preservation

The First Railroads in Maine

The wood block print to the left is from 1836, and depicts what the artist called the Veazie Railroad, or the Bangor, Oldtown and Milford, which was the first railroad constructed in the state of Maine. The first railroads were actually of wood rails laid on log ties, and pegged into place when needed with widen pegs. Later, the wood rails would be replaced with iron strapping, then bars, and finally the t shaped rails we see today.

Initially, horses pulled the rail cars, which were actually stagecoaches and wagons fitted up with special wheels that were grooved or shaped somehow to engage the rails in use. After the early 1800’s, steam engines, having proved successful in other enterprises such as steam boating, began to be built for these railroads.

Today, much of Maine’s history would have been quite different if these railroads had not been constructed. Much of our sporting and early tourist heritage would never had been birthed if it were not for the railroads ability to carry passengers and freight to the out in the boonies sporting camps and hotels.

Aroostook’s potato industry would not have been possible without the railroads freight capabilities to haul the annual harvest to points out of state. Railroads are just another part of who we are, and as such we should take the effort to learn more about this part of Maine history, and if you have the opportunity, please visit some of the railroad museums and displays and think about volunteering at one of the many non-profit societies working to preserve this part of Maine’s heritage.

Early Railroads in the state of Maine

[From History of the Railroads & Canals of the US of A, Henry V. Poor, pub 1860

Androscoggin.

Androscoggin and Kennebec.
Atlantic and St. Lawrence.
Bangor, Oldtown and Milford.
Calais and Baring.
European and North American.
Great Falls and South Berwick.
Kennebec and Portland.

Lewey’s Island.
Maciiiasport Or Franklin.
Penobscot.

Penobscot and Kennebec.
Portland and Oxford Central.
Portland, Saco and Portsmouth.
Somerset and Kennebec.
York and Cumberland.

The first railroad constructed in the State of Maine was the Bangor, Oldtown and Milford, under the title of the Bangor and Piscataquis Railroad and Canal Company, chartered on the 8th of February, 1833. It was opened in the latter part of 1836. It has proved unproductive, in part from the unfortunate location of its line.

The road next constructed was the Portland, Saco and Portsmouth, as a prolongation of the Eastern and the Boston and Maine Railroads of Massachusetts. The means for the construction of the same were furnished chiefly by parties connected with these Companies, to which it was leased on the 28th of April, 1847, for a term of 90 years, with a guarantee of dividends at the rate of per cent, per annum. These, however, have been earned by the road.

The third road undertaken was the Atlantic and St. Lawrence, and was the first attempt at anything like a railroad system for the State, having for its object the development of its resources and the centralization of its trade and that of the interior at its chief commercial city. It was constructed with a view of uniting with the St. Lawrence and Atlantic of Canada commenced at the same time—the two to form one line between the Atlantic Ocean and the River St. Lawrence. It now forms a part of the Grand Trunk Railway of Canada, to which it is leased at the rate of 6 percent, per annum on its capital. Since the date of the lease the Grand Trunk Company has expended in construction about $1,500,000. This enterprise led to the immediate commencement of the Androscoggin and Kennebec, the Kennebec and Portland, and the Buckfield Branch. The Androscoggin and Kennebec Railroad was commenced in July, 1847, and completed in November, 1849. For several years past this road has been united with the Penobscot and Kennebec Railroad, both of which are operated as one line. Its earnings have been sufficient to meet the interest on its indebtedness, but not to divide anything on its share capital.

The construction of the Kennebec and Portland Railroad was commenced in 1847, and finally opened to Augusta early in 1852. It commenced at the point of junction with the Atlantic and St. Lawrence Railroad, but as it adopted a different gauge, the construction of a new road into Portland, a distance of 11 miles, became necessary. This was constructed in 1850-1, The road was necessarily expensive, and the Company for several years past has only been able to meet the interest on its first mortgage amounting to $800,000, and on the extension certificates $202,400, which are a first mortgage on that portion of road. In the season of navigation the road sufiers from the competition of a parallel water line.

The Buckfield Branch (Portland and Oxford Central) Railroad was opened in 1849, but having proved unproductive has been abandoned.

York and Cumberland was commenced in 1849, and opened to Gorham, 10i miles, in 1851, and to the Saco River, 20 miles, in 1853. It has been uniformly unfortunate and unproductive.

The Calais and Baring, a local road, was opened in 1837. Its earnings have been sufficient to meet the interest on its indebtedness, and pay 3.2 on its share capital.

The Androscoggin was opened to Livermore Falls in 1852—to its present terminus in 1859. This road has failed to pay the interest on its last class of bonds.

The Penobscot and Kennebec Railroad was commenced in 1852, and completed in 1855. This road and the Androscoggin and Kennebec are operated as one line. Its net earnings have been sufficient to meet the interest on its two first mortgages, amounting to $1,050,200.

The Great Falls and South Berwick Railroad was opened in 1854, and has proved unproductive. After being disused for some time, it has again been put in operation.

The total amount of share capital and debts of the railroad companies of the State is $17,923,612. Of the share capital, $4,297,300 receives, (with the exception of the Calais and Baring), dividends at the rate of 6 per cent. Of the total indebtedness, interest is paid at the rate of six per cent, on $7,819,718; leaving share capital to the amount of $3,188,411, and debts to the amount of $2,618,183, on which neither interest nor dividends are paid. The total amount of productive capital invested in railroads in the State is

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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

Maine Preservation Honors University of Maine

Effort under way to save the Greenville Junction Depot; railroad workers … Hall, who is spearheading the project, said the Maine Historic Preservation Society in 2008 listed the depot as one of the most endangered historical buildings in the state. Much of the depot, built in 1889 by the Canadian Pacific Railroad…

Authors and their books The Cushing Historical Society’s Arts in the Barn series will focus on local authors in “Cushing Authors and Their Books.” Each summer weekend, one or two local artists display their works for Arts in the Barn…

Camden-Rockport Historical Society’s antiques show celebrates 31st anniversary The 31st annual Camden-Rockport Historical Society Antiques Show and Sale will be held Saturday, July 23 and Sunday, July 24 at Camden Hills Regional High School. Started and promoted all these years by John and Liz DeSimone of Goosefare Antiques…

Lexington residents band together to preserve its history According to the Historical Society’s research, the area was first settled in 1807 and was part of a large tract of land given by Massachusetts lottery. William King served as the land agent and later became the first Maine governor…

Maine Preservation honors UMaine for Coburn Hall renovations Portland; the Brown Library and Longfellow Garden at the Maine Historical Society in Portland; Gilman Place-Gilman Street School in Waterville; Littlefield School in West Bath and the Mill at Saco Falls-Laconia Mill in Biddeford…

1812 battlefield park in Michigan to expand Privately owned land once envisioned for an industrial recycling plant or a new hotel now is public property that can be used to expand the River Raisin National Battlefield Park to more than four times its current size. U.S. Interior Department Secretary Ken Salazar, U.S. Rep. John D. Dingell, D-Dearborn, and a host of other dignitaries were on hand at the federal park Wednesday morning for a ceremonial deeding of the additional property to public ownership. It could add more than 143 acres to the federal park’s current 42-acre site and includes property north of the current federal land bordering Mason Run and also east, across Detroit Ave. from the park site near E. Elm Ave. and N. Dixie Hwy….

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Opening Night Reception
Friday, July 15th, 6pm to 9pm

Join the Museums of Old York for this delightful annual summer event. Meet the designers and see their incredible transformation of this historic property while enjoying a fun evening of jazz by Peter Dugas and great food catered by
Kitchen Chicks.

Tickets are $50 per person and are available by calling 207.363.4974

Opening Night Reception presenting sponsor

Directions to Emerson House

From I-95 in Maine, take exit 7 and merge onto the spur road, heading east towards U.S. Route 1. Go right on U.S. Route 1 south. At first traffic light turn left on York Street towards York Village, and at the Civil War monument in the heart of the Village turn left on Long Sands Road. Emerson House is located on the right at 31 Long Sands Road, just past the entrance to York Public Library, and just before Woodbridge Road. Parking is available in several area lots, including York Public Library.

The Decorator Show House is open July 16 – August 13
For more information regarding the Emerson House visit:
www.oldyork.org

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From the Maine Historical Society

Stories from Maine Memory Network

Online Exhibit:
Hermann Kotzschmar: Portland’s Musical Genius

Portland’s municipal organ is in the news: the nearly 100-year old gem, housed in Merrill Auditorium, needs a major renovation.

Portland’s City Hall burned in 1908. When the new City Hall opened in 1912, the Kotzschmar Organ was its centerpiece. Its story reflects an interesting moment in American culture, and Portland’s own rich musical heritage. While municipal organs were once prevalent in the United States, only two remain. (The other is in San Diego.)

