Events at Member Institutions

Umbrella Cover Museum, Peaks Island Curran Homestead and Living History Museum, Orrington Curran Homestead and Living History Museum, Orrington Hamilton House, South Berwick Union Historical Society 

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  • 16 Aug 2017 6:30 PM | Anonymous member

    The Union Meeting House is on the National Register of Historic Places primarily because of the famous well preserved trompe l’oeil murals by Charles Schumacher of Portland, done in 1866-68.  The building was built in 1827-28 and is said to be one of the oldest brick churches in Maine.  The presentation will focus on the murals and discuss steps being taken to preserve this historic, artistic and cultural landmark.

    Our speaker, Marius B. Peladeau, is the President of the Union Meeting House, director emeritus of the Farnsworth Art Museum, former executive director of the Theater at Monmouth, former exhibition curator at the L.C. Bates Museum, former director of the Maine League of Historical Societies and Museums.  He was an accredited White House correspondent and press secretary to a U.S. Congressman.  Marius also holds B.A., M.S., and M.A. degrees and is the author of six books on art, history and culture.

    The Kennebec Historical Society August Presentation is co-sponsored by the Lithgow Public Library and free to the public (donations gladly accepted).  The presentation will take place on Wednesday, August 16, 2017, at 6:30 p.m. at the Lithgow Public Library, located at 45 Winthrop Street in Augusta. ​  

  • 01 Aug 2017 6:30 PM | Anonymous member

    On August 1 at 6:30 P.M., the Tate House Museum will host a lecture by Ron Romano on the hidden meanings etched into early tombstones.

    Historic cemeteries in southern Maine are rich with beautifully decorated gravestones, carefully hand-carved by the stone-cutters of the day. The work they left behind constitutes a unique form of folk art, full of interesting designs and symbolisms.

    Winged-skulls, pointing fingers, urns and willows, and hourglasses are just a few of the many images found on early headstones. This heavily illustrated lecture will look at gravestone symbols and consider their significances, helping attendees gain a new appreciation of what Romano refers to as “outdoor art museums.”

    Romano serves on the board of Spirits Alive, Friends of Eastern Cemetery in Portland, Maine, where he manages the cemetery’s walking tours. Author of two books on Eastern Cemetery and its resident stone-cutter, he is a frequent lecturer on early gravestones.

    This event is part of the Tate House Museum Summer Lecture Series. The admission fee, which supports the museum and its programs, is $12 ($10 for docents and members). Light refreshments will be served. For reservations, please call 774-6177 or email the museum at

  • 19 Jul 2017 6:30 PM | Anonymous member
    This visual slideshow explores the “herstories” of Penobscot Bay women and daughters who went to sea in the nineteenth and early twentieth century. Despite the old sailors' superstition that women at sea were unlucky, the women accompanied their fathers and husbands on cargo voyages around the world. Some were literally born into the profession and others joined their love ones with initial trepidation. Using letters, manuscripts and newspaper articles from the Penobscot Marine Museum archives and objects from the collection, we will learn about their experiences at sea.

    Cipperly Good, Collections Manager and Curator at Penobscot Marine Museum in Searsport, spent her early museum career just upriver at the L.C. Bates Museum and returned to Maine full-time in 2010 to take her current job at Penobscot Marine Museum. She holds a Masters of Arts in Museum Studies from The George Washington University and is a graduate of Colby College. She regularly presents to senior colleges, public libraries, historical societies, and other historical groups.

    The Kennebec Historical Society July Presentation is free to the public (donations gladly accepted) and will take place on Wednesday, July 19, 2017, at 6:30 p.m. at the Hope Baptist Church, located at 726 Western Avenue in Manchester. ​

  • 02 Jul 2017 4:00 PM | Anonymous member

    Reckoning with Nature: Andrew Winter at Monhegan Island

    Monhegan, ME.  June 24 – September 30, 2017

    Museum hours:

    July and August: 11:30-3:30 daily

    June and September: 1:30-3:30 daily

    Admission: $10.00

    Catalogue of exhibition: available on-line and at the museum: $20

    Opening reception: Sunday, July 2nd from 4:00 to 6:00 pm.


