events

Frank Knight, Yarmouth Tree Hugger Passes


Frank Knight, man who cared for famed elm tree, dies at 103
PORTLAND — Frank Knight’s decades-long battle to save New England’s tallest elm served as an inspiring tale of devotion, so it is fitting that he will be laid to rest in a coffin made from the tree he made famous. Knight, who died Monday at 103, had affectionately referred to the 217…

Yarmouth man to be buried in casket made from tree he revered

Frank Knight, who cared for New England’s oldest known American elm for 52 years, dies at 103…

Restoring life to aging clocks a rare profession

AUBURN — There’s something about a grandfather clock’s low “tock … tock” that speaks to Patrick Rohman. “It’s kind of like a heartbeat,” the 57-year-old clock repairman said. Clear out the dead spiders. Clean the gears and springs. Restore the oil. Life returns…

Brunswick discontinues war hero’s imaginary street

BRUNSWICK — In an intriguing example of the sometimes-tenuous relationship between people and reality, the Town Council on Monday unanimously voted to do away with a 105-year-old street that existed only in the imagination of a long-dead war hero…

Ancient tradition of harvesting alewives still going strong in Woolwich

WOOLWICH, Maine — Steve Dodge, who has been helping with springtime alewife harvests in Woolwich for 54 years, held up a stick with 10 smoked fish Sunday and told a reporter to “write us up big.” “Tell ’em they’re smoked golden brown and incredibly delicious,” said Dodge. “Even if they’re…


More Events, Exhibits and Presentations

Maine Agriculture: Views from the Past: Historic photo exhibit. Donation requested. At Page Farm and Home Museum, University of Maine-Orono. Through Nov. 10.

Knox Country Through Eastern’s Eye: Exhibit of historic photos from the Eastern Illustrating & Publishing Co. Collection. At Thomaston Public Library. Through June 29.

The Coastal Photography of Elmer Montgomery: Exhibit of works by the renowned Midcoast Maine photographer. At the Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge Visitors Center, 9 Water St., Rockland. Through June 30.

Greetings from Vassalboro: PMM photo archivist Kevin Johnson will show and discuss old photos of Vassalboro and surrounding towns. At Vassalboro Hist. Soc., 360 Main St., East Vassalboro. Free. May 17, 7 p.m.

Greetings from Brooks: PMM photo archivist Kevin Johnson will show and discuss old photos of Brooks and surrounding towns. At Harvest Home Grange Hall, Moosehead Trail H’wy (Rte.7), Brooks. Donation requested. More information: 207-722-3633. May 18, 6:30 p.m.

Greetings from St. George: PMM photo archivist Kevin Johnson will show and discuss old photos of St. George, Port Clyde, Tenants Harbor, Martinsville and Long Cove. At St. George Grange Hall, Wiley’s Corner Rd., St. George. Free; donation accepted. More information: 207-372-8893. May 31: potluck at 6:30; slide show at 7:30 p.m.

Greetings from Nobleboro: PMM photo archivist Kevin Johnson will show old photos of Nobleboro and surrounding towns. At Nobleboro Hist. Soc., 198 Center St. (Old Rte.1). Free. June 15, 7 p.m.


May Programs

18 Tavern Dinner. Join us for this month’s ever popular historic dinner. Relax and kindle new friendships as colonial ladies prepare a fabulous meal at the hearth. This month’s menu will include: Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup, Spring Greens with Goat Cheese and Nuts, Chicken with Dried Plums and Olives, Wild Rice Pilaf, Steamed Green Beans, and Rhubarb Upside Down Cake. Sign up soon –these dinners fill fast! $35 ($30 members) at the Parsons Education Center, 6 p.m.

20 Blue Grass Jam with Kevin Dyer and Friends. 1-4 p.m. at The Parsons Center. $4 donation appreciated.

28 Buck-a-Building Memorial Day and Paddle-to-the-Sea. Come see the Museum properties, including the the Old Gaol, Emerson-Wilcox House, Elizabeth Perkins House, Jefferds Tavern, the School House, and our Exhibit, “The country heer is plentiful” Trade, Religion and Warfare in York and Southern Maine, open for $1 tours. At 2 p.m. families are invited participate in Paddle-to-the-Sea, a kid-focused program based on Holling Clancy Hollings children’s book by the same name. After hearing the story, build a little boat, label it with your family’s name and launch it down the river. Follow your boat’s journey to the ocean on our blog. $5 per mini boat at the John Hancock Warehouse. 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

June Programs

2 Museum Opening Day! Come to the Museums of Old York for our opening day, enjoy the historic tours and beautiful ambience of our buildings and grounds. Also stop by the George Marshall Store for the opening of a new exhibit: Michael Stasiuk.
18 Great Bay Sailors Performance at the Wharf Join us for a Seafaring concert complete with shanty tunes at the Hancock Wharf featuring the musical stylings of Portsmouth’s own Great Bay Sailors. The concert starts at 4p.m. a $5 donation is appreciated. Please bring your own chairs or blankets, rain site is inside the warehouse. For more information, pleae contact Zoe or call her at 207-363-4974 x12

News and Updates

For the First Time EVER! The Museums of Old York will hold our Decorator’s Show House and our Antiques show at the SAME time Come to our 23rd Annual Decorator’s Show House and our 5th Annual Antiques Show this summer. The Decorator’s Show House will take place at 19 Harmon Park Road from July 14th through August 11th. The Antiques Show will take place in our Parson’s Center on July 21st and 22nd. During that time, if you purchase a ticket to the Decorator’s Show House, you get free admission to the Antiques Show. Plus, a ticket to either show will entitle you to $5 off admission to all of the Museums of Old York during the 2012 season. For more information, please visit our website or if you would like to volunteer please contact us at 207-363-4974.

Celebration of the Working and Playing Waterfront. A team of staff and trustees are looking ahead to summer and have been working to create an array of programs for 2012 all under the theme York’s rivers and ocean dominate its history. Celebrating our heritage on the water will take many forms. A series of fun and educational programs will be offered throughout June-July-August-September including a river regatta and barbeque, workshops, lectures and demonstrations on the history of lobstering, fishing, boat building, waterfront stories, riverscape painting, the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812, and more! A brochure will be coming out soon detailing all the offerings over the summer. See our website for a preliminary schedule of events — stay tuned for updated information.

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Categories: articles, events, headlines, historical societies, Museums of Old York, Penobscot Marine Museum, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Berwick’s Royal Cloyd Passes

Here are a few Google headlines to keep you updated with the goings on around the state of Maine, -historical society wise- enjoy and if you have any news to share, send it on in!

