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  • 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. ​  

  • 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. ​  

  • 19 Apr 2017 3:39 PM | Anonymous member

    AASLH Collections Management and Practices Workshop

    Early Bird Registration Deadline – May 1

    June 5-6 – Maine Historical Society, Portland, ME

    Learn about your institution’s responsibility toward its collection, necessary policies and procedures, and the best practices of collection management. Through lively group discussions and hands-on activities, you will become familiar with current issues and trends to better understand how collections fit within the context of history organizations. The workshop will also explore the role of collections in exhibition and interpretation, the basic steps of collections management from acquisition to disposal, professional standards and ethics, conservation on a shoe-string budget, and the many resources available for collections preservation. This workshop is led by Samantha Forsko of the Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts and Bethany Hawkins of AASLH.

    Who Should Attend:

    This workshop is targeted to new professionals and dedicated volunteers with responsibility for collections.

    Cost: $280 AASLH members/$405 nonmembers

    *Get $40 off registration if you book by May 1, 2017!*

    Early-Bird Registration Deadline is May 1! You can register today at .

    Please contact Amber Mitchell, Education and Service Coordinator, at or 615-320-3203 if you have any questions about this or other upcoming workshops.

  • 22 Mar 2017 6:30 PM | Anonymous member

    In 1952 there were at least seventy-six grocery stores in Augusta (Mannings).  In addition, there were meat markets, fruit and vegetable stores, confectionaries, bakeries, fish stores and several drug stores.  Most if not all were independently owned.  Sand Hill, Augusta’s Franco-American neighborhood, had a larger concentration of neighborhood grocery stores—Magasins.  Depending on the source, from 18 to 27 stores operated on Sand Hill at various times.

    This 48-minute documentary explores the history of small, family-owned grocery stores located on Sand Hill in the early to late 20th century.  Several former Sand Hill individuals whose families owned and operated neighborhood stores were interviewed to capture a representative sense of life on The Hill.  The documentary uses historical photographs from the Kennebec Historical Society’s digital archive collection, as well as photos provided by the families themselves and St. Michael’s Parish. While the documentary focuses on Sand Hill, the broader story applies to the city as a whole, describing a close-knit community made up of shopkeepers in a time before big-box stores, malls and too many cars.   

    Our speaker, Norm Rodrigue, was born in Augusta in 1949 and raised on Sand Hill, came from a family of seven children.  His father and grandfather were classic Franco-American mill workers who worked at the Bate’s/Edwards Mill.  He attended St. Augustine School and graduated from Cony High School.  He earned a BA in English and a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Maine at Orono and an MBA from Thomas College.  After a career in business, Norm retired and pursued his longstanding interest is a still photography.  His photos have been exhibited locally and have won several awards and his photo cards are sold at various local businesses.  Recently, Norm took up videography and is using it to explore local history, another longstanding interest. Norm has produced two other videos including: Streams in the Seasons, a video depicting the sights and sounds of streams on Kennebec Land Trust properties spanning an entire year; and A Simpler Time, a video about three contemporary Downtown Augusta tradesmen, showcasing early twentieth century trades, including a milliner, cobbler and vintage audio/stereo repairman.  

    The Kennebec Historical Society March Presentation is free to the public (donations gladly accepted) and will take place on Wednesday, March 22, 2017, at 6:30 p.m. at the Club Calumet, located at 334 West River Road in Augusta. ​  

  • 07 Mar 2017 12:18 PM | Anonymous member

    Why are historic houses necessary to their communities? How are historic house museums unique? This workshop focuses on the unique needs, management, and interpretation of historic houses. With a focus on historic house museums, topics covered include collections care, types of research appropriate for historic house museums, exhibition development, interpretive tours, volunteers, and building and landscape maintenance.



    Date: April 6-7, 2017

    Location: Strawbery Banke | Portsmouth, New Hampshire

    Cost: $270 members/$385 nonmembers

    What Participants Said:

    “The ‘notebook’ of articles is a great idea and a tangible helper to take back with us. The faculty’s experiences were invaluable–they will be a great resource, too!”

    “The most helpful part was seeing institutions’ actual documents.”

    “The enthusiasm & varied backgrounds of the participants was helpful.”

    “As a volunteer–gave me a realistic view of the job description of our curators, staff & us as volunteers.”

