Books

Legends of Maine

  • ASIN:           1300220090
  • ISBN-13: 978-1300220091

My latest book, Legends of Maine is now available at Amazon, or through my own site.

This volume shares several folklore tales from Maine’s bygone days. From the elusive sea serpents of Casco bay to the even more questionable existence of the Windigo, or is it a Bigfoot, roaming the backwoods of Maine, there is sure to be a story you will enjoy. Stories included are from Samuel Drake Adams, Charles Asbury Stephens, George Arthur Cleveland and other folklorists, poets and writers of fiction from the nineteeth century.

The first portion of the book looks at the legend and history behind the sea serpent sightings in the Gulf of Maine during the 1800s, followed by a short piece regarding phenomoena that was know as  Barisal Guns, and a brief exursion into the more famous witchcraft stories from Maine.

There are also many of Samuel Drake Adams and Charles M. Skinners Maine related folklore tales, as well as a story by George Arthur Cleveland called “The Remick Case,” which is a story that deals with the supposed disappearence of a man after being kidnapped by a band of frog people and brought to the bottom of one of Maine’s secluded back country lakes.

I also share some of William Cox’s imaginary beasts from Maine’s past, and round off the book with a look into the possibility of there being a Bigfoot population here in Maine, and include two stories from the mid 1800s that describe a creature that sounds very much like today’s Bigfoot descriptions. These stories are by C.A. Stephens and were written in the 1860’s.

Watch the video below for more, and if you like Maine stories and the mystery of the past, this book is for you!

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Ellsworth History Book Sale

Through words and pictures, this book presents an overview of Ellsworth, Maine past and present. The book provides a glimpse into our community’s past, an examination of its properties on the National Register of Historic Places, as well as a profile of four community individuals. This is a visit to the Ellsworth of Yesterday and Today through 144 pages of intriguing and exciting text and 200 wonderful photographs. It will provide you with a look of the how and why Ellsworth began.

All proceeds from the sale of the books will benefit the Ellsworth Historical Society’s restoration of our building as well as the continued work of the historical society. We hope that you will purchase a book and show your support for the society and its work. Thank you.

This book sold originally for 39.95 now on sale for just 10.00 ! To purchase your copy please send a check or money order for $15.00 ($10.00 for the book and $5.00 shipping and handling) to:

The Ellsworth Historical Society
Pictorial History Book
PO Box 355
Ellsworth, ME 04605

or call Linda at 667-5716 or Terri at 667-8235 to pick up your copy at the museum for just 10.00 or be sure and pick one ( or more) up when you visit us!

This is a great deal and a wonderful way to show your support to the Historical Society! We are currently preparing to repair our brick facade, roof, gutters, windows and more this summer and can really use your support! As always donations are welcome and please visit us this summer, we are open Thursdays and Saturdays 10-3 or by appointment at the museum at 40 State Street , Ellsworth – The Old Hancock County Jail and Museum. Visit our website for more information http://ellsworthme.org/ellshistory/.

Thank you for helping to preserve our history!!!

From all the members and friends of the Ellsworth Historical Society.

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Piscataquis River Fishways

This post is a continuation of a look at the fishing heritage of Maine’s angling locations, refer to “A Paradise for Anglers” post of 15, May, 2012 for the beginning article…

This being the time of the year it is, meaning fishin’ time in the Pine Tree State, I thought I would share some excerpts from the 1907 Bangor & Aroostook Vacationist’s Guidebook. Historically speaking, Maine has been a destination of choice for many anglers, with the choices for game fish ranging from brook trout, to bass to togue and salmon, and then there is the offshore fishing as an option too. Remember as you read this that it was written over 100 years ago, and I share this here for the historical value these old guidebooks provide to the reader today. I intend to share the entire section on angling from this book in shorter segments, so come back tomorrow for more on Maine’s angling paradise from the bygone days!

Remember that this book is over a century old now, and the trains no longer carry passengers to any of these station, and in fact, none of these stations exist today. I include them here for those of you that might want to do a little treasure hunting and search for these old stations.

Piscataquis River Fishways

Piscataquis river; offers plenty of black bass and pickerel, and some trout; can be reached from any of the stations along the Moosehead lake division from Milo Junction to Shirley.

Seboois lake; offers white perch and exceptionally good pickerel fishing; waters flow through Endless lake and Seboois stream before entering Piscataquis river. Good trout fishing in these tributaries: Northwest pond, Seboois stream, Ragged Mountain pond and stream, Bear brook, Patrick brook, Endless lake (or Trout pond) and several smaller ponds. Nearest railroad stations: Schoodic and West Seboois.

Schoodic lake; offers landlocked salmon, trout, togue and black bass in abundance; flows into Piscataquis river through Schoodic stream, of which Hunt brook is a tributary. Tributaries: Norton pond and several smaller streams which flow into Schoodic lake, all well stocked with trout of good size. Nearest railroad station: Schoodic stream, of which Hunt brook is a tributary. Tributaries: Norton pond and several smaller streams which flow into Schoodic lake, all well stocked with trout of good size. Nearest railroad station: Schoodic.

Pleasant river; is well trouted in its upper waters; enters the Piscataquis near Milo Junction. Tributaries: Lower and Upper Ebeeme ponds, Roaring brook, Houston and Little Houston ponds, Houston brook, Mountain pond and brook, Big and Little Lyford ponds, West Branch pond, Hay and White brooks, Greenwood, Cedar, Spruce, Spruce Mountain, West Chairback, East Chairback and B ponds, Beaver and Guernsey brooks, all particularly well populated with trout. Nearest railroad station: Katahdin Iron Works.