Historical Society fetes 50 years in style Naples Daily News
The Naples Historical Society staged its 50th Anniversary Ball, appropriately, in a spot with some history: the Naples Yacht Club, which took a hit from Hurricane Donna that hit in 1960 — just after its completion. The club had been rapidly repaired…

North Berwick loses Royal Cloyd, a true champion Foster’s Daily Democrat
NORTH BERWICK, Maine — Royal Cloyd, the longtime leader of North Berwick’s Historical Society, died Feb. 23 in Arizona after a short illness. He was 86. Although not a native, in recent years Cloyd was arguably North Berwick’s most effective community…

Conway Historical Society March meeting Conway Daily Sun
The speaker will be June O’Donal, who will be speaking on her research into the early history of Fryeburg, Maine (1767 to 1806) and how she wove the people and events into her historical novel, “The Fryeburg Chronicles – Book 1 The Amazing Grace…

Smithfield has reason to celebrate on Leap Day WLBZ-TV
SMITHFIELD, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — On February 29, 1840 the town of Smithfield was incorporated as the 348th town in Maine, and remains the only town in the state founded on a Leap Day. Members of the town’s historical society are not sure why that…

Making history in Arundel Seacoastonline.com
Memorable events change the character of a town or community at different points in their history and for the town of Arundel, Feb. 12, 2012 will go down as a date to remember. The Arundel Historical Society, after more than two years of fundraising,..

Historical society seeks info on gown, dress coat found in Dixfield town garage

DIXFIELD — The town and the Dixfield Historical Society are trying to find the owner and purpose of a vintage gown and ankle-length white cotton dress coat discovered upstairs in the town garage. Charlotte Collins, a society director and deputy treasurer for the town, took the two ba…

History center to offer journey back to origins

The Yarmouth Historical Society plans to renovate and expand a building on East Elm Street to create the history center.

At the Maine Historical Society:

Tuesday, March 6, 12pm

Longfellow’s Shadow: A reading of poems by Wesley McNair and Betsy Sholl

Join us to kick off our Richard D’Abate Lectures with readings by two Maine Poet Laureates. The poets’ readings will reflect themes in Longfellow’s poetry, his stance as a poet, and his attitude toward the social issues of his time.

Tuesday, March 20, 7pm

Downtown Corridors: Franklin and Spring Streets

Downtown corridors move us through Portland’s urban landscape. But certain corridors–like Franklin and Spring Streets–are the source of much dissatisfaction. What are our options moving forward? Stakeholders will share their ideas, discuss current initiatives, and consider what future development along these routes might look like. This program is part of(Re) Designing the Greater Portland Landscape: Issues in Contemporary Design and Development, a program series held in partnership with Greater Portland Landmarks.

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The Purrinton Tragedy: Augusta, 1806

I came across a good story while doing some research on the Augusta area, just the type of stuff you ghost hunters out there love to hear about. According to the story, A James Purrington moved from Bowdoinham to a farm on the Belgrade road and subsequently massacred his family with an ax and the committed suicide with a razor. Just another in a long line of oddities coming out of that little burg on the Kennebec River. Have you ever noticed that Bowdoinham’s phone numbers start with 666? 😮 Spooks a lurking behind every door, and a skeleton in every closet, as they say.

Stories like this one, and the Mary Knight murder I posted on a while back are just a few of the interesting events that have occurred across Maine throughout her history. These two excerpts are from a couple of different texts that touch upon this event. You can click on the links to read the story in the original publications from the 1800’s.

I found it particularly interesting that Purrintons body was buried near the road, with a mention that gossip claims that Bowdoin College had secretly exhumed the body and taken it to the college for scientific research. Did the college indeed take the body? Maybe, maybe not, but this story would make a good research project for those interested in these sorts of events in Maine history. A century and six years have passed since that tragic day, and we ask, could the spirits of those poor children and Betsy Purrinton still roam that farmhouse on the Belgrade road?

The Purrinton Tragedy

The year 1806 was made melancholy in the annals of the town by an awful tragedy committed by a maniac. James Purrinton (aged forty-six) came to Augusta with his wife (aged forty-five) and family from Bowdoinham in 1805, and occupied the farm on the Belgrade road that was owned by the late George Cony (who built the Cony House). Purrinton had eight children: Polly, aged 19 years; James, aged 17; Martha, 15; Benjamin, 12; Anna, 10; Nathaniel, 8; Nathan, 6; Louisa, 18 months.

On the morning of July 9th, between two and three o’clock, the maniacal monster stealthily assailed with an axe every member of his family, and killed instantly all except two— James (who recovered from his wounds), and Martha, who died July 30th. The maniac then cut his own throat and fell dead in his blood. The news of the deed spread horror everywhere. Elias Craig, as coroner, summoned a jury of inquest, consisting of John Eveleth (foreman), Theophilus Hamlen, James Child, Kendall Nichols, Shubael Pitts, Caleb Heath, Jonathan Perkins, Oliver Pollard, Samuel Bond, Ezekiel Page, Ephraim Ballard, jun. This jury found that Purrinton “of his malice aforethought” did kill and murder his wife and children, “and as a felon did voluntarily kill and murder himself.”

The selectmen caused the bodies to be carried to the meeting house, but that of the suicide was denied admission beyond the porch, where it was detained with the axe and razor spectacularly displayed on the coffin. The funeral was held the day after the tragedy, attended by many hundreds of people from the surrounding country. A platform was set up in Market Square for the minister. Daniel Stone offered prayer and Joshua Taylor (Methodist) preached to the multitude. The procession was headed by the coroner and his jury, behind whom were the seven victims’ bodies, “supported by bearers and attended by pall-bearers,” and they were followed by the surviving son (James} and relatives and people. Purrinton’s body was hauled on a cart behind.

The procession marched across the bridge to Fort Western, and having passed by it returned over the river and went via Bridge and State streets to the Winthrop road, and from thence to the burying ground (Mt. Vernon Cemetery), where, in the northeast corner, and near to the powder house (built in 1805) the bodies of the mother and her six children were buried side by side in graves that are unmarked. Purrinton’s body, with axe and razor,was buried between the road-side and the cemetery, but tradition hints that it was secretly exhumed in the darkness of the following night for the benefit of science at Bowdoin College.

Purrinton Tragedy of 1806 is Recalled

The State Librarian on a recent trip to Boston secured at an auction book store a very rare and valuable pamphlet, one recalling a long forgotten tragedy in Augusta. It is printed in the style of that day, with the coarse white paper, now browned with age, the queer faced type, with the old-fash1oned small s, and has 22 pages. Beyond the mark of age it is remarkably well preserved. The first and outside page is a gruesome affair. It is surrounded with a heavy black border and covered with heavy mourning rules. Near the top are cuts of seven coffins in a row and of varying sizes, probably representing the ages and sizes of the victims of the tragedy. At the bottom of the page is a single coffin, on which is cut a razor and an ax, the weapons with which the deed was committed. The title page inscription reads as follows:

HORRID MASSACREl l
Sketches of

The Life
of Capt. JAMES PURRINTON

Who on the Night of the Eighth of July 1806

Murdered His Wife, Six Children and Himself.