This exhibit explores the life and musical career of Herman Kotzschmar (1829-1908), the longtime Portland organist for whom it is named.

Coming Soon

Tuesday, July 19, 12:00pm

Book Event: Deering: A Social and Architectural History

Speaker: William D. Barry, Historian (and MHS reference librarian!)

Tuesday, July 26, 12:00pm

Screening: Rapid River Races, 1940

Presenter: Zip Kellogg, Author and Paddler

Tuesday, August 2, 12:00pm

Book Talk: Portland’s Greatest Conflagration: The 1866 Fire Disaster

Speakers: Michael Daicy and Don Whitney, Authors

Categories: Art Exhibit, breaking news, 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 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Caleb Cushing Affair

Yes indeed, the Civil War came to the state of Maine, albeit briefly and with little fanfare from the national front. One of these instances was the attempt by a few Southern privateers, or CSN sailors if you’d rather call them that entered Portland Harbor with the intent of disrupting shipping by burning and otherwise destroying the waterfront of this hub of marine activity. What follows is but a brief portion of a longer piece I have written under the same title, which will be available in an upcoming book. In 2007 I posted this piece to the Wikipedia platform, but it is far from complete in this format. But the general details given here can tell most of the story, and you can go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Portland_Harbor to read that version with its changes. The accompanying image is of the Caleb Cushing on fire from Harpers Weekly magazine.

The Caleb Cushing Affair;

The Civil War Comes To Maine

The Federal Government during the Civil War had made many preparations to prevent attacks by the Confederate Army and Navy along the Southern sections of the Eastern Seaboard. Various installations of cannon and earthworks were built here and there for protection against any possible incursions. Construction of earthen works and establishment of batteries at strategic points were planned and some were begun.

The construction of Fort Popham, in Phippsburg, was just one such installation. Portland Harbor was considered an important location as well, and several projects were begun, and forts were constructed. But a lot of time was wasted on some of the proposed projects, and one of those was the construction of earthworks and battery at Portland Head in Cape Elizabeth.

Before the earthworks were commenced, a small detachment was assigned to the Head with the intention of placing a cannon there for firing warning shots should the rebel navy make it this far along the coast. The actual establishment was delayed for some reason, and the detachment was not posted until well after originally planned.

This was a serious mistake on the governments part as the following year, on June 26th, a Confederate raiding party entered the harbor at Portland, sailing right past the Portland Head Light. Two days prior to this a Confederate raider named the Tacony was being pursued by the union navy at sea.

To thwart the pursuers, the Confederates captured a Maine fishing vessel of the name Archer from out of Freeport. After transferring their supplies and cargo onto the Archer, the Confederates set fire to the Tacony hoping the Union navy would believe the ship was destroyed. The rebels then slipped into Portland Harbor under the guise of fishermen. Their plan was to slip back out of the harbor and try to destroy the commercial shipping capability of the area.

Sometime after midnight, the raiders slipped into the harbor itself and proceeded to the federal wharf. Having the advantage of surprise, the crew seized a cutter belonging to the Revenue service, the USRC Caleb Cushing, named after a Massachusetts Congressman . They made their escape and fled out to sea. News of the actions of the Confederates spread and the military was informed of the rebel intrusion. They had been observed by several persons while taking over the cutter, and public fury was fanned by the incident.

The seventeenth infantry was stationed at Fort Preble and 28 infantry men along with ten artillery men were dispatched to pursue the Southerners. Early in the morning, the soldiers went in pursuit after the sailing vessel in two small steamers.

Along with the soldiers went a six pound field piece and a 12 pound howitzer. The soldiers commandeered the steamer “Forest City” a cruise ship, and another steamer called the “Chesapeake”. All of the civilians on board were issued muskets to defend against the Rebels. The Forest City, being a faster boat, caught up to the Cushing and the Archer first. The Cushing opened fire upon the Forest City when it was within the two mile range of the Cushing. The Captain of the Forest City was afraid, and refused to pursue any further.

The Chesapeake, which had left port sometime after the Forest City, finally caught up and continued on towards the Cushing. The wind was beginning to blow against the rebel sailors and the steamers soon caught sight of the Cushing. Lt. Read, of the Confederate Navy ordered the Cushing torched.