    About the Faculty:

    Max A. van Balgooy is the president of Engaging Places, LLC, a design and strategy firm that helps connect people with historic places. He is a national leader in historical interpretation and community engagement, with extensive experience in developing solutions in collaboration with diverse audiences, including volunteers, staff, trustees, residents, scholars, design professionals, business leaders, and elected officials. He has more than 35 years of experience working in museums historic preservation, heritage tourism, and historic sites, including senior positions at the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Workman and Temple Homestead Museum. A recognized researcher, author, speaker, and blogger on the trends, challenges, and opportunities facing museums, historic sites, and cultural organizations, he is a frequently requested facilitator, trainer, and consultant on business strategy, historical interpretation, public programming, marketing, and online media.

    He also teaches in the Museum Studies Program at George Washington University, sits on the editorial board of Curator journal, is a MAP Peer Reviewer with the American Alliance of Museums, and served on the AASLH Council. He received his M.A. in history from the University of Delaware as a Hagley Fellow, his B.A. in history from Pomona College, and participated in the Historic Deerfield Summer Program in Early American History and Material Culture and the Attingham Summer School for the Study of Historic Houses and Collections.

     George W. McDaniel is President of McDaniel Consulting, LLC, a company George established after serving 25 years as Executive Director of Drayton Hall, a historic site in Charleston, SC owned by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. McDaniel Consulting’s tag line, “Building Bridges through History,” is grounded in George’s personal beliefs and his experience in site management, preservation, education, board development, fundraising, and community outreach. Rather than using history to divide us, he strives to help organizations use history, especially local history, to enhance cross-cultural understanding and to support local museums, preservation, and education.  As an example, George recently led volunteer efforts with Emanuel AME Church and historical organizations in Charleston to use historic preservation to enhance racial reconciliation and healing.

    A native of Atlanta, he holds a B.A. in history from Sewanee, an M.A.T. in history from Brown University, and a Ph.D. in history from Duke University.  The author of numerous publications, he has written two essays for 2017 AASLH publications:  “Commemorating Tragedy, Healing Wounds: Mother Emanuel AME Church” in Commemoration: An American Association of State and Local History Guide, and “Building Bridges through Local History” in Encyclopedia of Local History. Also due for publication in 2017by the University of Virginia Press is his essay, “Stepping Up and Saving Places: Case Studies in Whole Place Preservation,” in Stewards of Memory: The Past, Present, and Future of Historic Preservation at Mount Vernon. A frequent presenter at workshops, conferences, and public gatherings, he earned in 2015 the South Carolina Environmental Awareness Award and in 2016 the S.C. Governor’s Award for Historic Preservation, the first person in the state to have won the leadership awards in both fields.


    - See more at:

  • 22 Feb 2017 6:30 PM | Anonymous member

    From 1676 and into the 18th century, much of Maine, including the Kennebec River region, was abandoned by the English due to a series of colonial Indian wars.  In 1713, the Treaty of Utrecht afforded a sufficient promise of peace for settlers to return to the frontier of Maine.  The lands along the Kennebec were owned by various groups of proprietors who wished to sell these lands to settlers.  To secure the frontier and more importantly make the settlers feel secure, a series of four forts were built along the Kennebec between 1720 and 1754.  This talk will discuss the history and archaeology of these forts.

    Leon (Lee) Cranmer, our speaker, is an historical archaeologist who retired in August 2010 from the staff of the Maine Historic Preservation Commission.  He has a BS from Stockton University, and a BA in Anthropology and MA in history/historical archaeology from the University of Maine.  Lee has worked in archaeology in Maine for almost 30 years and has conducted archaeology for the state of Maine for well over 20 years.  Prior to that he spent two seasons in England doing archaeology.  He has written one book and numerous articles on Maine historical archaeology and is currently working on another book on Fort Halifax, a French and Indian War period fort in Winslow, Maine.  He has excavated hundreds of Maine sites for which he has written or co-authored site reports.  Prior to his archaeology career, Lee spent 7 years in the Navy and is a Vietnam veteran.  He lives in Somerville, Maine with his wife, Liz.

    The Kennebec Historical Society February Presentation is free to the public (donations gladly accepted) and will take place on Wednesday, February 22, 2017, at 6:30 p.m. at the Maine State Library, located at 230 State Street in Augusta. ​  

  • 22 Feb 2017 11:47 AM | Anonymous member

    Program in New England Studies

    Boston - February 2017

    Historic New England presents the Program in New England Studies, an intensive week-long learning experience, with lectures by specialists in history, architecture, preservation, and decorative arts; workshops; and specialized tours of Historic New England properties, other museums, and private houses.