With a Particular Account of that Shocking Catastrophe to Which are Subjoined REMARKS on the fatal

tendency of erroneous principles and motives for receiving and obeying the pure and salutary precepts of the gospel

Copy Right Secured

Augusta (Kennebec)

Printed and Sold by Peter Edds

The article tells of the terrible murder by Capt. James Purrinton of his wife, seven children and himself one child escaping death, though wounded.

Captain Purrinton was born in 1750 in Bowdoinham and married Betsey Clifford of Bath. Twelve children were born to them, of which four died in infancy. The family in August, 1805 moved to Augusta and located on a farm about a mile and a half above the village. There they lived peacefully for some time, until the following year Mrs. Purrinton noticed that her husband was acting peculiarly and at one time found him sharpening a knife. When taxed with intending to make way with himself he denied it, but on the morning of July 9, 1806, Dean Wyman, a near neighbor, was aroused by James, the eldest Purrinton boy, who, wounded, had just escaped from his home and told of the terrible deed his father had just committed.

Wyman secured help and they proceeded to the Purrinton home, where Capt. Purrinton, his wife and six children were found dead and the second daughter, Martha, apparently dying.

The deed had been committed with an ax and the captain had cut his throat with a razor. The bodies of the victims were terribly mutilated, and almost all had put up a terrific struggle against their maniacal father. The list follows:

Dead—Mrs. Purrinton, aged 45; Polly, 19; Benjamin, 12; Anna, 10; Nathaniel, 8; Nathan. 6; Louisa, 18 months. Martha, aged 15, died the following July 30 from her wounds. James, aged 17, was but slightly wounded and recovered.

A letter was found written by Capt. Purrinton giving in a rambling way his religious views and expressing the hope of future happiness for all his family.

Coroner Elias Craig empaneled a jury, consisting of Theopilus Hamlin, James Child, Kendal Nichols, Shuball Pitts, Caleb Heath, Frederic Wingate, Jonathan Perkins, Oliver Pollard, Samuel Bond, Ezekiel Page and Ephraim Ballard, Jr. Wingate was foreman. The verdict was that Purrinton “Of his malice aforethought” did kill and murder his wife and children, “and as a felon did voluntarily kill and murder himself,” though the general opinion was that he was seized with an attack of hereditary insanity and was a maniac when he committed the deed.

The work then goes on to give the writer’s personal views on religion and the lessons taught by the tragedy, in a more or less interesting manner, filling greater part of the 22 pages.

Much additional information concerning the tragedy is contained in North’s History of Augusta, Among other things it states that the selectmen on the day of the tragedy placed the remains of the victims in the meeting house, leaving the remains of the father in the porch, with the ax and razor on the coffin. The next day “a vast concourse of people” gathered for the funeral, so great the throng “that the street and adjoining houses were filled and many were on the house tops.” Rev. Joshua Taylor, a Methodist minister, preached the funeral sermon. The remains of the mother and six children were taken across the bridge and returned, then going by way of Bridge and State streets to the Burnt Hill burying ground, in the northeast corner of which the remains were interred.

The remans of the father were taken without ceremony, with the ax and razor, and buried together in the highway, near the southwest corner of the burying ground, at the corner of Winthrop and High streets. The procession then returned to the meeting house and the multitude was dismissed, after prayer by Rev. Eliphaet Gillet.

North’s History also states that Purrinton frequently changed his religious belief, but had finally settled down to the belief of universal salvation. His manners were reserved and he was “obstinately tenacious of his opinion.” He was known to be elated or depressed according to circumstances and was, before the tragedy very despondent over the severe drought, fearing that his crops would be cut off and his family suffer from want.

North’s History further locates the home of the Purrintons by stating it was “a farm on the Belgrade road now owned and occupied by George Cony.”

Categories: events, history, Maine oddities, stories, Uncategorized, weird Maine news | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Pearl Harbor, a tribute

7 December 1941 is a day that shall live in infamy, or so President Roosevelt stated in a speech to this nation upon declaring war in retaliation to Japans attack on our base at Pearl Harbor, in Hawaii. It seems as though many people many people have forgotten what happened that day, and why the reaction to the attack was so swift and certain. Perhaps infamy only has a life span of fifty years or so.

The ranks of our veterans who served during WWII are dwindling, and even more are those that served at Pearl Harbor during the attack. A few years ago I watched a news/documentary piece relating this fact to the audience. One short piece out of that entire episode centered upon one veteran who had become the sole remaining member of his unit he had served with at that base. I do not recall the man’s name, or what his duties encompassed while in the service, but I do remember a vision that formed in my mind over this man’s lasting legacy as a part of the efforts to maintain the life of democracy around the world during those years.

According to the piece, after the war was over he and his fellow comrades in arms from that unit gathered in memory every December 7th and toasted first those who lost their lives at Pearl Harbor, and then raised their glasses in memory of those comrades who had died as the years passed after the wars end.

There was finally just two men left, and as one of the men was too ill to travel very far, it was agreed that the reunion of the two would be held in this man’s hometown, rather than at the usual restaurant in another town where they had always met before. As the first man boarded a plan in early December to travel to his friends town, his wife had received an urgent call saying that his friend had been rushed to the hospital. Having no family, the man died alone in the hospital before his friend could get there.

The remaining vet mourned for his friend, arranged for his interment, and on the 7th, went to the bar the two were supposed to meet at. The TV piece did not elaborate on this last evening of remembrance, but I had a vision of this man at the bar. I could see him sitting alone at the bar, gazing at his reflection of the mirror at the back of the bar. His image blurred by the film from the smoke filled air in the bar, he could see his graying hair, the lines of age etched upon his face as he remembered every one of the toasts he and his comrades gave to those who had departed.

He raised his glass for one last toast, first for those who had died at Pearl Harbor, then for those who had passed beyond life since then, and one last time for his dear departed friend, knowing full well that there would be no one to raise their glass in remembrance of himself, the last of the heros.

I wrote a poem in tribute to these men that I call “Tipping My Last Beer,” and this year I put together a video in tribute to the 70th anniversary of this insidious attack. An attack that began even while the Japanese ambassador met with officials in Washington to negotiate a treaty.

Enjoy the video, and please share it if you would like to.

Categories: breaking news, events, headlines, history, military, Uncategorized, WWII | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fort Williams to be Unearthed?

