Posts Tagged With: Norway Opera House

Gold Prices and Opera Houses

If your historical society or genealogy organization has news to share, an event scheduled, or other information you’d like to share here, please email the info to
More news and events from the world of Maine history…
Gold Prices Endanger Antique Watches The value of gold and silver has been rising as the Great Recession has dragged on, and Worthologist David Mycko says this is bringing on the demise of literally thousands of gold and silver antiques and collectibles of all nature. But watches, he says, have been hit particularly hard. As a watchmaker and collector, this pains David more than others. He gives one example of a perfectly fine antique watch whose days could be numbered before it is melted down and sold for its gold value. Read “Gold Prices Endanger Antique Watches”
Boothbay Opera House: Fixing up the old gal
The old Opera House has never looked better. Especially when you realize she has passed her 117th birthday.
She closed this winter to allow local workers and volunteers to do a bit of fixing up, including installing a new heating system, patching a few leaks and holes, adding a new (old) floor, new seats, sound system, seating, balcony railing, painting and so on, and so on, to the tune of more than $400,000.
Castine eyes repairs to Emerson Hall
Town officials have hired an architect to conduct an assessment of Emerson Hall in an effort to determine what repairs might be necessary for the 110-year-old building to continue serving as town hall. There are obvious signs both inside and outside the building, according to Town Manager …
State pledges $1 million for 2014 World Acadian Congress
Organizers of the World Acadian Congress, who believe the event will bring a huge economic boost to Aroostook County and parts of Canada in 2014, are steaming forward with their plans after learning that the state will commit $1 million to the festivities over the next …
Augers named to Franco hall of fame
Gilles Auger has been creating a database of Franco-Americans who came to Sanford from Quebec to work in the mills. As he records those who came and their relations in Quebec and elsewhere, the database has grown to 80,000 names. As well, he reads a half-dozen French language newspapers daily on the Internet, especially the ones from Montreal, Quebec City and Sherbrooke, and while he’s keeping up with the news, he checks for familiar names.
Opera House gets grants, a third of the way to goal
FUNDS NEEDED — The Opera House in Norway. The Opera House Corporation needs to raise an additional $127,500 in order to pay for the stabilization work.
Woodland Margins; Georgetown Historical Society Spring Exhibit
The opening reception and artists talk will be on Firday, 1 April from 4 to 6 PM and the open house will be Saturday, 2 April, from 10 AM to Noon. The exhibit will run until 15 June. The GHS is open at no charge on Wednesdays from 10AM to 5PM. FMI: or call them at 207-371-9200.
From the Maine Historical Society;
Sardine packers, Lubec, ca. 1976
Community Website:
Lubec’s history reflects its close ties to the sea and its proximity to New Brunswick. Many stories from that history–including the rise and fall of the sardine industry and tales of smugglers, the American Revolution, and life around Passamaquoddy Bay–are captured in this rich website built and maintained by community members from the Lubec Historical Society, Lubec Memorial Library, Lubec Landmarks, and Lubec Consolidated School. 2011 marks the town’s bicentennial. Read more and explore the website.
Friday, April 1, 5-8 PM
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
Discovering Maine’s Jewish History
The 2nd Maine Jewish History Conference
Location: Roberts Union, Colby College
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. Learn about early Jews in Lewiston, Jewish back-to-the-landers, anti-semitism in Portland, openness in Eastport, communal life in Old Town, social life in Old Orchard Beach, and much more. Leading scholars will place the experiences of Maine’s Jews within the broader context of American Jewish history. Registration required (includes lunch and materials). Download the registration form. Presented by Colby College with Maine Historical Society and Documenting Old Maine Jewry. For more information, please visit:
Thursday, April 7, 7 PM
In partnership with Maine Humanities Council
Emerson Baker, Professor of History, Salem State College
Join us for an exploration of Arundel, Kenneth Roberts’ fictional account of Benedict Arnold’s march through Maine to Québec during the American Revolution. This event is free but registration is required. For more information or to register, please visit the Maine Humanities Council’s website or call MHC at 207-773-5051.
Categories: Acadian history, antiques, Art Exhibit, articles, breaking news, collectibles, events, Geneology, headlines, historic buildings, historic preservation, historical societies, history, Maine Historical Society, museum news, Uncategorized | 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

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: