSE: Echoes focused on positive values rooted in the past that have relevance for the present and the future. The magazine suggested that knowledge of rural experiences can help us live in modern society – that there is permanence in places where roots are deep and traditions are strong. Yet it was not just a homage to the past; it was a prescription for the future – a calm and positive voice in a world looking for answers. It was a portrait of home, whether home is a place or a time, a memory of the past or a vision of the future.
CONTENT: Echoes contained illustrated feature stories, essays, columns, first-person life stories, poetry, fiction, recipes, photography and artwork.
A sampling of topics in Echoes
Cultures of Aroostook: Acadian, Canadian, Irish, Lebanese, Maliseet, Micmac, Scots, Swedish
Farms and Forests: hand picking potatoes, farming and lumbering traditions.
Growing up in northern Maine
Hunting and fishing
Paddling the Allagash and other rivers
Wild and domestic animals
Profiles of people
Aroostook businesses and products
Northern Maine festivals and events
Rural food and recipes
STAFF in 2017
Editor and Designer: Kathryn Olmstead
Associate and Poetry Editor: Glenna Johnson Smith
Assistant Editor: Mary-Ann McHugh
Illustrations: Gordon Hammond
Printing and Typesetting: Print Works, Presque Isle Maine
Publisher: Echoes Press