in the News
Experience Colonial Overnight at Plimoth Plantation
Plantation Living History Presenter, Vicki Oman, demonstrates
clothing from the early 17th century with the help of Bristol
School 5th and 6th graders, prior to their Colonial Overnight
visit to Plimoth Plantation. Students are, left to right, Dawson
Wall, Liza Cheney and Madison Opert
The Friends of
Colonial Pemaquid offered the 6th graders of the Bristol Consolidated
School a chance to experience living history at Plimoth Planation
in Massachusetts. With proceeds from the Howell Fund, an endowment
established in the name of founding president Jan Howell, The
Friends funded this initial trip. It is hoped this will be an
ongoing program for local school children to immerse themselves
in early 17th century American history and to find appreciation
for the rich cultural history of their own Bristol community
and the Colonial Pemaquid State Historic Site.
for their overnight visit to 17th Century Plimoth Plantation,
Bristol 5th and 6th graders, their teachers and parents welcomed
Plimoth Plantation visitors, Kate LaPrade, Director of Museum
Studies and Vicki Oman, Manager of Family Programs. What followed
was a step back into history, as Ms. Oman, in period dress and
speech as Goodwife Hopkins, took her audience back in time to
early 17th century England and the story of the Mayflower voyagers
and their ultimate settlement at Plimoth, Massachusetts. Weaving
history, geography and culture, Ms. Oman engaged the students
with thoughtful questions, opportunities to try on period clothing,
use kitchen and dining implements, practice 17th century manners,
stroke beaver pelts and play with colonial toys. She also told
of the historical connection between Bristol, Maine and Plimoth,
when the hungry Plimoth settlers traveled to Pemaquid in 1620-23
to obtain cod in a place that was "fat with fish".
The connection with the Native American Samoset, who was born
in the Bristol area, was also relayed. It was Samoset with his
command of English who gave aid and instruction to the new Plimoth
settlers in their efforts to survive in their new home.
The students traveled
by bus for their two-day program in early June, where they got
close and personal with 17th century Plimoth in an engaging and
experiential environment. Kids played English games, learned
to write with a quill pen and even tried some Pilgrim fare for
dinner. After dark the group experienced life at night without
electricity inside a candlelit Pilgrim house. In addition to
the 17th century English village and the Wampanoag home-site,
there were opportunities to visit a working grist mill and the
Mayflower II at anchorage on Plymouth's waterfront.
and the planned overnight visit to Plimoth Plantation have come
about due to a developing partnership between Jennifer Ribeiro,
Principal of the Bristol School, Donovan York, 6th grade teacher,
and the Friends. To better understand the historic and cultural
links between Plimoth and Colonial Pemaquid, the 6th graders
also toured the Colonial Pemaquid State Historic site in May
and attended the first evening lantern walk of the season.
a Difference at Colonial Pemaquid
Timm Gormley of Damariscotta,
Maine; Don Loprieno, President of the Friends of Colonial Pemaquid;
Ann Crowley of Medford, Massachusetts; Evelyn Pennoyer of Yarmouth,
Maine; and Julia Lane of Round Pond, Maine. Our fifth intern,
Kiley Bickford of Pemaquid, Maine, is not pictured.
Visitors to Colonial
Pemaquid will find interns in period dress helping to provide
a voice for this unique historic site. According to Barry Masterson,
site manager, the five interns are functioning as adjunct staff
in various capacities. Whatever they may be doing, they are eager
to greet and engage with visitors and share their knowledge about
what happened at the Pemaquid settlement in the early 17th century.
Sponsored by the
Friends of Colonial Pemaquid, several of the interns are local
college students. Kiley Bickford of Pemaquid, in her fourth year
as an intern, is a student in the honors college of the University
of Maine at Orono where she is majoring in history. Ann Crowley,
a Pemaquid summer resident, has been a local volunteer at the
Bristol Area Library and the Colonial Pemaquid Gift Shop. She
has a longtime interest in history and is currently a student
at Ursinus College in Pennsylvania. Evie Pennoyer is a student
at the College of Atlantic in Bar Harbor working towards a B.A.
in Human Ecology. She is particularly interested in nautical
history and has studied and had experience with period clothing,
blacksmithing, bookbinding and copper-smithing.
