Freeport Historical Society announces their 2nd Annual Writing Contest from Oct 1-Dec 14, 2018. The contest is associated with our exhibit Blacksmiths and Storekeepers: Freeport Village, Crossroads of Change, 1770-1920 and is open to schoolchildren and adults in Maine who visit the exhibit. It will be judged by local writers and teachers and features historical prizes for winners in three categories. Visit www.freeporthistoricalsociety.org for details.
Honored Speaker: Earle Shettleworth Jr.
Saturday, April 27th at 4:00 pm
Freeport Community Services: 53 Depot Street
Please join us for a brief business meeting to celebrate our 50th Anniversary, elect trustees, and present annual awards.
The meeting will be followed by “Roadside Freeport,” from Maine State Historian and son of a Freeport shop owner, Earle Shettleworth Jr.
Refreshments will be served before the meeting.
As automobile tourism expanded after World War I, overnight cabins, restaurants, and souvenir shops developed along Maine’s Route I. Beginning in the mid-1920s, Freeport experienced a proliferation of tourist cabins on two sections of Route I, the Yarmouth Road to south of the village and the Brunswick Road to the north. These cabins included the Dutch Village Motor Court, Half Moon Cabins, Maine Idyll Cabins, Roseland Cabins, Sims Overnight Camps, and the Wayside Inn. Of these, only the Maine Idyll remains in business today. In the 1950s motels such as the Casco Bay and the Eagle began to spell the end of the motor courts.
Maine State Historian Earle G. Shettleworth, Jr. will illustrate his lecture on Roadside Freeport with period post cards and advertising brochures.
Reflections on 300 years of the Scots Irish in Maine, 1718-2018
Thursday, April 11, 2019, 7:00 PM
at Freeport Community Library
So you think you know the History of New England Settlement? Pilgrims, Puritans, and … Scots-Irish? In fact, Scots from the northern region of Ireland were some of the earliest settlers to coastal Maine beginning three centuries ago. According to surveyor-historian John Mann, as many as half of the earliest pioneers of Freeport, Brunswick, and surrounds were of Scots-Irish ancestry. If your roots are deep here, or if you are interested in a relatively unknown history of the area, you won’t want to miss this event!
Last August, in commemoration of the 1718 migration, the Maine Ulster Scots Project hosted a conference at Bowdoin College that included the presentation of papers– academic, poetic, and personal. These papers from 19 different authors have been published together and “reflect deeper stories that remain embedded in colonial identity and conflict.” The book is offered as an exploration of “historical narratives through the lens of migration from Ulster and the way the frontier experience shaped the people who invented a nation.” Please join us in celebrating the publication of this new book with guest speakers:
William Roulston, Ulster Historical Foundation, Belfast, Northern Ireland
John T. Mann, President Emeritus of Maine Ulster Scots Project
Rebecca J. Graham, President Maine Ulster Scots Project
This event is co-sponsored by the Maine Ulster Scots Project, the Saint Andrews Society of Maine, the Ulster-Scots Agency, Belfast, Northern Ireland, and Freeport Historical Society.
2019 is the 50th Anniversary of Freeport Historical Society
Join us Friday, January 25 from 5:00 to 7:00 pm at the Harrington House to recognize the anniversary date of our incorporation! Visit with members, trustees, staff, and many others from the past who have made FHS the successful, vibrant organization that is it today – including some special friends who signed on in 1969 as original Corporators and Charter Members. Stop in for a champagne toast, tasty snacks, a special anniversary cake. Remarks and remembrances at 6:00 PM.
The Freeport Historical Society is looking for volunteers. Below is a list of projects we could use assistance with. Please respond to email@example.com with interest.
- Index the Six Town Times and Freeport Sentinel Newspapers
A newspaper published weekly from 1892-1916, the Six Town Times reported on news pertaining to and relevant for the six towns of ancient North Yarmouth: Freeport, Cumberland, Yarmouth, North Yarmouth, Pownal, and Harpswell.
Freeport Historical Society has a collection of bound volumes of the Six Town Times covering most of the years it was published. A volunteer indexed the years 1893-1900, and we need to extend her index to include the years from 1901-1916. Several issues are also digitized online, so some of the work could be done from a home computer.
We also have several issues of the Freeport Sentinel from 1889-1892 to be indexed.
This project would be interesting for anyone who likes history as it requires reading through the old newspapers and recording names, places, and important topics and organizing them by category.
- Watermark and Resize Digitized Photographs- compile information for adding to website
- Digitize Collection Finding Aids, Cemetery Records, and Town Records recently copied
- Expand Inventory of Small Collections and Digitize
Welcoming our new friends into the collection. These newly acquired William Matthew Prior pieces depict the Honorable Rufus Soule and his first wife Susan Mitchell Soule. Rufus was one of the most eminent shipbuilders in Maine having constructed at least 85 vessels at Porter’s Landing during his career. We are thrilled to have the two back in Freeport. Now on view at FHS.
