Maine History News…Historic Preservation

Bangor Residents Celebrate City’s 175th Birthday (12 February)

Bangor- On this very date 175 years ago, Bangor became a city. And tonight, residents will kick off a year long celebration. The city known best known as the home of author Stephen King and a famous Paul Bunyan statue, has a rich history with a cast of other rather colorful characters.

It was a violent incident that prompted Bangor to reorganize its government and declare itself a city back in 1834. “There was a murder, either by some sailors of an Irishman, or an Irishman killed a sailor in a brawl and some rioting broke out,” says Dana Lippitt, curator of the Bangor Museum and History Center……..

Greenwood Town Meeting, 1813-2008
“Alexis de Tocqueville traveled to the United States in 1831 to understand a country whose politics and society were radically different from those of his native France, of Great Britain, or any of the nations of Europe. He saw the new nation as an experiment in equality— an experiment whose results would have major consequences for human progress……………(Great piece regarding the history of local politics,dls)

Ice harvest set for Fields Pond

ORRINGTON- “On Sunday, Feb. 15, from 2 to 4 p.m. we’ll go out on Fields Pond in Orrington and harvest a block of ice,” said Dr. Bob Schmick, Curran Homestead’s volunteer director of education programs.

“This will be a first for the Curran Homestead Living History Farm and Museum, so it is intended to be informal and experimental rather than a formal historical re-enactment,” he said. “Using authentic ice harvesting tools from our collection and substitutions for those we don’t presently have — but seek for future annual harvesting — we will cut a block of ice from Fields Pond and transport it up the hill to the kitchen of the Curran House, where it will be placed in our vintage oak and zinc-lined ice box for the first time in many decades.”…………

For more information call Schmick at 843-5550.

Maritime museum launches a new generation of Bath boatbuilders

BATH- After 13 years building a tradition with students from South Bristol, the Maine Maritime Museum’s boatbuilding program has welcomed its first local class, a team of 14 eighth-graders from Woolwich Central School.On Wednesday, area parents and school district officials were invited to the boat shop for the Woolwich students’ first day of construction on the class’ wooden skiffs. There, the guests mingled with museum boatbuilding instructor Kurt Spiridakis, museum education director Jason Morin, shop volunteers and a room full of well-versed kids.

Historic homes registered

LEWISTON – A neighborhood of Lewiston homes dating back to the pre-Civil War era – whose occupants included mill owners, merchants and members of Congress – has been added to the National Register of Historic Places.Together, they create a showpiece of the city’s history and architecture, said Christi Mitchell, an architectural historian with the Maine Historic Preservation Commission.

Maine properties on the National Register of Historic Places

From the Lewiston Sun Journal….

Upton: Forest Lodge

Originally a sporting camp built in the last decades of the 19th century, it was later the year-round home of best-selling author Louise Dickinson Rich (1903-1991) and her family, from 1933-34 through 1944, and her summer residence until 1955. The almost 2-acre property contains three residential structures and two woodsheds, all built by the 1940s or earlier. It was while she lived at Forest Lodge that Rich developed her literary skills and published her first stories and books.

Fayette: Kent Cemetery

Developed shortly after 1880 by Elias H. Kent, a local farmer, the Kent Burying Ground is among the most unusual rural grounds in Maine. Occupying 0.35 of an acre, the raised burial ground is notable for its design – concentric rings of burial plots organized around a central monument, a characteristic it shares with the nearby National Register-listed Wing Cemetery in Wayne.

Harpswell: Bailey Island Library Hall

Located on the main road through the village, the building was commissioned in 1909 and erected three years later by the Bailey Island Library Association. The wood-frame structure was designed by the New York architectural firm of Mann & MacNeille. In design it strongly references George Washington’s Mount Vernon home, complete with cupola, colonnade and Palladian windows.

Biddeford/Saco Mills Historic District

A cohesive collection of historic manufacturing buildings situated on roughly 38 acres flanking the Saco River, the district is significant for its association with the development of the Biddeford and Saco region from a remote 17th-century maritime settlement to a major industrial center. The district attains further significance for its association with the Waltham system of textile manufacturing, which was used in major 19th-century industrial communities throughout New England.

Addison: Capt. John Plummer House

The house was constructed circa 1842 and was all but indistinguishable from the two houses north on Pleasant Street, but sometime prior to Capt. Plummer’s death in 1880, the former ship captain, merchant trader and state senator added a Gothic revival-style entry vestibule. Measuring 1½ stories in height, this rectangular vestibule features a pointed arch hardwood door, above which is a steeply pitched gable roof. This addition represents an important, if modest, local adoption of Gothic revival stylistic forms at mid-century.

St. Agatha: Lagassey Farm

A 162-acre property homesteaded by the Lagassey family starting in the mid-19th century, 91 acres of fields have been historically sown to potatoes, hay, oats and canola, with 64 acres of wood lots and the home site, which includes the 1946 Lagassey House, a 1916 Acadian-style barn, outbuilding and shed. The farm, which is still under cultivation, was listed for the manner in which it reflects broad patterns of agriculture within the Saint John Valley.

Smithfield: Kromberg Barn

The barn is a transitional agricultural structure that embodies two distinct periods of barn construction. The timber frame was originally erected circa 1820-1830 as part of the Benjamin Stevens farm, and features hand-hewn, two-story gunstock posts, tapered rafters and sidewall construction. In the early 20th century, the barn was remodeled and the gable roof replaced with a much larger gambrel roof. Gambrel roof barns became popular in the waning years of the 19th century as farmers increasingly specialized in dairy cattle and required additional space to store hay.

Boothbay Harbor: Pythian Opera House

Also known as the Boothbay Harbor Opera House, the 3½ story structure was designed by the Portland architectural team of Francis H. Fassett and his son, Edward F. Fassett. Erected by the Pythian Hall Company in 1894, the handsome Queen Anne-style building with shingle-style details housed Boothbay Harbor’s governmental functions until the 1930s and served as meeting halls for two fraternal organizations into the 1960s.
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