    Learn about New England culture through artifacts and architecture in a way that no other museum in the Northeast can match. This program is perfect for museum professionals, graduate students, owners of historic houses, collectors, and anyone with a passion for New England history.

    New this year: Visits to the Eustis Estate, opening for the first time in 2017, and the newly restored Quincy House. Download a full schedule.

    Monday, June 19 - Saturday, June 24, 2017

    $1,550 Historic New England members

    $1,600 nonmembers

    Registration is required. Please call 617-994-6629 or register online.

    Scholarships available for Program in New England Studies

    Historic New England and a group of generous donors are providing multiple scholarships for Program in New England Studies. The scholarships are available to mid-career museum professionals and graduate students in the fields of architecture, decorative arts, material culture, or public history. Candidates from diverse cultural backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

    Program in New England Studies is an intensive week-long exploration of New England decorative arts and architecture that runs from Monday, June 19 to Saturday, June 24, 2017. Participants travel throughout New England to hear lectures and presentations by some of the country’s leading experts in regional history, architecture, preservation, and decorative arts. There are workshops, visits to Historic New England properties, other museums, and private homes and collections.

    Scholarship Applications

    Historic New England offers a specific scholarship to encourage the participation of individuals from diverse backgrounds. Applicants must represent a racial or ethnic minority group in the U.S. including but not limited to American Indian or African American or Black, Hispanic or Latino/a, Asian, or Pacific Islander.

    Scholarships cover the full registration fee, housing at a local university, and a travel stipend of $200. Applications should include: a resume or curriculum vitae (limit five pages) and a statement (limit two pages) explaining why you’d like to attend Program in New England Studies and how you expect the program to benefit you and your career and the impact that your presence might have upon other participants.

    Submission Deadlines: The deadline for the 2017 award is Friday, April 21. Applications must be submitted electronically by 4:30 p.m. Eastern on April 21 to Subject line should include “Historic New England Diversity Scholarship Proposal.” Successful applicants will be contacted by April 28, 2017

    Historic New England extends its thanks to Ralph Bloom, Decorative Arts Trust, and Tom and Alice Gould for making these scholarships available.

    Click Here for more information.

  • 09 Feb 2017 6:00 PM | Anonymous member

    The Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine [HHRC] will host its 3rd Annual Hearts for Human Rights Fundraiser on Thursday, February 9th at 6 p.m. at the Brunswick Hotel & Tavern.

    The evening will feature live music by Portland, Maine's Pihcintu Multicultural Chorus, a live and silent auction, heavy hors d'oeuvres and more.

    Each year, the HHRC reaches as many as 4,000 teachers and students from all over the state with free outreach programs about civil rights, the Holocaust, and civil discourse. All proceeds from the Hearts for Human Rights fundraiser will support the HHRC’s educational programming.

    This year the HHRC will be joined by Pihcintu, a multicultural chorus that brings young, immigrant and refugee voices together to sing as one and inspire cultural acceptance. The group has shared its message of unity and peace by performing throughout Maine and at the United Nations in New York City.

    Tickets are $40 per person and $300 for a table of 8. RSVP by Friday, January 27th to Jordan Bannister at or by calling (207) 621-3530.

    Event sponsorship opportunities are also available. For more information, email

  • 27 Dec 2016 9:26 AM | Anonymous member

    Did you ever wonder about the history of your house?  When was it built and by whom?  Did George Washington or Abraham Lincoln sleep there?  We will discuss how to utilize existing land and other records to reconstruct the past of your house and learn about past occupants.  Included will be an overview of the registry of deeds and other sources, strategies for identifying and extracting pertinent information and tips for dealing with “stone walls” and other problems.

    Our speaker, Richard Bridges, is a Maine native and a graduate of the University of Maine and the Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law.  He has been a practicing attorney since 1983, concentrating on real estate and probate law.  He also serves as an Adjacent Instructor at Central Maine Community College and as a research consultant for the Augusta Historic Preservation Commission.

    The Kennebec Historical Society January Presentation is free to the public (donations gladly accepted) and will take place on Wednesday, January 18, 2017, at 6:30 p.m. at the Lithgow Public Library, Community Meeting Room, located at 45 Winthrop Street in Augusta. ​  

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