    Andrew Winter was an acclaimed mid-twentieth century artist, born in Estonia, who sailed around the world before immigrating to the United States, establishing himself as a New York artist, and ultimately making Monhegan Island his year round home. Winter’s decision to live on Monhegan shaped his art in ways that distinguish him from the many artists of the island's summer art colony.  He painted snow-covered vistas, rough winter seas, and fishermen at work hauling lobster traps. This summer’s art exhibition is a retrospective of Andrew Winter’s Monhegan paintings.

    Winter’s love of the sea began during his childhood spent near the northern reaches of the Baltic Sea.  Unable to pursue art lessons at an early age, Winter shipped out as a merchant seaman at the age of 20 and traveled the world.    In 1920 he settled in New York and became a U.S. citizen.  He was then able to enroll in the School of the National Academy of Design, and establish himself as an artist, living in New York’s Tenth Street Studio building.  After visiting the island in the 1930s Winter and his wife, Mary gave up their New York apartment and bought a home on Monhegan.  Andrew Winter lived and painted there until his death in 1958.

    Winter’s early experience as a merchant seaman drew him to paint the island and community as it related to the surrounding sea.  He rowed his boat out into heavy seas to gather material for his paintings of working lobstermen and painted many shipwrecks along Monhegan’s shoreline, including the famous wreck of the D.T. Sheridan tugboat of 1948. 

    Winter’s attraction to this remote island off the Maine coast was not a rejection of the art world.  He continued to exhibit his work, including at the international Venice Biennial in 1938, with other noted painters such as Winslow Homer and Albert Pinkham Ryder.

    The Monhegan Museum of Art & History is located in the historic Monhegan Island Light Station, 12 nautical miles off the coast of Maine and exists to steward and showcase the art and artifacts that represent the collective values of its community and to educate and communicate its meaning. The Monhegan Light Keeper’s House contain exhibits of Monhegan’s history. The Assistant Keeper’s House holds an art gallery that displays annual art exhibitions featuring the museum's art collection which spans more than 150 years.  Additionally, the Rockwell Kent/James Fitzgerald Historic Artists’ Home and Studio display a collection of works by Fitzgerald.  The museum is open daily from June 24 through September 30 and the Kent/Fitzgerald Home and Studio are open two days a week and by appointment throughout the summer.



  • 21 Jun 2017 6:30 PM | Anonymous member

    The short-lived Popham Colony, established in 1607 in what is now the coastal town of Phippsburg, was the first English settlement in New England.  Englishmen set up the colony at the mouth of the Kennebec River.  The colony lasted a year, after which they sailed back for England.  One of their accomplishments while in Maine was the construction of a “pretty pinnace,” a boat they named Virginia.  The small sailing vessel took them back to England in 1608.  The Virginia also made an Atlantic crossing in 1609 as part of a fleet.

    In this presentation, Rob Stevens and Allison Hepler discuss the history of the colony, and present-day efforts to reconstruct the Virginia in Bath.  Rob Stevens is a wooden boatbuilder of 35 years, and is overseeing the reconstruction of Virginia.  Allison Hepler is a history professor at the University of Maine at Farmington, and a local historian. Both are active members of Maine’s First Ship, the organization devoted to reconstructing the vessel.

    The Kennebec Historical Society June Presentation is free to the public (donations gladly accepted) and will take place on Wednesday, June 21, 2017, at 6:30 p.m. at the South Parish Congregational Church, located at 9 Church Street in Augusta. ​  

  • 20 Jun 2017 11:47 AM | Anonymous member
    Tate House Museum Presents Their 4th Annual Evening of Poetry in the Garden

    Portland, Maine -- The Tate House Museum presents Poetry in the Garden on the Tate House lawn by the Stroudwater River on Tuesday, June 20 from 6:30 - 8:00 PM. Come and join us for an evening looking out at the flowers blooming and the Stroudwater River slowly flowing by as Betsy Scholl, Maine Poet Laureate 2006-2011, gives us some poetry background and reads from her collections of poems.

