Posts Tagged With: preservation

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

Thank you for helping to preserve our history!!!

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

Categories: Books, historical societies, Maine, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Upcoming Maine History Events

Maine Historical Society invites you to a free noontime book event…

Tuesday, March 16, 12 pm
Mountains of Maine
Steve Pinkham, Outdoorsman and Author

Join us for a talk and slideshow based on Pinkham’s entertaining new book. Pinkham has researched the history, place names, and stories behind many of Maine’s mountains.

As he hiked all over the state, Pinkham became fascinated with the unique names of mountains and features and wanted to learn their real stories. He talked with local historians and combed the libraries of the Maine Historical Society, Maine State Archives, the University of Maine, Brown, Dartmouth, Yale, Harvard, and the Library of Congress.

In the process, he found intriguing stories and local legends about Maine mountains and features, including some of the historical events and colorful mountain folk that led to their naming. Steve Pinkham is an avid hiker who has climbed more than 170 Maine mountains and hills and has also completed the New England 100 highest.

Funding for this program was provided in part by the Margaret E. Burnham Charitable Trust, H.M. Payson & Co.,and DownEast.

Event Information

When: Tuesday, March 16, 12 Noon
Where: Maine Historical Society

           489 Congress Street 
           Portland, ME   04101

For more information call 207-774-1822 email

Categories: events, historical societies, history, Maine, Maine Historical Society, Maine things to do, museum news, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Some Maine History Notes…

When new meets old…

A proposed CVS pharmacy in Saco may have some problems as the potential for the case of some abutting properties being of historical value is being researched. Full story can be found at the Journal Tribune. Apparently the project will require the demolition of several properties and has come under fire by several interested parties and had registered their concerns with the planning authority.

Meanwhile, Seacoast Online reports on another construction project in South Berwick, this one resulting in a demolished structure, however unintentional it was. The structure, located at 25 Ash Street had collapsed in December as it was being lifted off its foundation for repairs. Partial demolition had already been done as it was an extensive remodeling project including the addition of an additional unit in the rear of the property. I understand some folks are not too happy at the turn of events.

Future historians in the making…

I find a refreshing article in the Bangor Daily News regarding that city’s Heritage Project. The article says that “students at the William S. Cohen School were researching the events of 1937, the year the notorious Brady Gang was gunned down in Bangor, when the students found a photograph…” That photograph turned into a real history detective project as the young folks took the initiative to ascertain the validity of the find. The photograph reportedly had a notation on the back stating that it was taken during the Brady Funeral. Their research determined that the photograph could not be authentic as an automobile in the picture had not been made at that time, eliminating the possibility of it being taken at that funeral. Great sleuthing, kids. I hope this leads you into the field of history as you grow older.

Sharon Cummins has another great article in the Seacoast Online’s “French espionage in colonial Wells“. The piece describes the convolutions of a Louis Allain from the era of the 1680s to early 1700s. Apparently Monsieur Allain was a French spy.


As winter reaches its sort of mid peak and we look towards the warming of the springtime sun, my thoughts go out to the seasonally closed historical societies around Maine. Soon, folks will be getting ready to start meeting up again and look to airing out the local museums that are normally closed through the months of snow. I wish them all good luck with their openings, and hope to resume visiting around the state as well. I’ve taken some time off from Touring Maine’s History to tend to some other things that needed attention, and I’m sliding back into the editors seat now. I’ve lots of plans, and with God’s grace they’ll match His plans as well and I’ll get some videos finished that I had started last year.

Keep checking in for more news roundups and commentary on Maine’s world of historical societies and happenings, and if you’ve anything to share, just drop me a line at And don’t forget to visit us on the web at as well.

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

News from Dover-Foxcroft H.S.

The field of historical preservation, as well as the activities of most of the states many historical societies seems to die off during the winter months here in Maine. But just because there isn’t any visible action, it doesn’t mean these folks are relaxing down in Miami. The Bangor Daily News’ Diana Bowley reports that Dover-Foxcroft seeks plan for reuse of Central Hall
according to the article, a summary of D-F’s last town meeting, the Dover-Foxcroft Historical Society will study the proposed reuse of Central Hall and report back to the board by March 22, 2010. Apparently the hall has been used as a food pantry since last December, and now the town wants a plan for the re-use of the hall, or whether it will be sold off on the real estate market.

