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 New maps of “Native space” and littleknown historical documents reveal a very different view of both the war and the territory known as northern New England.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

Thursday, May 21, 7 pm
Counting House, South Berwick, ME

New Exhibit:
“From South Berwick to the South Pacific: the World War II Letters of Wildré Pelletier”

Business meeting
Desserts, hors d’oeuvres

 

 




Music by Vintage Voices
“The Songs I Delighted to Hear,” songs enjoyed by late Victorians in America.

For OBHS members - New members always welcome.

1:00 pm · Counting House · (Rain date June 13)
Discover the small but colorful neighborhood of South Berwick’s old “Upper Landing” and cotton mill, where seafarers once lived and gundalows unloaded cargoes from distant lands.

These bits of local history will be visited on the Old Berwick Historical Society’s Tour of Quamphegan Landing to be held on Saturday, June 6 from 1:00 to 2:00 pm.  This free event led by Wendy Pirsig begins at the Counting House Museum at Main and Liberty Streets, and includes Counting House Park along the Salmon Falls River as well as the surrounding 19th century neighborhood.  The rain date is Saturday, June 13.

The tour coincides on June 6 with South Berwick Kids Day, and families are welcome. 

All Day · Counting House Park
Take a trip back in time at our Living History Presentation depicting a late 17th century Native American and French encampment & display. Enjoy meeting some of the participants in our town’s critical and explosive history.

The original wood-frame school building, known today as the 1791 House1:00 pm · 1791 House, Berwick Academy
Archivist Rachel Saliba will lead a walk around the beautiful hilltop where the history of Maine’s oldest school intertwines with that of interesting South Berwick residents of the 1700s and 1800s.

Matthew H. Edney, professor of cartography at the University of Southern Maine 7:30 pm · Berwick Academy
Join Matthew Edney of the Osher Map Library, University of Southern Maine, for an exploration of the surveys and mapping of the boundaries of Maine and Massachusetts with New Hampshire.  Maps, disputes and boundary issues will be the subject of an illustrated talk sponsored by the Old Berwick Historical Society on Thursday, September 24.

7:30 pm · Berwick Academy
Professor William O. Thomson will share remarkable stories and legends about strange occurrences and ghostly apparitions in the areas they once called home.

 
The Old Berwick Historical Society's Lighting Up Ball fundraiser offers dancing to modern favorites, socializing, an hors d'oeuvres buffet and contra dancing at Spring Hill Restaurant in South Berwick on Saturday, November 7 starting at 7:30 pm. Tickets are available at the door and at South Berwick Pharmacy for $35 per person, or $30 per person for tables of 10. Proceeds benefit the Counting House Museum and local history programs.  More information 207-384-0000 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

A local party tradition with roots in the mill era of the 1800s will be renewed when the Old Berwick Historical Society presents its Lighting Up Ball fundraiser on Saturday evening, November 7.

7:30 pm · Berwick Academy
In honor of the bicentennial of the birth of the 16th president, Brad Fletcher offers an examination of Lincoln’s overnight visit to our New Hampshire neighbor in 1860.  
 
In 1860, Lincoln visited the east coast to make his famous Cooper Union Address and visit his eldest son at Phillips Exeter Academy. He had his photograph taken by celebrated 19th century photographer Matthew Brady.  During the New Hampshire stop, Lincoln made speeches and campaigned in several cities, including Dover.

Punkintown FoundationFebruary 25 - 7:30 pm (Berwick Academy) - "Punkintown – A Village that Once Was” - Join Carol Zamarchi as she explores with description and facts the history of the small, isolated community that became known as Punkintown in Eliot, Maine.

January 28 - 7:30 pm (Berwick Academy) - "The Naked Quaker: True Crimes and Controversies from the Courts of Colonial New England” – Lawyer and historian Diane Rapaport takes us into the lives of our ancestors, revealing how they behaved and spoke, in amusing, poignant & shocking true stories from pre-Revolutionary court records.

Cooper's plane in Counting House CollectionMarch 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.

Nate Hamilton-Smuttynose IslandApril 22- 7:30 pm (Berwick Academy) - "Stewardship and Archaeological Heritage on Smuttynose Island, Isles of Shoals” – Join Nathan Hamilton for a presentation of the Shoals Marine Laboratory sponsored excavations of the 17th and 18th century historic period fishing station and Haley family operation. The project has focused on recovery and analysis of marine and coastal animal remains.

 

Peloquin

Annual Meeting May 20 – 6:30 pm (Counting House) - At the Old Berwick Historical Society annual meeting, members will experience river history by climbing aboard the gundalow Captain Adams docked at Quamphegan Landing. After the meeting in the Counting House, enjoy the "Sounds Like Old Times" concert with Dave Peloquin and Bob Webb performing American folk and popular music from our collective past. Tenor and baritone harmonizing will be accompanied by guitars and 5-string banjo. For OBHS members - new members are welcome.