Pleasant river; is well trouted in its upper waters; enters the Piscataquis near Milo Junction. Tributaries: Lower and Upper Ebeeme ponds, Roaring brook, Houston and Little Houston ponds, Houston brook, Mountain pond and brook, Big and Little Lyford ponds, West Branch pond, Hay and White brooks, Greenwood, Cedar, Spruce, Spruce Mountain, West Chairback, East Chairback and B ponds, Beaver and Guernsey brooks, all particularly well populated with trout. Nearest railroad station: Katahdin Iron Works.

Sebec lake, tributary to Piscataquis river; harbors landlocked salmon, trout, black bass, pickerel and white perch in quantity. Excellent trout fishing in these tributaries: Goose pond, Mill brook, Grape, Long, Second, Third, Fourth, Burden, Grindstone, Greenwood and the Benson ponds. Lake Onawa, another important tributary, has hordes of landlocked salmon and trout. Other more northern tributaries are the Greenwood ponds, Long Pond stream, Ixnig, Trout and Hedgehog ponds, Grindstone, South, Monson, Hebron and the two Spectacle ponds, Wilson stream, the Wilson ponds, Fogg, Bum and Trout ponds. All of these waters offer splendid trout fishing. Nearest railroad stations: South Sebec, Dover and Foxcroft, and Abbot Village.

To reach Lake Onawa, go to Brownville Junction or Greenville, thence over the Canadian Pacific railroad to Onawa station. Hebron and nearby lakes are best reached from Monson.

At Blanchard; good trout fishing in Blackstone brook, Mud, Spectacle and Thanksgiving ponds, Bald Mt. and Bog streams.

At Shirley; trout in Piscataquis river, Gove and Gravel brooks, West and Oakes bogs, Spectacle, Ordway, Indian, Trout,

Notch, Hound and Moxie ponds. Indian and Ordway ponds also offer togue of splendid size.

Next up in the “Paradise for Anglers”series is the Moosehead region

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A Paradise for Anglers

This being the time of the year it is, meaning fishin’ time in the Pine Tree State, I thought I would share some excerpts from the 1907 Bangor & Aroostook Vacationist’s Guidebook. Historically speaking, Maine has been a destination of choice for many anglers, with the choices for game fish ranging from brook trout, to bass to togue and salmon, and then there is the offshore fishing as an option too. Remember as you read this that it was written over 100 years ago, and I share this here for the historical value these old guidebooks provide to the reader today. I intend to share the entire section on angling from this book in shorter segments, so come back tomorrow for more on Maine’s angling paradise from the bygone days!

It is one thing to want fish; it is quite another thing to know where the fish are, and how to get them. It can be safely taken for granted that forty-nine men and women out of every fifty find sport a-plenty in the gentle art of fishing. They have the angling inclination, the desire, the hopes, but they are not always fortunate in their choice of a fishing place. It is for such enthusiasts as these that this chapter of the guidebook is especially prepared. Here is given in detail just the kind of information the fisherman would like to know — where the best fishing waters are, what varieties of fish may be caught in them, and how they may be most easily reached.

Maine’s great north wilderness, with its acreage of over fifteen thousand square miles, is crossed and recrossed by the most remarkable network of aqueous lanes and byways that all America can boast—magnificent lakes, picturesque ponds, broad rivers, silvery streams and winding brooks — some thousands of them in all, if you care to make a count. They are most charming to look upon; they afford an easy road for the canoeist in and out of the densest portions of the wilderness; but most important of all to the fisherman, they harbor game fish of record size and in record numbers, and despite the annual invasions made by anglers in these domains, the piscatorial wealth of the region remains apparently unchanged.

Trout, togue, landlocked salmon, whitefish, black bass, pickerel and white perch make up the fishy fare for anglers in northern Maine. And these are not fish of ordinary size or ordinary gameness; 40 Pounds of Moosehead Lake Togue. tlieV l’llll large, and from the moment they are hooked until they are finally brought to net they give proof in plenty of great pluck and endurance. Northern Maine trout range in weight from one to eight pounds, togue will weigh from three to fifteen pounds each, landlocked salmon from three to eight pounds, with the other fish of proportionally ample size. It is no boy’s play to hook and land these finny trophies, and the fisherman who finally wins out over his battling prey certainly earns the victory.

Sport for wielders of fishing rods begins in northern Maine with the going out of the ice in the spring and holds good until well through the summer months. As for picking out any one fishing place and calling it the best, that is obviously impossible, for piscatorial advantages have been scattered in hundreds of different localities throughout northern Maine, and with wonderfully impartial hand. Our advice is to study this book enough to become familiar in a general way with northern Maine’s best fishing grounds, and then ascertain from the camp owners who advertise in this volume, whatever special information is desired regarding the angling outlook in their respective localities.

Northern Maine fishing waters group naturally into eight systems or divisions, as follows: The Piscataquis river, Moosehead Lake, Penobscot river West branch, Penobscot river East branch, Aroostook river, Fish river, Allagash river, and St. John river systems. The chief fishing waters of each system are given below, with a mention of the various kinds of fish to be met with in each instance, the most convenient railroad station, and other detailed information.

Next up, Piscataquis River Fishways…

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The Murder of Mary Knight

The Murder of Mary Knight

Every year at about this same time a flurry of stories arise from the Poland, Maine area regarding a supposed specter wandering the highway and back roads of this sleepy little community of just a few thousand living souls. Hard telling how many dead souls are wandering around, but some folks say there are quite a few. A poor woman by the name of Mary Knight is just one of these denizens of the otherworld.

The story generally states that a woman in what appears to be a wedding dress is seen wandering down the road, staring vacantly into the distance. Usually this occurs along route 26 in the wee hours of the morning. She has been seen on other roads in the area, and sometimes near a local cemetery, of which there are several scattered around, as there usually are in these older communities.

Who was Mary Knight, and how did she die? Going by some of the more or less current newspaper articles, I’d say there is a tremendous amount of conjecture, but little research being done to tell the story as it really happened. That’s OK though, I’m working on a piece that will set the story straight.

