Follow Mildred Pettengill’s Year on Twitter

Throughout 2015, Freeport Historical Society will be offering you the chance to step back in time and live a year in the life of Mildred Pettengill, the last resident of Pettengill Farm, which is owned and managed by FHS.  Among the artifacts FHS received from the estate of Mildred Pettengill were several diaries, which record interesting details about her life in the early-mid 20th century. Every day, Freeport Historical Society will be Tweeting (from @Miss_Pettengill) an entry from Mildred's 1921 diary.  The Tweets will be augmented with photographs and other historic material from the Pettengill Family Collection at FHS, and annotated with historic details.  The diary entries, with annotations, are also view-able on the FHS website. We'd love to hear what you make of this venture.  Feel free to get in touch.

Ghosts of Freeport’s Past

Two new ghosts debut their spectral stylings at Freeport Historical Society's popular Halloween event

Ghost Tours 2015

The adventurous and open-minded are invited to Freeport’s Woodlawn Cemetery this Halloween season for an encounter with specters and spirits, courtesy of Freeport Historical Society. FHS is bringing history back from beyond the grave, with the appearance of notable Freeporters in the graveyard, with the assistance of the Freeport Players.

The reincarnations of famous and not-so-well-known former residents of Freeport will share fascinating tales of their lives, and illuminate interesting aspects of Freeport’s past. Come and hear history from the mouths of those who lived it!

Tours lasting approximately 45 minutes, will take place the 28th, 29th and 30th of October, beginning at 6:30. Tours depart at 6:30, 7:00 and 7:30.

Admission is $10, children (12 and under), $5. FHS members, $5.

Purchase tickets online!

Woodlawn Cemetery is the resting place of some of Freeport’s most prominent past residents including shipbuilders, industrialists, maritime captains, clergy and others whose stories are fascinating. This year’s tour will incorporate some favorite tales from previous years, but will include some new appearances – including the survivor of an 18th-century Indian raid and an eccentric 20th-century artist.

Since the tours will take place on uneven ground in the dark, participants should bring a flashlight. Participants should also dress appropriately for nighttime, outdoors, in late fall. Reservations are encouraged. FMI: (207) 865-3170, or

Purchase Tickets

Remembering Leon A. Gorman

Like many in the greater Freeport community, Freeport Historical Society's members, trustees and staff were saddened to learn of the passing of Leon A. Gorman on September 3rd. The longtime L.L. Bean president and chairman loomed large in Freeport's recent history, not only for his role in transforming the company into an international brand, and Freeport into a destination for millions, but also as a committed philanthropist and an advocate for the preservation and promulgation of Maine history.

The Gorman and Bean families, as well as the company, have long been supporters of Freeport Historical Society. We join them, our friends and neighbors in mourning Leon's passing. He was a true local history maker.

Leon Gorman (left) with Admiral Donald Baxter MacMillan (center right) at the L.L. Bean Store

Leon Gorman (left) with Admiral Donald Baxter MacMillan (center right) at the L.L. Bean Store. The photo was probably taken between 1967, when Gorman became president of L.L. Bean, and 1970, the year of MacMillan's death. MacMillan, a Freeport High School graduate, equipped his team with L.L. Bean's Maine Hunting Shoe for his 1921 Arctic expedition. Gorman is presenting MacMillan with a Hudson's Bay Point Blanket, an item first sold by L.L. Bean in 1925, and still available today. Photo Courtesy Freeport Historical Society, C. Raymond Thomas Collection.

A Very Special 40th Annual Pettengill Farm Day

PFD 2015 poster

Join us for an afternoon of family fun, entertainment, and discovery at the 40th Annual Pettengill Farm Day on Sunday, September 13!

Climb aboard for a hayride, pick pumpkins, enjoy freshly pressed cider, and rediscover the lost arts of blacksmithing and coopering. Our favorite conjurer, Robert Olsen, returns with his displays of 19th century magic. Will Silvers will show off his World Champion juggling skills, and accordion trio the Maine Squeeze will stroll the fields. The Freeport Community Players will present a specially commissioned dramatic monologue, Visiting Miss Mildred. The 1793 saltbox farmhouse will be open to the public for docent-led tours, and artifacts from the Society’s collections will be on display. Presentations and workshops on reading the forest landscape, foraging for medicinal herbs, and more will be offered. Admission is $5; $2 for children 3-16, free for children under 3. Lunch and snacks are available 11am-2pm at additional cost. PFD 2014-PC DSC_0277

Freeport Historical Society’s Volunteer Appreciation Picnic

Join us at Pettengill Farm on August 29, 4-6 pm, for cold drinks, good food, and great company. To our volunteers who have contributed their time, energy, and talents on behalf of the organization, we offer our sincere thanks. To the interested and the curious, we invite you to attend and learn more about what makes volunteering for Freeport Historical Society so enjoyable and rewarding. Kindly RSVP with the number in your party to 865.3170 or Families and partners are welcome!
Pettengill Relatives at the Farm ca. 1920-8MB

Image: Pictured are Pettengill family members at the Farm ca. 1920.

Maine Migrations, Past & Present – April 26 at Colby College

Freeport Historical Society Director James Myall will be among the panelists at an upcoming community forum, Maine Migrations, Past & Present, to be held at Colby College in Waterville, Sunday April 26. Maine Migrations, Past and Present will bring together folks who study, work with, care about, or are themselves members of minority communities that immigrated to Maine, both recently and many generations ago. The conference will explore common dynamics across diverse immigrant communities as well as the similarities and differences among their experiences in Maine.  The conference is open to all at no charge; registration is required for the (free) dinner and keynote address, as space is limited. James will be discussing the reception of French-Canadian immigrants to Lewiston-Auburn in the 19th and 20th centuries; specifically the discrimination leveled against them, and the pressures they faced to assimilate. For more information, or to register, visit the conference website.