Gundalow

Here is the full schedule of gundalow events for everyone--

From gardening to music and theater, from maritime history to Sarah Orne Jewett, here is a busy linuep of educational and performance events, while the gundalow docks at Counting House Park - May 17-27, 2010.

Free Will Baptist Cemetery TourThe Old Berwick Historical Society will lead a guided walking tour of the Freewill Baptist Cemetery at 340 Main Street, South Berwick, Maine, on Saturday, June 19. The event begins at 1:00 pm, rain or shine, and will last approximately an hour. It is open to the public and is free of charge.

 
Located beside the Free Baptist Church in the heart of South Berwick’s village, the cemetery dates to the early 1800s. Among those buried here are John Spencer, veteran of the War of 1812; Capt. Elijah Ricker, born about 1786, who died at sea in 1826; William L. Hanscom and Alfred W. Hart, veterans of the Civil War; and veterans of the Spanish American War and World War I.

Chadbourne SpoonsSept. 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.

Maine - Fire of 1947Nov. 18 - 7:30 pm (Berwick Academy) - "Maine Burning: The Fire of 1947" - Brad Fletcher discusses the terrifying week in the autumn of 1947 in which wildfires burned over 200,000 acres, destroying nine communities and over 1,000 homes and businesses.

Photo by Ted Dyer

LUB 2010 logoLUB 2009 dancers

Nov. 6 - 7:30 pm (Spring Hill Restaurant) - Our annual fundraiser and an evening of community fun. Everyone is invited to eat, drink and dance the night away to support the Counting House Museum and local history programs. Wear your party clothes or historical costume.

 

Nina Maurer

October 28 - 7:30 pm (Berwick Academy) - "Plowing the Waves: The Four Seasons of Farmer Gerrish" - Nina Maurer will present the tale of a rare survival - a timeless and intimate account of life on the margins of the young Republic, told by mariner and farmer Benjamin Gerrish of South Berwick, whose diary of the year 1791 chronicles the capacity to adapt and the power to endure. Read more...

Berwick Academy Campus TourSept. 18 - 1:00 pm (1791 House, Berwick Academy) - "Berwick Academy Campus Historical Tour" - Archivist Rachel Saliba will lead a walk around the beautiful hilltop where the history of Maine's oldest school intertwines with that of interesting South Berwick residents of the 1700s and 1800s.

large contemporary hamilton7:30 pm (Berwick Academy)
In 1934 the Piscataqua Garden Club hosted a Garden Club of America tour opening thirty-three properties to four hundred fellow gardeners from across the country. Using photographs by Marvin Breckinridge and John Mead Howells, horticulturists Gary and Nancy Wetzel, who care for four of the properties today, will provide a view of seacoast gardens then and now.

Photo by Gary Wetzel

Wedding shot7:30 pm (Berwick Academy)
Mistress Mary will come dressed only in a long white linen 'shift', the basic undergarment of a colonial woman. Master Adam, dressed in 18thc clothing, will then help her to dress layer by layer in an authentic reproduction of an English gown of the c. 1760's in this unique, entertaining, educational, and light-hearted look at ladies' 18th century fashion.

Views from Rosemary Hill7:30 pm (Berwick Academy)
Weaving the history of Eliot, Maine and some of its prominent families with the experiences of newcomers to that town, author Helen Goransson describes the experiences that led to the writing of her book. She will share photos and stories about the Bartlett family who inhabited her home, and, in particular, Ralph Bartlett, prominent Eliot citizen and world traveler, the ghost who made her write the book.

Robert Goodby7:30 pm (Berwick Academy)
Excavations at the new Keene Middle School site revealed the remains of four individual households from 12,000 years ago. Robert Goodby will discuss how these discoveries shed light on household organization, economy, technology, and social networks that extended hundreds of miles across northern New England at the end of the ice age.

Harvey Reid7:00 pm (Counting House)

Enjoy a performance by Harvey Reid, master minstrel, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who has been called "one of the true treasures of American acoustic music". For OBHS members - new members are welcome.

Jewett House fence, downtown South Berwick1:00 pm (South Berwick Village)

A one-hour walking tour listening for “village voices” from the past will be offered by the Old Berwick Historical Society on Saturday, Sept. 17.

Dubbed “Village Voices: The Tour,” the walk incorporates themes from a new exhibit by that name at the society’s Counting House Museum. The display, located in the second floor hall, traces the economic transformation of South Berwick over four centuries, using maps, photos and original objects.