The munitions exploded and destroyed the cutter after it was abandoned by his two dozen crewmen escaped in the lifeboats. They were subsequently captured and held as prisoners of war at Fort Preble. The Archer was also soon captured and all Rebels were returned to Portland. It was discovered that the Rebels were in possession of over one hundred thousand dollars in bonds. These were to be paid after a treaty for peace was ratified between the North and the south.

Public anger against the Southerners was high, and additional troops to safeguard the prisoners was requested. They had to be spirited out of Portland during the night to prevent a riot from breaking in July, when they were removed to Boston Harbor, where they were then held at Fort Warren.

This true story is just one of thousands of little stories that make Maine what it is today. History tends to place emphasis on the heroes, the newsmakers, the solitary leaders surrounded by the story. But history is much more than the big news flash of the moment. History is all of the little stories combined. Fact and fiction strive against one another and legends are born in the process. Because of this educators and history buffs tend to overlook the many little pieces that assemble into the puzzle of our past.

Categories: articles, Books, civil war, Education, events, history, Maine, preservation, stories, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Nina and the Pinta Arrive in South Portland

History at the helm Replicas of Christopher Columbus’ Nina and Pinta sailing ships arrive in South Portland, where visitors are welcome to come aboard…

U.S. Mint releases medal marking 9/11 attacks Officials from New York and the United States Mint unveiled the 9/11 National Medal on Monday just three months before the 10th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks. The one-ounce silver medal’s heads side features Lady Liberty with the inscription “always remember 2001-2011,” while the reverse side portrays an eagle against the backdrop of cascading water. The medal, which went on sale Monday, is available at an introductory rate of $56.95 through August 18, after which the price will go up to $66.95…

Preserving History At Salem Maritime National Historic Site Creaking on the tides under the weight of its three masts and 55 miles of rigging, the Friendship is a floating reminder of a time when the upstart United States laid a commercial claim to the high seas. From tiny Salem, Massachusetts, up the coast from another Massachusetts seaport that soon would become known as the whaling capital of the world, ships set out to navigate the globe and return home with spices, water buffalo hides, silks, and porcelains.

Tractor festival set for this weekend
A few years ago, Mike Pratt attended a Maine Antique Tractor Club festival and caught a dose of “classic tractor fever.” Since 2000 he’s accumulated nine Cockshutt tractors and a few others. Pratt, now vice president of the club, is ready to talk tractors as…

Still in the dark about Ram Island Ledge Light Nine months after a Windham surgeon bought the property at auction, his plans are still unclear…

Park ranger takes care of stuff postcards don’t show Maine at Work: On the upside, the Fort Williams Park job involves talking with visitors from around the world…

Summer Antique Shopping with Smarts& In Comfort
Now that the outdoor antique and collectible shopping season is in full swing, with dozens of garage sales, flea markets and the very best in outdoor antique shows populating acres of land each weekend, antiquers are flocking to these sales. Michelle Staley, who has been an antique buyer and dealer for more than 30 years, offers some tips and tricks she has picked up over the years that might make your trip to these shows a little more productive and a lot more comfortable… Read “Summer Antique Shopping with Smarts & In Comfort”

Rockland Historical Society receives grant to scan historic photographs The Rockland Historical Society received a $5000 grant from the Knox County Fund of the Maine Community Foundation to scan and catalog over 2000 historical photographs. The project will take one year. The scans will enable the historical

Corinth celebrates 200th birthday Tuesday’s celebration kicked off with a barbecue chicken dinner prepared by the Corinth Fire Dept. followed by an opening ceremony with Corinth Historical Society quilt presentation, a poem by Donald Clark and speeches by representives for Maine’s…

Priceless map collection on display in Dennysville The entire collection of maps is a reflection of that history, he said. “This historical society is not a musty, dusty collection. History is living.” The maps show what was important to the settlers of two centuries ago, he said — the water…

Beacon calendar June 23 Presentation on history of Mount Waldo Granite Co., by Stephen Haynes, curator of Maine Granite Industry Historical Museum, 7 pm June 23, Frankfort Elementary School Gym. Group discussion follows. Light refreshments available

Surry Historical Society to hold annual meeting The Surry Historical Society will hold its annual meeting at 7 pm Monday, June 27, at the Old Town Hall on Route 172 in Surry. The featured speakers will be residents of Surry with “Local Yokel Yarns.” There will also be a short

From the Maine Historical Society:

Online Exhibit: Great Bangor Floods, Great Student Work

The end of the school year is a perfect moment to celebrate the newest contributions that students have made to Maine Memory Network. This spring, 7th graders at Cohen Middle School in Bangor researched the historic 1902 and 1976 Penobscot River floods. This exhibit shares what they learned, and recognizes the integral role the river plays in the life of the community–for better and for worse. View the exhibit.