Dining with Antiques – Christmas Rosettes
In the 1840s and 1850s, Scandinavian settlers brought to the United States the tradition of making an assortment of delicious Christmas cookies using open fireplaces and cast iron implements. Over time, cultures blended into America’s melting pot and traditions became diluted, but these fascinating cookie-making tools can still be found, hidden among the Dutch ovens, skillets and other cast iron miscellany on tables at outdoor flea markets. The items, resembling small branding irons (with screw-on “brands”), are used to make rosettes, a favorite Nordic Christmas treat. Check out Worthologist Liz Holderman’s primer on these vintage kitchen implements, as well as a traditional recipe for those interested in trying to make them. Read “Dining with Antiques – Christmas Rosettes”

History buried at Fort Williams Park


The park’s charitable foundation plans to explore the possibility of uncovering a buried gun battery.

CAPE ELIZABETH – Large interpretive signs help explain Battery Blair to visitors at the town’s Fort Williams ParkJoe Edgar says much more interesting things are under those visitors’ feet. Edgar is a director of the Fort Williams Charitable Foundation, which has raised more than $36,000 for an engineering study to determine whether a buried section of the gun battery — which includes the ammunition magazines, plotting rooms, and space for tool storage, generators and latrines — can stand the stress of being uncovered.

“Spend Christmas in Jail!”

The Ellsworth Historical Society will again be having their annual open house and “Old Fashioned Christmas” with free admission to the museum on December 3, 11:00-3:00 at the home of the Society” The Old Hancock County Jail”, 40 State Street Ellsworth next to the Ellsworth Library.

The 1886 home of the Sherriff will decorated for the holidays with hot mulled cider and cookies. Guests will be welcome to tour the 1886 home of the Hancock County Sherriff’s of the past and see how they spent their day-to-day lives and tending the prisoners in the jail. Guests will also be allowed to tour the Sherriff’s office and the cellblock of so many of our notorious Ellsworth prisoners!

A special exhibit will also be on display “A Soldiers Christmas” that will display military items from the archives of the society as well as items on loan. One very special exhibit we will have this year is a recent donation to the society of a 12 lb British Canon Ball that was shot at a Ellsworth Barn on the Union River believed from the Revolutionary War period. So many Ellsworth boys were not home for the holidays so we felt it was important to show our support and remember the soldiers of Ellsworth at this special time of year.

The society continues its goal of preserving the artifacts of Ellsworth History and as always needs your support. Donations are welcome and may be sent to The Ellsworth Historical Society PO Box 355 Ellsworth, Me 04605. If you have items to donate or any questions, please contact Terri Weed Cormier at 667-8235 or Linda Grindle at 667-5716. The society is currently looking for glass locking display cabinets to display items securely, if you have one to donate please contact us. Thank you and we look forward to seeing you all at the Open House for some cider and cookies and lots of reminiscing about Ellsworth’s past.

Museums of Old York

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

December

3rd Join us this Saturday for A Christmas Tea at Jefferds Tavern.

As a part of the annual Festival of Lights celebration in York Village, Museums of Old York hosts a favorite holiday tradition at historic Jefferds Tavern from noon until 4 p.m. on Sat., Dec. 3. This yuletide fest, managed by volunteer Michele LaBranche, offers traditional Victorian-style holiday cheer to the whole family. Candlelight, a cozy fire, shining silver, delicate teacups and holiday greens set the stage in the Tavern. But the desserts are really the highlight of the afternoon!

Created by local bakers and talented volunteers, this year’s menue of tasty treats includeds: Apple Crisp, Harvest Pumpkin Pie, Cheesecake, Chocolate Cake, Raspberry Almond Pie, Lemon Pie, Fluffy Peanut Butter Pie, and Indian Pudding. Enjoy the ambiance, company of friends and delicious desserts as you warm yourself by the fire. The last sitting will be at 3:30 p.m. Admission is $6 and includes a choice of two desserts and tea. No charge for children under age 5 and no reservation required.

14th Candle Dipping and Holiday Decor. Without electricity how did people light their homes at night? With candles of course! Dip your own candles for when the power goes out this winter or as a centerpiece for a holiday dinner. Create colorful curled candles, string cranberries and make a decoration for your window or Christmas tree. 3-5 p.m. at The Parsons Center. Registration required, ages 8 and up, $10 ($8 members).

Stories from Maine Memory Network

Bringing in the Swedes

30th Anniversary Celebration, New Sweden, 1900

The settlement of the Swedish colony in Aroostook County in the 1870s is a remarkable story. Political leaders, spurred by the Homestead Act and led by W.W. Thomas, actively recruited Swedish immigrants to northern Maine, both to encourage economic development and to secure the northern border with Canada. By the 1890s, nearly 1,500 Swedish immigrants had settled in Aroostook County and established a vibrant community that remains strong to this day.

View the exhibit from Maine History Online for an overview. To explore the story further, visit the website a local team from New Sweden developed through the Maine Community Heritage Project.

TRAVELIN’ MAINE(RS): Head to New Gloucester and have yourself a Merry Shaker
Kennebec Journal
Shaker Village includes a store with many interesting products, a fascinating museum, a craft store with locally made crafts from lamps to baskets to cheese balls, a farm with sheep and goats and several historical buildings

Farmington Historical Society to sell wreaths
Lewiston Sun Journal
Along with a parade and other activities, the Titcomb House Museum is open from 9:30 am to 3 pm All proceeds support the Farmington Historical Society’s mission of preserving Farmington’s history and maintenance of the Titcomb House and North Church

Schooner Bowdoin’s Untold Story Subject of Upcoming Castine Exhibit
The Maritime Executive (press release)
The untold story of Maine Maritime Academy’s (MMA) historic schooner Bowdoin will be illuminated in an upcoming exhibit at the Castine Historical Society scheduled for the summer of 2012. The exhibit, entitled “Schooner Bowdoin on the Greenland Patrol”

Leeds Historical Society views Harry Cochrane Murals
Lewiston Sun Journal
LEEDS — Members of the Leeds Historical Society met recently at the old Methodist Church on Quaker Ridge with artisan Tony Castro from New Gloucester. Castro has worked for more than 25 years in the field of decorative painting, and some of Maine’s…

Maine fish passage restoration effort get $92K grant
The Republic
Maine Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe says the $92505 grant is going to the Nobleboro Historical Society. Through the years, the towns have undertaken several

Categories: antiques, articles, breaking news, collectibles, events, Geneology, headlines, historic buildings, historic preservation, historical societies, history, Maine, Maine Historical Society, Museums of Old York, stories, Uncategorized, WWII | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Logging with Tractors in the Maine Woods

