Old Berwick Historical Society - Historical Programs for the public

The Old Berwick Historical Society of South Berwick, Maine, invites you to join us for our history lectures and activities.  For programs at Berwick Academy, we meet in the Arts Center. Please take Fogg Entrance #2 and use the parking lot at the top of the hill.  For more information, please write This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Bring a lunch (we have a microwave) and join us at the Counting House Museum as we help you discover ways to dig into your family’s history. We will watch a 30 minute DVD about a specific topic, and then volunteers will demonstrate how to use the resources in the video, and answer questions. Discover how to work your way through the courthouse records of the county where your ancestors resided. Using the two most common types of courts (circuit and chancery), you’ll examine how to read courthouse materials, including probate packets, vital records, tax rolls, and even colonial-era records such as indentures and apprenticeships. Attorney Mark Lawrence will moderate the discussion. If RSU 35 has no school or is delayed, the lunch is cancelled, and will be made up at the end of the series. Sponsored by The Lawrence Law Firm, P.A. Donations gratefully accepted.

 

Bring a lunch (we have a microwave) and join us at the Counting House Museum as we help you discover ways to dig into your family’s history. We will watch a 30 minute DVD about a specific topic, and then volunteers will demonstrate how to use the resources in the video, and answer questions. Good genealogists always take advantage of local sources outside the courthouse as well, including state archives, which hold records that resulted between the administration of state laws. Here, you’ll learn how to tap into the information found in original sources (such as census and military records) and derivative sources (including maps and newspapers). Sponsored by The Lawrence Law Firm, P.A. Donations gratefully accepted.

 10:00 am - noon. Historian Neill DePaoli will describe the pivotal role of the beaver fur trade at Newichawannock and the influence of English trade on Wabanaki culture in the 1600s. Presented through a partnership of Old Berwick Historical Society and Great Works Regional Land Trust, this hike follows the March 23 OBHS lecture on Native and English communications networks in the 1600s. For details on hike site, click here. Limited to 20 people and reservations are required. Call GWRLT at 207-646-3604 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information, hike status, and weather updates. Photo by Brenna Crothers.

Bring a lunch (we have a microwave) and join us at the Counting House Museum as we help you discover ways to dig into your family’s history. We will watch a 30 minute DVD about a specific topic, and then volunteers will demonstrate how to use the resources in the video, and answer questions.  Explore the process of writing about your ancestors in a way that’s memorable—but that always adheres to the truth. Learn how to compose timelines; how to build historical context around life events; how to search for (and find) a life’s central theme; how to select the right literary format; and more. Sponsored by The Lawrence Law Firm, P.A. Donations gratefully accepted.

 

Bring a lunch (we have a microwave) and join us at the Counting House Museum as we help you discover ways to dig into your family’s history. We will watch a 30 minute DVD about a specific topic, and then volunteers will demonstrate how to use the resources in the video, and answer questions. Writing about the past is fraught with snares. Find out how to sidestep them with Dr. Colletta’s dos and don’ts for writing historical narratives. These include using period vocabulary; evoking the senses through sounds, textures, and aromas; and avoiding the danger of viewing the past through the lens of the present. Sponsored by The Lawrence Law Firm, P.A. Donations gratefully accepted.

 

Bring a lunch (we have a microwave) and join us at the Counting House Museum as we help you discover ways to dig into your family’s history. We will watch a 30 minute DVD about a specific topic, and then volunteers will demonstrate how to use the resources in the video, and answer questions.At some point during your detective work, you’ll have to actually visit where your ancestors lived. In this helpful lecture, discover how to use key local resources you’ll need to rely on for success in your research: cemeteries, records of churches and synagogues, city directories, local libraries, and historical societies. Sponsored by The Lawrence Law Firm, P.A. Donations gratefully accepted.

7:30 pm (Berwick Academy)

 Both English and French colonists on the Atlantic coast of North America described bread as the “staff of life” and went to considerable lengths to ensure themselves a steady supply. Food historian Paula Marcoux describes how early colonists adapted their technologies, and ultimately their expectations, to local conditions. Her research combines evidence from the archeological and historical record with experimental oven building and baking trials. Samples of period bread and pastry will be served!

