Maine history news for 27 May 2009

Windham considers saving historic Strout farmhouse

Don Perkins, May 27, 2009

A couple of weeks ago, the Windham Fire Department was set to do a controlled burn of a vacant early-1800s farmhouse along Windham Center Road. Vegetation along the home was cut back, and some windows were removed. But a chance meeting between the fire chief and a historical society member at a local soccer game has temporarily spared the home of the late Gertrude Strout.

The Windham Historical Society’s headquarters is just a stone’s throw from this property. The society says it needs a place to store its ever-growing collection of artifacts, and it also envisions the home and small barn as an educational facility for the town to present Windham as it was 100-odd years ago.

Lake Grove at East Auburn a magical place

Dave Sargent, Tuesday, May 26, 2009 05:00 am

Just as Memorial Day now fills highways with families ready to put the cold winter and wet spring days behind them, warmer weather drew throngs of area residents to that late-1880s amusement park on the shore of Lake Auburn.

It offered only picnic grounds and a small zoo at first, but restaurants soon appeared. Before long an outdoor theater attracted large audiences, a dance hall echoed to bands from as far as New York, and a 100-foot L-shaped dock served rental canoes and boats to patrons, as well as steamer rides across the lake.

Tate House Museum to hold herb, plant sale on Saturday

The Tate House Museum will begin its ”Year of the Garden” special events with an herb and plant sale from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday at 1270 Westbrook St. The museum will open for the season June 17 with free house and garden tours, spinning demonstrations, storytelling and surprise guests. For more details of the garden lectures and workshops, go to or call 774-6177.


The Portland Observatory, operated by Greater Portland Landmarks, has opened for the season. The 1807 maritime signal tower will be open to the public daily through Columbus Day. Visitors can learn about the history of the observatory through guided tours and a museum exhibit that explains the tower’s history and preservation with photographs and artifacts. The observatory, at 138 Congress St., is open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tours are offered throughout the day. Admission for adults is $7 (Portland residents and children ages 6 to 16, $4) and free for children under 6 with an adult. For more information, call 774-5561.

Films give vintage peek at Lewiston’s rock scene
LEWISTON – Teenagers once rocked Lewiston City Hall, squeezing 2,000 or more kids into a third-floor auditorium where the floor bounced under their feet.

Self-guided tour takes in New Portland

The Original Irregular-  New Portland Historical Society member Diane Pease said that the Maine Historical Society awarded the group a grant last year and the events will be paid 

History rests peacefully in Maine cemeteries – May 26, 2009; Shettleworth, director of the Maine Historic Preservation Commission, will speak; Dana Lippit, the curator of the Bangor Museum, will give a tour; 

Fiddle food

Fiddle me this, fiddlehead fans: If you haven’t yet bought a big bag of the wild Maine delicacy, you can get yourself a heaping helping of fiddleheads by calling or e-mailing the Allagash Historical Society and ordering a two-pound bag. For a $15 donation, Allagash Historical Society members will ship cleaned fiddleheads anywhere in the country. Shipping rates are approximately $10.35 for the bag, by the U.S. Postal Service. Think about it: If you’re a Maine native living on the other side of the country, and you haven’t had fiddleheads since you were a wee thing, now’s your chance. That $15 donation goes to help the historical society publish “An Allagash Christmas: The Early Years,” a book featuring recollections of Allagashers about the holiday season in the 1920s, ’30s and ’40s. To order by phone, call 834-6221 or 398-3148, or e-mail

Readfield residents bring history to life

Central Maine Morning Sentinel – May 24, 2009; The group eventually sought more information from the Maine State Archives. “It took them years to sort through all that,” said Dale Marie Clark, 

Livermore Falls celebrates its history – May 23, 2009; The Maine Paper and Heritage Museum was open throughout the event. With the Otis Mill closing at the end of the month, the trip down memory lane in the 


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