Casting Call for New Collecting Television Show From Worthpoint
Is collecting a part of your daily life? Are parts of your collection in every room of your house? Do you have unique and special objects that you are extremely proud of? Finally, do you want to show off your collection on television? The producers of “My Collection Obsession,” which will air on a national cable network, are currently looking for serious and dedicated collectors of all kinds who could appear on the show. Find out if your collection is truly obsessive enough to make the cut. Read”Casting Call for New Collecting Television Show”

PHOTO: Museum L-A site work begins

“It’s starting!” exclaimed an excited Rachel Desgrosseilliers, Museum L-A’s executive director, as she watched workers at the future site of the museum Thursday in Lewiston. Benjamin Construction’s Richard Lee, left, and Ed Benjamin, in the skid steer, were demolishing damaged sections of t…

Textile industry heritage celebrated
SOUTH BERWICK, Maine — A special fund-raising event that gives a nod to the thriving textile industry of the past will benefit the Old Berwick Historical Society this weekend. The Lighting Up Ball and second annual silent auction will be…

Presentation to feature Maine Indians
LISBON FALLS — The Lisbon Historical Society will host guest speaker and author, Nicholas Smith of Brunswick, at 7 pm Wednesday, Nov. 9, at the MTM Center. Smith will give a presentation on his recently published book, “Three Hundred years in Thirty,”…

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Logging with Tractors in the Maine Woods

Popular Science Monthly, 1916

LOGGING has remained for generations the most primitive of all modern operations. The logging railroad is a comparatively recent development, but even that falls far short’of being an active agent in reducing the vast waste necessitated by the fact that only such timbers can be moved out as will pay for expensive transportation. In the tropics a mahogany log worth hundreds of dollars in New York is valued at only a few demonetized dollars as it stands in its forest, and almost priceless hardwoods are left to rot or burned up in the clearing of ground simply because they cannot be “squared” to the formal size, about one foot on each side.

To a lesser degree the same problem faces the timber cutter in the forests of our own country. The long hauls through the woods to streams or roads, even to the roughest sort of logging roads, is discouragingly expensive, and from there to the railroad or mill entails another long haul with primitive means, either oxen or horses.

Modern power appliances are, however, slowly coming into use as they prove their worth. In certain sections of the Maine woods, where logging is the winter occupation of fanners from nearby sections, tractors are now in use. The drive on these engines is by caterpillar wheels, broad enough to keep from sinking into the snow, and the forward part of the tractor is mounted on sleigh runners, which are turned by hand to guide the tractor and its train of logging sleds.

The tractor is crude in a way, but it can reach sections of forest country to which even the ordinary logging railroad, with its clumsy engine, cannot readily penetrate.

In the tractor shown here, the runners at the front make steering easy and accurate. The unwieldy front wheels of the ordinary tractor would hardly serve in the forest.

Categories: articles, breaking news, events, headlines, historic preservation, history, museum news, stories, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Ellsworth Historical Society Going to Jail

Ellsworth Historical Society reports that their November meeting will be held at the Old Jail. (sorry, couldn’t resist the leading titleJ) There are lots of other functions going on around Maine as well, so keep an eye on your local societies calendar of events. This time of year, many of the smaller societies are having their final meets of the year, so it is extra important that you help them out with closing up shop for the winter season. Also, we’re getting into the Christmas season and volunteering opportunities to help out with seasonal events are coming up. If you have a function going on and would like to spread the word, feel free to share here by emailing the details to editor@touringmaineshistory.com.

The Museums of Old York also has a full roster of events for November. The annual Tavern dinner is apparently sold out, but check out the other events they’ve got scheduled at www.oldyork.org.

History headlines seem to be slowing down in frequency, so look for more excerpts and stories about Maine history to fill in the off days here on Touring Maine’s History.

Ellsworth Historical Society to meet at Old Jail…

The November 14th meeting of the Ellsworth Historical Society will be held at 40 State Street at the home of the Society, “The Old Hancock County Jail”. The regular business meeting will start at 7:00 pm and after the meeting members will be decorating the Victorian Home for the annual holiday open house scheduled for December 3, 2011 from 10:00 to 3:00. Members are asked to bring any Victorian Christmas ideas, traditions, and decorations they may like to share.

Membership is welcome to all and volunteers are always needed. For more information please contact Terri Cormier at 667-8235 or Linda Grindle at 667-5716. You may also email us at ellsworthhistory@yahoo.comand visit our website at http://ellsworthme.org/ellshistory/

A humble view of history
The Freeport Historical Society says its project helps visitors relate to life before indoor plumbing. By Kelley Bouchard kbouchard@mainetoday.com FREEPORT – There was a time when every backyard in Maine had a privy. A nine-member AmeriCorps team…

Local group files request to save Wood Island Life Saving Station
KITTERY, Maine — One group submitted a proposal Thursday to restore the Wood Island Life Saving Station, and maintain the building and grounds of the island. The Wood Island Life Saving Station Association and Old York Historical…

Maine libraries, museums look to embrace technology
… of those organizations that are working toward historical preservation, sharing information, sharing expertise,” said Maine Archives and Museums Vice President George Squibb, who is also the archivist at the Belfast Historical Society and Museum…

Courthouse plan to be scaled back

AUBURN — A plan for modernizing Androscoggin County’s Civil War-era courthouse is getting a rewrite. The reason is a price tag of $34 million and climbing. A 123-page report to the County Commission detailed the aging building’s many flaws and possible changes including: the…

Museum offers second chance to see plane project

LEWISTON — Museum L-A is offering a second chance to see the Lockheed “Super Star” reconstruction project at the Auburn-Lewiston Airport with behind-the-scenes tours on Saturday, Nov. 12.

Thursday, November 10, 7pm

In Partnership with the National Society of the Colonial Dames in Maine

Tales from an Art Detective: Tracing Nazi-era Provenance

Presenter: Victoria Reed, Curator for Provenance, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

November Happening at Museums of Old York

4 Shaker Furniture.*Co-sponsored with York Public Library* Gene Cosloy is recognized as one of the leading interpreters of the Shaker philosophy as it pertains to the design and craftsmanship of their furniture. Never considering their work to be art but merely utilitarian and functional, the Shaker craftsmen nevertheless achieved worldwide fame and influence. Gene will explore the meaning and reasons behind this achievement by examining the history of the Shaker experience in America over a period of two centuries. 7 p.m. at York Public Library, 15 Long Sands Road, York. Call 207-363-2818 more information.

11 Tavern Dinner. *This dinner is SOLD OUT!*Another in our popular series of scrumptious meals in a historic setting! Menu highlights include apple squash soup,pork roast and chocolate torte, among other timeless treats.Jefferds Tavern, 7 p.m. Email Richard Bowen for more information and to be placed on our waiting list for cancellations.