Here are a few points in fact that pertain to the real story, though.

Mary Knight was murdered by her Husband, George, (who was twenty years younger than Mary, by the way) on October 6th of 1856. In reading over the available works on this case, several facts come to light which can be used to summarize the story.

Mary Knight had been ill for some time before her murder, as a local doctor (a Dr. Stedman of mechanic Falls) had testified to her being seen by him as early as the first part of June. It can be surmised at this point that Mr. Knight had been administering poison to his wife, but there is no evidence to prove this point. Her complaints had included weakness, headaches and stomach pains with vomiting. Several poisons could produce these symptoms, but again, there was no evidence that Mrs. Knight was being poisoned.

A Dr. Carr, who had been treating Mrs. Knight for about six weeks had visited the Knight home on October 6th and commented on how Mrs. Knight had been improving, and that she should be well again in short time. He had commented on this to George Knight, who had loaded his wagon with shingles and had planned to take them that night to a buyer in Dry Mills.

Later that night, pandemonium would break loose in the Knight household as Mary Knight was murdered in cold blood while in bed with George’s mother, Lydia, age 83. Apparently, earlier in the evening Mary had some reason for not wanting to sleep in her own bed and had crawled into Lydia Knights bed. Perhaps she had a premonition that some evil was to befall her on that night. The window to the outside was opened and the sash was hanging at an angle. Later, after neighbors had been sent for by a boy that was staying at the Knight farm, 10-year-old Sidney Verrill. It was initially thought by those first observing the crime scene that Mary Knight had killed herself, but it was quickly decided that she had been murdered.

George Knight was away, delivering the wagonload of shingles to a Mr. Hancock. He was gone after, and brought home after conducting his business.

There was a coroner’s inquest, where it was determined that Mary Knight was in fact murdered. A few days later George Knight was arrested for the murder of his wife, and subsequently found guilty, and sentenced to a term of life in the state prison. The story in its entirety is full of juicy tidbits, but I’ll let you wait until the full story comes out for now. Suffice it to say that old George was prone to chatting up the ladies of the village and was looking for a replacement even while Mary Knight was suffering from her ailments of that summer.

Mary Knight was indeed murdered by her husband, and he paid the price for his crime. The Knight homestead has changed ownership many times, and the home has long since vanished, with just the remains of the foundation left for those looking to find this link to the past. Perhaps Mary wanders the backroads of Poland looking for the home she once called her own? I cannot say that Mary knight is indeed a restless spirit, but there are things that go bump in the night. Stay tuned for the whole story!

Categories: articles, Books, history, Maine oddities, stories, Uncategorized, weird Maine news | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Norlands’ community, others mourn loss of leader

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Historian to give lectures on Maine Irish
This lecture will be held at the Androscoggin Historical Society. On September 22, he will discuss the St. Joseph’s and St. Patrick’s parishes, and in particular the art, architecture and history behind these two distinctly Irish strongholds…

Historic play about Hessians to be performed in Orono
The play is being produced in Castine in cooperation with the Castine Historical Society and Maine Maritime Academy. It is supported by a grant from the Maine Humanities Council. This will be the first time the play has been produced in English…

New Book Explores Maine’s Earliest Shipbuilding Tradition
The book can be found at Maine Maritime Museum in Bath, Maine Historical Society in Portland, BlueJacket Shipcrafters in Searsport, and Bowdoin College bookstore. John W. Bradford has a life-long interest in early Maine history and the Popham Colony in…

Historical Society’s calendars available
Send to: Dead River Area Historical Society, PO Box 15, Stratton, Maine 04982. There are many pictorial calendars left from previous years for sale at $2.50 each. Cook books may also be ordered from the same address, $6 each or two for $10…

Contractors discover 168-year-old tombstones during dig in Lincoln

LINCOLN, Maine — Old records, history texts and some forensic deduction helped town officials solve a 168-year-old mystery that was literally unearthed Monday on School Street and slightly delayed a $416,000 construction project. Subcontractors working for the Lincoln Water District replacing 87-year-old water lines behind Steaks ‘N Stuff discovered the…

Massacre site in Utah becomes national landmark

The southern Utah site of a pioneer-era wagon train massacre is being dedicated as a national historic landmark. The 760-acre Mountain Meadows Massacre site becomes a monument on Sunday. It marks the spot where 120 members of an Arkansas wagon train were shot and killed by a Mormon militia on Sept. 11, 1857. The Baker-Fancher wagon train was on a stop-over in the meadows on their way to California when it was attacked…

Winds fan flames that destroy landmark, other buildings in Grand Isle

GRAND ISLE, Maine — A huge fire, fanned by brisk winds, destroyed a local 90-year-old landmark and three other buildings Sunday afternoon and evening despite the efforts of more than 70 firefighters from 11 fire departments in northern Maine and Canada. Mike True, owner of Lille Antiques, said Monday that…

Norlands’ community, others mourn loss of leader

LIVERMORE — Members of the Washburn-Norlands History Center community and beyond are mourning the loss of acting Director Nancey Drinkwine, who died unexpectedly on Friday. Drinkwine, 63, of Hartford was at the Center when she had a heart attack, said her husband, Garnett Rutherford,…

The public is invited to a celebration of her life at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 18, in the Meeting House at Norlands at 290 Norlands Road in Livermore.

~~~

From Museums of Old York:

Upcoming Programs
For a complete and up-to-date calendar please see our website.

September

18 Lost York: The History that Nature Has Reclaimed. Join Old York staff for a guided tour of the Highland Farm area off Rte. 91. Meet at the Highland Farm Preserve parking lot, which is located 2.9 miles from the intersection of Rtes. 91 and1 in York. Email rbowen@oldyork.org for details and reservations.

19 “The Country Heer is Plentiful” exhibit of Trade, Religion and Warfare and Southern Maine 1631-1745 resumes in the upstairs gallery at The Parsons Center during regular museum hours.

23 Dinner at Jefferds Tavern. Don’t let the end of summer get you down! Dinner at the Tavern can be the perfect antidote to the blues of shorter days. Enjoy the best of the harvest season in the charming candlelit rooms of the 18th century. Click here to view the scrumptious menu on our website. Guests are encouraged to bring their own beverages to accompany the hearth-cooked meal. Friday, September 23, 6–8 p.m. $30 per person ($25 members). Seating is limited to twenty and reservations are required. Please email Richard Bowen or call (207) 363-4974 to make your reservation by September 21.

26 Needle Wizards.Every Monday morning starting the 26th of September. Join our Needle Wizards as we socialize while sewing costumes for Old York’s education interpreters. Whether you are good at cutting out patterns, hand-sewing caps, piecing skirts or sewing on the machine, we could use your help. Come to The Parsons Center upstairs in the gallery for an hour or the whole morning. 9:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. For more information email Cindi at registrar@oldyork.org.

29 History Brought to Life. Watch the history of the Old Gaol come to life as amateur actors portray the prisoners kept under lock and key. Listen to stories of thievery, debt, embezzlement, murder and escape! Meet the Gaol keeper responsible for keeping these scofflaws locked away and his wife who cooked for and fed them. Meet at the Old Gaol. Program ongoing from 5:30 -7:30 p.m. Members free and nominal fee for non-members. Family rates.

~~~

From the Maine Historical Society:

Mark Your Calendar for Fall Programs

Tuesday, October 4, 12pm

Book Talk:Our Game Was Baseball

Presenter: John Hodgkins, Author

Friday, October 7, 5-8pm

First Friday Art Walk: Fashion Exhibits

Thursday, October 13, 7pm

Book Talk: Brilliant: The Evolution of Artificial Light

Presenter: Jane Brox, Author

Saturday, October 15, 1-4pm

Maine Home Movie Day with Northeast Historic Film

Wednesday, October 26, 7pm

Book Talk: American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America

Presenter: Colin Woodard, Author

Thursday, November 10, 7pm

In Partnership with the Colonial Dames in Maine
Tales from an Art Detective: Tracing Nazi-era Provenance at the MFA

Presenter: Victoria Reed, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

~~~

The Old Orchard House

Maine has long been known or at least advertised as “Vacationland,” and with good reason. There once was a time when Maine’s picturesque coastline and rugged interior proved to be a haven for what we call “rusticators” today, as millions of people flocked to our shores and woodlands in search of rest, relaxation, and a bit of adventure. Old Orchard Beach was called by some the queen of the eastern coast, and was one of the most heavily visited coastal sites in America, surpassing even the famed beaches of California and Florida, even.

The Old Orchard house was one of the premier establishments of this coastal resort town in its day, boasting of a capacity of 500 guests, with amenities in abundance to be had by all.

Here are a couple of selections from an upcoming volume on vacationing in Maine’s bygone days I am working on;

1: Old Orchard— This is one of Maine’s most famous summer resorts and Old Orchard Beach is the most important Maine beach, and one of the best in the country. The Boston and Maine Railroad passes in close proximity to it, and its accessibility causes it to be visited by vast numbers of people. It has a number of large and several smaller hotels which are well patronized during the summer months. It was formerly a part of Saco, but it is now incorporated as a town. Its patronage is largely by persons residing outside of the State. The Old Orchard House is the largest among its hotels.

2: Old Orchard follows. This is the most noted place on the Maine Coast, as a resort, except perhaps Mount Desert. It is twelve miles south of Portland and ninety-six miles from Boston. The beach of this region is as fine as any on the New England coast. It stretches a distance of twelve miles, from Scarborough River to Saco River. It takes its name from an old apple orchard, in the midst of which the first hotel was erected.

This place is reached by the Boston and Maine Railroad, which runs between the hotels and the sea-shore. It may also be reached from the Eastern Railroad, from the Saco depot, but this is some miles distant by stage.

There are numerous hotels here, with accommodations for from 50 to 500 guests each. Some of the principal of these are the Belmont, Blanchard, Central, Piske, Gorham, Irving, Lawrence, Ocean, Old Orchard House, Pleasant House, Sea Shore and St. Cloud. The largest of these is the Old Orchard House, which has a capacity of 500 guests. Next is the Ocean, which will accommodate 400. The Blanchard and Sea Shore have room for 200 each. The Fiske and Central, Lawrence and St. Cloud have room for 150 each; the Gorham for 100. The capacity of the others is under 100. The charges at the Old Orchard are the highest; being from $3.00 to $3.50 per day, and from $10.00 to $21.00 per week. The Ocean House charges $2.00 to $3.00 per day, and $10.00 to $17.50 per week. The charges at the other houses vary, from $1.00 to $2.50 a day, and from $7.00 to $25.00 per week.

Between Old Orchard and Biddeford Pool is Ferry Beach. Here is a very good hotel called the Bay View House, accommodating 100 guests, and charging from $7.00 to $14.00 per week. It is best reached from Saco.

~~~

Salt & Pines is now available at your local bookstores.

Those who are fortunate enough to have grown up in Maine know that it has a way of life and sense of humor unlike anywhere else. Spend time on a lobster boat with Roy Fairfield or Tim Sample, or on Echo Farm in Auburn as Dave Sargent relates it. Phil Candelmo talks about life in Portland during World War II, and Luthera Burton Dawson teaches us a bit of “Mainespeak.” These are only a few of the stories told here and of the thousands cherished by Mainers. If you have ever wondered what it was like to live in Maine’s bygone days, follow along with our contributors and see what tales they have to tell about this state’s unique spirit.

