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.

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.

Save the Date – Harraseeket Heritage Day & Harborside Gala – June 20

STD_2014_F2-01   Please join us for our 4th Annual Harraseeket Heritage Day & Harborside Gala, Saturday, June 20th at Brewer South Freeport Marine, to benefit the educational programs of Freeport Historical Society. This fun day will include the 2nd Annual Boat Parade around South Freeport Harbor and will feature approximately 50 local vessels!  Lunch will be served at 12:30 pm and boats will begin parading into the Harbor at 2:00.  Front row seats for viewing the Boat Parade will be found at Brewer South Freeport Marine, where a delicious lunch, featuring chowder form Harraseeket Lunch & Lobster, will be served to benefit FHS. At 5:30 pm, the popular Harborside Gala will begin at Brewer's, with a full BBQ dinner by Buck's Naked Barbeque, auction & raffle, bluegrass music, a signature rum drink, and historical exhibit, all under festive tents at the water's edge. Tickets will go on sale May 1st.  Watch this space for more details! For more information, contact Freeport Historical Society.  

Freeport Movie Day – April 7

freeport day April 2015 Join Freeport Historical Society for a free day at the movies for Freeport Residents (on presentation of a valid state or school ID), Tuesday April 7th, at the Nordica Theatre in Freeport. Movie-goers will be invited to donate to FHS in lieu of their ticket price, and FHS staff and volunteers will be present to talk about our work. So what are you waiting for?   Grab a friend, grab some popcorn, and take a trip to the movies! We'd love to see you there! Movies and showtimes will be available online Friday, April 3rd.

Closed 1/30-2/9

Due to the anticipated snowstorm, Freeport Historical Society's headquarters at 45 Main Street will be closed Friday, January 31st. We will also be closed the week of February 2nd for rennovations as we remodel our exhibit space. We will reopen Tuesday, February 10th, as usual.

New Office Manager – Welcome Rebecca!

The newest addition to the Freeport Historical Society team is Rebecca McNulty, who came on-board in December as our new Office Manager.  Rebecca will be the first point of contact for visitors and volunteers alike.  With a few weeks' experience at FHS under her belt, she's already beginning to make herself indispensable!  Stop by some time and say hi. Rebecca lives in Wiscasset with her partner, Andrea Ellis, and their three house rabbits. She was the coordinator at the Brunswick Jung Center for six years. She has a BA in Religion and Theater from Wells College and an MFA in Drama from UConn, where she specialized in puppet, mask and shadow theater. She is currently working on a toy theater film called “Carnival of the Harvest Moon.” Rebecca also directs Dragon’s Eye Adventures, a summer mystery program for children. The adventures she writes tap into her love of history, myth and art. Those same interests brought her to the Freeport historical Society, where she hopes to share her skills in support of the intriguing work the society is doing.

11/17 – Rough Ridin': The History of Roads in Freeport (note new date/time)

“Greatly incumbered by stumps and roots of interlocking trees and so wet and miry… that it is with great difficulty passable and is very hazardous” – Freeport’s early roads make even the 21st century’s frost-heave-plagued highways seem idyllic. Join Freeport Historical Society for an illustrated presentation by Collections Manager Holly Hurd on the development of Freeport’s early byways. The talk will take place at Freeport Community Library, November 17 at 7:00 p.m. Because of the expense and difficulty of laying out roads through heavily-treed wilderness areas, the Harraseeket River served as Freeport’s first “highway,” and early settlers traveled from place to place in watercraft as much as possible. A remnant of the “river as road” is evident in the nautical terminology used by an 18th century Mast Landing resident, who described his local road as an “impediment and embarrassing of navigation.” The appearance and improvement of roads in Freeport followed settlement patterns and economic development. The first road was laid out in 1739 as a county road that formed the main artery for travel between towns. Other roads developed as pathways of commerce and as feeders into the inter-town system. Roads were improved over time or became dormant as needs and local areas of settlement shifted. This talk will explore the evolution of roads in Freeport over time with an emphasis on maps and other historic documents describing the roads and the experiences of early settlers. The program will focus on the important roads that have shaped Freeport, including stagecoach routes, the King’s Highway, and the Boston Post Road of the 18th century. Holly Hurd has been Collections Manager at Freeport Historical Society since December 2013. She holds an M.A. in American and New England Studies from the University of Southern Maine with a specialty in Early American. A resident of North Yarmouth, she has been a volunteer, board member and researcher for North Yarmouth Historical Society for many years. She is co-author of an “Images of America” book on North Yarmouth and a book on Congregational Church History. The event accompanies Freeport Historical Society’s current exhibit, You Can Get There From Here: How Transportation Defined Freeport, which is on display at FHS headquarters at 45 Main Street in Freeport Tuesday-Friday, 9-4 through the New Year. Admission is free for FHS members, $5 for non-members. The event is made possible by grants from Norway Savings Bank and the Maine Humanities Council. Purchase Tickets

