Posts Tagged With: Ellsworth

Ellsworth History Book Sale

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you for helping to preserve our history!!!

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

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The Steamer “Royal Tar”

Tourism being the currently touted gem of Maine business, we pay close attention to the port of Portland, and its cruise ship business. For many years, the Maine attraction at that port was the ferry service that docked near the bridge. It was replaced by the high-speed cat, but now we can ogle over the gigantic liners that visit the Old Port. Back in the 1800s there was also regular steam service through a string of steamers between St. John’s New Brunswick and Portland Harbor as well.

One of the most famously known of these steamers was the steamer Royal Tar, which burned on a trip during a gale (shown to the right burning during the tragedy). Francis B.C. Bradlee writes this of the event in his book Some Account of Steam Navigation in New England:

Although many of the early coast of Maine steamers previously mentioned may have, and probably did, make sporadic trips to St. John, N. B., and ports in southern Nova Scotia, the first regular service of which there is any knowledge was in 1836, when the wooden sidewheeler “Royal Tar” (named for King William IV of Great Britain) was built at St. John, N. B., to run regularly between that place and Portland, Maine, where she connected with the Boston steamers. The “Royal Tar” was 164 feet long, 24 feet beam, and measured 400 tons; she cost $50,000 to build, and was owned by John Hammond and D. J. McLaughlin of St. John; she made her first trip to Portland in May, 1836; with over 200 passengers.

A few months later this steamer was lost under such tragic but curious circumstances as to render the disaster long memorable in the annals of New England steam boating. On Friday, Oct. 21, 1836, the “Royal Tar” left St. John for Eastport and Portland, having on board a crew of 21 persons and 72 passengers. She also carried Burgess’ collection of serpents and birds, Dexter’s locomotive museum and a brass band. Among the animals on board were an elephant, six horses, two dromedaries, two lionesses, one royal Bengal tiger, one gnu, and a pair of pelicans. As a result of a high northwest wind, the “Royal Tar” remained at anchor at Eastport until Tuesday, the 25th, when at 2 P. M. she got under way and resumed her voyage. She had not much more than got outside when the gale increased in violence and she ran in for shelter near Fox island.

The story of her loss was told by Capt. Thomas Reed, her commander, in these words: “The steam being down after we had been at anchor about half an hour, the boat was discovered to be on fire immediately over the boiler, under the deck. The cable was slipped instantly and the fire engine set to work, but in five minutes the men could not stand at the pump, which was below, the smoke nearly suffocating them. At this awful juncture there was a rush for the boats, there being only two. Sixteen of the passengers and crew took the largest boat and went away before the wind, which blew so hard they were afraid to bring her to. I got possession of the jolly boat, with two men, and picked up another man belonging to the caravan who had jumped overboard.”

“In about half an hour we saw a schooner coming to us, which proved to be the United States revenue cutter Veto, Capt. Dyer, who rendered us every assistance in his power. He ran the cutter close to the burning steamer, then in a sheet of flames, and succeeded in taking out forty passengers, who must have perished had not the cutter come to our assistance.”

One of the passengers, Hinson Patten by name, gave an account of the affair which explains the conduct of Capt. Reed in taking the one remaining boat. He says: “Capt. Reed took charge of the stern boat, with two men, and kept her off the steamboat, which was a very fortunate circumstance, as it was the means of saving from forty to fifty persons, and to him all credit is due for his deliberate and manly perseverance throughout the whole calamity.” Another account mentions that the elephant jumped overboard, crashing down upon a raft that was being hurriedly constructed, thus destroying the raft and losing the lives of several passengers. The horses also leaped overboard, and it was said that the elephant and a pony succeeded in swimming ashore. That statement was contradicted by an item in a St. John newspaper, which stated that every animal belonging to the menagerie was doubtless lost. The elephant was seen a few days ago floating near Brimstone island. Other accounts state that when the horses jumped overboard in their wild panic, instead of making for the shore, they swam round and round the burning steamboat until they became exhausted and were drowned.

Twenty-nine passengers and eight of the crew of the “Royal Tar” perished in this dreadful disaster, and the money loss was estimated at not less than $125,000. Capt. Reed was presented with a purse of $750 in gold for his gallantry in saving so many of his passengers; at a later date he was made harbor roaster of St. John, a post he filled acceptably for many years.

A steamer named the “Gazelle” took the place of the “Royal Tar,” and she also was wrecked by running ashore near St. John in June, 1838; there was, luckily, no loss of life.

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

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

Ellsworth Historical Society Meeting

If your society has a meeting scheduled and would like to list it here, please email the information to me at editor@remembermemedia.com. Please allow plenty of time for posting for best coverage. Also,if you have any articles or news to share with the rest of Maine’s history community, send ’em on in!

Ellsworth Historical Society Meeting:

The Meeting of the Ellsworth Historical Society will be held on April 11th at 7:00pm in the Dining Hall of the Meadowview Retirement Complex on Tweedie Lane in Ellsworth. The speaker for the evening will be members of the Ellsworth Telephone Museum.
As always all are invited to attend. If you have any questions please contact us at ellsworthhistory@yahoo.com or call 207-667-8235 and ask for Terri.

