Maine History News…Events…

Repairs just a ‘Band-Aid’ for landmark

BIDDEFORD — The gold leaf still glitters on the dome of the City Hall clock tower, and the bold Roman numerals on all four clock faces reflect the correct time.
But the three-story wooden structure, built in 1895 and designed by John Calvin Stevens and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is in serious disrepair.
Today, a honeycomb of scaffolding surrounds the tower as workers finish up emergency repairs prompted last year when large sections of the tower, including an entire section of railing, collapsed from decades of water and ice damage. Get up close and the entire structure is covered with peeling, damaged paint, water-soaked boards as light as cardboard from rot, and fissures in the walls that let wind, snow and water penetrate the clockworks…..more at PPH

Local history projects in the works
A national, state and community partnership is hard at work, preserving Maine’s history.
Across the state, volunteers are scanning documents, photographs, music, film and other artifacts, making state chronicles of history available to anyone with access to the Internet.
Two years ago, the Portland-based Maine Historical Society received a National Leadership grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. In turn, it began granting Maine communities money to explore, gather, document and share their local histories.
Maine Historical Society liaisons Stephanie Philbrick and Kristie Littlefield have worked with the eight….more at WMS

Cumberland roads connect to distant past
In 1794, the Court of the General Sessions of the Peace met for its January term. On the agenda was a new road for what was then part of North Yarmouth.
“On petition of Jonathan Ross, and a number of others, the court determines it of common convenience and necessity to have a highway laid out from the County Road at Walnut Hill to the lower bridge on the Presumpscot River.”…..more at PPH

UM history faculty mourn another teacher death
ORONO, Maine — The University of Maine history department received another blow Monday when professor Marli Weiner died, the second UMaine history faculty member to die this semester.
Wiebke Ipsen, a 38-year-old assistant professor who specialized in Latin American history, died Jan. 27.
Both women had cancer.
Weiner had been at the university since 1988, while Ipsen arrived in Orono in 2006.
“It’s a tragic loss. As one of my colleagues put it, it’s an unreal feeling for us,” said history department chairman and professor Nathan Godfried. “A relatively new and young faculty member who we’d had great hopes for, and then one of the cornerstones of our department. Marli had been here many, many years. ….more at BDN

The Maine Historical Society, in partnership with the Maine State Library, is looking for applications for the Maine Community Heritage Project, a one-year program aimed at encouraging communities to explore, gather and share their local history.
Participants will receive training in digitization, access to online tools, guidance and support from staff, and funds of up to $7,500 to support project activities.
This program is supported by a grant from the Institute of Museum Library Services. All Maine communities are eligible to apply. The deadline is April 9.
For more information, call 653-9287 or go to

Historical society to hold vintage postcard seminar
The Pejepscot Historical Society is planning two events highlighting the publication of “Brunswick and Bowdoin College,” a book depicting vintage postcards from the area written by local author and postcard collector Elizabeth Huntoon Coursen.
A seminar on evaluating vintage postcards will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Pejepscot Historical Society. A talk and book-signing will be held at 6:30 p.m. Monday at Thornton Oaks Retirement Community. Copies of the book will be sold for $21.99 plus tax; both events are free and open to the public.
For more information, call 729-6606.

Dinner for the Fish Ladder Restoration project in Newcastle;
Beans, ham, macaroni and cheese, 5:30 to 7 p.m., to benefit the fish ladder restoration, St. Patrick’s Church hall, Newcastle. Per person: $6; tickets available at local sites and at the door.

And in other items;

Meet Phil Collins, Alamo buff

SAN ANTONIO – Singer Phil Collins says his new “main thing” is the Alamo.
Collins, who said he has “hundreds” of cannonballs, documents and other artifacts from the Alamo, is in San Antonio this week in conjunction with the anniversary of the siege and battle of the Alamo. The collector and history buff’s most prized item is a receipt signed by Alamo commander William Barret Travis for 32 head of cattle used to feed the Alamo defenders…..
Collins is set to speak to the Alamo Defenders Descendants Association on Saturday… more at HC

Maine Maple Sunday is March 22, don’t forget!

If your historical society has any news or events you’d like to share, please email them to me at Make sure your scheduled events get to me several days in advance to be certain it is posted early.

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