Posts Tagged With: Wood Island Preservation

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

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

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

A humble view of history
The Freeport Historical Society says its project helps visitors relate to life before indoor plumbing. By Kelley Bouchard 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

The First Mass Said in Maine

400 years ago this month, the first Mass was said in Maine on an island in the Kennebec River, some three leagues from its mouth in Popham. There is a lot of discussion, along with reams and reams of documentation considering many of the aspects of Maine’s history, including religion. I found it interesting that the first Catholic Mass was celebrated by the French on the Kennebec, as opposed to some place further north, where their territory was held. The Popham Colony by then had gone by then and there was no opposition to the French presence on the river, so they had been left in peace. This excerpt is from The Makers of Maine, by Herbert Edgar Holmes, published first in 1912 by the Haswell Press in Lewiston. Also of interest to Maine Catholic history is the fact that the first consecrated host made in the new world was made by wheat grown by the same Father Biard, in the Fall of this same year, 1611.

The First Mass Said In Maine

The first Mass that ever was said in the country of what is now the Province of New Brunswick, and the first administering of the sacraments of Penance and Holy Eucharist, took place in the Fall of the year 1611. Biencourt and a ship’s company, together with Father Biard went on an expedition to the west to trade with the Indians living on the Kennebec River for corn and what other food they could get to help through the famine which they knew would come upon them during the next winter at Port Royal. On the way, Biencourt determined to hunt up the Maloans, (people from Malo in France) who were poaching, as we would say now, upon the lands and waters owned by Biencourt’s father, Poutrincourt. These people gave the men who had rightful grants from the Crown great trouble, as they hunted and fished, and what was a worse offense, traded with the Indians, over the lands reserved by lawful grant, illegally and wrongfully, without permission and without making compensation. Biencourt sailed up the St. John River several leagues and came upon their encampment. Their commander, Captain Merveille, was away at the time, but came into camp during the night, and was immediately taken prisoner by Biencourt. The next morning a peace was patched up between Biencourt and the Maloans and the latter agreed to recognise the superior title and authority of Biencourt and to make compensation for their illegal trading. Father Biard then said Mass and Captain Merveille made his confession to the Father and received communion together with three of his men.

However, to us who are studying the early history of Maine, it is of greater interest to know that the first Mass said on the soil of the State of Maine was said in the month of October, 1611, on an island in the Kennebec River, three leagues from its mouth. It is a pity that Father Biard leaves us no description of that island by which we can identify it today from among the great number of islands in the lower Kennebec. It lies between Bath and the sea, about three leagues from the mouth of the river, and imagination must supply the rest. The Jesuit relates it in these words:

“We arrived at the Kinibequi towards the end of October. Kinnibequi is a river near the Armouchiquois, in latitude forty-three and two third degrees, and southwest of Port Royal about seventy leagues or thereabouts. It has two quite large mouths, one distant from the other at least two leagues; it is also cut up by numerous arms and branches. Besides, it is a great and beautiful river; but we did not see good soil there any more than at the St. John River. They say however, that farther up, away from the sea, the country is very fine and life there agreeable, and that the people till the soil. We did not go farther up than three leagues; we whirled about through so many eddies, and shot over so many precipices, that several times it was a great miracle of God that we did not perish. Some of our crew cried out at two different times that we were lost; but they cried too soon, blessed be our Lord. The savages cajoled us with the hope of getting corn; then they changed their promise of corn to that of trade in beaver skins. Now while this trading was going on, Father Biard had gone, with a boy, to an island nearby, to celebrate Holy Mass.”

The company traded with the Indians and once came near to having trouble with them, but the peace was not disturbed, and they sailed away leaving behind them a good opinion in the minds of the Indians. It seems that these Indians had good reason to fear and hate the white men because (as I have stated in a former chapter) the English in 1608 had abused them shamefully. Father Biard says: “These people do not seem to be bad, although they drove away the English who wished to settle among them in 1608 and 1609. They made excuses to us for this act, and recounted the outrages they had experienced from the English; and they flattered us, saying that they loved us very much, because they knew we would not close our doors to the savages as the English did, and set our dogs upon them.” This is a different description from what has come down to us from the English writers, as I shall show later.

Maine History News Headlines

Wood Island preservation group gets help from Old York
By Deborah Mcdermott KITTERY, Maine — The board of the Old York Historical Society last week voted for the first time to help an organization outside the town’s boundaries, agreeing to assist the Wood Island Life Saving Station Association in Kittery

Column: History Buffs discuss the new Swampscott calendar
Wicked Local
The cover for the 2012 Swampscott Historical Society Calendar shows the passenger ferry Swampscott in Maine in about 1910. By Betty Dean Holmes/Wicked Local At the History Buffs October meeting, a dozen of us discussed the 2012 Swampscott Historical

Clubs and groups
Foster’s Daily Democrat
ELIOT — The Eliot Historical Society invites you to join them on Nov. 7 at 7 pm at the John F. Hill Grange, State Road. Eliot Maine. Stephen Dow will present the “27th Maine” , the volunteer regiment of York County during the Civil War

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

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: