News and Events

Harraseeket Heritage Day and Harborside Gala June 28, 2014

Watch our website and Facebook page for many more details about Harraseeket Heritage Day and Harborside Gala. Featuring Freeport’s first Community Boat Parade and viewing (noon -2p) and evening Gala from 5:30p-10p at Brewer’s South Freeport Marine. Full lobster bake dinner, lively music, fantastic silent and live auctions and more! $55pp

Harraseeket Heritage Day Boat Parade June 28th, 2014

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Professor Richard W. Judd to speak at 45th Annual Meeting of Freeport Historical Society

The Trustees of Freeport Historical Society invite the membership
and public to the 45 th Annual Meeting of Freeport Historical
Society taking place on Sunday, March 23rd, 2:00pm till 4:00pm at
Freeport Community Library, 10 Library Drive.

On display will be some recent additions to the Collections of Freeport Historical Society.

The afternoon begins with a brief Business Meeting which will include the Treasurer’s Report, review of 2013 programs, and voting on proposed trustees and the slate of Officers. We will also thank outgoing Trustee, Cito Selinger, for his nine years of service.

Presentation of the Mel Collins Community Service Award, Partners in Preservation Award, as well as a Recognition Ceremony for volunteers will also take place.

We are honored to have as our guest speaker this year University of Maine History Professor, Richard W. Judd, whose presentation, “Good Roads for Whom?”, previews our major exhibit theme this year.

Dr. Judd’s primary interest is in U.S. environmental history, particularly in New England. He received a Ph. D from the University of California, Irvine in 1979 and first came to Maine in 1980 as a postdoctoral fellow. He has taught a series of courses at UMaine and leads post graduate seminars in 19th and 20th century U.S. history. Dr. Judd is the editor of the Maine Historical Society’s quarterly journal, Maine History. He has lectured broadly and is the author of numerous highly- regarded articles and books on conversation and environmental history.

We are honored to have Dr. Judd also serving as the scholar on our recently awarded grant from the Maine Humanities Council.

All are welcome to attend the event. Beverages and sweets will be available. FMI: or 207-865-3170

Oral History Training Workshop – Sunday, March 16th

On Sunday, March 16th, 1:30pm-4:30pm at Harrington House (45 Main Street,) Freeport Historical Society is offering an Oral History Interviewing Workshop.

Community members will learn how to conduct an oral history session, including preparation and practice interviews. Equipment will also be reviewed. FHS volunteer Molly Graham, who is a professional oral historian, will be leading the workshop which costs $25.00/pp. For those who volunteer to collect four oral histories over the next twelve months the fee is waived.

Ms. Graham is an oral historian, radio producer and archivist with archival and field experience in Massachusetts and Maine. She served as Oral Historian for the Wisconsin Veterans Museum. Molly holds an M.A. in Library Science and is a graduate of the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies.

Collecting oral histories is a very important dimension to the work of Freeport Historical Society and was an issue which surfaced in several of our recent Lunch with Locals programs.

FHS is interested in capturing a range of stories including recollections of the development of the Interstate through Freeport, in preparation for its 2014 Exhibit, titled, “ You CAN Get There from Here-How Transportation Defined Freeport.” The development of roads and highways has connected and disrupted Maine’s communities and shaped the towns around them. The Freeport Historical Society, in an effort to capture the history and impact of Maine’s transportation systems, seeks to record and preserve the stories of those who witnessed and experienced the changes in Freeport roads and highways. In order to create a more complete record of the past, we hope to compile a variety of perspectives and voices from the community.

While we are particularly interested in capturing oral histories which share details of the impact of the Interstate and other transportation systems on Freeport, we are also interested in collecting stories about Freeport’s once-vibrant shoemaking industry. (Shoemaking will be our exhibit-focus in 2015.)

Please tell us your story (even if it is not related to the Interstate/transportation systems or shoemaking,) we are still very interested! Contact Freeport Historical Society at 865-3170 or to schedule a convenient time at your location or ours to be interviewed by Molly Graham or volunteer Rebecca Hotelling.

Pettengill Farm Pruning Workshops CANCELLED

Due to substantial ice and snowpack at Pettengill creating unsafe conditions for the public we regretfully cancel the Lilac and Apple Tree pruning workshops this year.

Comfort Food: Now and Then with Food Historian Sandy Oliver

For its first public program of the year, Freeport Historical Society is delighted to host Food Historian, Sandy Oliver, who will present a new program entitled Comfort Food: Now and Then.

The presentation takes place on Sunday, February 16th, 2:00pm -3:00pm (storm date: February 23rd, same time/place) at Harrington House, 45 Main Street, Freeport.  Tickets are $7.00pp and will be available at the door, or purchase them here:

Comfort Food Tickets

Sandy will discuss the concept of American comfort foods such as macaroni and cheese, meatloaf and mashed potatoes, and spaghetti and meatballs. These and other foods evoke homey, familiar and comforting memories and longings. Since the term “comfort food” is a recent development she will speculate on what foods might have been considered comfort foods in the era in which these dishes were developed. Were there comfort foods in 19th century American cooking? What might have those been? Through this unique lens we will consider the evolution of meaning associated with some of our favorite foods.

At the conclusion of the presentation attendees can sample yummy chocolate cornstarch pudding!

Sandy will also be signing copies of her new book, Maine Home Cooking.

Residing on Maine’s IslesboroIsland, Sandra Oliver is a revered food historian with a vast knowledge of New England food history, subsistence living, and Yankee cooking.  For the past five years, she has published her weekly recipes column, “Tastebuds”, in the Bangor Daily News. The column has featured hundreds of recipes—from classic tried-and-true dishes to innovative uses for traditional ingredients. Collecting more than 300 recipes from her column and elsewhere, and emphasizing fresh, local ingredients, as well as the common ingredients found in most kitchens, this volume represents a new standard in home cooking.ComfortFoodsPresentation-page-001

2013/2014 Annual Fund Drive Underway – Please Consider Donating Today!

Thank you!

These are the most important words to say to those who have already contributed to the Freeport Historical Society’s 2013 Annual Fund Campaign! If you have not yet sent your contribution, we ask you to consider doing so now!

Historic Pettengill Farm is the jewel of our collection and it is our major strategic vision to increasingly share its land and shoreline resources with you, your family, and friends through dynamic, new programming and experiences. A successful Annual Fund Campaign will help us achieve this goal. During our nearly 40 years of Pettengill Farm ownership and stewardship, Freeport Historical Society has consistently strived to share the farm’s unique sense of place and history with Freeporters and friends from around the region. Your gift is vital to our mission and we ask that you please take time now and signal your support through a generous contribution.

Although “historical” is in our name, Freeport Historical Society is firmly grounded in the present, offering meaningful and memorable experiences to people of all ages and interests including:

• Vintage Baseball is a lively June event for everyone, celebrating Freeport’s long history as a baseball town
• Pettengill Farm Day celebrates the farm in autumn with fiddle music in the air, saltbox tours, cider making with kids, slate- carving and fence-building demos, and the marvel of an oxen team plowing
• Dry stone wall building workshop and other “how-to” sessions teach relevant skills to adults
• Our new oral history program captures stories- small and large- from all Freeporters
• Freeport public and private school partnerships feature meaningful community service projects with students and research opportunities

As the epitome of “local”, our focus on collection care, interesting exhibits and lectures at Harrington House, and fun, seasonal events (like our autumn Ghosts of Freeport’s Past tours) has never been greater. Looking ahead, we envision reaching ever more deeply into our community, connecting you, your family, and friends to Freeport’s past in meaningful ways. Our Annual Fund campaign, one of our most important sources of revenue, is the means by which you can help us achieve that goal. Please contribute now.

We thank you for your gift, and through it, your affirmation of the importance of Freeport’s heritage.


Bill Muldoon                                              Christina White
President                                                 Executive Director

PS Freeport Historical Society receives no funding from the Town.

Winter 2013/2014 Issue of “The Dash” In The Mail Today! Read it here!

The Dash Winter 2013 

Phrenology: Quackery or Science of the Mind? with Tom Kelleher


Freeport Historical Society presents Phrenology: Quackery of Science of the Mind?  the fourth and final program which support the organizations current exhibit, To Comfort, Heal, & Cure: A Survey of 18thc. – 20th c. Medicine in Coastal Maine. The exhibit continues through November 8th at 45 Main Street in Freeport.

Phrenology: Quackery of Science of the Mind? is presented by Tom Kelleher and takes place on Sunday, November 3rd, 1:30pm at the Freeport Community Library Community Room. Tickets are $5.00pp. Light refreshments will be served.

Phrenology is the belief that one’s mental abilities can be discerned by examining the shape of a persons head. This authentic, historically- costumed dramatization includes “reading of cranial bumps” on one or two volunteer heads followed by a discussion of the history and enduring legacy of this once- popular pseudo- science, a parent of modern psychology and neuroscience.

Tom Kelleher, Curator of Historic Trades, Mills, and Mechanical Arts at Old Sturbridge Village, coordinates and supervises the daily operation and demonstration of four historic mills, stagecoach ride, cooper shop, and timber frame carpentry programs.

Mr. Kelleher has primary responsibility for the Old Sturbridge Village collections and exhibitions, particularly of antique tools, machinery, mills, firearms, and vehicles. He develops collections-based exhibits and programs, and conducts research into these areas of material culture. In addition, he has primary responsibility for training costumed staff in social history, material culture, and interpretive techniques.

Purchase tickets here:

Or for more information  please call Freeport Historical Society at (207)865-3170 or visit our website (  or face book page.

Thank you to our generous, community-supporting Annual Sponsors: LLBean, Taggart Construction, Bath Savings Institution and Bath Savings Trust, Chilton Furniture, Hilton Garden Inn, Brown Goldsmith’s, Riley Insurance, Linda Beans Maine Restaurant and Topside Tavern and Freeport USA.

Ghosts of Freeport’s Past Tours

Freeport Historical Society (FHS) is presenting two new programs as part of its popular Ghosts of Freeport’s Past walking tours at historic Woodlawn Cemetery located on West Street in Freeport, ME.

On Friday, October 25th at the historic Belcher House, 31 Main Street, accompany our favorite Psychic Medium, Eddita Felt,  for a Meet the Spirits House Tour.

Eddita will invite in the Spirits who once lived at this property to share stories of their time and place, their lives and their loves. This 45 minute tour is a unique opportunity to the former home of the Belcher family, including the basement.  Tour times are 5:30pm and 7:00pm. Adults: $10. Children ages 12 and under, $5.00. Reserve your tickets today!

Also new this year and taking place on Sunday, October 27th at 1:30p at Mast Landing Burial Ground (Upper Mast Landing Road) is a stone carving demonstration and guided tourthrough one of Freeport’s early burial grounds.

We’ll interpret this “outdoor” museum and understand how the key elements of stone, imagery and language allow us to understand the evolution of burial practices from colonial period to the 20thcentury.

Stone carver, Mike Ellis (Ellis Stone Carving) will demonstrate slate carving and discuss his work as a contemporary carver.

Ghosts of Freeport’s Past Walking Tours will be led by lantern-carrying docents through the pitch black paths of historic Woodlawn Cemetery on West Street in Freeport. In small groups of ten guests, we will visit specific locations at the burial ground where a range of prominent, former Freeporter’s will share fascinating stories from their past.  Groups will be ”pulsed” into the cemetery every 10 minutes with a tour expected to take about forty-five minutes.

The Woodlawn Cemetery is the resting place of some of Freeport’s most prominent past residents including shipbuilders, industrialists, maritime Captain’s and wives, clergy and others whose stories are fascinating.

Tours begin atWoodlawnCemeteryat 6:00p on October 27, 28, 29 and 30 and are expected to end by 8:00p or earlier.

Tickets for the tours are $10. for adults and $5. for children 12 years and younger. Members: $5.00(Sunday night tours are half-price!)

All tour participants must bring a flashlight, dress for the outdoors and be prepared for walking on somewhat uneven ground. Reservations are urged as previous year’s tours have all sold out.

Purchase tickets here: or call our office to register.

FMI: (207) 865-3170,

or    Information is also available on our face book page.