Monday, November 13, 2017

The Rise and Decline of Readfield Depot ~ Presentation at Senior Cafe Nov. 27, 2017 9:30-11am

In passing through Readfield have you ever wondered how Readfield Depot came to be? It was, at one time, a buzzing community center. On November 27th Readfield historian Dale Potter-Clark will share the history of some old homes and buildings in and around Readfield Depot; the evolution of that area into a village; tidbits about some people who have lived there; and how the symbiotic relationship between Readfield Depot and summer residents helped boost the town’s economy and overall lakeside development. A slide show of vintage photos will be shown throughout the presentation. In addition, Potter-Clark will do a reading about Readfield Depot from the book she co-authored titled “The Founders and Evolution of Summer Resorts and Kids’ Camps on Four Lakes in Central Maine”.
The presentation is slated for Monday, November 27th 9:30-11am at Senior Café, Maranacook Middle School Cafeteria. Attendees are welcome to come for coffee, muffins and social time from 9-9:30 before the program begins. Senior Café is a program for people 55 and older that meet at the Maranacook Middle School cafeteria every Monday morning when school is open. It is sponsored by Maranacook Adult and Community Education. There is no fee required to participate. If school is cancelled due to weather this presentation will be rescheduled for a later date. FMI about Senior Café contact Nicole Cushing at 685-4923x1065; FMI about the presentation or the above mentioned book contact Potter-Clark at crossings4u@gmail.com

Thursday, September 21, 2017

READFIELD HISTORY WALKS #43, #44, #45 ~ FALL 2017 (#44 UPDATED 10/15/2017)

All history walks will begin at 10am and last until approximately noon. All are welcome, there is no charge. See below for locations and where to meet.
Mark your calendars for:


#43. Friday, September 29th ~ 65 Nickerson Hill Road, Readfield
Saunders Manufacturing; Saunders' family heritage; Rosmarin-Saunders Family Forest
Meet in Saunders Manufacturing parking lot, 65 Nickerson Hill Road by 10am.
Saunders Manufacturing was founded in East Winthrop by Harry (A.H.) Saunders, his wife Edith and son Joe in 1947. A year later they bought a farm at 65 Nickerson Hill Road, from Harry's mother Sarah, and moved themselves and the business there. Over the years the business grew, as did their land holdings.
Research reveals that members of the Saunders family has a rich heritage in manufacturing and some have even had a hand in helping to build some internationally famous historic landmarks. Attend this History Walk to learn more.
In November, 2016 342 acres of the land from Saunders Manufacturing was donated to the Kennebec Land Trust. From Saunders Manufacturing, those who wish to, will join the group to enjoy one of the trails there, further west on Nickerson Hill Road.
#44. Friday, October 27th ~ Camp Kirkwold, 177 North Wayne Rd, Readfield


Camp Kirkwold has been a Girl Scout camp since 1952. It was founded as Camp Abenaki in 1919 by Dr. Emma Greene Wood, an osteopathic physician from New Jersey. She sold it to Marjorie Kirk of New York in 1927, who renamed it Camp Merrywold, meaning "happy world". She managed to keep it operating through the Great Depression era but when WWII and gas rationing struck she had to close the doors. After ten years of trying to sell it she eventually donated it to the Girl Scouts of Maine in 1952. The Girl Scout Council renamed it Kirkwold in Marjorie Kirk's honor. The caretaker, Berndt Graf, has agreed to open the gate for us so we can drive in as far as their parking lot, which is marked and obvious as you enter the campground. Gather at the parking lot by 10am and we will walk further into the grounds from there. Mr. Graf will have some photos and other historical memorabilia on display for us and will be available for answering questions about Kirkwold that we may have. Dale Potter-Clark will read from the chapter about the history of Kirkwold from her book "The Evolution of Summer Resorts and Kids' Camps on Four Lakes in Central Maine". You will enjoy seeing the historic lodge and some of the other buildings on “campus”. I hope you will be able to join us – this is a rare opportunity to see Kirkwold – and I bet some of you, or your daughters, attended Kirkwold as Girl Scouts and would enjoy seeing it again?

#45. Sat., Nov.11th ~ Readfield Corner Cemetery, Church Rd, Readfield
On this Veterans' Day join members of the community and "The Third Maine Infantry" Civil War re-enactors, complete with fife and drummers, as we honor those who have courageously served our country. Walkers will begin at Readfield Corner Cemetery at 10am when we will have a special remembrance in honor of members of the Third Maine who are buried there. From there all are invited to march, or walk, to Gile Hall for a closing ceremony in honor of all Veterans. More details will be coming at a later time, so stay tuned!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Readfield History Walk # 43 ~ Fri. September 29, 2017


Rosmarin and Saunders Family Forest
Sept. 29th 10am-2pm: Walkers meet at the Saunders Manufacturing parking area on Nickerson Hill Road where walkers will learn about the history of the Saunders family and the plant. From there we will proceed to the “Rosmarin and Saunders Family Forest” on Nickerson Hill Road. The 342 acre property, which was once part of Saunders Manufacturing land holdings, was donated by the Rosmarin family to the Kennebec Land Trust (KLT) in 2016. Walkers will enjoy exploring some of the trail together.  The ground is somewhat uneven so wear sturdy shoes and a walking stick is recommended.

