Edmund S. Muskie Oral History Collection


Mike Richard

Document Type

Oral History

Publication Date


Interview Number

MOH 139


Richard J. Carey was born on January 7, 1929 in Waterville, Maine. He lived in Waterville from 1929-1989. He didn’t speak English until he was 12 years old, growing up in the Franco American community in Waterville. His father, Augustus Carey, was a paper maker and worked on the electrical switchboard, and later became a carpenter. His mother, Alma Carey, was a police matron. Augustus served on the city council in 1922, was the chairman of the fire department committee and served on the Board of Aldermen in 1937. Richard Carey married Helen, who at one time was the vice chair of the Democratic Ward Committee, and had six children: four boys and two girls. He was the first town manager of Belgrade in June 1989 and left the office in 1990 after 16 months of service. He has served in the Maine legislature for twenty years. He attended high school in Waterville, and then went to work at the Forster Manufacturing which produced toothpicks and disposable utensils. He enlisted in the Air Force and became a flight engineer and few throughout the U.S., especially during the Korean War. He attended University of Maine but left because of financial issues. He joined James W. Sewall Co. to do survey work. He ran and developed the Maine State Lottery from 1979-1986. He was mayor of Waterville from 1970-1978.

Scope and Content Note

Interview includes discussions of: Muskie mayoral race in Waterville, Maine; politics in Waterville in the 1930s and 1940s; Waterville, Maine community during the 1930s and 40s; Franco-Americans in Waterville; different ethnic communities in Waterville including Francos, Lebanese, Syrian and Irish; problems with environmental legislation in Maine; overall changes in Waterville over the last 60 years; 1972 Republican Convention in Augusta; personal impressions of Muskie; Waterville mayoral elections of 1970; Louis Jalbert; Veterans Committee; Ken Curtis; James Longley; Urban Renewal Projects; and anecdotes about Ed Muskie.

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.