Salt & Pines is now available at your local bookstores. It is now available through your local bookstore and on Amazon.com. Alternatively, you can order it direct by clicking the buy now button above, or following this link: https://historypress.net/indexsecure.php?prodid=9781609493684. You can paste the link into your browsers search window if it does not work by simply clicking it.

Categories: articles, Books, breaking news, events, headlines, historical societies, history, Maine, Maine Historical Society, Museums of Old York, Salt andPines project, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ponce’s Landing, Long Island

Headlines and articles on Maine history news

Historic Town House to hold unveiling ceremony in Dixmont

DIXMONT, Maine — An unveiling ceremony will be held at 3 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 25, at the historic Dixmont Town House, 702 Western Avenue in Dixmont. A historic marker recently was provided and installed at the Dixmont Town House by Central Maine Power Co. The Dixmont Historical Society invites the public to attend the ceremonies. Refreshments will be served. The Town House will be open to view the work that has been done to save the historic building, and members of the Historical Society Committee will be on hand to discuss future plans. For more information, call 234-2271.

Chamberlain Days kicks off Thursday
BRUNSWICK — The Pejepscot Historical Society will sponsor Chamberlain Days, a series of lectures, workshops, and other Civil War related programs for the general public. Programming begins at 7 pm Thursday in the Morrell Meeting Room at Curtis…

Holy History! Churches share stories
The editors were made up of people who had writing skills as well as a knowledge of local history, said historical society Member Sallie Huot, who was one of the editors, as well as the writer of the chapter on the history of Trinity Episcopal Church…

Work of 1800s itinerant artist focus of talk, tours
These are the pastoral views painted on the walls of local historic homes by artist Rufus Porter. History buffs and art admirers attended the Aug. 6 Townsend Historical Society “Porter Landscape School Murals: a Talk and Tour,” led by Rufus Porter…

Historic Orono mill torn asunder as town makes way for condo project

ORONO, Maine — When an excavator’s grapple peeled part of the roof off the old Webster Mill on Monday evening, the crowd that had gathered to watch the demolition of the more than 130-year-old building let out a cheer. The cheers grew louder when the grapple came down on the…

‘Sacred ground’ of Popham settlement commands archaeologist’s attention

PHIPPSBURG, Maine — Dr. Jeffrey Brain sat on a boulder at the edge of a nondescript field near the mouth of the Kennebec River, enjoying the view. Fishing boats puttered by in the swirling currents, cutting through blazes of sunshine cast up by the rippling water. A clam harvester donning…

An island prison: Rugged St. Croix Island brought ghastly death to early settlers

Editor’s Note: This is the first of three stories examining Maine’s historic role in the settling of the New World. The other two parts will run Monday and Tuesday. ROBBINSTON, Maine — When French settlers set out to claim parts of the New World at the turn of the 17th…

States Poke Fun at Themselves through Postcards
Looking for a fun collection that won’t break the bank or something for your children to collect? Worthologist Bonnie Wilpon says that one collection that’s easy to start while on vacation is state humor postcards, which can be found in gas stations, restaurants, hotels, airports and local shops, in addition to postcard shows and on online collecting sites for when you get back home. While every state likes to poke fun at itself and its residents, there are some jokes that transcend state boarders: Can you guess what “bird” is claimed by 30 different states as their “official” winged denizen? Bonnie will show you some examples. Read “States Poke Fun at Themselves through Postcards”

‘Clipperways’ to be razed

The 113-year-old home has been called ‘the jewel of Prouts Neck.’ The new owner will build another house…

Museum News:

Museums of Old York

Upcoming Programs
For a complete and up-to-date calendar please see our website.

August

19, 26 Hearth Cooking Demonstrations. Join our Tavern Mistress and the Junior Docent ladies from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Visitor Center at Remick Barn as they prepare colonial fare, creating a full meal using 18th-century recipes and techniques over the open fire. Stop in Fridays around 3:00 p.m. to taste what’s been created. Hearth cooking demonstrations are free with a ticket to at least one of the Museum buildings.

25 History Brought to Life. Watch the history of the Old Gaol come to life as amateur actors portray the prisoners kept under lock and key. Listen to stories of thievery, debt, embezzlement, murder and escape! Meet the Gaol keeper responsible for keeping these scofflaws locked away and his wife who cooked for and fed them. Meet at the Old Gaol. Program ongoing from 5:30 -7:30 p.m. Members free and nominal fee for non-members. Family rates.

September

18 Lost York: The History that Nature Has Reclaimed. Join Old York staff for a guided tour of areas outside the village proper. Email Richard Bowen for more information.
23 Dinner at Jefferds Tavern. Don’t let the end of summer get you down! Dinner at the Tavern can be the perfect antidote to the blues of shorter days. Enjoy the best of the harvest season in the charming candlelit rooms of the 18th century. Guests are encouraged to bring their own beverages to accompany their hearth-cooked meal.Friday, September 23, 6–8 p.m. $30 per person ($25 members). Reservations required. Email Richard Bowen for more information.

29 History Brought to Life. Meet at the Old Gaol. Program ongoing from 5:30 -7:30 p.m. Members free and nominal fee for non-members. Family rates. See above for more info.

October

6 Who Discovered York? Observe Columbus Day in a different way by learning about the several “discoveries” of York from the 1630s – 1900s. Thursday, October 6, 7 p.m. Remick Barn.
15 Marketfest! The Museums of Old York will be a busy place Saturday October 15th from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Jefferds Tavern will be open to the public for $1. Visitors can watch the Tavern Mistress cook a full meal over the open fire, enjoy traditional crafters, and check out our new upstairs exhibit on WWII home front efforts. Outside of Jefferds Tavern children and adults can help press apples into cider, enjoy home baked goods and have fun making a rag doll at our kids table. The Remick Barn Visitors Center will be open for $1 with the upstairs exhibit on life in 17th century York, titled “The country heer is plentiful”, open all day. Downstairs people can view the pies entered in our Autumn Pies pie contest, or have their photo taken in costume in our Old Time Photo Booth. The pies will be judged in the Remick Barn at 2 p.m. The 1719 Old Gaol will be open all day so people can see the original stone cells and learn about the prisoners incarcerated within. For $1 join us at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., or 3 p.m. to watch theatrical prisoner performances and hear stories told by the jail keeper! If you would like to enter a pie in the Autumn Pies contest, or are interested in volunteering at the Museum for Marketfest, please email education@oldyork.org.

