Sept. 23 - 7:30 pm (Berwick Academy) - "The Chadbourne Archhaeology Project: A Progress Report" - The digging has stopped on this important archaeology project sponsored by OBHS, but the analysis continues. Emerson "Tad" Baker provides an update on what we are learning about life in South Berwick in the 17th century.
One of the most important archaeological sites excavated in southern Maine, the 17th century Chadbourne homestead, will be analyzed and interpreted by project leader Emerson "Tad" Baker in a lecture sponsored by the Old Berwick Historical Society.
The program, which is open to the public, will be held Thursday evening, September 23, starting at 7:30 pm at Berwick Academy's Jeppesen Science Center on Academy Street. Refreshments will be served by volunteers.
A professor of history at Salem State College, Baker is an award-winning author of numerous works on the history and archaeology of early New England, including The Devil of Great Island: Witchcraft and Conflict in Early New England.
Baker has led archaeological excavations at many early colonial sites. He was an on-camera expert for the PBS-TV series Colonial House, and has consulted for PBS's The American Experience. He lives with his wife and two daughters in York.
From 1995 to 2007, Baker and the Old Berwick Historical Society excavated the homestead of Lucy and Humphrey Chadbourne and their family, who were among the first English settlers to arrive in what is now South Berwick. The Chadbourne home and sawmill are believed to have stood from 1643 to 1690 near the confluence of the Great Works and Salmon Falls Rivers. The site was probably destroyed during conflicts with the Indians.
Baker and hundreds of volunteers over 13 years uncovered over 40,000 artifacts as well as the remains of the house and a series of outbuildings.
Artifacts from the Chadbourne project can now be viewed at the historical society’s Counting House Museum, open weekends from 1:00 to 4:00 pm through October, and year-round by appointment. A new display about the Chadbournes is also set to be part of a new exhibit, Village Voices, to open on September 25 at the Counting House.
Although the digging has ended, the analysis of the site and the artifacts continues. In his lecture, Baker will present an analysis of the artifacts, and how they help us better understand what life was like for the Chadbourne family and other early immigrants to Northern New England.
This event is part of the Old Berwick Historical Society's 2010 series of talks, walks and historical events. The series, supported by member donations, includes seven monthly evening presentations as well as other local history events around South Berwick.