New Leadership at FHS

As of September 15, 2014, Freeport Historical Society will be led by James Myall as its executive director.
Christina White

Outgoing Executive Director Christina White

When outgoing director Christina White was appointed to lead FHS in 2008, the Board of Trustees gave her one major goal: Take a solidly-established Freeport organization and expose it more broadly to more people. As we say farewell to Christina after six years of exemplary management and leadership, we extend our heartfelt gratitude for a job very well done! As a result of Christina’s talent, diligence, and graciousness, Freeport Historical Society now stands on a firm foundation of community goodwill, financial stability, and strong visibility in Freeport and beyond. Our public program attendance, business sponsorships, and strategic relationships with key individuals, craft specialists, and programming organizations throughout New England have all increased under Christina’s capable leadership. Visitors to downtown Freeport and the Wolfe’s Neck areas now read about the town’s significant heritage on interpretive signs installed as a result of Christina’s grant writing skill and clear vision. The structural stability of the saltbox at Pettengill Farm has been assured and the grounds of Harrington House enhanced as a result of Christina’s unique ability to share her vision and encourage excitement in others. Christina’s unique ability to forge partnerships has been a gift to our organization. Freeport Historical Society enjoys strong links with Freeport’s town government, business and civic organizations, public, and private schools. In 2015, we will celebrate four decades of Pettengill Farm stewardship with an original dramatic presentation in conjunction with the Freeport Community Players. The vintage baseball games at Pettengill Farm these past several years resulted from Christina’s desire to highlight Freeport’s significant history as a baseball town. Under Christina’s guidance, the largest grant received by Freeport Historical Society in recent years was used to assess, analyze and plan for our substantial collections. Discussions were initiated with historic groups in surrounding communities about regional needs which resulted in a conversation a common facility for proper archival storage of records and artifacts. The good news is that Christina will remain connected to Freeport Historical Society as a special consultant on our key strategic focus, enhancing programming and access to Pettengill Farm. Her continuing association will help us realize Pettengill’s ultimate potential in fulfillment of Freeport Historical Society’s mission. There is no aspect of Freeport Historical Society that has not benefitted from Christina White’s masterful touch. As we turn over the helm to incoming Executive Director James Myall, we do so knowing we are stronger and better organization as a result of Christina’s time with us. Thank you Christina!
James Myall

Incoming Executive Director James Myall

James Myall is a native of Great Britain and has lived in the U.S. since 2009. Myall has served as Director of the Franco-American Collection at the University of Southern Maine for the past four years. “James was the unanimous choice of the search committee and we are really looking forward to working with him,” says Bill Muldoon, president of the Freport Historical Society Board of Trustees. “FHS has a focused and exceptionally capable board and we are ready to move our strategic projects forward under his leadership.” Myall holds a master’s degree in Ancient History and Archeology from the University of St. Andrews. He also received a Graduate Certificate in Non-Profit Management from the University of Southern Maine, where he expects to complete graduate degree work in Public Policy and Management in 2015. Myall resides in Topsham with his wife Kate and daughters Aurelia and Vivienne.