29 Haunted Historical Halloween. For the third year in a row, Old York invites you to meet the ghosts of the long-departed residents of the local area. Look for details in September. Saturday, October 29, 6 – 8 p.m.

Maine Historical Society


Monday-Friday, 2pm

FILM SCREENING: Innocent Interlude, Scenes of Life in Portland, Maine 1940-41

Take a tour of Portland in the early 1940s through this remarkable series of color films made by city officials. (60 minutes) More info

Wednesday, August 24, 11am

Family Tour of the Wadsworth-Longfellow House More info

Thursday, August 25, 11am

The Longfellow Trail: An Urban Expedition: Guided walking tour through downtown Portland More info

Saturday, August 27, 2pm

FILM SCREENING: The Dave Astor Show Visits Jordan’s Meats

In this episode recorded in 1962 (the only episode of the Dave Astor Show that still exists), Dave and his students celebrate the opening of the new Jordan’s Meats plant in Portland with song, dance, and lots of fun. (60 minutes) More info

Penobscot marine Museum

Greetings From Hampden: Selections from the Eastern Illustrating & Publishing Collection: Slide talk by Kevin Johnson, Photo Archivist. Sponsored by Hampden Historical Society. At Kinsley House, 83 Main Rd., So. Hampden, ME. For more information: hampdenmaine.com or 207-862-2027, Aug. 22, 7 p.m.

Historic Photos of Jonesport: Kevin Johnson will show historic images of Jonesport and environs from the Eastern Illustrating Collection. At Peabody Memorial Library, 162 Main Street, Jonesport, ME. For more information: 207-497-5644. Aug. 25, 7 p.m.

Shadowbox Workshop: Learn how to make dioramas inspired by the work of Anne-Emmanuelle Marpeau. At the Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland, Maine. To register, contact Susan Henkel: 207-548-2529 ext.202. Sept. 17, 9 a.m.

And We’ll Be Exhibiting at:

Belfast Harbor Fest, Aug. 20

Camden Windjammer Festival, Sept. 2-4

Common Ground Fair, Sept. 23-25

~~~

Today’s postcard pick shows both Ponce’s and Trefethen’s Landing on Long Island, just outside Portland Harbor. Roberta Gomez Ricker has a story called At the Base of Ponce’s Landing in our new book, Salt & Pines, available through your local bookseller or online at History Press. It is a fine story that describes not only some of the hardships island living presents, but some of the joys life on one of Maine’s islands can bring as well. Islanders are a special kind of people, and this story will help at least one tale live on when all else has been forgotten. You may have caught the piece on the book in this past Sunday’s Portland Press’ Audience section, but if not head on over and check it out here. Volume two is just about ready to go, with just some minor editing and image placements remaining, and I’m currently accepting submissions for volume three. If you’d like to learn more, email your questions to me at editor@remembermemedia.com

Categories: antiques, Art Exhibit, articles, Books, breaking news, collectibles, events, headlines, historic buildings, historic preservation, historical societies, history, Maine, Maine Historical Society, Maine things to do, museum news, Museums of Old York, Penobscot Marine Museum, Salt andPines project, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Katahdin

Southern Maine town restores 1-room schoolhouse | The Republic
In 2006, it was donated to the Waterborough Historical Society. Resident Teresa Lowell, who attended Saturday’s rededication, tells the Journal Tribune that “it just gives you goose bumps” to think of the children at their desks…

New exhibits on display at Brooks Historical Society’s open house
VillageSoup Belfast
This one features places, many in Maine. If you are really interested in Brooks’ history, come look through notebooks entitled “Dow Family Papers’ and “Hiram Pilley Papers.” Hiram was a shoemaker, who bought many of his supplies from Colburn Shoe Store…

Book captures cities’ church histories
KeepMEcurrent.com
SACO – Residents of Saco may be surprised to learn that the first Salvation Army presence in Maine was in the city and that the Jewish…

Dixfield Historical Society holding flower festival
Lewiston Sun Journal
DIXFIELD — The Dixfield Historical Society’s annual Festival of Flowers, open to western Maine flower lovers and the visiting public, will be held on Sunday, Aug. 21, in the Dixfield Historical Society’s Charter Meeting Room…

Katahdin

By Ann Blalack

I thought I would share this piece of original artwork from Bangor’s Ann Blalack. It is an ink and pastel on paper rendition of a canoeist on Katahdin Lake, with Mount Katahdin in the background. The image was selected to be placed in the First volume of Salt & Pines, and is shown in the book in black and white on page 159. To see more Maine images and read the stories about Maine’s bygone days you can pick up the book through your local retailer, my Amazon page or directly through History Press.

Katahdin is a place of much wonder and history in the state of Maine, and in the past has been the center of aboriginal superstition as it was supposed to be the home of Pomoola, or the Indian devil, thought to haunt the woods of Maine and was the cause of much of the Indian origin stories. It is a long story with much to share, so dig in and learn some of Maine’s history.

Maine Historical Society News:

This Week

Beat the Heat: Movies at MHS

Saturday, August 20, 2pm

The Dave Astor Show Visits Jordan’s Meats

In this episode recorded in 1962 (the only episode of the Dave Astor Show that still exists), Dave and his students celebrate the opening of the new Jordan’s Meats plant in Portland with song, dance, and lots of fun. (60 minutes)

Daily, Monday-Friday, 2pm

Innocent Interlude, Scenes of Life in Portland, Maine 1940-41

Take an amazing tour of Portland in the early 1940s through this remarkable series of color films made by city officials. (60 minutes)

Screenings are held in our air-conditioned lecture hall. Ticket price included with museum or house admission. Details online.

Family Programs at MHS

Wednesdays at 11am, through August 31

The Children’s Hour: Family Tours of the Wadsworth-Longfellow House

Thursdays at 11am, through August 25

The Longfellow Trail: An Urban Expedition: Guided walking tour through downtown Portland.

Details online.

Salt & Pines is now available at your local bookstores.

Those who are fortunate enough to have grown up in Maine know that it has a way of life and sense of humor unlike anywhere else. Spend time on a lobster boat with Roy Fairfield or Tim Sample, or on Echo Farm in Auburn as Dave Sargent relates it. Phil Candelmo talks about life in Portland during World War II, and Luthera Burton Dawson teaches us a bit of “Mainespeak.” These are only a few of the stories told here and of the thousands cherished by Mainers. If you have ever wondered what it was like to live in Maine’s bygone days, follow along with our contributors and see what tales they have to tell about this state’s unique spirit.

Salt & Pines is now available at your local bookstores. It is now available through your local bookstore and on Amazon.com. Alternatively, you can order it direct by clicking the buy now button above, or following this link: https://historypress.net/indexsecure.php?prodid=9781609493684. You can paste the link into your browsers search window if it does not work by simply clicking it.

Categories: articles, Books, breaking news, events, headlines, historic buildings, historic preservation, historical societies, Maine Historical Society, museum news, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Lewiston Hermit

Revolutionary War newspapers will be sold at Fairfield auction

In need of money, the Bangor Historical Society must part with a ‘significant piece of Americana.’

FAIRFIELD – On Jan. 7, 1765, in the middle of the Stamp Act controversy, Boston shopkeeper Harbottle Dorr purchased the latest issue of the Boston Evening-Post and commented on its contents in the margins.

Legends of the air

WISCASSET – Tom Weatherby, 88, hobbled toward the side of the Japanese AM6 Zero fighter plane.

He closed his eyes and touched the red, rising-sun Japanese symbol painted onto the side of the aircraft. The plane’s cream-colored metal sparkled in the midafternoon sun.

Drum group performs at Intertribal Pow-wow in Bradley

The Two Feathers host drum group performed at the Intertribal Pow-wow at Leonard’s Mills in Bradley on Saturday, Aug. 13, 2011. The pow-wow, open to the public, is hosted by the Maine Forest and Logging Museum. It continues Sunday from noon until 5 p.m. and features music, dancing, storytelling and native craft vendors. Saturday and Sunday’s events also include a noontime Grand Entry with sacred rituals performed by native participants from throughout New England and Canada.

The Lewiston Hermit

This tale is from Skinner’s American Myths and Legend, a volume sharing dozens of tales that He had collected in his work. It is a brief and far from complete story of the old legends concerning the killing of a good many Indians on the Androscoggin River at what is known today as “Great Falls.” Several other tales have also been concocted, such as the one that suggest that Captain Church and his men knew the Indians were coming downriver and set a fire upon the rocks to decoy them into thinking they were farther upstream then they really were as they attacked. Realizing too late that they were upon the falls they couldn’t escape in time and drowned. There are other tales, but I’ll save them for another time.

The postcard image below is of the tiny island just above the falls where the Lewiston Hermit allegedly lived.

THE LEWISTON HERMIT

Charles Montgomery Skinner

ON an island above the falls of the Androscoggin, at Lewiston, Maine, lived a white recluse at the beginning of the eighteenth century. The natives, having had good reason to mistrust all palefaces, could think no good of the man who lived thus among but not with them. Often they gathered at the bank and looked across at his solitary candle twinkling among the leaves, and wondered what manner of evil he could be planning against them. Wherever there are many conspirators one will be a gabbler or a traitor; so, when the natives had resolved on his murder, he, somehow, learned of their intent and set himself to thwart it. So great was their fear of this lonely man, and of the malignant powers he might conjure to his aid, that nearly fifty Indians joined the expedition, to give each other courage.

Their plan was to go a little distance up the river and come down with the current, thus avoiding the dip of paddles that he might hear in a direct crossing.

When it was quite dark they set off, and keeping headway on their canoes aimed them toward the light that glimmered above the water. But the cunning hermit had no fire in his cabin that night. It was burning on a point below his shelter, and from his hiding-place among the rocks he saw their fleet, as dim and silent as shadows, go by him on the way to the misguiding beacon.

Presently a cry arose. The savages had passed the point of safe sailing; their boats had become unmanageable. Forgetting their errand, their only hope now was to save themselves, but in vain they tried to reach the shore: the current was whirling them to their doom. Cries and death-songs mingled with the deepening roar of the waters, the light barks reached the cataract and leaped into the air. Then the night was still again, save for the booming of the flood. Not one of the Indians who had set out on this errand of death survived the hermit’s stratagem.

Categories: articles, Books, breaking news, events, headlines, history, indians, Maine, Maine things to do, stories, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hearth Cooking at the Remick Barn

Family events on tap at Belfast Cohousing and Ecovillage
Bangor Daily News
MACHIAS, Maine — The annual meeting of the Machias Historical Society will be held during a Dutch treat supper at 6 pm Friday, Aug. 12, at Helen’s Restaurant in Machias. A ceremony commemorating the 1777 Battle of Machias will be held at 5:30 pm at…

Stories from Maine Memory Network

Community Website: Islesboro

Tomorrow’s book talk at MHS, described below, explores the love story between a young couple from Islesboro during the Civil War. This community website–developed by local partners from the Islesboro Historical Society, Islesboro Central School, and Alice L. Pendleton Library working with MHS staff–surveys the broader history of this special island in Penobscot Bay. Visit the site.

