Posts Tagged With: Christmas events

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.


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

The Waldseemüller Map and other fun history notes

Being a history buff of sorts I had always admired the maps of the ancients. While not particularly accurate, they have always been great pieces of art work, but still useful to sort of get where one was going. The has an interesting article regarding the Waldseemüller Map that had been first published in the 16th century. Actually, the article discusses a little book of 103 pages called Introduction to Cosmography… I sometimes wonder if these cartographers of old realized they were really charting the course of history along the way.

An article in the Lewiston Sun Journal describes another chapter in the saga of Norway’s grand old lady. In Voters approve taking Opera House/Owner vows to appeal, the story continues with the town voting to take the building by eminent domain, and the current owner, Barry Mazzaglia of Bitim Enterprises in Londonderry, N.H., threatening to sue the town over the $185,000 offer for the building. If I were Mazzaglia I’d certainly take the money and run. After the roof collapsed in 2007, serious damage occurred to the building, flooding out the businesses renting space in the Opera House. Mazzaglia either had no insurance, or he took the insurance money and spent it elsewhere, but the building has been sitting vacant and in an increasing state of decay since that tragedy.

I have been working on a series of documentary shorts on some of the old mill sites in Maine this past year, and find the history of them quite interesting. Of course, the Maine Memory Network has an interesting exhibit as well, although it is dealing with the brick and mortar behemoths known as Maine’s textile mills. You can catch the exhibit at Biddeford, Saco and the Textile Industry. Here’s what their email says about the project;

Dear Friend,
Numerous Maine communities large and small that are located along rivers are reminded of their industrial pasts by large brick mill buildings. Most no longer produce cotton or wool or shoes.
But when the rivers supplied the power for the industrial explosion in Maine, populations of towns often swelled and the sounds of the looms or other machinery could be heard throughout the community.
The story of the factories in Saco and Biddeford is one of the growth of two communities, the social and religious structures that helped support the increasing population, the process of making cloth, and the experiences of workers. To explore this history, click on the following link: Biddeford, Saco and the Textile Industry
A collaboration between the McArthur Library in Biddeford, the Dyer Library Archives/Saco Museum in Saco, and Professor Elizabeth De Wolfe from the University of New England created this exhibit about the some of the experiences of the two communities.

It’s a great little exhibit and well worth the time, and while you are visiting, consider donating to the cause. While we are on the subject of exhibits, check out the article in the Bangor Daily news regarding Volunteers preserve 150,000 historic court documents. The story tells of a five year project to preserves some 150,000 documents from the Washington County Courthouse. A hearty round of applause needs to go to Valdine Atwood and her team of volunteers. This kind of preservation is incredibly vital to the field of history, and yet it is also probably the most tedious and boring work that can be done. It takes a special kind of researcher to do this kind of work.

Just received a press release from the Maine Historical Society regarding a couple of events….


TWO (2) Events at MHS in December!!!

December 9, 2009

CONTACT: Elizabeth Nash, Maine Historical Society, 207.774.1822, ext. 206,

1. Christmas with the Longfellows

House Tours, Children’s Activities, Holiday Book and Gift Fair at the Longfellow House

Tours 10:30 am – 5pm (last tour leaves at 4pm)

Closed December 25 and January 1

Sponsored by Maine Bank & Trust

A month-long celebration! Tour the Longfellow House at Maine Historical Society this December and experience a traditional Christmas of the 1850s. The house will be decorated and open for tours daily from December 1 through January 3.

With poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in Cambridge and his sister Anne Longfellow Pierce in Portland, family letters convey the yuletide celebrations of the mid-19th century. The greenery and holiday decorations throughout the rooms capture the spirit of the season, and the house is infused with warmth and good cheer. A special feast has been prepared, after which the family will enjoy music and each other’s company.

Following the tour, guests are invited to enjoy Children’s Activities and the annual Holiday Book and Gift Fair next door at the Maine Historical Society. Admission to the house includes entrance to the MHS Museum exhibit, “Re-Collected: Great Works and New Discoveries from the Brown Library.”

2. Longfellow Family Christmas
Family Christmas Tour and Activities at the Longfellow House
Saturday, December 12, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

Enjoy a special family tour of the Wadsworth-Longfellow House, decorated to reflect an authentic 19th-century Christmas. Then, create a period-style Christmas tree ornament to take home and enjoy an old-fashion tree-trimming party, complete with carols and refreshments.
Reservations required. Call 207-774-1822.
Children must be accompanied by an adult.
Recommended for ages 5-12.
Fee: $7 per child; one adult/child free. Each additional adult $8.

If you have any news you’d like to share, events to schedule or just want to point something out for others to see about Maine history, feel free to email me at

Categories: articles, events, headlines, historic buildings, historic preservation, historical societies, history, Maine Historical Society, Maine things to do, museum news, preservation, restoration | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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