    She is the author of eight books, most recently Otherwise Unseeable (University of Wisconsin), which won the 2015 Maine Literary Award for poetry. Other books include Late Psalm, Don’t Explain (winner of the Felix Pollak Prize) and The Red Line (winner of the AWP Prize in Poetry). She is a founding member of Alice James Books, and served as Poet Laureate of Maine from 2006 to 2011. Other awards include a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and two Maine Individual Artists Grants. Recent work has appeared in Brilliant Corners, Image, Field, Numero Cinq, Upstreet, Poet Lore, Plume. She teaches in the MFA Program of Vermont College of Fine Arts, and lives in Portland, Maine.

    This event is part of the Tate House Museum Summer Lecture Series. The admission fee, which supports the museum and its programs, is $10 ($8 for museum members). Light refreshments will be served. For reservations please call 774-6177 or e-mail the museum at

  • 11 Jun 2017 1:00 PM | Anonymous member

     On Sunday, June 11 from 1 to 4 PM the Tate House Museum will be hosting its 4th annual Colonial Tea in the gardens of the museum, overlooking the Stroudwater River.  Going out to tea is one of life’s most pleasurable pastimes, and the museum has once again engaged the esteemed Nellie’s Tea of South Portland to serve hot and cold tea to our guests.  Guests will also be treated to delectable sweet and savory delights prepared by the Tate House Tea Committee.  

    This elegant event is suitable for adults and children of all ages. Admission for the event is $16 ($12 for members) and includes a tour of the 18th century Tate House. Reservations are requested and can be made by calling 774-6177 or emailing the office at

  • 03 Jun 2017 10:00 AM | Anonymous member

    The Tate House Museum, Greater Portland’s only pre-Revolutionary home open to the public, opens its 2016 season with a musket firing ceremony on Saturday, June 3rd. At 10:00 and noon, join museum docents as they fire muskets to celebrate another year at the Tate House. They will show how to load a musket, demonstrate how it works and will recruit members of the audience into the Tate militia.

    At 2PM there will be a special architectural tour of the Tate House, taking visitors from the cellar to the attic. This is a chance for visitors to see the base of that huge chimney and the “marriage marks” on the rafters in the attic. Regular tours of the home will be given at the top of the other hours.

    For the special price of $5 per person, or a maximum of $20 per family, you will receive a special Tate House Fan which is your ticket for the day and will allow access to all of the exciting Opening Day events. Events start with the firing of a musket and the raising of the flags at 10:00AM and end with the lowering of the flags at 4:00PM. Special refreshments will also be served to guests all day.

  • 17 May 2017 6:30 PM | Anonymous member

    Oxford County is world-famous for its pegmatites and the spectacular minerals they produce. Granite pegmatites are coarse-grained, igneous rocks that contain exceptionally large crystals of feldspar, mica, quartz, and sometimes a suite of rare earth elements and gem-quality minerals. The most spectacular crystals are found in “pockets”, or open cavities in the rock that allow minerals to grow unimpeded.  Minerals here tend to have few flaws.

    Three generations of the Perham family have mined the pegmatites of Oxford County from a number of different quarries according to The Perham Family Quarries,” an article by Sydney D. Eckert in the July 2014 issue of the Maine Geological Survey.  In the early 1920s, the nearest feldspar processing mill was in Auburn, Maine.  It was not economical to transport the feldspar that far.  Alfred Perham, with the help of some local investors, constructed the Oxford Mining and Milling Company plant in 1924 to process the feldspar mined in the area by the Perhams and others.  The mill operated into the late 1960’s.  Alfred’s son, Stanley, opened his store in West Paris in 1919.  It saw visitors from every state in the nation and from countries all over the world.  Stanley passed on his love of minerals and business sense to his children, Frank and Jane.  Frank, our speaker, was lucky to come from a line of Maine miners but he relied on more than just his luck to make a name for himself in the mineral community.  He trained as a geologist at Bates College like his father.  Frank has spent a lifetime in the mines and has his own mineral museum, The Mineral Pocket.  He has a vast amount of knowledge and the respect from geologists and enthusiasts alike to show for it.  Frank is presently 83 years old and still does some summer weekend mining. 

