March 25 - 7:30 pm (Berwick Academy) - "Coopering – Timber, History and Importance” - Ron Raiselis, a cooper for 30 years, will discuss the importance of the coopers who arrived with the first English settlers in the 1620s and how their work was essential to commerce and daily life in the Seacoast area. His talk will include a demonstration of some of these items and their uses.
This lecture will be held on March 25 at Berwick Academy's Jeppesen Science Center on Academy Street. Admission to the talk is free and refreshments will be served by volunteers.
Ron Raiselis of Portsmouth is one of the few active coopers (wooden barrel maker) in the United States. He began his journey as a cooper at Sturbridge Village in the 1970s and trained with the renowned cooper Lenny Julian. Ron has gone on to become a master cooper and is an expert at making barrels that can hold liquid, called tight kegs or wet cooperage. He has served as the resident cooper at Strawbery Banke Museum in Portsmouth, NH since 1985, where he maintains a traditional cooperage shop.
This event is part of the Old Berwick Historical Society's 2010 series of talks, walks and historical events. The series, supported by memberships and a grant from Kennebunk Savings Bank, includes seven monthly evening presentations as well as other local history events around South Berwick, including the society's Counting House Museum.