1:00 pm - Counting House Museum

Author Paula Bennett will talk about her book on local history, Imagining Ichabod: My Journey into 18th-Century America Through History, Food, and a Georgian House. 

Researching her eighteenth-century home in South Berwick inspired Paula to write Imagining Ichabod. She weaves historic recipes throughout the text, which includes archaeological dig discoveries from the property, along with details about its chronology and the history of the families who lived there.  Photographer Sandy Agrafiotis produced many of the color interior and exterior photos.

The book, priced at $30, is hardcover with 60 full-color photographs and 25 adapted historic recipes. READ MORE/ORDER THE BOOK.

6:30 pm (Counting House)

 Come celebrate the opening of our new exhibit, Forgotten Frontier: Untold Stories of the Piscataqua. Join us for an evening featuring cakes, ale and an original performance of period song. John Kemp and Kathleen Curtin, formerly of Plimoth Plantation, will survey the place of music in the lives of English colonists, from sacred psalms to popular tavern tunes. Kemp assumes the role of Deacon Samuel Fuller to demonstrate a “simpling” of songs familiar to early English arrivals in the Piscataqua. For OBHS members; new members are welcome.

(Counting House Park)

 David Ledoyen and the company of “Les Mousquets du Roi,” French militia re-enactors from Montreal, Quebec, along with Ken Hamilton, a Penobscot interpreter from Corinth, Maine, will bring to life the world of allies and combatants on the Piscataqua frontier in the late 1600s. See the conflict through enemy eyes by visiting the English camp at nearby Wentworth House, sponsored by the Association for Rollinsford Culture and History. Photo credit: Jimmy Brodie

7:30 pm (Berwick Academy)

 Perched on the edge of the English Atlantic empire, New England’s people and economy were intertwined with the wider English Caribbean world. At the center of it all were the enslaved people—Africans and Indians—who worked in thousands of English homes and farms. Dr. Linford Fisher grapples with the meaning of such cultural interactions, the realities of slavery, and the connections between New England and a wider Atlantic world of trade, culture, and commerce. Photo credit: John Carter Brown Library

 10:00 am - 1:00 pm. Eliot Historical Society president Rosanne Adams will relate the story of Black Will, his rise from slave to landed farmer in 1700, and shifting attitudes toward race in early York County. Presented through a partnership of Old Berwick Historical Society and Great Works Regional Land Trust, this hike follows the September 28 OBHS lecture on New England slavery and trade. For details on hike site, click here. Limited to 20 people and reservations are required. Call GWRLT at 207-646-3604 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information, hike status, and weather updates. Photo by Brenna Crothers.

 1:00 - 4:00 pm. Old Berwick Historical Society curator Nina Maurer will explore the devastating and heroic events of the Salmon Falls raid of 1690, the pivotal standoff at Worster Brook, and the alliances that shaped a region. Presented through a partnership of Old Berwick Historical Society and Great Works Regional Land Trust, this hike follows the October 26 OBHS lecture about the northern front of King Philip’s War in Wabanaki country. For details on hike site, click here. Limited to 20 people and reservations are required. Call GWRLT at 207-646-3604 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information, hike status, and weather updates. Photo by Brenna Crothers.

7:30 pm (Berwick Academy)

 Abenaki scholar Dr. Lisa Brooks speaks about the northern front of King Philip’s War in Wabanaki country. New maps of “Native space” and littleknown historical documents reveal a very different view of both the war and the territory known as northern New England. Brooks demonstrates that the war did not end with the death of the Wampanoag leader King Philip in 1676, but rather with a process of Native alliance making and treaties between colonial authorities and Wabanaki sachems. Photo credit: Ken Hamilton

South Berwick history you never knew.  Watch this space - Details coming soon.

7:30 pm (Berwick Academy)

  During some of the coldest decades of the Little Ice Age, Wabanakis and English colonists traveled along snowshoe routes connecting the Piscataqua region to a wider winter world. Diplomatic envoys, raiding parties, captives, and military patrols journeyed along customary paths that Wabanakis used in peacetime to visit kin and access seasonal subsistence sites. Dr. Thomas Wickman discusses Wabanaki knowledge of the region’s diverse winter ecology and English settlers’ evolving sense of place. Photo credit: Hudson Museum, University of Maine

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