Radio Programs on WYAR, 88.3fm

Starting Sunday evening, November 21st, and for the next three Sunday evenings, join us in listening to four original radio programs, inspired by incidents in Freeport’s history. The programs will be aired on local radio station, WYAR, 88.3fm at 7:00pm.

Pull up an easy chair, put down your iPhone and journey back to a simpler time!

We are grateful to WYAR, 88.3 fm for supporting our Freeport’s Golden Age of Wireless project and for the hard work of Tim Ryan, who co-wrote, produced and directed the radio programs.

An 1880s Coastal Christmas Opening Dec. 3, Tours Dec. 4-19, at Harrington House

Victorian Holiday PostcardFreeport Historical Society presents a new event, An 1880’s Coastal Christmas, at Harrington House, 45 Main Street in Freeport. A Preview Party will take place at 7:00pm on Friday, December 3rd (following Sparkle Weekend Parade) where Dylan Thomas’ moving story, A Child’s Christmas in Wales, will be read by professional actor, Tony Reilly. Mulled beverages, sweets, music and preview tour are part of the evening. Tickets: $25.  The public opening is set for Saturday, December 4th 1:00-4:00pm.

Guests are invited to tour the downstairs main floor of the home as it might have appeared for a Victorian Christmas celebration.

For the first time, the two downstairs parlors and the original kitchen in Harrington House will be set with Victorian-era furnishings and be decorated for Christmas, 1880. As was sometimes the tradition, one of the two parlors will be transformed into a dining room for the event.

Period furnishings, including full dinner table setting, linens, and candelabra’s and seasonal decorations will tell the story of how some Freeporter’s readied for and celebrated Christmas.

“We will be utilizing pieces from our Collections as well as taking loan of furniture and decorative objects from generous local antique and collectibles dealers and private collectors. Louwers Antiques (Wiscasset), Lilac Cottage Antiques (Wiscasset), W. H. Schwind, Jr. Antiques & Fine Art (Yarmouth), Runge Oriental Rugs (Yarmouth), Foreside Antiques (Falmouth), and Casco Bay Variety are all contributing pieces. Special thanks to Judy Schneider of Interior Resources, a Portland-based professional interior design firm, and Christine Kiley, professional designer, for donating their services,” states Christina White, Historical Society Director.

While we show a Victorian Christmas in coastal Maine, in our written program and through our docents, we will share the perhaps surprising story of the evolution of Christmas in America.

“The history of Christmas is … a history of religious and class conflict. Powerful interests have always tried to co-opt real human needs, and the battle to control this festival is an example of that. The Church tried to christianise it, the Victorians wanted to make it respectable, and then a group of New Yorkers invented the domestic idyll and Santa Claus. And from the latter grew modern consumer society”, Steven Nissenbaum, author of the thought-provoking book, The Battle for Christmas.

What you can see happening between 1810 and 1830, is the invention of a tradition. While our exhibit is based on the 1880’s, we’ll share the origins of the Christmas tradition and witness how it was expressed some fifty years after its creation.

Tours will continue through and including Sunday, December 19th (Saturdays and Sundays, 1-4pm, weekdays, 10am -4p) tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for FHS Members. Kids 18 years and younger are free.

Thank you to our Event Sponsor:

Norway Savings Bank Logo

FMI: or 207-865-3170