On Monday May 16, 2017 FHS was featured on WCSH 6 in a the "Maine Mysteries" segment about Freeport's, Casco Castle. Watch to see Executive Director Jim Cram and Collections Manager Holly Hurd share their knowledge of Casco Castle. You can also visit our web page for more information about Casco Castle. FREEPORT, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- In a neighborhood in South Freeport, a castle once stood high on the hill. It was called Casco Castle, and it ruled the social scene of it's day. Built in 1903 by Amus Gerald, the grand summer resort had a number of attractive amusements; a zoo with wolves, deer, and even bison. A baseball diamond and swimming area. There were also shore dinners featuring lobster and clams for just 50 cents. However, Holly Hurd, curator and collections manager for the Freeport Historical Society, said the castle's maine objective was to encourage use of the new trolley line laid out in 1902 that ran from Yarmouth to Brunswick; which is where Gerald built his first resort, Merrymeeting Park. "He thought, if we put another amusement park along the trolley line, that will encourage people to come up," said Hurd. "They can either visit the one in Souther Freeport, or they can visit the one in Brunswick." Toward the end of it's days, the Casco Castle suffered financial loss as tourism declined. People simply found a better way to get around- the automobile. Then one day in 1914, as it was closing for the season, the castle met its end. Hurd explained, "As people were packing up, it caught on fire. The main part of the building was wooden and it was very dry, so as soon as it started, the whole things just burned to the ground." There was gossip that the financial troubles lead to arson, but by now we will probably never know. But pieces of the old resort can still be spotted around the neighborhood like the wolf pen, the stone wall, and especially the 185 foot stone tower that once served as a lighthouse for boats coming in on the Harraseeket River. However, the tower is on private property and can only be viewed from the road. Luckily, it's hard to miss. © 2017 WCSH-TV http://www.wcsh6.com/news/local/maine-mysteries-casco-castle/439828587
Click on the names below to read their entries Winners Youth (Grades 3-6) 1st Prize: Isla Wilson 2nd Prize Taylor Kaplan 3rd Prize: Lyman Ordway Honorable Mentions: Kessa Benner Paige Tyson Young Adult (Grades 7-12) 1st Prize: Nickolas Eastman 2nd Prize: Renee Pickard 3rd Prize: Raizel McNally Honorable Mentions: Clare Rigney Charlie Van West Adults 1st Prize: David Sloan hopes to publish his poem from this contest, so please look for it in a future book! 2nd Prize: Ann Coltman 3rd Prize: Brendan Tierney Honorable Mentions: Jerry Tims Sam Hunneman Mary Ellen Carew
The Freeport Historical Society wishes to congratulate George Denney for being named Freeport's Citizen of the year 2016, last night, February 28, 2017, at the regular session of the town Council Meeting. George was surprised and surrounded by his friends and family. A small reception followed at the Historical Society. George is a good friend of the Historical Society and as always we wish him the best.
Photo from the Town of Freeport Municipal Bulletin, March 1, 2017
Opens for viewing February 23, 2017 and will be on display until May 31, 2017 Exhibit Hours: Tuesday through Friday 9am-5pm 45 Main Street Freeport, ME Opening Reception February 23, 5-7pm A showcase of rarely seen objects from our collections archive. These objects "tell" an interesting story of Freeport's history: for example the top hat of Freeport entrepreneur E.B. Mallet who developed Freeport Village in the late 19th century by building a shoe factory, and opening a granite quarry, sawmill, and brickyard to encourage industrial production. In addition we will include objects donated by families in town who do not often see their items on view, as well as some "mystery" objects--- items that are intriguing, but come with little or no associated history (except that they are from Freeport).
Exhibit Programs will include:
Freeport Historical Society is running a writing contest in conjunction with their winter exhibit, Stories of Freeport’s Past: Celebrating Our Collection. The exhibit features infrequently-seen items from their collection, which they invite visitors to use as inspiration for written work. View the exhibit, select an item that moves you, and write! Writers of all ages are invited to submit their work, and all literary forms and genres are welcome. Complete contest guidelines will be available from Freeport Historical Society by February 23. There will be a celebratory reception on April 23rd, for contest winners. (location and time TBA) Contest Rules
“Ancestors in the Attic” Bring your objects objects that have a historical story. Share the story of your artifact while also having the opportunity to view and hear more about the objects in our exhibit.