Lura Sawyer receives Hiram Historical Society’s
2020 Hubert W. Clemons Award for Outstanding Service
to the Town of Hiram
Lura Sawyer is passionate about maintaining Hiram’s cemeteries and parks. She works full time at an insurance agency in Westbrook and volunteers in Hiram parka and cemeteries after work and on weekends. When a tree falls onto the Spring Cemetery on Pequawket Trail, opposite the Thomas Spring homestead and tavern opened in 1796, Lura is there to cut it and remove it, sometimes aided by husband Greg Sawyer and son McGuire. When the wooden rail fence around General Peleg Wadsworth Park rotted, Lura watched for the lowest price, and was there to install new fencing with help from her teenage son McGuire, his Mother’s Day gift to her. When a hit-and-run car crashed into the century-old steel pipe fence at the Spring Cemetery, Lura lead the investigation and it was replaced. At a recent Cemetery Committee meeting she proposed replacing another section of pipe fence, within budget.
Mrs. Sawyer is the only recipient of the Award who has had to wait nearly two years to receive it. It was to have been presented as a surprise at the October 2019 meeting of HHS. The next supposed opportunity, Hiram Town Annual Meeting in March 2020, allowed no presentations because of COVID-19. A suggestion to track her down where she was volunteering and present her with the award was rejected – rightly! Finally, the element of surprise could be kept no longer, and she was invited to the first Hiram Historical Society meeting following easing of COVID restrictions.
At the award ceremony at the Hiram Historical Society (HHS) meeting August 14, 2021, where Sally Williams, President, and receiver of the Award in 2018, presented the Award, Sawyer revealed that her inspiration came from mentor Beverly Nason. Mrs. Nason beautified Sawmill Park on South Hiram Road at Bobbin Mill Road and other places in South Hiram and Kezar Falls. Mrs. Nason died of cancer in 2000, and Lura has maintained parks ever since.
The first recipient of the Hubert W. Clemons Award for Outstanding Service to the Town of Hiram was presented to Mr. Clemons himself by members of the Hiram Historical Society in 2006. It has ben presented annually ever since. Previous recipients have included Jim and Mary Hannaford (2019), Helen Rankin (2017), Priscilla Howard (2016), Bruce Nason (2015), Dave and Gloria Paro (2014), Eleanor Twitchell (2013), Grace and Del Gilpatarick (2012), Howard and Helen Forsythe (2011).