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. 

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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