Museums of Old York:

Old York to Auction Bait Shack

Proceeds Will Benefit Working Wharf

Now you can own an authentic coastal Maine bait shack! An iconic shack from the famous John Hancock Wharf will be auctioned to support the facility’s use as working waterfront. The Museums of Old York will take bids between now and April 8, and will sell the shack to the highest bidder.

The shack is 12′ by 8′ and 11′ 4” high. It would serve as a handy garden shed in someone’s yard, or a storage shed on another small pier.

The shack was built in the 1970s by local lobsterman Jim Cote, whose family fished from Hancock Wharf for three generations. A larger, refrigerated bait shack designed for the needs of three fishermen will replace the Cote shack.

Old York is raising additional money to secure the long-term maintenance of the new facility. Proceeds from the auction of the shack will help reach the goal. Old York will also be seeking donations, and will recognize gifts of $1,000 or more with named buoys on the new bait shack.

Bids for the shack may be emailed to oyhs@oldyork.org, telephoned to (207) 363-4974, or dropped off at Old York’s headquarters at 207 York Street. Each bidder should establish a pseudonym or nickname for Old York to use in posting bids each day on its website www.oldyork.org
The winner will be announced at noon on April 8. Payment will be by cash, certified check or credit card. The winning bidder will be responsible for removing the shed.

Maine Historical Society:

online exhibit;

It was unlikely that Harry Lyon Jr. (1885-1963) would play an essential role on the first trans-Pacific airplane flight. As a student he had been known more for misdeeds than accomplishments. He had a successful career as a merchant mariner. In the winter of 1928, Harry was in California as a witness in a rum running case when his friend, Captain J.C. MacMillan, asked him if he wanted a job as navigator of an airplane… Read more and view the online exhibit.

Coming Soon at the Maine Historical Society

Friday, April 1, 5-8 PM

First Friday Art Walk at MHS

Music, refreshments, and two exhibits: Zoom-In: New Approaches to Maine History (through May 29) and Arts, Artists and Personalities in 1930s Maine (through May 3). More info.

Sunday, April 3, 10 AM-4 PM

Presented by Colby College with Maine Historical Society and Documenting Maine Jewry.

The 2nd Maine Jewish History Conference: Discovering Maine’s Jewish History

Explore the richness of Jewish life in Maine at a day-long conference featuring talks, panels, and workshops presented by community, professional, and student historians. Location, registration, and more information.

For a complete listing of programs, events, and news, visit our website.

History News Network:

HNN’s Coverage of the OAH

Highlights from the 2011 Annual Meeting of the Organization of American Historians in Houston
David A. Walsh

News

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

Ellsworth Historical Society Has New Website

THE ELLSWORTH HISTORICAL SOCIETY ANNOUNCES ITS NEW WEBPAGE

Ellsworth, Maine – February 15, 2011 – Today, The Ellsworth Historical Society announces its first ever webpage at www.ellsworthme.org/ellshistory/

Terri Weed Cormier – Co president of the society was pleased to make this announcement and said “This webpage marks a transformative experience for the society’s long history. This represents the next major step ahead as we continue to expand our community outreach and make more people aware of the society’s goals and continued preservation of our building and archives. We could not have done this without the help of John and Allison of MDI Web Design who offered their services to us as well as the webhosting at Ellsworthme.com and Ellsworthme.org who have been wonderful to work with in helping us achieve this goal”

The Ellsworth Historical Society evolved from a meeting held in 1978 of interested members of the community to save and protect our history. An item in the Ellsworth American invited those interested in forming a local historical society to meet at the First Congregational Church.  The attendees decided to meet again and the first meeting of the Historical Society was held on May 22, 1978.

Since that time the society has been collecting the history and memorabilia of Ellsworth and serving the local community in preserving and sharing our local history through exhibitions and local outreach. 

The Society and the Ellsworth Historic Preservation Commission joined forces to preserve the Old County Jail from demolition in 1980 and after working with the County Commissioners office an agreement was made that the building was a fitting place for the society and in 1980 a lease was signed that allowed the society to finally have a home.  The first meeting was held in the Old County Jail in June 1981. The building was officially transferred to the society with the signing of the deed in 1998. 

Restoration of the interior of the building started at once and with local help from area businesses, groups, and concerned citizen’s work began to restore the interior of the beautiful brick Queen Anne Revival Building that was built in 1886.  The building now houses the society’s collection of Ellsworth history, with displays and changing exhibits from the society’s collections.  The museum is open on Thursdays and Saturdays in July and August free of charge.

In 2008 the building was named to the National Registry of Historic Places. The announcement was made by Earle Shuttleworth Jr., President of the Maine Historic Commission which submitted the nomination.  The front of the building was a former residence for the jail warden and his family, and the back contains 14 small cells on two floors. A dividing wall between the two sections once allowed the warden to monitor inmates through two small wickets that are still in place today.

The Ellsworth Historical Society is an all volunteer society that is dedicated to preserving the history of Ellsworth for future generations.  Membership is open to all and we look forward to growing more in our local community, continuing to collect and preserve local history, and to helping others know the history of our home town we hope that everyone will visit our new website and join us to show your support. For additional information please email us at ellsworthhistory@yahoo.com or write to us at The Ellsworth Historical Society PO Box 355 Ellsworth, Me 04605

Categories: breaking news, events, headlines, historic buildings, historical societies, museum news, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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