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.