For those who are unable to participate in this History Walk there is another opportunity when the KLT dedicates the Rosmarin and Saunders Family Forest on Sunday, September 17, 2017 1:30pm 2:30pm. At that time KLT directors and staff will lead hikes on the new trail after a short dedication ceremony.

Both of the above mentioned events are open to the public, no registration required. Directions: From Main Street (route 17) turn onto Nickerson Hill Rd. Travel for about 0.6 mile then turn left into a small parking area.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Readfield History Classes Announced for the Fall of 2017


  1. Industry in Early Readfield                   
    Is it hard to imagine the quiet rural community of Readfield as a busy industrial center?
    By Dale Potter-Clark
    DATE:  Wednesday, September 27th 6:30-8:30 p.m.  Repeat by Request!!   Industry began in early Readfield at various locations throughout town. In particular, East Readfield and Factory Square became busy industrial hubs. In this presentation participants will learn about Readfield’s early settlement and travel; natural resources applicable to early industry; the evolution of industry in Readfield, locations of the mills and factories and about some of the manufacturers. Registration fees will help establish a “Museum in the Streets® in Readfield.
     
  2. history of the Currier-Eaton Family and their home, that houses the current readfield community library building     
    When driving through Readfield Corner do you ever wonder about the history of the grand old Colonial that houses the Readfield Community Library?
    By Dale Potter-Clark   
    DATE:  Wednesday, October 18th 6:30-8:30 p.m.       New!!      Less than ten years after Readfield’s incorporation a young doctor and his new wife, Dr. Samuel and Patience (Stanley) Currier, bought a grand home in the town’s evolving commercial center. There, they raised their family of ten children, hosted large community gatherings and he treated patients. They became stellar residents and carried on their roles for decades. Their son George later became the town physician and lived in his parents’ grand old Colonial until his death in 1863. The house remained in the Currier family for nearly 150 years, until Dr. Samuel and Mrs. Currier’s great-granddaughter, Alice Eaton, donated their ancestral home to the town of Readfield. Since then residents have cared for it, supported it and loved it as their community center and library. In this presentation you will learn more about the Currier-Eaton family and their home, from then until now.  Registration fees will help establish a “Museum in the Streets® in Readfield.
     
  3. KENTS HILL: FROM FARMLAND TO VILLAGE                       
    When and how did Kents Hill village change from remote backcountry farmland to a cultural and educational center?
    By Dale Potter-Clark
    DATE:  Wednesday, November 15th 6:30-8:30 p.m.   New!!       Before 1775 there were very few people living on Kent’s Hill – the Packards and Kents were two of the first to stake their claims and buildings began to appear. The Packard men were house wrights so they built many of them. After the Revolutionary War others came – the most influential, who had a long lasting effect, was Luther Sampson. From 1790 until 1824 a meeting house and parsonage, grammar school, store, cemetery and Methodist Seminary were established and the hilltop called Kent’s Hill evolved from a handful of family farms to a thriving cultural and educational center. In this class you will learn about that evolution, hear more about the buildings and houses, and some of the people who lived in Kents Hill village. Registration fees will help establish a “Museum in the Streets® in Readfield. 



All three presentations will be held at Maranacook Adult and Community Education, Maranacook High School, Millard Harrison Drive, Readfield. The registration fee is all three for $30 or $12.50 each. Registration proceeds will help fund a Museum in the Streets”® in Readfield (historical site markers).  To register contact Maranacook Adult and Community Education Phone: 207-685-4923 x 1065 or Register online using a debit or credit card. For details and to view all classes go to http://maranacook.maineadulted.org.