The article says; Chris Maas of the historical society told selectmen Monday that a working group had met once to discuss a mission statement on what to do with the building and how to keep it going. While the group would seek and study proposals for the reuse of Central Hall, it also would seek partnerships and fundraising possibilities that would allow the society to keep it historically useful. The charge would be to return to the board in March and have two options: a way to save the building or to get it on the market, Maas said.

It would be nice if more people would take an interest in these local societies, and try to support them both with time, as well as donations. It takes a lot of cash to keep these old buildings up and running, even more so in the winter when the usage is down. In part, I feel as though the communities themselves should do more towards promoting the historical aspects of their respective communities, and in that way drive more interest in these projects.

Over at Remember ME! Media, we’re looking for more contributions for our series of books on Maine history. Check out our two websites for more info; and at Stories, articles and pictures are all welcome, and may be used on multiple venues if selected. The Video series, Touring Maine’s History is coming along and we should be releasing the first episode in late spring of 2010.

If you have any news to share, events or schedules, press releases and so forth, and would like to place them in this column, please email them to If you have an event or schedule, please make sure to get them in early, and remember, we will be posting on Wednesdays until probably late March or early April when we will be going to several times a week.

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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

General Knox and Historical Maine Buildings

Well, I’m back to blogging about Maine history again. For reasons that I won’t mention here, search engine problems drove my ranking to the bottom of the heap. But changes have been made, and hopefully people will begin to find me again. I’ve also decided to change the format of my posting as well, so don’t be surprised that things just don’t seem the same around here anymore.

Fund hike keeps University of Maine museum entry free, an article in the Bangor Daily news relates a good story regarding the UofM’s Art museum. Apparently the Machias Savings Bank has increased its annual gift to the museum to $7500 allowing the museum to offer free admission throughout 2010. Kudos to the Machias Savings Bank for their gift and caring for the arts.

We also saw this past weekend the ending of a piece of Maine history as the last two P3 Orion’s left the Brunswick Naval Air Base ending 60 years of patrolling the Eastern Seaboard and helping to protect our seaways. The base, originally used as a training and stop off base during WWII for US, British and Canadian air force planes, was temporarily closed after the war ended before being converted to Naval use. At its normal level of use, BNAS provided homes and work for about 4,000 employees and their families, providing a great opportunity for the mid coast area by way of economic stability. Too bad the base closed, we’ll miss the Navy greatly.

Champlain’s Valley Voice has a good piece regarding Maine’s own General Henry Knox in From Fort Ticonderoga to Boston: The Wintry Trek of Henry Knox. The story relates to Knox’s efforts to relocate 60 tons of artillery from Fort Ticonderoga to Boston in 1775. WABI has a nice video piece regarding the historic Liberty Hall in Machiasport as the historic Restored Belvedere Tower
cupola was returned to the top of its bell tower. It’s amazing how some of the restoration takes place on these historic properties with all of the details and work it takes to return Maine’s beautiful architecture to where it once was.

Foster’s Daily Democrat reports that tours are now being offered at the historic Hurd Mansion on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 1 to 3 PM at a cost of ten dollars per person. Earle G. Shettleworth, Jr., was quoted in the article as saying the Hurd Manor was “the most outstanding example of its style in southern Maine and nowhere in the state does a more impressive Queen Anne—Eastlake residence exist.” The paper also reports that the Sanford
Mill yard makes the National Register,
as the historic property was recently listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Yard was established by Thomas Goodall in 1867 and became a major source of employment and industry in the area, until it was sold off by Burlington Industries in 1955.

Another couple of interesting articles related to Maine history in that same paper are Ski Museum of Maine and North Berwick Historical Society holding ‘Fireside Chat’
and Funds sought for historic exhibit at North Berwick’s Olde Woolen Mill complex. Ever noticed that some papers place more interest in history than others? I think it’s important to realize that there really is a lot of activity in the preservation and sharing of history here in Maine, but the bulk of it goes on behind the scenes, relatively unnoticed by the public. Fosters Daily Democrat is just one paper that gives these projects and news the coverage they deserve. Three cheers for Fasters, and I hope they can continue with their efforts in these days of closing newspapers.

As I gear up for the coming year, I’ve decided to do my column on a weekly basis which will give me more time to get around and visit. Writing as much as I do consumes a lot of time, so I really need to begin concentrating on various projects, and some of these projects will be terminated. However, I’m still here, and things will progress. If you have some news you’d like to share, enter it into the comments or email it to me at and I’ll consider including it. Also, if you have a link to place on the links page, or an event for the events page, please feel free to email the information to me at the same address.

Categories: Art Exhibit, events, historic buildings, historic preservation, history, Maine, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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