Led by historical society member Wendy Pirsig, the walking tour begins at 1:00 pm in the post office parking lot on Main Street. Everyone is welcome.

Sawmilling, farming, maritime trade, shoemaking, textile manufacturing, and small business are six local livelihoods highlighted in both the exhibit and the walking tour.

“Not every town is fortunate enough to have so many remnants of past eras, right within walking distance,” said Pirsig. “In South Berwick, even with modern traffic going by and people talking on cell phones, we can learn the stories of people who lived here before, and picture their livelihoods when horses’ hooves could be heard on these streets.”

More information is available by calling (207)384-0000 or by writing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

MORE FALL PROGRAMS

Sept. 22, 2011 - Who Won The War of 1812? - Forgotten Patriot Pirates of the Piscataqua

Tall Ship Lynx7:30 pm (Berwick Academy)
History writer J. Dennis Robinson takes an irreverent bicentennial look at America's "Forgotten War" and its killer impact on the Piscataqua region. This illustrated lecture also tells the story of the $3 million tall ship LYNX, built in Maine and registered in Portsmouth, NH.

Ruth Blay

7:30 pm (Berwick Academy)
Author Carolyn Marvin will discuss this true story of the 1768 hanging of a Portsmouth schoolteacher, the dramatic details of Ruth's life and the cruel injustice of colonial Portsmouth's moral code.

My Sales Alive aint he big7:30 pm (Berwick Academy)
Old Bet the elephant toured the Maine frontier during the frigid year of 1816 - Maine's Year Without Summer - until her trail's end in Alfred. Bruce Tucker will present the details of Maine's only successful elephant hunt and the consequences of this sad affair.

Drawing by Marcia Oakes Woodbury of South Berwick


Chadbourne PlateRick and Linda Becker

Bid on the Chadbourne replica plate and many more items in the silent auction

7:30 pm (Spring Hill Restaurant)
Our annual fundraiser and an evening of community fun. Everyone is invited to eat, drink, dance and bid, to support the Counting House Museum and local history programs. Wear your party clothes or historical costume. Ticket information and more details.

7:30 pm (Berwick Academy)
Meet Mary: ocean-born and named by an infamous pirate. Her birth saved a group of Scottish immigrants aboard a ship bound for New England in 1720. Join historian Jeremy D'Entremont as he separates the facts from the fantastic legends shrouding one of New England's most enduring folk tales.

CopleyPastel7:30 pm (Berwick Academy)
In this lecture, art historian Deborah M. Child will retrace the journey of this dazzling circa 1770 pastel from the auction house salesroom of Sotheby's in New York back to California and finally to the Boston studio of John Singleton Copley.

Four American Stories

 

1:00 pm (Counting House Museum)
Workshop by author Joe Hardy with genealogist Beth Tykodi.
*Special offer for OBHS members -- new members always welcome

A special workshop will be held on the second floor of the Counting House Museum on Sunday, March 4 at 1:00 pm.

The event is free for members of the Old Berwick Historical Society, and new members are welcome to join at the door. A one-year membership donation is $20 per person or $30 for a family. 

7:30 pm (Berwick Academy)
In the 1870s, the young Theodore Roosevelt made several trips to the Maine woods - and his life was changed forever. Author Andrew Vietze will discuss those adventures, the formative relationship TR forged with legendary guide Bill Sewall, and why they still matter today.

mainescivilwarmonuments7:30 pm (Berwick Academy)
From Kittery to Ashland and from Bethel to Eastport, Maine has 175 Civil War monuments commemorating the sacrifices of the state's men and women to preserve the Union between 1861 and 1865. Earle G. Shettleworth, Jr., Maine State Historian, will present the fascinating story of these tangible expressions of patriotism during the four-year conflict that divided the nation.

connorgarvey7:00 pm (Counting House)
Celebrate our 50th Anniversary with our new museum exhibit opening and folk-rock singer-songwriter Connor Garvey. With a rhythmic guitar and unique clear voice, Connor's songs challenge us to hope, grow, laugh & see all the beauty in life's metaphors. For OBHS members - new members are welcome.

villagevoicesthetour

A one-hour walking tour following the “village voices” of the past will be offered by the Old Berwick Historical Society on Saturday, June 9. 
 
Led by historical society member Wendy Pirsig, the walking tour begins at 1:00 pm in the post office parking lot on Main Street.  The event is free and everyone is welcome.

abrahamlincoln7:30 pm (Berwick Academy)

Brad Fletcher examines the state's role in, and response to, Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation freeing the slaves.

Maine’s mixed reaction to the North vs. South conflict over slavery will be the subject of a talk 7:30  pm Thursday, Sept. 27 at Berwick Academy's Jeppesen Science Center on Academy Street.