Readfield History Walk #41 ~ June 16, 2017

#41 Readfield History Walk
Friday, June 16, 2017  10am - 12noon
“The Underground Railroad: Rev. David Thurston and the Metcalf Neighborhood”
Rev. David Thurston served the Winthrop Congregational Church 1807-1851. His anti-slavery views and efforts began in the 1820s and the Underground Railroad route was established through Winthrop due to his advocacy. In 1833 he was a delegate at the founding convention of the American Anti-Slavery Society in Philadelphia and helped draft their “Declaration of Sentiments”. In 1837 he took a year’s leave from the church in order to serve as agent of the Society. He was in demand as a speaker on their “circuit” and over time became more and more assertive that his congregation should hold his views on slavery but some of his Whig Party parishioners did not agree and because of that he was finally asked to resign after 44 years of serving their church. After that he wrote the first History of Winthrop in 1855, various papers on religion, temperance and anti-slavery; and preached in Vassalboro, Sidney, Searsport and finally in Litchfield where he died in 1865. He is buried in Metcalf Cemetery, Bearce Road, Winthrop.
This History Walk will include some driving as well as easy walking. Meet by 10am in the parking lot behind the Winthrop Congregational Church, 10 Bowdoin St. Winthrop. Our thanks to the Winthrop Historical Society and Winthrop Congregational Church for partnering with us on this History Walk.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Was the Underground Railroad REALLY in Readfield?


This presentation, done April 25th, will be repeated on June 7th.
"Was the Underground Railroad REALLY in Readfield?"
by Dale Potter-Clark
It has been proven that the Underground Railroad was in Augusta, Hallowell, Winthrop, Farmington and Jay, so why not Readfield? In this presentation Dale will share some of the clues she has unearthed in researching old homes and 19th century Readfield that led her to believe if, when and where it passed through town. She welcomes participants to bring and share their own clues and ideas. 
TIME: 6:30-8:30pm 
PLACE: Maranacook Adult and Community Education, Readfield 
COST: $12.50
TO REGISTER: Call 207-685-4923 x 1065 or visit http://maranacook.maineadulted.org Proceeds will help fund the historical site markers project in Readfield. 


See the next post FMI about the three history walks planned for this spring!

Friday, April 14, 2017

SPRING 2017 READFIELD HISTORY WALKS ANNOUNCED!!


We do not customarily request “reservations” but we would like to get a sense of how many folks plan to participate in two of the walks below. If you plan to come to History Walks #40 and / or #41 below please email Dale at crossings4u@gmail.com.
 
There is no charge for any of the Readfield History Walks. Donations to Readfield Historical Society are gratefully received.
 
NOTE!! THIS HISTORY WALK HAS BEEN POSTPONED TO MAY 12TH, SAME TIME, SAME PLACE
#39 Readfield History Walk
Friday, April 28, 2017            10am - 12noon
Readfield Corner the Fires of 1921 & 1934”
For this walk we will meander through Readfield Corner to envision it through different eyes.
Stories will be shared about what happened when the devastating fires of 1921 and 1934 occurred, some of the people who were affected, and hear about what structures was there before the fires. Meet at Gile Hall, 8 Old Kents Hill Road, by 10am.
 
#40 Readfield History Walk
Friday, May 19, 2017 10am - 12noon  
"Finding Three Readfield Governors”
We have been asked this question so many times: “Jonathan Hunton is buried in Readfield but where are Readfield’s other three governors buried?” In this History Walk, you will find out. The “other three governors” were Jonathan Hubbard, Anson P. Morrill and Lot M. Morrill.
Walkers meet at Gile Hall, 8 Old Kents Hill Road by 10:00am. From there we will caravan to the Hallowell Village Cemetery to “visit” Gov. Hubbard. From there the caravan will proceed to Augusta to “visit” the Morrill brothers. Additional Readfield historical tidbits will be shared at both cemeteries. Those who wish to start at Hallowell Village Cemetery, rather than caravanning from Readfield, should be at the cemetery by 10:30am. (29 Water Street, next to Bolley’s Famous Franks)
 
#41 Readfield History Walk
Friday, June 16, 2017  10am - 12noon
“The Underground Railroad: Rev. David Thurston and the Metcalf Neighborhood”
Rev. David Thurston served the Winthrop Congregational Church 1807-1851. His anti-slavery views and efforts began in the 1820s and the Underground Railroad route was established through Winthrop due to his advocacy. In 1833 he was a delegate at the founding convention of the American Anti-Slavery Society in Philadelphia and helped draft their “Declaration of Sentiments”. In 1837 he took a year’s leave from the church in order to serve as agent of the Society. He was in demand as a speaker on their “circuit” and over time became more and more assertive that his congregation should hold his views on slavery but some of his Whig Party parishioners did not agree and because of that he was finally asked to resign after 44 years of serving their church. After that he wrote the first History of Winthrop in 1855, various papers on religion, temperance and anti-slavery; and preached in Vassalboro, Sidney, Searsport and finally in Litchfield where he died in 1865. He is burial is Metcalf Cemetery, Winthrop.
This History Walk will include some driving as well as walking. Details about where to meet and other details will be announced at a later date. Our thanks to the Winthrop Historical Society for partnering with us for this History Walk.