~~~

Museums of Old York Programs and Events
For a complete and up-to-date calendar of Museums of Old York programs see our website.

August

9, 16 Community Supper Benefit for Old York at Robert’s Maine Grill. Every Tuesday night Robert’s Maine Grill in Kittery offers a “Community Supper” and donates a portion of the proceeds to a local non-profit — in this case, Museums of Old York! The main focus of the supper is a $12, 3 course menu in the spirit of Robert’s style: Maine Comfort Food with an updated twist. The menu is posted by Friday at www.robertsmainegrill.com. For more information email or phone 207-439-0300

11 “History Challenge!” Game Show. Test your knowledge of our past. Put together a team of two to four people and register to participate in this fun and challenging “Jeopardy”-style history game. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins cash! $5 per person to play, $1 suggested donation to be in the audience. Call 207-363-4974 or email Richard Bowen to register your team. Meet at 7 p.m. in the Visitor Center at Remick Barn, 3 Lindsay Road, York.

12, 19, 26 Hearth Cooking Demonstrations. Join our Tavern Mistress and the Junior Docent ladies from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Visitor Center at Remick Barn as they prepare colonial fare, creating a full meal using 18th-century recipes and techniques over the open fire. Stop in Fridays around 3:00 p.m. to taste what’s been created. Hearth cooking demonstrations are free with a ticket to at least one of the Museum buildings.

14 Lost York: The History that Nature Has Reclaimed. Join Old York staff for a guided tour of the Highland Farm area off Rte. 91. Email Richard Bowen for details and reservations.

15 Elizabeth Perkins Fellows Symposium. This year’s Fellows Symposium will feature presentations on their Tavern and the Library projects, tours of the new Tavern exhibit, and a reception. We encourage all our members and friends to attend and see the results of their work this summer! Visitor Center at Remick Barn, 5 p.m. Free.

21 Museums of Old York Annual Meeting. Calling all members! Please join us this year to weigh in on a new vision for your organization! There will be a recap of highlights of the past year and a financial report. Enjoy refreshments with staff, trustees, and other members. 4 p.m., Remick Barn, York.

25 History Brought to Life. Watch the history of the Old Gaol come to life as amateur actors portray the prisoners kept under lock and key. Listen to stories of thievery, debt, embezzlement, murder and escape! Meet the Gaol keeper responsible for keeping these scofflaws locked away and his wife who cooked for and fed them. Meet at the Old Gaol. Program ongoing from 5:30 -7:30 p.m. Members free and nominal fee for non-members. Family rates.

September

9 Preview Party: Fouth Annual Old York Antiques Show. The Old York Antiques Show will begin with a preview party on Friday, September 9th from 5 – 8 p.m. Guests will have an exclusive preview of dealer booths and the first opportunity to purchase antiques while enjoying hors d’oeuvres, cocktails and live music. Tickets for the preview party are $75 and include admission to the Antiques Show on Saturday and Sunday. Patrons who donate $125 will receive one ticket to the Preview Party, be recognized at the event and are invited to a special reception to honor our dealers. Spending Spree Raffle Tickets will be on sale. 100% of the proceeds support the museum’s education programs, which serve over 20,000 children and families each year. Tickets can be purchased in advance by calling the Museums of Old York at (207) 363-4974

10-11 Fourth Annual Old York Antiques Show. The fourth annual antiques show at the Museums of Old York will take place September 10-11. This year’s boutique show, which is generously sponsored by a number of area businesses, will feature approximately twenty dealers highlighting exceptional silver and brass, furniture, paintings, ceramics, jewelry, oriental rugs, nautical items, textiles, folk art and decorative art. 100% of the proceeds from the show support the museum’s education programs. The Antiques Show will take place at the museum’s main campus, located at 3 Lindsay Road in York Village and runs Saturday, September 10 and Sunday, September 11 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The $10 admission includes a two-day ticket to experience the Museums of Old York. Free parking is available on-site.

18 Lost York: The History that Nature Has Reclaimed. Join Old York staff for a guided tour of areas outside the village proper. Email Richard Bowen for more information.

23 Dinner at Jefferds Tavern. Don’t let the end of summer get you down! Dinner at the Tavern can be the perfect antidote to the blues of shorter days. Enjoy the best of the harvest season in the charming candlelit rooms of the 18th century. Guests are encouraged to bring their own beverages to accompany their hearth-cooked meal.Friday, September 23, 6–8 p.m. $30 per person ($25 members). Reservations required. Email Richard Bowen.

29 History Brought to Life. Meet at the Old Gaol. Program ongoing from 5:30 -7:30 p.m. Members free and nominal fee for non-members. Family rates.

~~~

Salt & Pines is now available at your local bookstores.


Those who are fortunate enough to have grown up in Maine know that it has a way of life and sense of humor unlike anywhere else. Spend time on a lobster boat with Roy Fairfield or Tim Sample, or on Echo Farm in Auburn as Dave Sargent relates it. Phil Candelmo talks about life in Portland during World War II, and Luthera Burton Dawson teaches us a bit of “Mainespeak.” These are only a few of the stories told here and of the thousands cherished by Mainers. If you have ever wondered what it was like to live in Maine’s bygone days, follow along with our contributors and see what tales they have to tell about this state’s unique spirit.

Salt & Pines is now available at your local bookstores. It is now available through your local bookstore and on Amazon.com. Alternatively, you can order it direct by clicking the buy now button above, or following this link: https://historypress.net/indexsecure.php?prodid=9781609493684. You can paste the link into your browsers search window if it does not work by simply clicking it.


Categories: articles, Books, breaking news, events, historical societies, history, Maine, Maine Historical Society, Maine things to do, museum news, Museums of Old York, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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