Dressing Up, Fitting In, Standing Out:

Adornment & Identity in Maine

June 24, 2011-May 27, 2012

Opening Party: Thursday, June 23, 5-7pm

MHS members are invited to preview and celebrate the opening of our new museum exhibit this Thursday evening, June 23, from 5-7pm. The exhibit opens to the public on Friday.

Dressing Up offers a fascinating look at how Mainers have “dressed up” for a variety of occasions over nearly 300 years. The exhibit features a broad selection of adornments from the MHS collection, many never before displayed, including hats, jewelry, shoes, hair combs, walking sticks, and several complete costumes. Objects are accompanied and illuminated by photographs, paintings, journal entries, and more.

According to exhibit curator Candace Kanes, Dressing Up explores the choices we make to look our best. “Every hat or shoe, buckle or brooch tells a story about who we are, who we want to be, and how we want others to see us. And every social occasion makes its own demands, whether we are trying to fit in or stand out.”

Learn more about Dressing Up.

Coming Soon

Monday, July 4, 12pm

A Public Reading of the Declaration of Independence

Speaker: Former State Rep. Herb Adams

Learn more.

New Program Added!

Thursday, July 14, 4pm

Illustrated talk at MHS + West End Bicycle Tour!

“I Am An Old Wheelman”: John Calvin Stevens and the Art of Bicycling in Maine 1880-1900

Presenter and Ride Leader: Sam Shupe

Join us to learn about this significant yet largely unknown aspect of John Calvin Stevens’ life. During the last decades of the 19th century, the prominent architect was a passionate cyclist who was instrumental in creating and sustaining bicycle culture in Portland. This illustrated talk at MHS will be followed by a leisurely bike tour of several Stevens-related sites in Portland’s West End. Learn more.

Categories: antiques, articles, breaking news, collectibles, events, grants, headlines, historic preservation, historical societies, history, lighthouses, Maine, Maine Historical Society, Maine things to do, museum news, preservation, restoration, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

History of Bar harbor Told Through Postcards

History of Bar Harbor Told Through Postcards

By Earle G. Shettleworth, Jr.

Bar Harbor, $21.99, Arcadia Publishing. Available at local retailers, online bookstores, or through Arcadia Publishing at www.arcadiapublishing.com or (888) 313-2665

Isbn 978-0-7385-7483-7

Arcadia’s latest Maine postcard book is now available! Written by two-time Maine State Historian Earle G. Shettleworth Jr., the History of Bar harbor is an excellent pictorial of Bar Harbor’s illustrious past. Filled with images and rich narration you can relive the glorious past of this destination community from Maine’s bygone days.

Shettleworth divides the book into nine sections covering topics from transportation to the community, its downtown area, public buildings and private mansions as well as her legendary hotels and latter day rental cabins and motels. Also covered is the social and recreational life of the latter 19th and early 20th century, the 1947 fire that devastated the area and scenic vistas.

If you love Maine history as much as I do, this book, as well as Arcadia’s many other Maine postcard pictorials will make a great addition to your library.

Check back here next week for a full review on this book, or pick one up today at your local retailer, or you can buy it online.

Categories: articles, Books, headlines, historic preservation, history, Maine, preservation, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lisbon Historical Society to commemorate Civil War

Local history book launched The Waldoborough Historical Society will host the release and signing of “Citizens Who Heard the Call to Political Service: Waldoboro, Maine 1773-2010,” written by Jean MB Lawrence. Wednesday, June 15 at 6 pm at the society’s museum

Lisbon Historical Society to commemmorate Civil War Charles W. Plummer in the persona of Maine’s Civil War hero General Joshua L. Chamberlain. LISBON FALLS — The Lisbon Historical Society will feature a guest speaker in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War at 7 pm Wednesday, June 8

Baked bean supper to benefit Prospect community projects The Belfast Historical Society will display the 1864 Civil War soldiers flag quilt from 4 to 7 pm Flag Day, Tuesday, June 14, at the Belfast Free Library’s Abbott Room. Pam Weeks, quilt historian and curator at the New England Quilt

