Apple tree pruning workshop a success!

In early March, FHS hosted Dr. Richard Brzozowski of the University of Maine Cooperative Extension to present a hands-on workshop about pruning techniques for apple and other fruit trees. Participants met at snow-covered Pettengill Farm to try their hands at pruning our historic orchard under Dr. Brzozowski’s direction.

Dr. Brzozowski suggests the following links for more information and further support.

Fruit tree pruning fact sheet

Renovating old apple trees

Pruning woody landscape plants

Order the 32-page publication, Growing Fruit Trees in Maine

Link to Orchard Equipment Supply Company from which he bought many of the pruning tools used at the workshop

Worried about the effect of our recent warm temperatures and cold snaps?  Check the following links for information about these conditions on fruit trees and other plants:

Critical temperatures for fruit tree buds

Frost Protection:  Tips and Techniques

Participants gather for the workshop.


Dr. Richard Brzozowski discusses pruning techniques.


An apple tree before pruning.


The apple tree after pruning!

Free Trade and Sailors’ Rights: The War of 1812

The War of 1812 was the catalyst for statehood in 1820, yet few Mainers understand the hardships the war brought to the region:  harassment by British warships, government trade regulations and high taxes, and of course the death or maiming of those who served their country. In this presentation, award-winning historian Josh Smith explores the personal stories of Mainers caught in a war they did not want, focusing on Casco Bay and Freeport, a coastal region where smugglers, privateers, and naval vessels engaged in a shadowy conflict on the foggy waters, never sure who was friend and who was foe.

“Free Trade and Sailors Rights,” a rallying cry of the war, is comprised of two public programs: an illustrated presentation taking place on Sunday, May 6th at 1:30pm at 45 Main Street featuring Dr. Joshua M. Smith, and a lively acoustic music program set for Sunday, Sept 9th at 4:00pm featuring merchant, maritime and early American Navy songs, presented by Bob Webb and Dave Peloquin. (The location of the music program will be announced shortly.)

Dr. Joshua M. Smith is Associate Professor of Humanities and Interim Coordinator of the American Merchant Marine Museum at the US Merchant Marine Academy. Among other publications, he is author of Borderland Smuggling: Patriots, Loyalists, and Illicit Trade in the Northeast, 1783-1820 (University Press of Florida, 2006).

For nearly four decades, Bob Webb has presented the music of seafarers, loggers, railroad men and other folk heroes and heroines. A singer, raconteur and instrumentalist, Bob reaches all ages in presentations ranging from theatre concerts to intimate informal programs. His specialties are shipboard work songs, known as “shanties,” and the seagoing ballads called “forebitters” or “main-hatch songs.” He is an accomplished balladeer, who sings unaccompanied (a capella) and with the five-string banjo, MacCann-duet concertina and guitar. Audiences delight in joining Bob on the choruses. His songs, shanties and instrumental music have been received with acclaim from New Zealand to Poland. He is also a historian and scholar: his groundbreaking exhibition on the history of the banjo in America at the MIT Museum in Cambridge, Massachusetts led to the publication of his Ring The Banjar!: The Banjo in America from Folklore to Factory (Centerstream Press, 1996), the first overall history of America’s “own” musical instrument. Sailor-Painter, his long-awaited biography of the marine artist Charles Robert Patterson is now in print.

Dave Peloquin, a well known folk musician from Windsor, has been singing ballads, a cappella shanties, and many other types of traditional folk music for over 25 years. He is also a published poet and playwright who has appeared on Good Morning America, played at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D. C., and toured the country as an ECHO performer.

Tickets are $5.00. FHS Members are free (click here to join).

New additions at Pettengill Farm

FHS recently installed new interpretive signs at Pettengill Farm presenting the history of the site and detailing the results of a series of archaeological excavations at key locations on the property.








We also took delivery of several hand-made nesting boxes for the farm.  These boxes were made by RSU5 middle school students in John Nicholson’s class.  Pictured below are Ned Allen (left), FHS Collections Manager, and John Nicholson (right).