Maine History News…Events…

Close to Home: Childhood Treasures
Growing up in Standish in the 1940s, Gene Stuart was fascinated with Native American history, especially any concerning early people around the shoreline near the family farm on Sebago Lake.

Stuart heard anecdotes on Indians handed down through his family who settled here in the late 1700s.

“To think that down here and all around me, Indians lived,” said an excited Stuart. “I prefer the term ‘Native American,’ because to me, they are the true Americans.”… more at PPH

Funding woes for libraries…

Library’s funding woes began after renovation

WESTBROOK — Warren Memorial Library got a new archival room, new furniture and top-of-the-line computer equipment during a renovation earlier this decade.

Workers created an art room and updated the theater. The aging Georgian-style building was lifted off its foundation and moved farther back from its longtime location on Main Street. The renovation doubled the size of the library by the time it was complete in mid-2003, at a cost of more than $3 million.

Today, the library is marked for closure…..more at PPH

Facebook group organizes to stop library’s closing
WESTBROOK — Kelly Watters of Westbrook grew up using the Warren Memorial Library on Main Street.

Watters said she remembers how C.S. Lewis’ “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” served as an escape from the social ills that plagued her Brown Street neighborhood.

When she saw the same library that helped keep her out of trouble as a child was in trouble itself – slated for closure this spring – she organized the Facebook group “Save the Warren Memorial Library!”…more at PPH

City’s budget plan would put library in a bind
PORTLAND — City Manager Joseph Gray plans to recommend that the city’s libraries be flat-funded for the second year in a row, causing library officials to launch a public lobbying effort even before Gray presents his budget to the City Council.

Last year, library officials ended up closing the main branch on Mondays and eliminating 10 percent of its staff.

This year the library requested a 3.8 percent increase over the current budget, but Gray rejected it….more at PPH

Events & Happenings…

Handmade silhouettes to be offered at museum
ORRINGTON, Maine — The Curran Homestead Living History Farm and Museum is taking reservations for appointments for sittings for handmade silhouette portraits by Jean Comerford of Portraits in Silhouette.

Sittings will take place 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, April 4, at 372 Fields Pond Road.

Portraits in Silhouette, based in Hardwick, Mass., is a mother-daughter business featuring portraits of famous New Englanders in Yankee magazine each month. Cumerford is one of a handful of artists nationwide who continue the folk art tradition popular in the United States and Europe from the late 18th to the mid-19th century….more at BDN

New Gloucester Historical Society

Candace Kane of the Maine Memory Network, an online museum of Maine history, will be the featured speaker at the March 19 meeting of the New Gloucester Historical Society.

The program begins at 7 p.m. at the New Gloucester Meetinghouse, next to the town hall on Route 231. The public is invited, and refreshments will be served. A business meeting will follow.

Thursday, May 21, 7-9pm
Museum of Human Beings

Colin Sargent, Author

Join us to hear Colin Sargent discuss his debut novel, a stylish look at the fate of Sacagawea’s baby son, Jean Baptiste Charbonneau, the first Native American to tour Europe – as a curiosity and entertainment.

After Sacagawea dies on the trail, Clark adopts her son, Baptiste. After traveling through Europe under the protection of Duke Paul, Baptiste returns to America, where he confronts Clark over his mother’s mysterious death. Unsatisfied and restless, Baptiste heads west and finds work as a fur trapper, an Army scout and gold prospector. Increasingly haunted by his mother, Baptiste revisits her in memories and visions that lend themselves nicely to Sargent’s lyrical prose. With historical cameos (Beethoven, Kit Carson, Washington Irving) and an impressively rounded portrait of the laid-back, introspective, nomadic Baptiste, this novel will satisfy fans of American history.

Colin Sargent is a playwright and author of three books of poetry. He has been awarded the Maine individual artist fellowship in literature and earned a Stonecoast MFA in creative writing. The Portland, Maine resident is founding editor and publisher of award-winning Portland Magazine as well as a board member of the literacy organization Maine Reads. Museum of Human Beings is his first novelThis event is free and open to the public.

Event Information

When: Thursday, May 21, 2009, 7-9:00 p

Where: Maine Historical Society
489 Congress StreetPortland, ME 04101

For more information call 207-774-1822 or email

“Postcards: Big Message in a Small Package,” will be presented by Patricia Vierra, of Postcard Images in Gray, at the North Yarmouth Historical Society’s meeting at 7 p.m. Monday at the North Yarmouth Congregational Church.

The free catalog of 2009 Shaker Museum workshops is now available. Listed are 20 crafts workshops for all ages, as well as crafts demonstrations and special events. For a copy, call the Shaker Museum at 926-4597 or
Other items of interest

Solving a 17th-Century Crime
The boy does not have a name, but he is not unknown. Smithsonian scientists reconstructed his story from a skeleton, found in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, buried underneath a layer of fireplace ash, bottle and ceramic fragments, and animal bones.

Resting on top of the rib cage was the milk pan used to dig the grave. “It’s obviously some sort of clandestine burial,” says Kari Bruwelheide, who studied the body. “We call it a colonial cold case.” More at Smithsonian

Hurricane may have uncovered Civil War shipwreck
GALVESTON, Texas – Experts know of about a dozen Civil War-era shipwrecks off the Texas coast. They might have just identified another.

Contractors searching for debris from Hurricane Ike near Galveston Island took a sonar scan of what the Texas Historical Commission believes is a previously undiscovered ship carrying cotton that sank in 1864.

The Carolina, also known as the Caroline, was a privately owned merchant ship that tried to break though a federal blockade of Galveston. After being pursued for several hours by Union gunships, the crew of the Carolina ran the ship aground in shallow water between Galveston and San Luis Pass, then set it on fire rather than let it be captured….more here

Show Notes

The next Touring Maine’s History show will be aired on Monday, March 16.

In addition to a recap of the weeks, news and events, we’ll answer last week’s trivia question, and our “History Person of the Week” will be George Clinton, born in Fort Fairfield, and we’ll talk about the history of Maine’s maple industry as our main topic.

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