Arts around the Mid-coast; June 2, 2011 An exhibit, “Diggin’ History — Piecing Together Pettengill Farm’s Past,” runs June 7 through Oct. 7 at the Freeport Historical Society’s Harrington House, 45 Main St. A bit more than one mile from global retailer LL Bean and the commerce

History: Major Horace M. Warren The Wakefield Historical Society upcoming exhibit will memorialize Warren in “South Reading in the War of the Rebellion,” opening on June 5th and continuing throughout the summer. Interested in a follow-up to this article

State Drinking Glasses & Beverages
The states in the union take great pride in their uniqueness and individuality. There are state birds, state colors, state flowers, state trees, state songs, state fish and even state mythical creatures. But who ever knew there were state beverages? Worthologist Liz Holderman, in her latest Dining with Antiques article, introduces a line of glasses made by Hazel-Atlas and hand-decorated by the Gay Fad Studios. And, as an added bonus, she provides recipes to two official state beverages you can try, if you’ve got some moxie. Read”State Drinking Glasses & Beverages”

Conference to focus on downtown revitalization, historic preservation The day will close with Maine Preservation’s annual Honor Awards. Skowhegan’s historic Strand Theater, featuring the announcement of Maine’s newest Main

Maine Conference on Downtowns to Focus on Reuse of Historic Structures Greg Paxton, executive director of Maine Preservation, and Roxanne Eflin of the Maine Downtown Center, took MPBN’s Irwin Gratz for a look at some of the

Juliana L’Heureux: Tribal historian praises book on Maine Indian It’s a modern history that delves into deeper issues, especially the who is Tribal Historic Preservation director in Indian Township, where he lives

Goat Island gets 1950s-era makeover Rachel H. Goldman – “And that part of history floated out to sea. Indian tribes of Maine, Maine Historical Preservation Commission and the town of Kennebunkport.

Categories: antiques, articles, breaking news, collectibles, events, headlines, historic buildings, historic preservation, historical societies, history, indians, Maine things to do, preservation, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rally for Norlands Civil War Re-enactment

Here are a few headlines and event notes from around the web for you Maine history buffs…

If you have an event or news to share please email me at editor@touringmaineshistory.com.

Antique English Tableware a Practical Collectible From Worthpoint
Are you looking for a line of antiques to begin a collection, but not quite sure where to start? Worthologist Wes Cowan suggests you take a look at British ceramics, which have the added benefit of enhancing your home. Wes introduces creamware, which can be easily found and are often priced for the novice collector. He also provides some tips on establishing a worthwhile and valuable collection. Read “Antique English Tableware a Practical Collectible”

Heritage Preservation Monitors Major Disasters

The 2011 Atlantic hurricane season begins on June 1, and with flooding and tornadoes affecting much of the Southeast and Midwest, it is important to remember that a disaster can happen at any time. On behalf of the Heritage Emergency National Task Force, Heritage Preservation hosted an information gathering conference call in April with cultural and emergency contacts in the states affected by the recent rash of tornadoes and the Mississippi River crest. Heritage Preservation has also distributed a press release to local media outlets in the affected areas with simple object salvage tips for the public.

If a major disaster has occurred in your region, visit the Heritage Emergency National Task Force’s Information on Major DisastersWeb page for valuable contacts and response resources and to report damage to a cultural institution or collection. For a comprehensive list of preparedness resources to use before a disaster strikes, click here.

Headlines;

Alexander cemetery walk honors local civil war soldiers
Bangor Daily News John Dudley of the Alexander-Crawford Historical Society discusses the lives of Civil War veterans buried in the town cemetery during a Decoration Day walk Saturday at the cemetery. At his feet are cedar boughs, a traditional Decoration Day sentiment …

Appleton Historical Society to explore best nature sites
knox.VillageSoup.com Admission, as always, is free, and annual AHS dues are only $5. Light refreshments will be served after the evening’s presentation. July 11: Carolyn Brown will speak on Appleton history at Appleton Historical Society’s Union Meeting House. …

Vital vote: Limerick residents will decide if a bank can move the historic …
KeepMEcurrent.com And, Gooch said, one of the benefits of having an historic district is that it draws history buffs and the attention of agencies, like the Maine Development Foundation, which provide support for the preservation of historic buildings. …

Next Maine Event: Step into the early 1800s at Ancient Ones encampment Press Herald -The 200-year-old living history camp re-enactment is not simply to be observed … The Ancient Ones of Maine will assume historical personas at the park and …

LIVERMORE — The Third “Rally for Norlands” Civil War Re-enactment … Lewiston Sun Journal -The event is organized by the 3rd Maine Company A and 15th Alabama Company G to benefit the Washburn-Norlands Living History Center, Maine’s oldest living …

Seacoast exhibition explores history of wrecked vessels The Union Leader – White said newspapers from Portsmouth, Dover and Portland, Maine offered harrowing tales of rescues at New Castle. … state-historic-site.aspx.

