Maine History Headline Roundup for August 25 2009

Hey Everybody!

Welcome to my new blog site at WordPress! You’ll find all of the same news and views on Maine history, as well as the events and historical societies that celebrate our heritage. If you are new to Touring Maine’s History, this is a no profit attempt to spread the word about Maine history by sharing headlines and articles from around the state of Maine that pertain to the area of historic preservation and recreation. As always, if your society or organization has an event to announce or news to share, email your entry to, and don’t forget to put a description in the subject box or the spam killer will dump your email. Also, for more on Maine history and the projects we are working on, don’t forget to visit us at

River Views: Mill loss hits area

Dave Sargent-Whenever history goes up in flames, the loss is felt very deeply and very differently throughout a community. It was the recent Cowen Mill conflagration that kindled many local memories. A few years ago, fire also destroyed the adjoining W.S. Libbey Mill, and both of the familiar massive brick structures on the Lewiston side of the Androscoggin River’s Great Falls have disappeared….

Ghost seekers hold investigation in Farmington cemeteries.

LSJ-Henry Farrington from Central Maine Paranormal Investigations takes photographs in Riverside Cemetery in Farmington Saturday night as he and other members of the group fanned out in search of ghosts….

Historical sites to be mapped and marketed

LSJ-FARMINGTON — The trails and historical sites of greater Franklin County will be explored, mapped and put up on a Web site with the help of a Maine Community Foundation grant.

Healthy Community Coalition has received a $75,000 grant from the foundation’s Environmental Funders Network “Quality of Place” Fund for a project that focuses on health and the local natural environment. It’s a three-year grant, and as long as funding is available, HCC will receive $75,000 each year, Executive Director Heather Davis said….

The parade rolled on in Phillips despite the weather

LSJ-Rain didn’t stop the opening of the 51st annual Phillips Old Home Days Parade Friday night, but heavy rains scattered participants and viewers before the parade was over. With the theme, “What can you do with duct tape?” this young man is prepared for Saturday’s bathtub races at for 3 p.m. on Toothaker Pond in Phillips. A variety of activities are scheduled throughout the weekend.

Historic Montpelier Celebrates 195th Anniversary of George Washington Portrait Rescue from the White House

Montpelier James Madison’s Montpelier today will celebrate the legacy of slave and freedman Paul Jennings with an exclusive White House visit and walking tour of Washington, D.C. for his descendants. Family members of the former slave, who helped First Lady Dolley Madison rescue the portrait of George Washington before the White House burned in 1814, will gather on the 195th anniversary of its rescue to learn more about their ancestor from one of the nation’s leading Paul Jennings experts. The Montpelier Foundation, steward of James and Dolley Madison’s Orange, Virginia home, has organized the historic event.

“James Madison’s Montpelier is committed to discovering and authentically presenting the entire history of the Montpelier community,” said Michael C. Quinn, president of the Montpelier Foundation. “In Madison’s time there were only a handful of white people, but more than 100 Black people living on the plantation at any one time. We want to find that lost history and share it with the American people. To do so, we have begun a comprehensive research effort—because the stories of these individuals are not African-American history; they are American history.” Marking end of era, last boat launched at Southwest Harbor shop…Called ‘a national treasure’ for his design and building skills, Ralph Stanley will sell his interest to his son.

Penobscot Narrows Bridge shut down after bomb scare

PROSPECT, Maine — A bomb threat at the Penobscot Narrows Bridge Observatory shut down traffic on the span connecting Waldo and Hancock counties Sunday afternoon and caused the evacuation of the … more


Events and Happenings…

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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