7:30 pm - Berwick Academy Arts Center

Storm of Witchcraft The Salem witch trials resulted in part from a panic over the destruction of Berwick and other Maine settlements during King William's War.  Dr. Emerson "Tad" Baker will highlight the stories of several war refugees from Maine who were participants in the trials, including Wells minister George Burroughs, who was executed for witchcraft.  One afflicted girl, Mercy Short, lost her family during the Salmon Falls Raid, and another, Sarah Churchwell, lived much of her adult life in present-day South Berwick. READ MORE


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...

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.

7:30pm Berwick Academy Arts Center

Samuel OsborneBetween the Emancipation Proclamation in January 1863 and about 1869, more than 300 formerly enslaved people came to communities throughout Maine to start new – free – lives. With a few exceptions, their lives in Maine have been largely forgotten. Dr. Candace Kanes will share details about them remain mostly in public records and newspaper articles – enough evidence to tell some of their stories. 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.

7:30 pm Berwick Academy Arts Center

Maine postcardThis heavily illustrated lecture discusses the role of postcards in understanding Maine’s rich history and culture during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Focusing on notable landmarks, landscapes and seascapes, as well as rural and industrial life, Dr. Libby Bischof will explore the role of postcards in creating a tangible sense of place for both residents and visitors. READ MORE

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.



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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

Bischof, Stanley Museum

Chansonetta Stanley Emmons, The Coming of Mechanization, 1906. Courtesy of the Stanley Museum

On Thursday, February 28, 2019, historian Dr. Elizabeth (Libby) Bischof will discuss the role of the photograph in understanding Maine history between 1840 and 1940. The lecture is hosted by the Old Berwick Historical Society and begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Arts Center at Berwick Academy in South Berwick. Admission is free and open to the public. Donations are gratefully accepted.

In this richly illustrated lecture, Bischof will pay particular attention to photographs of labor, the role women photographers played in documenting and preserving the landscape and inhabitants of Maine, and the ways in which photographs help us to see that which can no longer be seen.

Bischof is the Executive Director of the Osher Map Library and the Smith Center for Cartographic Education at the University of Southern Maine, as well as Professor of History. She is the co-author, with Earle Shettleworth and Susan Danly, of Maine Photography: A History, 1840-2015. Bischof received her Ph.D. in History at Boston College.

The Counting House Museum is currently closed for the season, though appointments can be requested. The museum is open June - October on Saturdays and Sundays from 1pm - 4pm. The Old Berwick Historical Society’s 2019 lectures are generously sponsored by Kennebunk Savings and supported by historical society members and donors.


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.

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


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