Events;

CUSHING — Cushing Historical Society, 7:30 p.m. June 9, Hathorn Point Road. “Scrimshaw Techniques, Old and New” with master scrimshander Connie Bellet. Free and open to all.

SEARSPORT — Searsport Historical Society, 7 p.m. June 14, Curtis Hall, Church Street. Mrs. Charlene Knox Farris will speak on Captain Edwin Earle Greenlaw, Rockport native who married into a Searsport family and became one of town’s most notable citizens. Social period, refreshments to follow.

STOCKTON SPRINGS — Stockton Springs Historical Society, 1:30 p.m. June 5, society’s meeting rooms, Colcord House. program, “Stockton Men in the Civil War” with Jack Merrithew of Searsport.

THOMASTON — Thomaston Historical Society, 7 p.m. June 14, Knox Farmhouse and Museum, 80 Knox St. Guest speaker, antiques expert John D. Bottero. Bring one item for appraisal. Free and open to all.

WARREN — Warren Historical Society member Dick Ferren speaking about vintage wooden items in society’s collection, 7 p.m. June 7, Dr. Campbell House, 225 Main St. Refreshments. Bring wooden items for discussion, clarification or identification. 273-2726.

From the Maine Historical Society;

Online Exhibit: A Day for Remembering

America’s Memorial Day holiday has its roots in the post-Civil War era when survivors decorated the graves of those who had died in the war. Images of parades suggest the ways in which Maine communities have remembered veterans. Images of gravestones are reminders of the deceased’s contributions to life. The holiday is one that requires looking back to reflect on the ways in which past events and people have brought us to the present. View exhibit here.

Friday, June 3, 5-8pm

First Friday Art Walk at MHS: Celebrating the Longfellow Garden

Join Portland’s vibrant arts community during First Friday Art Walk. Mingle with friends, enjoy refreshments and music, and come see the current show in the Shettleworth Gallery, Images of the Longfellow Garden (May 6-June 30). This exhibit showcases historical images that document the evolution of the garden through the years. Then stroll through and enjoy the beauty and peacefulness of the Longfellow Garden. Details.

Saturday, June 4, 9am-12:30pm

MHS Annual Meeting: Looking (Back) at Television

Join us to conduct the official business of MHS. The annual meeting includes awards, the welcoming of new Trustees, and a talk by Fred Thompson, former head of the Maine Broadcasting System (1983-98), on the early days of television in Maine. Event registration required. Details.

Saturday, June 4, 1-3:30 pm

The Dave Astor Show Reunion

Featuring Dave Astor with Tony Boffa, Steve Romanoff, and Fred Thompson

Join us to remember and celebrate one of Maine’s best-loved homegrown television shows, The Dave Astor Show (For Teenagers Only). Spread the word, and bring your friends and memories! Details.

Categories: antiques, articles, breaking news, civil war, collectibles, events, headlines, historic preservation, historical societies, history, Maine, Maine Historical Society, Maine things to do, museum news, preservation, restoration, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Two Maine Museums

From The Museums of Old York;

Museum Opens June 4 for 112th Season
New Exhibit Highlighted

We are pleased to announce the opening of our season with a new exhibit at the Visitor Center Gallery in Remick Barn, 3 Lindsay Road. The display features over 200 objects including rare surviving weapons, furnishings, and trade items. Common household objects include the 18th century mousetrap pictured above, borrowed from collector Hollis Brodrick. Thanks to loans from local historical institutions and private collectors, visitors will have a chance to view many artifacts from private collections that you will not be able to anywhere else. Visitors can also tour nine historic buildings, including favorites: the Old Gaol, Elizabeth Perkins House, Emerson-Wilcox House, Jefferd’s Tavern and John Hancock Wharf. The museum will be open Monday-Saturday, 9:30 a.m. -4:00 p.m. For more information, please call the Visitor Center 207-363-1756 or visit our website.