Due to the great interest generated at the Freeport Revisited event on February 24th, the Freeport Historical Society will host a part two. This will be an opportunity for you to share your memories of living around Main Street Freeport during the 50’s through the 70’s. Join your fellow neighbors as we share fond experiences of growing up in Freeport in a fun, informal, friendly setting. Please come with your favorite story and any pictures you may have. Saturday, March 17th, 2:00 – 4:00 at 45 Main Street, Freeport. In case of inclement weather, the event will be held on Sunday, the 18th, same time.
This British Naval issue cutlass and scabbard (1804 pattern) was kept as prize booty by Captain George Bacon and crew of the privateer Dash.
According to family lore, Dash discovered the dismasted British privateer Thinks I To Myself in a cove near Wiscasset when the fog lifted. Some of Dash’s gunports were outfitted with logs painted black to fool the British into believing the brigantine was more heavily armed than it was. Consequently, Thinks I To Myself quickly surrendered, and Dash carried its prize and the sloop’s crew to Portland in October of 1814.
During the War of 1812, seagoing vessels changed hands frequently. Thinks I To Myself was originally an American ship out of Castine, ME that had been captured by the British just months before.
These treasures were handed down from Captain Joseph Porter, brother of Dash’s owners, to his great, great-grandson Philip Means, and are cared for and displayed by the Freeport Historical Society.
The Cutlass and scabbard will be on display at the Portland Science Center until October 29th.
From the collections of the Freeport Historical Society, on long-term loan from Philip C. Means.
MEDIA CONTACT: NTHP PUBLIC AFFAIRS, 202.588.6141, PR@SAVINGPLACES.ORG Freeport, ME
(July 12, 2017)—Today, Freeport Historical Society was awarded a $3,816 grant by the National Trust for Historic Preservation from The Johanna Favrot Fund. These grant funds will be used to Archaeological research at Harrington House.
For hiring an archaeologist to survey the Harrington House property to seek information about the site before we proceed with construction and improvements to the house and surrounding grounds.
“Organizations like Freeport Historical Society, help to ensure that communities and towns all across America retain their unique sense of place,” said Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “We are honored to provide a grant to Freeport Historical Society, which will use the funds to help preserve an important piece of our shared national heritage.”
Grants from the National Trust Preservation Funds range from $2,500 to $5,000 and have provided over $15 million since 2003. These matching grants are awarded to nonprofit organizations and public agencies across the country to support wide-ranging activities including consultant services for rehabilitating buildings, technical assistance for tourism that promotes historic resources, and the development of materials for education and outreach campaigns.
For more information on National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Preservation Fund grants, visit:
About Freeport Historical Society Since 1969 Freeport Historical Society (FHS) has been encouraging the sharing and enjoyment of the long history of Freeport, Maine. FHS actively preserves buildings, archival materials and artifacts of historical importance while encouraging similar efforts within the community; undertakes research and develops educational programs and exhibits which explore and interpret Freeport’s history; and encourages related community activities which keep our rich past present. For more information about our programs and events: www.freeporthistoricalsociety.org
About the National Trust for Historic Preservation
The National Trust for Historic Preservation is a privately-funded nonprofit organization that works to save America’s historic places to enrich our future. The National Trust for Historic Preservation is committed to protecting America’s rich cultural legacy and helping build vibrant, sustainable communities that reflect our nation’s diversity. Follow us on Twitter @savingplaces.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded nonprofit organization, works to save America’s historic places.
Pettengill Farm Tours
July 19 @ 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
$10 – $12
The Freeport Historical Society will offer guided tours of the historic Pettengill Farmhouse and grounds as a way for the public to learn more about this remarkable homestead. These tours offer a rare opportunity to view and learn about the house, which is generally open only once a year, on Pettengill Farm Day.
Join Curator/Collections Manager Holly Hurd as she describes the history of the farm and saltbox, which was built about 1800 and has been sustained over generations without the modern conveniences of central heating, running water, or electricity. The house resides on 140 acres that supported a saltwater farm and dairy, most recently by Mildred Pettengill and her brother Frank.
Participants can sign-up for a 90 min tour of the farm and house, which includes a viewing of the rare sgraffiti wall etchings of ships and marine life. The scheduled tours are as follows:
Wed July 19 at 6 PM – on line registration
Tues Aug 22 at 5 PM – on line registration
Fri Sept 15 at 11 AM – on line registration
Wed Sept 20 at 10 am – on line registration
Cost is $12 per person for the general public and $10 for FHS members.
Participants are required to register at least 24 hours in advance. Tours require a minumum of 4 people and max of 10. On-line registration or call 207-865-3170. If the tours need to be rescheduled due to rain or because of too few participants, those signed up will be rescheduled to another date or refunded.
Attendees meet at the gate entrance at the end of Pettengill Road (31 Pettengill Road), to carpool to the site. Un-registered guests are welcome to join at the start location, but they should first confirm that the tour will take place by calling 207-865-3170.
Please wear appropriate footwear for walking on uneven surfaces and bring along bug spray. If walking is difficult, participants can choose to remain near or in the house.
Tours are also available on request with a minimum of 4 participants. Contact Holly Hurd at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 207-865-3170 to schedule a time.