The free talk by Brad Fletcher falls five days after the 150th anniversary of Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, announcing the end of slavery in the rebellious south to take effect Jan. 1, 1863.

oldfields-ngerrish1:00 pm (Old Fields Cemetery)

Led by Dr. Neill De Paoli and Wendy Pirsig, the event initiates a year-long series of programs commemorating the 300th anniversary of the old town of Berwick (comprising present-day Berwick, South Berwick and North Berwick) in 1713.   
Old Fields Burying Ground is located near the corner of Vine and Brattle Streets. The cemetery tour begins at 1:00 pm, rain or shine, and will last approximately an hour.  It is open to the public and is free of charge.  Comfortable shoes are recommended.
South Berwick’s oldest community cemetery, dating to the 1600s, is part of the “Old Fields” area that was once the center of town.  A meetinghouse stood nearby, and many people earned their livelihood at sawmills on the Great Works River and shipyards on the Salmon Falls River. 

KateFurbish7:30 pm (Berwick Academy)

A century ago, a woman doing solitary fieldwork throughout Maine discovered the slender blue flag, Iris prismatica, which exists today only in Wells. This was just one of more than 1000 plants found and painted in watercolors by Catherine Furbish as she did her work from York to Aroostook counties.

Nancy Wetzel of South Berwick will give a talk 7:30 pm Thursday, Oct. 25, about the life of Furbish, a dedicated botanist, scientific artist and founding member of Maine's Josselyn Botanical Society. The free talk, sponsored by the Old Berwick Historical Society, will be at Berwick Academy's Jeppesen Science Center on Academy Street. The public is invited and refreshments will be served.

Photo credit as requested by Bowdoin College Library:
Courtesy the Kate Furbish Collection, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine.

neilldepaoli7:30 pm (Berwick Academy)

Much of Maine was wracked by Anglo-Indian conflict from 1675 until the late 1720s, which devastated the region’s Native American and English communities. Berwick was caught in the middle of this inter-cultural warfare. On the evening of November 15th, Dr. Neill De Paoli will lead the audience on a historical and archaeological journey into the impact this warfare had on the makeup, layout, and dynamics of old Berwick. His research has revealed a community under considerable economic, social, and psychological stress as the settlement responded to Native American attacks on this and other settlements in Maine and New Hampshire. 

1960s dance logo7:30 pm  -  American Legion, Rollinsford, NH
 
Celebrate Our 50th Anniversary. Good vibrations for all at this special fundraiser!
 

Click here for more information including event tickets and auction items.

1665 piscataqua map7:30 pm (Berwick Academy)

Dr. Emerson Baker will discuss the native inhabitants of Southern Maine, the Wabanaki people.  Peaceful and violent interactions with European explorers and settlers drastically changed their lives in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries.

The highs and the lows of the relationships between Native Americans and European settlers of this area will be the subject of a lecture 7:30  pm Thursday, Jan. 24 sponsored by the Old Berwick Historical Society.  The lecture will be at Berwick Academy's Jeppesen Science Center on Academy Street. The public is invited and refreshments will be served. 

colonial gun7:30 pm (Berwick Academy)

In a talk celebrating the Berwicks’ 300th anniversary this year, blacksmith/gunsmith Steve Woodman will describe the perpetual shortage of firearms in Colonial Maine, the men who tried to alleviate the shortage, and the methods they used.

frost tankard7:30 pm (Berwick Academy)

Historian Barbara Ward will discuss the characteristics and history of early New England church silver including the collection held by South Berwick's First Parish Federated Church.

rev tompson7:30 pm (Berwick Academy)

Seth Hurd will discuss the founding of Berwick Academy and how many members of the Berwick community, including Reverend John Tompson, enthusiastically embraced the need to further the education of the youth in their growing town.

obhs party7:00 pm (Counting House)  

Celebrate our new museum exhibit opening with an evening of live entertainment and savories and sweets of the 18th century.   For OBHS members - new members are welcome.

Enjoy 18TH CENTURY ENTERTAINMENT WITH TROUBADOR Dave Peloquin 

All old -- and new -- Old Berwick Historical Society members are welcome.   Join at the door. 

hayesjoseph gen3:00 pm (Old Fields Burying Ground)

Gen. Joseph Hayes

On the eve of the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, the Old Berwick Historical Society invites the public to an outdoor talk entitled "A South Berwick Soldier at Gettysburg and After," at Old Fields Burying Ground on Sunday, June 30 at 3:00 pm. 

