Mariah Pfeiffer

Document Type

Oral History

Publication Date


Interview Number



Neil Ward’s grandfather owned a pick-your-own strawberry farm in Durham and his father worked in Auburn’s shoe factories. Ward was born in 1960 and grew up at Allen Pond in Greene, Maine. After graduating from high school, Ward worked briefly in the Bates Mill in Lewiston and then in shoe factories in Auburn until they closed in the 1980s. When the shoe factories closed, Ward worked at Maine Egg Farms, took a job surveying land for a number of years, and then went to Unity College. There, he earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental policy. He and his wife scraped by to finance his education, and to finance hers as well. With his degree, Ward worked for a number of years in Augusta in environmental consulting, but then left as his company was downsizing. He stayed at home to raise the family’s young son, and took on part-time work with what would become the Androscoggin River Alliance, where he continues now.

Scope and Content Note

This interview covers biographical information about the Wards family; life at Allen Pond: summer camps, residential development, playing as kids; Ward’s experience at Unity College; working in industry: Ward’s experience, his family’s experience; Ward’s relationship with his father; Ward’s interest in environmental policy; Ward’s work in environmental consulting; being a stay-at-home dad; the Androscoggin River Alliance: getting involved, Ward’s various responsibilities, internal politics, jobs versus the environment issues, and development issues; the meaning of the Androscoggin River; pollution, realizing the River could be beautiful, remembering the river, Ward’s commitment to the river; and Ward’s vision for the river’s future.

Use Restrictions

Copyright Bates College. This transcript is provided for individual Research Purposes Only; for all other uses, including publication, reproduction and quotation beyond fair use, permission must be obtained in writing from: The Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library, Bates College, 70 Campus Avenue, Lewiston, Maine 04240-6018.