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..

7:00 pm  (Counting House Museum)

Cormac McCarthy Celebrate the new exhibits "Our Stories: Life in Tatnic" and "Brave New World: The Wireless Age Begins," and stay for a fun evening of songs presented by award-winning folk singer and songwriter Cormac McCarthy. For Old Berwick Historical Society members; new members are welcome.

Hike through History Vaughan Woods Memorial State Park & Hamilton House 

The Hike Through History education program is an annual, all-school walking tour of historic sites for elementary students in South Berwick, as well as 3rd graders from Eliot and Rollinsford. The location and content are brand-new this year, in celebration of the 25th anniversary. The hike is a collaboration between the RSU35 school district and the Old Berwick Historical Society.

Hobbs House

Sat. Mar. 30 - History Hike: Lover's Brook Farm

Pond Road, South Berwick -

10:00 - 11:30 am

OBHS historian Wendy Pirsig will lead a walk along the preserved section of Pond Road that was once the main highway for travelers by horse and foot. Come stroll past the Hobbs House, the historic home on Lover’s Brook Farm, and discover a lost intersection on the old Portland Turnpike.  Imagine your stagecoach pulling up to a nearby tavern with hungry, weary passengers. The brook was the site of an Indian attack in 1724. In 1785 a Thompson Tavern stood nearby.

Presented through a partnership with the Great Works Regional Land Trust. For more information on the hike site, visit www.gwrlt.org. Space on hikes is limited to 25 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.

1:00 pm

Free Baptist Cemetery A one-hour walk will explore this 200-year-old cemetery tucked away in a quiet corner of South Berwick Village.  Hear stories of a captain named Elijah Ricker who died at sea in 1826, a young soldier named Alfred W. Hart struck down by disease in the Civil War, and many others.  Learn how in 1890 South Berwick citizens raised funds to place the Town Clock in the church steeple, one of only five Stevens town clocks still remaining in Maine in their original locations.   

7:30 pm - Berwick Academy Arts Center

Storm of Witchcraft The Salem witch trials resulted in part from a panic over the destruction of Berwick and other Maine settlements during King William's War.  Dr. Emerson "Tad" Baker will highlight the stories of several war refugees from Maine who were participants in the trials, including Wells minister George Burroughs, who was executed for witchcraft.  One afflicted girl, Mercy Short, lost her family during the Salmon Falls Raid, and another, Sarah Churchwell, lived much of her adult life in present-day South Berwick. 

7:30 pm (Berwick Academy Arts Center)

President Johnson signs the Public Broadcasting Act
 The explosion in digital and social media is fueling political polarization, creating a storm of misinformation and eroding democratic discourse. The need for reliable journalism is greater than ever, but trust in traditional news organizations is collapsing even while their financial difficulties grow. Dr. Henry Laurence will present the important role of public broadcasters in the digital age, as well a history of public broadcasting since its origins on the radio in the 1920’s.


Oldfields Road barn7:30 pm  (Berwick Academy Commons Dining Hall)

The evolution of barn architecture tells the story of New England agriculture. Barns changed from the early English style, to Yankee style, to gambrel and then to pole barns to accommodate changing agriculture. In this presentation, author John Porter will present a chronological walk through time, with photo illustrations of barns from around the state of New Hampshire as examples of these eras of agricultural history.

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