Museums of Old York Programs

May
21 Muskets, Swords, & Powder Horns

Observe Armed Forces Day at Old York. Back in 2011 after being received with great interest in 2010, this program will give enthusiasts of all ages the opportunity to view uniforms and weaponry from Old York’s collections. Certain items will be available to handle (with white curatorial gloves). Weapons from the 18th – 20th centuries will be featured. 2:00 p.m. at Remick Barn.

June
2 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 show. Answer questions correctly to gain points. 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. Email rbowen@oldyork.org to register your team. 7:00 p.m. at Remick Barn.

4 Museum Opening Day and New Exhibit at Remick Barn
See information above.

12 Lost York: The History that Nature Has Reclaimed
Join Old York staff and local historian Ron Nowell as we head into the woods to find long-abandoned homesteads, cellar holes, stone walls and graveyards in an area of York settled around 1800 but abandoned by 1910. Listen to the stories of the individuals who lived round Mt. A making a living off basket-making and other traditional crafts. Discover Franklin’s Tomb and hear how he dug it for himself only to be buried in the pauper cemetery upon his death. Call 207-363-4974 or email rbowen@oldyork.org to let us know you’ll be coming and find out where to meet. 2:00 p.m. Free.

23 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.

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

From the Penobscot marine Museum;

Diamond Anniversary Year to Open with New Exhibits, Free Reception

Maine’s oldest marine museum will open the doors on its 75th year on May 27 (the Friday of Memorial Day weekend) at 10 a.m. Be among the first to view our wonderful new exhibits, “75 for 75” and “The Art of the Boat.” (See following articles for details.)

At 5:30 p.m. on Opening Day, we will hold a free reception in the Main Street Gallery, where “The Art of the Boat” will be on display. Come enjoy refreshments, meet our new executive director, Liz Lodge, and mingle with some of the exhibiting artists.

75 for 75: the Museum on Exhibit

This year’s signature exhibit, “75 for 75” will showcase 75 artifacts from our first 75 years. Ranging from marine paintings and ship models to full-size boats and 19th-century domestic artifacts, “75 for 75” is spread across several of the museum’s 13 buildings. “It’s kind of a capsule history of the museum which is, itself, an ongoing record of Maine’s and Searsport’s maritime histories,” says Curator Ben Fuller. The show runs for the entire exhibit year: May 27 through October 23.

We are still seeking individual and business sponsors for this high-visibility exhibit, with opportunities starting at just $175. Contact Liz Lodge: 207-548-2529.

The Boat as Art

Boat enthusiasts – and that includes more than a few of our readers – will be fascinated, intrigued and challenged by “The Art of the Boat”:

a juried exhibit of works by more than 50 contemporary artists exploring the themes of the boat as a work of art and the boatbuilder as artist.

“We asked artists to balance the art that is in the boat with their own artistic vision,” said Curator Ben Fuller. The jury, consisting of an art writer and critic, a yacht designer, an artist, and an art collector, selected works for the exhibit from more than 300 submitted in all media.

On display will be paintings, drawings, photographs and sculptures — some literal and representational, others symbolic and abstract — all expressing a unique appreciation of the artistry inherent in the boat’s functional form. The exhibit is presented to honor the memory of George S. Wasson, a Maine artist, author, and boatbuilder who was one of the museum’s spiritual founders 75 years ago. It will run from May 27 through October 23.

More Events and Exhibits

Opening Day and Reception

Penobscot Marine Museum opens for its 75th year with exhibits for all ages. See articles above. 5/27, 10 am – 5 pm (exhibits); 5:30 – 7 pm (reception)

Antique Auto Display

Members of the Antique Auto Club of America will visit the museum with dozens of cars dating to 1915 and earlier. 6/30, 3-4 pm

Midcoast Maine Lighthouse Challenge

PMM is a “bonus” site on this self-guided driving tour that includes several lighthouses and lighthouse-related museums. More information. 6/25-26, all day

Searsport Lobsterboat Races and Antique Power Day

A town-wide day of activities: Lobsterboat races, antique engine and lobsterboat exhibit, radio-control model racing, crafts for children, rowing race, craft sale and more. 7/9, all day

Categories: antiques, Art Exhibit, articles, events, historic buildings, historical societies, history, lighthouses, Maine, Maine things to do, museum news, Museums of Old York, Penobscot Marine Museum, preservation, restoration, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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