Maine History Headlines Roundup Aug. 18

17th annual Great Falls Balloon Festival: Theme comes from local girl’s love of water

LSJ ~ During last year’s Great Falls Balloon Festival, 9-year-old Amanda Alberda entered every competition she could find. A costume contest. Photo contest. Rubber duck race. Water balloon toss. It didn’t go so well. In the costume contest, all the other contestants were — embarrassingly enough — under 2 years old. For the team-against-team water balloon toss, only Amanda and her mother showed up, so the contest was canceled. Amanda’s rubber duck failed to cross the finish line first. She lost the photo contest.

Androscoggin river maps to highlight sites

LSJ ~ A project is under way to gather information to put together both a paper map and a companion online map to promote the region’s recreational, historical and other assets along the Androscoggin River. Organizers need the public’s help to nominate places or features of interest in Canton, Jay, Livermore and Livermore Falls they think should be included. Nominations will be accepted until Sept. 30.

Stevens to re-enact journey of Eustis’ settler Caleb Stevens

LSJ ~ Philip Stevens, a descendant of Eustis settler Caleb Stevens, plans to recreate his ancestor’s founding walk from Kingfield to the intersection of Stratton Brook and the Dead River on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 21 and 22. The Dead River Area Historical Society will celebrate the town’s founding family Sunday, Aug. 23, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the society hall, hosted by the Stevens family.

Search of family roots leads to Revolutionary War soldier’s grave

LSJ ~ When you start researching your family’s roots, you never know what you’ll find. It turns out that Connie Gove Hiltz, 77, of Farmington, has an American Revolutionary War soldier as an ancestor among others who fought to right injustices, she said. Her great-great-great-grandfather Jacob Gove enlisted at age 16 in Col. Rufus Putnam’s regiment and served in the Continental Army for three years. After the war, he received one of the first land grants in North Lubec on Soward’s Neck, which came be known as Gove Point, Hiltz said.

One-room schoolhouse to be moved, restored

LSJ ~ The former one-room schoolhouse on Route 2 will be moved to its permanent home Thursday, Aug. 20. Nearly five decades ago, the last of six one-room schoolhouses in Gilead closed. Then it served as a library and convenience store before becoming vacant a few years ago.

North Waterford church steeple undergoing repairs

LSJ ~ With a loud crack, a ring of the bell and whoops from those watching on the ground, the historic North Waterford Congregational Church steeple was removed from the 1860 building Friday afternoon. “This is the most involved one (steeple project) I’ve done,” said Albert Cummings of Stoneham, who along with his fiancée, Diana Douglas, spent more than seven hours in the steeple preparing it to be unbolted and then lifted with a crane onto the front yard of the church.

Volunteers, community tackle town hall restoration

LSJ ~ Six years and counting, but real progress is taking shape. The nearly 150-year-old Andover Town Hall is undergoing restoration and repair, thanks to the combined efforts of several volunteers and about $70,000 so far from the town.

History Comes to Life at Leonard’s Mills

WABI ~ The goal of Leonard’s Mills is to keep Maine’s forest and logging history alive and recreated authentic pioneer milling communities of yester-year. …

Bygone Era of Public Transit Comes Alive at Trolley Museum

MPBN News ~ Electric trolleys as a form of public transit in Maine have a limited history that began in 1887 and ended by the early 1940’s. But there is a place where …

Re-enactment slated Sunday at historic Bangor House

BDN ~ The historic Bangor House, one of the city’s architectural gems, welcomed many famous visitors in the late 19th and early …

Of moose and men: Maine’s central coast

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review ~ The history of Waldo County lies in the sea, which is evident everywhere. We popped into Searsport’s Penobscot Marine Museum, Maine’s oldest maritime museum …

Fremont aviation hero’s remains found?

Bucyrus Telegraph Forum ~ But the rough, icy waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, northeast of Maine, proved too much for the “Million Miler” during his final mission on Nov. 2, 1942. …

Library celebrates century of books, friends, afternoon tea

Morning Sentinel ~ To celebrate 100 years of providing reading materials and a place to socialize with neighbors, the Vassalboro Public Library is heading back to the future. Events will hearken back to the library’s early days and historical documents and photos are being collected by the library to serve as a new resource for the town’s history.