The cemetery is located near the corner of Vine and Brattle Streets. Admission is free and the event will be held rain or shine, and will last approximately an hour.  Comfortable shoes are recommended.

steve eames7:30 pm (Berwick Academy)

Join Dr. Steven Eames for his talk on the development of defensive and offensive methods of warfare on the Maine frontier including defensive garrison houses and patrols, and offensive raiding parties.

The program will begin at 7:30 pm on Thursday, September 26, at Berwick Academy's Jeppesen Science Center on Academy Street. The public is invited and refreshments will be served.

depaoli n7:30 pm (Berwick Academy)

Come and join Dr. Neill De Paoli as he explores the career of John Gyles, one of Maine's leading Anglo-Indian interpreters and negotiators during the turbulent first half of the 18th century.

Sponsored by the Old Berwick Historical Society, the program coincides with the 300th anniversary of Berwick’s formation when it separated from Kittery in 1713, and is part of a year-long series of public historical talks and walks under grants from Kennebunk Savings and the Maine Humanities Council.

“John Gyles’ story reveals a man challenged by his upbringing as a Puritan and often conflicting roles as an interpreter/cultural mediator and provincial military officer,” said DePaoli.

1600s new england7:30 pm (Berwick Academy)

Dr. Ellen Cowie will discuss the French in Maine during the 16-18th centuries with a particular emphasis on the Wabanaki village of Norridgewock.  The archaeological information from this site has provided rich insight into the history of one Native American community located on the embattled frontier of French, English and Wabanaki colonial America.

Cowie’s talk will be Thursday, November 21, at 7:30 pm at Berwick Academy's Jeppesen Science Center on Academy Street. The public is invited, and refreshments will be served by volunteers.

ken h - campfire kids(Counting House Park)

An outdoor "living history" presentation of a colonial encampment at the time of King William's War in the late 1600s will be held on Saturday, August 24, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, and Sunday, August 25, from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm, at the Counting House Museum and riverfront park.

"This is a family event for all concerned", said Paula Bennett, program chair of the Old Berwick Historical Society, adding that the re-enactors will travel here from around New England and eastern Canada.

The society is sponsoring the event to coincide with the 300th anniversary year of the establishment of Berwick, comprising the towns of South Berwick, North Berwick and Berwick of today.

Charles Doleac7:30 pm (Berwick Academy)

Join Charles B. Doleac as he discusses The 1713-14 Treaty negotiations in Portsmouth between the English and the “Eastern Indians” of the Maine coast. The Treaties of 1713-14 have a direct connection with ideas concerning the Rights of Indigenous People in the headlines today.

Sponsored by the Old Berwick Historical Society, the program will be held on Thursday, January 23, starting at 7:30 pm at Berwick Academy's Jeppesen Science Center on Academy Street.  The public is invited and volunteers will serve refreshments.

The national rivalries and imperial intentions of the French and English played out against the “First Nations” people who inhabited the northeast North American coast for 10,000 years. After the decimating epidemics of 1616-19 and war with the Iroquois, the First Nations of the four Maine coastal alliances and families had formed a confederacy of the Wabanaki, the “people of the dawnland.”

Thomas C Parks7:30 pm (Berwick Academy)

Turn back the calendar 200 years and take a virtual stroll through the buildings where we shop and live today.  Who would we meet in 1814?  Using documents from the Counting House collection, archivist Wendy Pirsig introduces some of the faces and places of South Berwick when it was first incorporated in 1814.

Sponsored by the Old Berwick Historical Society, the program will be held on Thursday, February 27, starting at 7:30 pm at Berwick Academy's Jeppesen Science Center on Academy Street.  The public is invited, and volunteers will serve refreshments.  This lecture is one of many bicentennial events to be organized throughout 2014 by the Old Berwick Historical Society and other community organizations.

Grace Darling7:30 pm (Berwick Academy)

One of the most remarkable and gorgeous horse-drawn carriages in any museum collection in the United States, the Grace Darling omnibus, first used in 1880, transported tourists in style in South Berwick until 1904.  The Long Island Museum's Chief Curator Joshua Ruff discusses the history of this beautifully-painted twenty-three foot long vehicle, now a star of his museum's collection.

Sponsored by the Old Berwick Historical Society, the program will be held on Thursday, March 27, starting at 7:30 pm at Berwick Academy's Jeppesen Science Center on Academy Street.  The public is invited and volunteers will serve refreshments.

7:30 pm (Berwick Academy)

Historian Jan Eakins became interested in devices used by early New Englanders to ward off witches when she was director/curator of Fairbanks House, built in Dedham, Massachusetts in 1641. Puritans believed supernatural forces for good and evil shaped their daily lives. To ward off disaster, they placed old shoes in the walls of their houses and barns, hung a horseshoe over the door, or crossed their fingers – practices that continued long after the Puritan religion faded. In a lecture sponsored by the Old Berwick Historical Society, Jan will discuss the role of magic in early New England, and why shoes were believed to have special power to ward off witches. She will offer tips for determining if a “found” shoe was purposefully placed, and what to do if you are fortunate enough to find one. She will end her talk by examining a pair of children’s shoes found in a house in South Berwick. Bring shoes and stories if you have them!