    The Kennebec Historical Society May Presentation is free to the public (donations gladly accepted) and will take place on Wednesday, May 17, 2017, at 6:30 p.m. at the Maine State Library, located at 230 State Street in Augusta. ​  

  • 19 Apr 2017 6:30 PM | Anonymous member

    Nineteenth-century Maine―famed for its lumbering, shipbuilding, and seafaring―has attracted copious attention from historians, but early twentieth-century Maine has not. Maine on Glass redresses this imbalance with 190 postcard photos and three of Maine’s foremost historians.

    Postcards were the Instagrams of the early twentieth century. On one day in September 1906, 200,000 postcards were mailed from Coney Island. In 1913 some 968,000,000 postcards were sent in the U.S., more than seven per person. The majority of postcards made at the turn of the twentieth century were mass-produced lithograph or letterpress half-tones, but the Eastern Illustrating & Publishing Company produced “real photo postcards” in the form of silver gelatin prints made by exposing the negative onto photo paper card stock and developing it in a traditional wet darkroom.  Eastern was the largest U.S. manufacturer of what it called “genuine” photo postcards.  Images selected for the book were from 22,000 glass plate negatives created by the Eastern company between 1909 and World War II.  As an archive of early twentieth-century Maine architectural photography, the Eastern collection (now housed at the Penobscot Marine Museum) has no equal, and it gives us many unexpected glimpses of Maine life.  Maine residents, expatriates, and visitors will enjoy hours of pleasure in this journey through Maine’s countryside, villages, and towns, guided by three historians who can bring a vista to life with a few well-chosen comments.

    Kevin Johnson received his bachelor’s degree from St. Joseph's University in 1989. He worked as a paralegal until 2003 when he decided to leave the “9 to 5” world to pursue a career in fine art photography.  He relocated from Vermont to Maine in August 2003 to attend the Maine Photographic Workshops in Rockport, where he earned a Professional Certificate in Photography.  It was at the Workshops that he first began working on the Eastern Illustrating Collection.  In 2007, he helped to rescue the collection when the pipes burst in Union Hall where it was stored which prompted its donation to the Penobscot Marine Museum.  He followed the collection to Searsport where he currently works as the Photography Archivist.  He was a founding member of Aarhus Gallery in Belfast, Maine and teaches photography courses at Maine Media College, Waterfall Arts and Unity College.  As museum Photo Archivist, Kevin has created numerous exhibits of historic photography, led student projects, and taught adult courses for the museum, as well as managing the museum’s 200,000+ piece photo archive.

    A native of Portland, Maine, Earle G. Shettleworth, Jr., attended Deering High School, Colby College, and Boston University and was the recipient of honorary doctorates from Bowdoin College and the Maine College of Art.  At the age of thirteen, Shettleworth became interested in historic preservation through the destruction of Portland’s Union Station in 1961.  A year later he joined the Sills Committee which founded Greater Portland Landmarks in 1964.  In 1971 he was appointed by Governor Curtis to serve on the first board of the Maine Historic Preservation Commission, for which he became architectural historian in 1973 and director in 1976.  He retired from that position in 2015.  Mr. Shettleworth has lectured and written extensively on Maine history and architecture and served as State Historian since 2004.

    Bill Bunting lives in Whitefield. When he came home from his first day in school his mother asked him how it had gone. Not well, he said. There was nothing about ships, nothing about olden days, and nothing about how things worked. He has been trying to fill that vacuum ever since.  W. H. “BILL” Bunting is the author of several critically acclaimed works of history including Portrait of a Port: Boston 1852-1914; Steamers, Schooners, Cutters, and Sloops: The Marine Photographs of N. L. Stebbins; and The Camera's Coast: Historic Images of Sea and Shore in New England; Live Yankees.  With Earle G. Shettleworth, Jr., he wrote An Eye for the Coast: The Monhegan and Maritime Photographs of Eric Hudson and Maine on Glass: The Early Twentieth Century in Glass Plate Photography.  Bill Bunting shipped as galley boy aboard the brigantine Yankee at age 13 and later completed a 25,000-mile world voyage as first mate of a 132-foot barkentine.

    The Kennebec Historical Society April Presentation is free to the public (donations gladly accepted) and will take place on Wednesday, April 19, 2017, at 6:30 p.m. at the Maine State Library, located at 230 State Street in Augusta. ​  

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