12 Author Talk: Elizabeth Collins Cromley. *Co-sponsored with York Public Library* Elizabeth Collins Cromley will speak about her book, “Food Axis: Cooking, Eating and the Architecture of American Houses”. She examines the way the architecture of America houses has evolved as food preparation changed from the colonial period through modern times. 11 a.m. at York Public Library, 15 Long Sands Road, York. Call 207-363-2818 for more information.

17 Super Soap. Get your hands dirty while making soap. Learn how people made soap before you could buy it in the store and then make some of your own. Choose your ingredients, poor them into a decorative mold of your choice and take home totally useable and beautiful bars of soap for your kitchen and bathroom. 3-5 p.m. at The Parsons Center.Registration required, ages 5 and up, $10 ($8 members).

21 The Art of Wreathmaking. Join MOY staff as we prepare wreaths to decorate our historic properties for the holiday season. Afternoon at The Parsons Center. More information to come.

30 Gingerbread House Competition. Help the Museums of Old York decorate a gingerbread rendition of the John Hancock Warehouse. Use frosting and candy to add windows, shingles, a ramp and the ocean so the house can be entered in York Library’s gingerbread house contest! After helping with our gingerbread house, decorate your very own house in true Victorian holiday style to take home. 3-5 p.m. at The Parsons Center. Registration required, ages 5 and up, $25 ($20 members).

Other Museum News

Museums of Old York’s historic musuem buildings and exhibits are closed for the season, however, we are happy to arrange tours by appointment. Please contact our education and curatorial staff by email or call us at 207-363-4974 ext. 12 for more information.

Our Library and Archives are located in the Museums’ Administration Building at 207 York Street. The Library is open Thursday and Friday, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Saturday by appointment. Please contact our library staff by email or call us at 207-363-4974 ext. 19 for more information.

Categories: articles, breaking news, events, headlines, historical societies, history, Maine, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Maine’s Part in the Fenian War of 1866

Civil War history is all the rage this year as we celebrate the sesquicentennial of that great conflict. It’s funny how we call it the Civil War, when in fact it was anything but a civil war. In reality, it is more properly called the War for Southern Independence, or secession. We seem to forget as we gloss over history and change the story to fit our agenda that the southern states decided to secede from the union and form their own nation for many of the same reasons that we declared independence from England and formed the United States. We became a nation of rebels, just as the southerners became rebels upon the firing of Fort Sumter in April of 1861.

However, I digress. One of the outcomes of the War Between the States was the lingering ill feelings between England and the United States over the English support of the Confederacy, albeit unofficial from the Crown’s public stand. There were many factions in this nation that would have enjoyed a new war between England and the US, and one of these groups was an Irish and Irish-American society called the Fenian Brotherhood, hailing mostly from New York. They had already attempted to invade British America on several occasions, and in this following article, we read how they used the State of Maine as a staging point for a failed attempt to maybe rile the two nations into warfare against each other one more time. It comes from The Canadian magazine, written by J. Vroom.

THE FENIANS ON THE ST. CROIX

It is now more than thirty years since the Fenian’s added their borrowed name to the story of the river St. Croix; yet the older men among the dwellers on the New Brunswick shore, looking back over that time, must find it hard to realize that their memory covers the longest period of unbroken peace in the history of the province.

Four times since its Loyalist founders settled on its rocky coast have the people of New Brunswick been aroused by threats of armed invasion.

In the war of 1793, French privateers, or lawless New Englanders sailing under French letters of marque, appeared in the Bay of Fundy. Men and money were quickly raised to defend the seaport towns; and one vessel, La Solide, was captured by New Brunswick militiamen and carried into St. Andrews as a prize. Again, in the war of 1812, the bay was infested by New England privateers; and the people stood ready to defend their homes, until the British occupation of Eastport deprived the enemy of a port of refuge, and the boundary line, for the time being, was carried west to the Penobscot. Once more, in 1837, the Aroostook war brought a call to arms; and once more it found a ready response, as volunteers from New Brunswick and Nova Scotia hurried forward to repel invasion. And when, in 1866, the rumors of Fenian activity in the United States proved to have some foundation in fact, the people of New Brunswick answered to the call, and their province was the first to meet the threatened danger.

In the autumn of 1865, the movements of the Fenian’s in New York first aroused suspicions that they were planning a raid on some part of British America. Early in December of that year, Sir Arthur Hamilton-Gordon, at that time Lieutenant-Governor of New Brunswick, visited the border towns to urge upon the inhabitants the wisdom of taking some precautions.

The question of the Confederation of the provinces of British North America was then before the people. Many were disposed to laugh at the “Fenian scare,” as it was called; believing it to be a political move, planned and subsidized by the promoters of the Quebec Scheme for the purpose of influencing the electorate. Many who were willing to believe that the Fenian leaders would really attempt an invasion of British territory were still unwilling to see in the common danger an argument for union, and felt sure that Upper Canada was the province most exposed to their attack. So it happened that when the spring of 1866 brought the report of a Fenian plan of campaign to include the occupation of St. Andrews or Campobello, looking to the conquest of New Brunswick as a convenient base of operations against England, there was very much incredulity mingled with surprise and alarm.

The military authorities, however, had not been idle. Volunteers were already enrolled in all the border parishes; and the news from New York, Buffalo, and other centres of Fenian activity was awaited with eager interest.

The sudden appearance at Eastport of B. Doran Killian, with a few followers, at last convinced the people of the need of action. This was on the 6th of April, 1866. Four days later, another detachment of Fenians arrived by the steamer from Portland; and H.M.S. Pylades, from Halifax, anchored at Welshpool, Campobello, on the opposite side of the narrow strait which here forms the international boundary line. Business was immediately suspended at St. Andrews, where two companies of volunteers were on duty under Col. Anderson; and the volunteers at St. Stephen, St. George and Woodstock were called out for active service. The Fenian scare was now found to be a serious matter.

The Pylades was followed by the Rosario, which anchored off St. Andrews, nearly opposite the Maine town of Robbinston.

Fenians continued to arrive from the westward, and were quartered at hotels and private houses in Eastport, Lubec, Robbinston and Calais, or encamped in small parties along- the Maine side of St. Croix. They were a rough-looking lot of men, but quiet and well disciplined; and as they seemed to have no commissariat, but depended upon the ordinary local sources of supply, it may be safely estimated that their number did not exceed 500 in all.

The officers, Gen. Killian, Major Sinnott, Capt. Gaynor, and others, paraded their titles and proclaimed their plans and motives, announcing to the world that they had come to prevent the British Government from dragooning the colonists into Confederation; but they were evidently disappointed at the lack of sympathy and support from the people on both sides of the line.

Strengthened by Killian’s reference to the matter of Confederation at a public meeting in Calais, there was still a lingering doubt with some as to whether the threatened invasion was more than a sham; when, one night in April, a party of armed men, supposed to be Fenians, made a descent upon Indian Island, a little island in Passamaquoddy Bay, lying nearly opposite Eastport.

Campobello and St. Andrews were protected by the warships; volunteers were on guard at Deer Island, and at every important point along the shores of the river and bay; but Indian Island was unguarded.

About two o’clock on Sunday morning, the 15th of April, a few men stepped ashore from a boat, went to the house of the collector of customs, demanded and received the custom-house flag, and rowed away with it. It was a bloodless foray, ridiculously trifling in itself; but it was the cause of intense excitement in the neighboring towns. Capt. Hood, of the Pylades, reported to headquarters at St. Andrews. At St. Stephen the volunteers were at church on Sunday morning, when a dispatch reached the commanding officer and was read aloud. The Fenian’s had landed on Indian Island, and carried off the British flag. The effect was magic. The men were no longer playing soldier. As they returned to barracks, others gathered at street corners, eager to be enrolled; and before an hour had passed there were all the volunteers required to form another company if needed.

More ships were sent from Halifax, including the flagship Duncan, which brought Admiral Sir James Hope and Major-General Sir Hastings Doyle, with 570 men of the 17th Foot, a company of Royal Engineers, and a battery of artillery. A Fredericton volunteer company, called the Victoria Rifles, was also sent to the front, and Governor Gordon followed them by special train to St. Andrews.

But Indian Island was still unguarded; and, a week after the affair of the flag, the bonded warehouse and three storehouses were burned by incendiaries. Then earthworks were thrown up by men detailed from the Rosario: and the Niger, the Pylades, the Fawn, and the Cordelia in turn furnished a guard until the arrival from St. Andrews of twenty men of the Gordon Rifles, under Ensign Chandler. These St. Andrews men, by the way, carried off the honours of the campaign for the only real encounter with the enemy; as, a few nights later, their sentries fired upon and drove off two boats from Eastport that were trying to effect a landing.

Gen. Meade now arrived with a force of United States regulars, making his headquarters at Eastport and stationing a guard at Calais. The Fenian’s at Eastport had been waiting all this time for arms and ammunition that had been shipped from Portland by sailing vessels, because the passenger steamers had refused to bring them; but when at last the guns arrived, they were promptly seized by the United States authorities. Killian, boldly demanding to have the guns restored, was threatened with arrest; and so, deprived of his arms, and disappointed in the attitude of the Provincialist’s, and in his hope of easily involving the United States in a war with Great Britain, he found himself obliged to give up his scheme of invasion. Finally, he sent his followers back to Portland.

In May three companies of the 17th were sent to St. Stephen, to prevent a possible raid from Calais. Their services were not needed, as the last Fenian’s had left Calais before their arrival. Gen. Meade and his men, a few days later, were ordered to the Niagara frontier, where the Fenians were gathering in force; and the British troops and vessels along the border were gradually withdrawn. The 17th and the artillery were relieved by St. John volunteers of the 66th, and returned to

Halifax by the troop ship Simoon; the St. John men were in turn relieved by two companies of the 15th Regiment; and by the middle of June they also were recalled and the local volunteers disbanded.

The presence of the Fenians on the St. Croix was a matter of much more consequence than was apparent at the time. It drew the people of New Brunswick closer to the mother country, and to their fellow-subjects in the upper provinces; it elicited a display of loyalty worthy of the descendants of United Empire Loyalists; and it undoubtedly influenced the pending election. The election went strongly in favour of Confederation. Killian’s ambitious and absurd attempt to wreck the British Empire, so far as it had any permanent effect, only tended to strengthen that Empire at its weakest point, by its bearing upon the political movements of the day which led up to the formation of the Dominion of Canada.

Categories: articles, Education, events, history, Maine, Maine oddities, New Brunswick, stories, Uncategorized, weird Maine news | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

WWII Warbirds Flock to Auburn

Hello everyone! I’ve been vacationing, so a lot of news has been missed, but here is another roundup (a long one this time) of Maine history news highlights and headlines from around the state. Lots of exciting things going on, from the visit of some WWII warplanes to the LA municipal airport in Auburn. Also, a lot of events are still happening all over, even though Fall is coming, along with the traditional shuttering of many historical society operating seasons.

As usual, if you have trouble with a link, copy and paste it into your browsers search window to visit the site. And if you have any news to share ot events to schedule, feel free to email them to me at editor@touringmaineshistory.com.

I would like to give a shout out this week to Susan Sheffield of Dover Delaware for emailing a couple of excerpts from an issue of the New England Magazine with a story about Thomas B. Reed. It is unusual to find something like that so far from its home area. Thanks Susan!

Journalist/author visits Thomaston Historical
Thomaston — Author Kevin C. Mills will discuss his journey researching his family history to publishing his first novel, “Sons and Daughters of the Ocean,” at the monthly meeting of Thomaston Historical Society at the Knox Farmhouse, 80 Knox St. The…

Author to discuss Civil War regiment from Maine at Heritage Day in Brooks
Brooks — Brooks Historical Society will hold its annual Heritage Day Open House on Sunday, Oct. 9 from 1-4 pm at the Pilley House. New this year will be a featured speaker Peter Dalton of Northport, author of “With Our Faces To The Foe: A History Of…

Bird talks on ‘Rockland, Maine’s Tidal Turn’
Rockland — On Tuesday, Oct. 11 at 6:30 pm, Rockland Public Library will present a talk John Bird on his recent book, “Rockland, Maine’s Tidal Turn.” The talk is co-sponsored by the Rockland Historical Society. Bird has compiled a series of columns…

Clean gravestones with water, elbow grease, gentle brushes
When I hear them talk about their travels — a newly discovered cemetery in Mercer, a historical society meeting in Hope — all I can think of is a pinball machine pinging them around Maine’s graveyards in need. Bill’s slide presentation took us along…

25 things to do this fall — festivals, foliage and fun
See how Mainers from the past two centuries got dressed up at the Maine Historical Society’s fashion in Maine exhibit, which runs into 2012. Hats, jewelry, shoes, hair combs, walking sticks and several complete costumes are on display along with a wide…

Irish lecture series proving to be a hit
A former teacher, he is a member of the Androscoggin Historical Society, Maine Historical Society and the Irish American Club of Maine. He has authored two books, “Early Murphy Descendants of Mary Hurley and James McCarthy” and “Androscoggin Irish…

Hauling History: Jon Hentz to share lobster trap lore
But through personal memory, research and craftsmanship, Hentz has hauled up more than a century’s worth of trap-making that he will present at the Georgetown Historical Society building Tuesday night. The free talk will trace the development from the…

Surprise takes WWII veteran back to old heights

A ride in a historic plane honors a Maine Tuskegee Airman who served his country and came home to face racial bias.