The program will be held on Thursday, April 24, starting at 7:30 pm at Berwick Academy's Jeppesen Science Center on Academy Street.  The public is invited, and volunteers will serve refreshments.  This lecture is one of many bicentennial events to be organized throughout 2014 by the Old Berwick Historical Society and other community organizations.

Burke & Surette7:00 pm (Counting House)

Celebrate South Berwick's 200th Anniversary on May 22nd with the Old Berwick Historical Society’s new Bicentennial exhibit, good food, and a performance by Susie Burke and David Surette.  The Annual Meeting, located at the Counting House, is open to all OBHS members - new members are welcome to join at the door.  The society’s annual membership meeting begins with refreshments and exhibit viewing at 7:00 pm and will be followed by the concert.

In honor of South Berwick's 200th anniversary, there will be a new Bicentennial exhibit, “Main Street, South Berwick: 200 Years of Downtown History.”  The exhibit explores the staples of South Berwick’s downtown area, including churches, businesses, municipal buildings, and schools.  Items from the Counting House Museum’s collection round out the exhibit, as well as special panels featuring parades from past South Berwick celebrations, and current photos of “The Faces of Downtown.”

 

Ouellettes' Barn
On Saturday, June 21, the Old Berwick Historical Society will present "Circle the Pond," a house and garden tour featuring seven private homes in South Berwick, Maine.

The homes (circa 1700-1985) feature various periods and styles, including unique architectural designs.

 

Joshua Chamberlain7:30 pm (Berwick Academy) Gen. Joseph Hayes

Regional historian and Berwick Academy teacher, Brad Fletcher, will trace the parallel experiences of the well-known Chamberlain and South Berwick's little know Joseph Hayes.

 

7:30 pm (Berwick Academy)

The shape of modern food habits begins to emerge in the early 1800s, including the order of the menu, and the preparation of dishes we know and love today.  In this talk, Sandy Oliver will explore the life stories of classic Maine dishes enjoyed by Berwick residents from 1814 to 1914 like chowder, baked beans and brown bread, and some that have disappeared (or nearly) like salt fish dinner.

 

7:30 pm (Berwick Academy) 

Something extraordinary occurred at the Portsmouth Navy Yard during World War II.  After building fewer than two submarines a year in the 1930s, the yard completed an astonishing 32 fleet boats in 1944 and built a total of 79 submarines during the war, more than any other shipyard.  Captain Watterson USN (Retired) will analyze the factors that led to the yard's record setting performance, which resulted in Portsmouth-built submarines sinking 434 enemy ships, totaling 1.7 million tons.  Few industrial facilities made a more significant contribution to winning World War II.

7:30 pm (Berwick Academy)

Join Kevin Gardner, author of "The Granite Kiss", as he discusses the history, technique, stylistic development and aesthetics of New England stone walls.  Kevin will also explain the how and why New England came to acquire its thousands of miles of stone walls, the ways in which they and other dry stone structures were built, how their styles emerged and changed over time, and their significance to the famous New England landscape.

7:30 pm (Berwick Academy)

What was life like on the American home front during World War II?  Peggy Konitzky, Historic New England Site Manager, will examine how American communities like the Berwicks dealt with the exodus of local men and women to the armed services and the requirements of the war effort, including the effect of blackouts, rationing and shortages on households and local businesses.  She will discuss the changing roles of women during the war, both as production soldiers in new war jobs and as “kitchen commandos” in the home. The illustrated talk includes information from local newspapers in South Berwick and Kennebunk as well as photos and archival materials from the Old Berwick Historical Society.

May 21 -  OBHS Annual Meeting

7:00 pm (Counting House)

Enjoy an evening of good food and a performance by Jeff Warner at our Annual Meeting.  Located at the Counting House, the Annual Meeting is open to all OBHS members - new members are welcome to join at the door.  The society’s annual membership meeting begins with refreshments and exhibit viewing at 7:00 pm and will be followed by the concert.

  (7:30 pm - Berwick Academy)

James Sullivan, a son of Old Berwick, was an economic visionary, an early supporter of religious freedom, and by 1807, the first Jeffersonian governor of Massachusetts.  Yet few historians have given him the recognition he deserves.  In this program, Daniel L. Breen will discuss Sullivan's lively and colorful career, and assess his significance in the politics of the early republic.

