Posts Tagged With: Fort Williams

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

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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 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

Fort Williams, Maine

Unearthing Fort Williams’ past

Officials contemplate the feasibility of restoring historic Battery Blair.

By Ann S. Kim
akim@mainetoday.com
Staff Writer

CAPE ELIZABETH — in the 1970s, a sewer project helped transform Fort Williams into a park. Soil dug from another part of town was used to build the roads and playing fields, fill the foundations of demolished buildings and cover the gun batteries along the shoreline.

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I read this headline the other day with much joy, having one of those “It’s about freakin’ time” moments. Fort Williams has been one of my favorite historical sites in Maine for years now, and I’ve done some research on it preparing for a video and book release on the subject. It’s a shame to see all of the military aspects covered over by all of the fill as it hides a specific treasure, and a valuable piece of Maine history from the public. While it’s nice that people can go and walk their dogs and fly a kite, it’s also important that we remember who we are and where we came from. Fort Williams in Cape Elizabeth is just one of these hidden treasures that exhibit a strong sense of the importance that Maine once held.

Of course, there are other Batteries just as important as Battery Blair, as well as buildings and facilities beyond the gun emplacements, but Battery Blair held the big boys, the 12″ Rodman’s on disappearing carriages. These guns were a fascinating weapon as their bulk could be hidden, and when needed for firing simply raised to their height, fired and then lowered below the parapet walls, partly by the force of recoil, for reloading. This arrangement allowed for the ground level types of coast defenses that hid the profile of theretofore standard masonry defense works such as we see at Fort Popham and Fort Knox. These installations were much harder, and in some cases impossible to detect from the sea.

There is much to tell of this historical landmark, and I for one am glad they are starting to consider restoring it to what it should be. Exposing the original construction of these batteries and returning much of the park to its original luster will go a long way towards pulling tourists to the area for day trips. I wish them luck and hope they are able to get this project off to a flying start, with little red tape to bar their progress. As I get more of my Maine forts book and video done, I’ll post progress and information here for you to read up on. Till then, happy history!

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Here’s a couple of items from the Maine Historical Society:

Book Event
Thursday, April 22, 7pm

Making Haste From Babylon: The Mayflower Pilgrims and Their World: A New History
Nick Bunker, Author and Journalist

Join us to celebrate the publication of this probing new history of the Mayflower.  Using a wealth of previously untapped or neglected evidence-from archives in England, Ireland, and the United States, including the Maine Historical Society-British author Nick Bunker gives a vivid, strikingly original account of the Mayflower project. From the rural kingdom of James I to industrial Holland and the beaver ponds of Maine, Bunker will share a rich narrative that combines religion, politics, money, science, and the sea.  Nick Bunker, formerly an investment banker, has worked as an investigative reporter for the Liverpool Echo and as a writer for the Financial Times.

Family Book Event
Saturday, April 24, 1pm

Shipwrecks, Science, and Sanctuaries: Exploring Sunken Cities Beneath the Sea
Mary Cerullo, Author

Cerullo’s recent book Shipwrecks: Exploring Sunken Cities Beneath the Sea profiles two shipwrecks and the artificial reefs created by them. One of those is the S.S. Portland, an elegant steamer that sank in a winter storm in Massachusetts in 1898 with nearly 200 crew and passengers as it was returning to Maine from Boston. In this talk, the author explores the exciting discoveries of underwater explorers and how their work helps us understand the past. Mary Cerullo is the author of 14 non-fiction children’s books, and has been teaching and writing about the ocean and natural history for over 30 years. She currently works for the environmental advocacy organization, Friends of Casco Bay, in South Portland.

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I found this article interesting as it relates the beginning of an effort to get an historic property listed as an officially recognized historic site.

New status sought for old racetrack

Bid for recognition in Machias linked to DOT plans to flood the site

4/10/10

By Sharon Kiley Mack
BDN Staff

 

MACHIAS, Maine — Using photographs, fair programs and other documentation, Washington County Manager Betsy Fitzgerald is attempting to have a former horse-racing track declared an official historic site.

She is working with the Machias Historical Society on the project, which will be submitted to the Maine Historic Preservation Commission.

Categories: events, historic buildings, historic preservation, historical societies, history, Maine, Maine Historical Society, preservation, restoration, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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