Antique appraisal day set for Aug. 22 ~ From 10 am to 2 pm Saturday, Aug. 22, Kittery Point’s First Congregational Church will hold an antique appraisal day. ..

Sunday, August 23, 12pm-3pm
Walking Tour of Fort Scammell on House Island

Historians Joel Eastman, Ken Thompson, and Captain Harold Cushing

Join us for a walking tour of Fort Scammell on House Island in Portland Harbor. Conducted by Historians Joel Eastman, Ken Thompson, and Captain Harold Cushing, the tour will offer an opportunity to learn the history of the 1808 fort while exploring the structure’s passageways.

Captain Cushing will transport visitors on his vessel from Long Wharf on the Portland waterfront to Fort Scammell, which is on privately owned House Island in Portland Harbor. During the ride, passengers will enjoy views of the harbor while Thompson and Eastman give an overview of the fort’s history.

Space is limited. Advance reservations are required. To register, please contact the Portland Harbor Museum at 773-3800 or by email

Fee: $25.00; MHS and PHM Members: $20.00

Event Information
When: Sunday, August 23, 2009, 12:00 noon – 3:00 pm
Where: Long Wharf, Commercial Street, Portland, Maine
For more information Portland Harbor Museum; 207-773-3800;;

Alfred Shaker Museum:

Shaker Knit Hat using Shaker Yarn with instructor Barbara Carlson

Saturday, August 29, 9:00 am – 3:00 pm

Cost: $25.00

Register: Barbara Carlson 207-490-1646

Maine Historical Society invites you to…
Thursday, September 24
Research Trip to the National Archives

Spend a day doing research at the National Archives in Waltham, MA. Located just outside of Boston, NARA’s Northeast Region facility is among New England’s renowned research facilities for research into local, regional, and national history.

Walter V. Hickey, Archives Specialist, NARA, will lead an onsite orientation and tour for those who are interested. Following that, you will be able to search through thousands of records on microfilm, paper, and computer including: Census records covering the entire nation, 1790-1930; Naturalization records; Ship passenger lists; Canadian Border Crossings; Draft, Military Service, and Pension Records; Bounty Land Application Files; and much more. Participants will also be able to access,, and other online databases.

Trip will depart from the parking lot of UNO Chicago Grill’s restaraunt at the Maine Mall at 7:30am and return at 6:00pm.

Space is limited. Pre-registration is required; call 207-774-1822.
Fee: $45.00; MHS Members $40.00.

Event Information

When: Thursday, September 24, 2009, 7:30am – 6:00pm

Where: Meet at UNO Chicago Grill’s restaurant parking lot, Maine Mall, South Portland
For more information call 207-774-1822 or email

Greetings, fellow Mainers and New Englanders! Be sure to mark your calendars for the 32nd annual MAINE CARRIAGE DAYS, October 3rd (rain date the 4th).

This year’s event will be held at Topsham Fairgrounds in Topsham, Maine during the height of Maine’s colorful leaf peeping season.

Proximity to Interstate 295 and several other approach routes makes this a very convenient location for attending. This is a the only Maine equine carriage driving event recognized by the American Driving Society, featuring an extensive Pleasure Class lineup as well as Driven Dressage, Cones Course, Marathon Pace, and a Carriage Dog Class.

It is open to all breeds of equine, from large draft to tiny mini horses, even mules and donkeys, and SPECTATORS ARE WELCOME.

The list of awards includes the Col. Paul Downing Trophy and Helen Sanborn Trophy among others.

The Maine Carriage Days event celebrates the traditional art of carriage driving, emphasizes the skills and training necessary to achieve harmonious communication between human and horse, and this event is often attended by people driving antique vehicles or competing with rare breeds of horses.

The event will also include product vendors, educational demonstrations, manufacturers’ displays, and horse-drawn carriage rides provided by Jerome St. Louis of Star Hill Stables driving a gorgeous pair of black Clydesdales.

Spectator Admissions: Adults $3, Children under 12 Free.

Overnight stabling and camping for competitors is available with prior reservation. (207) 865-2047

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