PLEASE NOTE THIS LECTURE WILL BE HELD ON WEDNESDAY EVENING

7:30 pm (Berwick Academy)

Emerson "Tad" Baker will discuss his recent book which sets the Salem Witch Trials in the broader context of American history from the seventeenth century to the present, and examines their enduring legacy.  Focusing on the key players in the Salem witchcraft crisis—the accused witches and the people they allegedly bewitched, as well as the judges and government officials who prosecuted them— he illuminates why the tragedy unfolded as it did.

7:30 pm (Berwick Academy)

General Fitz-John Porter was blamed for the bloody Union defeat at Second Bull Run for over 20 years.  Then in 1886, President Grover Cleveland restored him to the Army at his former rank.  Amateur historian (and retired lawyer) Wayne Soini tracks the successful post-war campaign of Porter's belated-but-key supporters, U.S. General Grant and attorney Joseph Choate, in the quest for his vindication.

7:30 pm (Berwick Academy)

For over 140 years the moonlight ax murder of two Norwegian women on the rocky Isles of Shoals has haunted New England. Popular historian and lecturer J. Dennis Robinson cuts through the hoaxes, lies, rumors, and fiction surrounding the infamous trial and execution of handsome 28-year old Louis Wagner, who claimed he was innocent.  You will hear about the role of South Berwick's George Yeaton, the prosecutor, who lived on Academy Street; the murderer's arraignment on Main Street; and the vibrant history of life on the Seacoast in the 1870s.

7:30 pm (Berwick Academy)

Have you ever wondered what life was like for the Native people who called the Berwick area home?  Join Dana Benner as he discusses what a typical year would have been like for them.

Dana is of Abenaki (Piqwacket, Penobscot, Micmac), English and German descent.  He holds an M.Ed. in Heritage Studies from Plymouth State University and a BA in U.S. History and Native American Culture from Granite State College.  He spent 12 years in the US Army.  He teaches Political Science, History and Sociology at Southern New Hampshire University, Granite State College and Manchester Community College.  He also has been writing and lecturing about Native American history and all aspects of the outdoors for 30 years.

7:30 pm (Berwick Academy)

 Sandy Oliver will explore the last three hundred years of vegetable eating in America, its evolution to vegan dishes on restaurant menus, and invite sharing of gardening advice useful today. 

Bread as the staff of life, augmented by precious meat, and accompanied by "garden sauce" -- an early term for vegetables -- has evolved into "Eat More Kale" and vegan dishes on restaurant menus. How has this come about? Sandy's lively lecture will address this question and give some ideas on how to incorporate vegetables in your own meals.

(7:30pm - Berwick Academy - Whipple Arts Center)

A scholar investigating the centuries-old mystery surrounding the last resting place of captive Scottish will visit a region in America where some of their comrades were taken after the brutal Battle of Dunbar in 1650.

 Dr. Chris Gerrard, head of the department of archaeology at Durham University, England, will present a lecture on the fate of 17th century soldiers imprisoned at Durham.

These men had been caught in a religious war that catapulted them across Europe and America—including southeastern Maine and Seacoast New Hampshire, where many descendants live today. 

Photo: Dr. Andrew Millard, Durham University, North News and Pictures

Sunday, October 30 - Cemetery Art and Symbolism

Authors Paulette Chernack and Cassandra Davidson will present “Cemetery Art and Symbolism- A Talk and Workshop” at the Counting House Museum on Sunday, October 30, at 1:30 pm.   

The program is one of several of the Old Berwick Historical Society’s presentations this fall. Admission is by donation and the public is invited.

The author and the illustrator, a mother/daughter duo, will discuss art, symbolism and history found in graveyards and cemeteries, conservation and preservation information, and correct procedures for rubbing gravestones.

 Local chef Kathy Gunst will host a recipe swap, and talk about her newest book, Soup Swap: Comforting Recipes to Make and Share, on Sunday, December 4, at 2:00 pm at the Counting House Museum. 

Participants are encouraged to bring copies of their favorite recipe for others to take home and try.

7:30 pm (Berwick Academy)

 The Piscataqua estuary is at the heart of this tale, which asks listeners to imagine how different peoples have lived in the ecosystem we now call home. Prior to the arrival of the English and French during the Little Ice Age, Wabanaki inhabitants mastered the seasonal challenges of living in this place. English settlers redefined its ecology during the seventeenth century. Paying attention to forests, fish, ships, and sheep, Dr. Jeffrey Bolster recasts our regional story, anchoring us to the past in compelling new ways.

 10:00 - 11:30 am. Old Berwick Historical Society president Wendy Pirsig will introduce the story of English merchants and adventurers who settled along the Piscataqua River in the 1600s and launched America’s first clearcut. Presented through a partnership of Old Berwick Historical Society and Great Works Regional Land Trust, this hike follows the January 26 OBHS lecture on the Piscataqua Estuary before the arrival of Europeans. 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. 

