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.

7:30 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)

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)

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)

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.

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)

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.

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)

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.

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)

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.


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.


(7:30pm - 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

To Read the Old Berwick Historical Society's Strategic Plan,  Click here.


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