World War II bombers make stop in Auburn

AUBURN — “You see them on TV, but you never really know what they’re like inside,” marveled Russ Allen of Auburn as he made his way slowly through the belly of the B-17G Flying Fortress at the Auburn-Lewiston Municipal Airport on Monday afternoon. Inside, the plane was a…

Wings of Freedom bringing vintage planes to airport

AUBURN — Former New Gloucester resident Tom Driscoll picks up the leather flying jacket that his father, Lt. John Driscoll Sr., wore when he piloted B-17s in the 1940s. The jacket is a family treasure and symbol of the stories that John finally began telling about the war near th…

Old Otisfield Town House may be raised to save historic listing

OTISFIELD — The old Otisfield Town House and the approximate one-half acre of land it sits on may be raised 52 inches so it can retain its listing on the National Register of Historic Places. The wood-frame 1905 building on Bell Hill Road has its original oak chairs and voting booth…

From WorthPoint; Q& A: Talking 125 Years of Coke
This year, Coca-Cola marks the 125th anniversary of the creation of the famous beverage, first introduced as a fountain drink in Atlanta, Ga., in 1886. The popularity of the sparkling refreshment was aided by a merchandising frenzy, as thousands of mass-market advertising collectibles were produced over the years—from promotional items, holiday-themed items and signs—and all proved to be pretty durable, making collecting fairly easy. In that vein of thought, Worthologist Liz Holderman interviews Denis Bardin, the president of the Coca-Cola Collectors Club. Check out what hardcore Coke collectors are looking for these days. Read “Q & A: Talking 125 Years of Coke”

Museums of Old York Events:

October
3 Needle Wizards. Join us every Monday morning 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 at 3 Lindsay Road for an hour or the whole morning. 9:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. For more information, email Cindi Young-Gomes at registrar@oldyork.org.

6 Who Discovered York? Observe Columbus Day in a different way by learning about the several “discoveries” of York from the 1630s – 1900s. 7 p.m. at The Parsons Center.

10 Needle Wizards. Every Monday from 9:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. upstairs at The Parsons Center. Email registrar@oldyork.org for more information.

12 Scarecrow Making. Learn the origins of the scarecrow while you make one to decroate your yard. Bring old clothes to struff with leaves and create a crazy face out of cloth. 3-5 p.m. at The Parsons Center. Ages 6 and up, $8 per child ($6 members). Registration required. Email education@oldyork.org to sign up.

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 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 Parsons 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 contest, or have their photo taken in costume in our Old Time Photo Booth. The pies will be judged in the The Parsons Center 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.

17 Needle Wizards. Every Monday from 9:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. upstairs at The Parsons Center. Email registrar@oldyork.org for more information.

19 Fall Fair Day. Join us for traditional fair activities and fall fun! Potato sack and three-legged races, human ox pull, skillet throw, bobbing for apples, leaf diving for treasure and apple cider pressing. 3-5 p.m. at The Parsons Center. Ages 6 and up, $8 per child ($6 members). Registration required. Email education@oldyork.org to sign up.

24 Needle Wizards. Every Monday from 9:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. upstairs at The Parsons Center. Email registrar@oldyork.org for more information.

26 Pumpkin Carving. Come carve pumpkins in front of the fire! Learn the history of Halloween as you transform your pumpkin into a jack-o-lantern and eat the seeds roasted over the open fire. Bring your own pumpkin. Knives, newspaper and cleanup will be provided. 3-5 p.m. at The Parsons Center. All ages are welcome. $5 suggested donation. Registration encouraged. Email education@oldyork.org to sign up.

29 Haunted Historical Halloween — Where Facts are Scarier than Fiction! Join a tour of historic ghosts starting at The Parsons Center and traveling through the buildings and grounds at Old York. For the young or skittish, we offer storytelling in Jefferds Tavern and spooky games in the Parsons Center. 6 – 8 p.m. All ages are welcome. Members free. $5 for teens and adults and family rates for non-members.

Maine Historical Society Events:


Tuesday, October 4, 12pm

Book Talk: Our Game Was Baseball

Presenter: John Hodgkins, Author

Get in the mood for the World Series with this wonderful new memoir of growing up with the Temple Townies in the 1940s and ’50s. Our Game Was Baseball follows A Soldier’s Son, Hodgkins’ poignant memoir of his childhood in Temple, Maine during World War II. Hodgkins interviews former team members, recounts his own passion for the Townies, and explores the central role the Townies played in the life of this western Maine community.

Friday, October 7, 5-8pm

First Friday Art Walk: Two Fabulous 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

Categories: antiques, articles, collectibles, events, headlines, historic buildings, historic preservation, historical societies, history, Maine, Maine Historical Society, Maine things to do, museum news, Museums of Old York, preservation, Uncategorized, WWII | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Mitchell B-25 and the Panchito

This film contains archival footage and video taken by the Remember ME! Media crew at the Great State of Maine Air Show, 2011 in Brunswick Maine. The Panchito is a faithfully restored B-25 medium bomber used in conjunction with the DAV’s outreach program to spread the services available to our veterans in the US.

The purpose of this short film is to tell the story of this fabulous little bomber and the impact that it had on all theaters of the WWII conflict. Primarily utilized in the Pacific Theater, the B-25’s most famous moment was when Lt. Colonel “Jimmy” Doolittle used 16 of these airplanes in a daring sea launched raid over Japan.

Launched 600 miles from Japan from the aircraft carrier the USS Hornet after having been prematurely discovered by the Japanese, these airmen volunteered without exception to carry on with the mission, even though they knew there would be insufficient fuel to carry them to safe bases in China where they could be safely recovered.

All but one plane crashed, and the one surviving plane was confiscated when the pilot landed in Russia.

The plane used in the clips from the movie Aerial Gunner was not actually a B-25, although I had been assured it was. It is actually what was designated a B-34, or more properly a Lockheed PV-2 Harpoon/Ventura. My guess would be that there were no B-25’s available for filming, and this is the closest variant the film company could come up with.

However, the set props were B-25 components for the most part. Remember that Hollywood is Hollywood, and artistic license trumps detail nearly every time.

It was still a great little movie and worth seeing sometime, and can be downloaded in full from the Prelinger Archives, along with miles of other vintage footage.

Enjoy the video!

Categories: antiques, events, historic preservation, history, Maine things to do, museum news, preservation, Uncategorized, WWII | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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