7:30 pm (Berwick Academy)

 The incredible tale of a young girl captured in Wells, Maine, and taken to Canada in 1703, never to return, will be presented by author Dr. Ann Little at our monthly lecture at the Berwick Academy Arts Center. “The Many Captivities of Esther Wheelwright: Communities in the Northeast Borderlands” is open to the public. Admission is free with donations are gratefully accepted.  

Born and raised to age 7, Esther Wheelwright (1696-1780) was captured by the Wabanaki and taught to live as a native girl. Enrolled in a convent school in Quebec City at age 12, she eventually became Mother Superior of the Ursuline order. 

  10:00-11:30 am. Archaeologist Tad Baker will recount the story of the French and Native raid of 1703 that devastated the village of Wells and the century-long contest of faith and allegiance that defined the Piscataqua frontier. Presented through a partnership of Old Berwick Historical Society and Great Works Regional Land Trust, this hike follows the February 23 OBHS lecture on the captivity of Esther Wheelwright of Wells. 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)

An era when news in New England was carried through both Native American and English networks, and rumors could produce shivers of fear, will be the subject of a talk presented by the Old Berwick Historical Society. Dr. Katherine Grandjean will discuss her recent book, American Passage, which revisits the story of early New England’s settlement through the dark, confused world of communication. Image courtesy Rhode Island Historical Society.

 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.

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

 Local Author Paula Bennett will be discussing her recently published book, “Imagining Ichabod: My Journey into 18th Century America through History, Food, and a Georgian House,” at the Counting House Museum in South Berwick.

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

Bennett will share her story about how she and her husband, Harvey, came to own the Goodwin House, located in what is called the Old Fields part of South Berwick. They wanted to imagine, and to live to some extent, what daily life was like for the Goodwins in the 1700’s. They researched and explored the diet, décor, and activities of the early colonial times. 

(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.

Both encampments are family-friendly, and visitors are encouraged to ask and touch. “Through Enemy Eyes,” a special presentation about the experience of woodsmen raiders on the New England frontier, will take place at 3:00 pm at the Counting House Museum. Photo credit: Jimmy Brodie 

For five summers Dr. Neill De Paoli has led archaeological excavations in the Old Fields neighborhood on the site of a late 17th and 18th century home, tavern, and garrison. Field school participants have been uncovering the ruins of the Spencer-Goodwin home and tavern to uncover belongings of the occupants and tavern goers as well the five African-American and Indian slaves owned by Captain Goodwin.

Come join Dr. De Paoli and his crew as they learn how life transitioned from the turmoil of the Anglo-Indian wars of the late 1600s and early 1700s to the economic rebirth of the decades leading up to the American Revolution.  

Please click to read more about the Old Fields Archaeology Project 2010-2014

Program

Musket gun cock, early 18th century, with flint still in place This experience is a great hands-on opportunity for upper level high school and college students seeking experience in historical archaeology, teachers in need of recertification credits, or history buffs interested in exploring an area with a rich colonial history. Participants will learn basic excavation and recording techniques, laboratory procedures, the identification of 17th and 18th century European artifacts, as well as investigate archaeological features related to the Spencer & Goodwin homesteads and taverns. The program will be highlighted by field trips to local 17th and 18th century old Berwick landmarks and weekly films and discussions.

Director

Dr. Neill De Paoli has over 35 years of experience as a historical archaeologist, having directed archaeological projects and field schools in Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. His archaeological investigation of the Spencer-Goodwin site is part of a broader historical and archaeological study of southeastern Maine during the conflict-riven 1690s – 1710s.

Logistics

The field school will be held Monday through Friday, from 9:00 AM to 3:45 PM from June 22nd to July 10th. Participants may sign up for one or more of the three one-week sessions: 

  • Session 1/June 22-26,
  • Session 2/June 29-July 3
  • Session 3/July 6-10

Multiple sessions are discounted: 1 = $175, 2 = $325, 3 = $475. Participants must be at least 17 years old.

Registration

Please complete the form below and mail, with check payable to “OBHS”: Old Berwick Historical Society, P.O. Box 296, South Berwick, Maine 03908.

For more information about the dig or area accommodations contact: Dr. Neill De Paoli, Phone: 207-703-2955, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Name___________________________________ Address____________________________

Telephone:________________________________ E-mail:____________________________

Check one or more:

Session 1/June 22-26____

Session 2/June 29-July 3 ____

Session 3/July 6-10 _______

The Old Berwick Historical Society sponsors this program

Subcategories

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..

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