42nd Annual Meeting, May 26th, 7:00pm

Freeport Historical Society (FHS) Members and the public are invited to the Old Freeport Town Hall, 5 Park Street, on Thursday, May 26th, 7:00pm-9:00pm for our forty-second Annual Meeting. 

The evening will be a celebration of Freeport history including the “Freeport Challenge” crossword puzzle. A Volunteer recognition ceremony, the Mel Collins Community Service Award, and presentation of the sixth Partners in Preservation award will be among the highlights. A short business meeting will precede the awards program. 

Assoc. Prof. Nathan Hamilton
Assoc. Prof. Nathan Hamilton

Our special guest speaker is Assoc. Professor, Nathan Hamilton, who has taught at the University of Southern Maine since 1987 in both the graduate and undergraduate programs. His presentation title is “Historic environments of the western Gulf of Maine: An archaeological view from Casco Bay and the Isles of Shoals.” His decades long work in historic archaeology links to our summer-long Diggin’History program, which focuses on thirty years of archaeology which has taken place at historic Pettengill Farm.

Arrive early to view the special display of items that have recently been donated to the Collection and take the “Freeport Challenge,” a wall-size crossword puzzle where you can test your knowledge of Freeport and its past!

Sweets and beverages will be available.

FMI: info@freeporthistoricalsociety.org or 207.865.3170

Freeport Heritage Trail to be Unveiled May 17th

Freeport Historical Society(FHS) plans to unveil the Freeport Heritage Trail on Tuesday, May 17th at 4:30pm at the Old First Parish Meetinghouse and Burial Ground (Lower Main Street and Meetinghouse Road.) The public is invited to join us.

Earle Shettleworth, State Historian and Director of the Maine Historic Preservation Commission will be in attendance. Funding for this project is from the Maine Humanities Council and was matched in cash by numerous local individuals and businesses.

Bartol Library Sign SampleThe goal of the Freeport Heritage Trail is to both engage and inform the public about Freeport’s long history and to reinforce the town’s identity among residents and visitors.  Seventeen handsome signs comprised of compelling historic photographs and descriptive and interesting text tell the stories of notable people, architecturally significant structures and landscapes, and key events that shaped the community.

In addition to the signage, a podcast has been created for each sign. A diverse group of Freeporters, each having a connection to the narrative being shared on the sign, have lent their voices to the podcasts and in some cases have added personal stories to enhance the experience of the listener. The podcasts will be accessible via smart phones or directly via our website, www.freeporthistoricalsociety.org.

“We are in a unique position as a town to undertake this project. As a retail destination for more than two decades, visitors are sometimes surprised to learn that the town is not a planned development rather Freeport is a small New England town with a rich history and a surprisingly intact “fabric” in terms of historic properties and landscapes. FreeportUSA estimates that 3.4 million people visit Freeport annually. Our goal through this program is twofold: to reinforce the town’s identity to residents, and, to introduce visitors to the town’s history. We have a tremendous opportunity to engage those who come to shop. With those exposures, we have an opportunity to expand and deepen Freeport’s identity,” stated Christina White, FHS Director.

She continued, “In terms of its economic, cultural and social history, Freeport may be thought of as having successfully reinvented itself a number of times—agricultural—maritime (both shipbuilding and trading )- industrial, through its vibrant shoe industry, and now a focus on retail and visitors. This provides us with innumerable opportunities for history-telling.Heritage Trails, like guided walking tours, bring history “to the streets” and likely engage a wider spectrum of the public than other history-related programs. This program provides FHS an opportunity to bring our Collections to the public, in a sense and, in doing so, reaching a greater audience and signaling to residents and visitors alike that Freeport has a long and interesting history.

“And, while we have focused on the “Village,” Wolf’s Neck and Flying Point areas, with funding, our plan is to continue the Trail to North and South Freeport, both of which are rich in history,” stated Ned Allen, Collections Manager.

“Freeport’s Pirate History” Thursday, April 14, 7pm



Freeport Players & Freeport Historical Society present
“Freeport’s Pirate History”
Thursday, April 14, 7pm
Harrington House, 45 Main Street, Freeport
Admission FREE ($5 suggested donation)

Freeport has its own connection to pirate history: the privateer Dash was built at Porter’s Landing and licensed by the United States government to “subdue, seize and take” enemy vessels as prizes — state sanctioned piracy.

About the presenters: Ned Allen is Collections Manager at Freeport Historical Society, President of the Bridgton Historical Society, and author of Bridgton (Images of America: Maine). James Nelson is the Education Coordinator at Maine Maritime Museum and author of over fifteen works of historical fiction and non-fiction, including several pirate novels (The Brethren of the Coast trilogy and The Only Life That Mattered). He has appeared on the History Channel, Discovery Channel and Book TV, and has received the American Library Association/William Young Boyd award for military fiction and the Samuel Eliot Morison Award.

FMI 207-865-3170 or info@freeporthistoricalsociety.org or www.fcponline.org

Attend this Pirate Trail event and enter for your chance to win pirate treasure. Drawing to be held after the final performance of Pirates Of Penzance this summer.