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.

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.

 

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 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. 

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.”

 

 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)

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.

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.

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.

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.”

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.

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.

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