Julia Lane of
Round Pond, an accomplished harpist, has long had an interest
in the Celtic heritage of the Pemaquid area. Many will recognize
her as part of the well known Castle Bay Musicians with husband
Fred Gosbee. This well-known duo has long exhibited a commitment
to cultural education in Celtic lore, nautical themes, and colonial
life of New England in their traditional music. Timm Gormley,
a Damariscotta resident and a 2012 honors graduate of Lincoln
Academy, brings an interest and knowledge of local history to
his job. This is Timm's second year in the role of a Colonial
Pemaquid Intern. A former Education Intern at the Damariscotta
River Association, he counts impromptu public speaking as one
of his strengths.
attired in period clothing representative of the mid-18th century,
have been working closely with Don Loprieno, president of the
Friends and the site manager to become knowledgeable about Colonial
Pemaquid's civilian and military history, and its role as an
important English settlement on the Maine coast. The interns
have been greeting and engaging the public since early summer
and will be available most weekends until the end of August.
As they interpret the past, they are an active presence and help
to make known Colonial Pemaquid's compelling story to visitors
of all ages and interests.
History in Colonial Pemaquid
27, 2013 .... Karen Antonacci of the Portland Press
Herald chronicles the activities of Master Thatcher Colin
McGhee as he thatches the wattle and daub house at Colonial Pemaquid.
here to view the video.
HOME SWEET HOME
Howell, Vice President
Friends of Colonial Pemaquid
The cellar holes
at the Colonial Pemaquid Site are all that is left of what was
at one time a thriving, 17th century English village. Together
with the signage which outlines what we believe to have been
the purpose of the building which at one time stood on that particular
foundation, those rock-filled holes in the ground spur the imagination
of the thousands of visitors who come here each year. The lantern
walks conducted in season add to the atmosphere of romance and
adventure as interpreters connect artifacts found on site to
the actual building that existed there. But no matter how vivid
the imagination, it is not easy to conjure up a vision of what
Colonial life was really like.
improve the Pemaquid experience, State Historian Tom Desjardin
took in hand the building of a reproduction early 17th century
house. After the post-and-beam frame was complete, wattle and
daub was added - a process that refers to a building technique
that has been in use for over a thousand years. It is a system
of filling in the walls of the framework of a house, usually
wood, with a mixture of mud, sand, crushed rock, lime, chopped
straw, and any similar materials which may be available locally.
This mixture - the "daub" - is thoroughly blended,
formerly by feet, both human and animal, and then plastered onto
a mesh framework of vertical and horizontal strips of wood or
saplings, again, whatever is available. This is the "wattle."
Our Pemaquid wattle and daub house has clapboard outer walls
with the walls inside being daubed, and has been built in part
by volunteer effort and the support of organizations like the
There are examples
of this ancient method of construction all over the world. In
Europe, for example, many such homes still in use are hundreds
of years old, and in Egypt not only are there illustrations of
slaves using this process 5,000 years ago; even today comfortable
wattle and daub homes are still being built.
Nothing says "old"
in building, however, more than a thatched roof. It is so different
from our usual experience that visitors just have to stop and
take a closer look. Our aim to complete thatching as soon as
possible, but until then there will be a typical seafarer's response
to the need for overhead covering: a sailcloth canvas to protect
from the weather.
Back in the 1600's,
it is likely that the "architect" in the Pemaquid village
would be the ship's carpenter, or a colonist with some knowledge
from his village back in the old country. But we can be certain
that nothing would have been accepted without the approval of
the distaff side of the family - the women who did all the work
about the place while the men went about their tasks to earn
a living. So our wattle and daub will be provided with all 1625
modern conveniences: an indoor "kitchen" with easy
access to a water barrel, a smoke extractor (chimney) and an
easy to clean stone floor. We can be certain that a lot of her
loving care will have gone into making this place her "Home
This season the
house will be a work in progress; we hope to find many volunteers
to play a part in completing this first effort to restore more
of a village: a blacksmith's shop, a tavern, and another dwelling.
The Friends of Colonial Pemaquid will be seeking sponsors and
community support, so please be open to joining us in this exciting
project at Maine's premier Historic Site.
Bill Nemitz: Pemaquid Volunteers
Go Way Back
Click here to read Bill Nemitz's Portland Press
Herald article on the most recent dig at Colonial Pemaquid.
Highland Band Performs at
What better way
to usher in an exciting new season of events at Colonial Pemaquid
State Historic Site than with a stirring concert by Maine St.
Andrews Pipes and Drums? On Saturday, May 28, visitors
caught the bands unique sound of bagpipes and drum rolls
in an outdoor concert on the Forts original parade grounds.
Sporting what is believed to be the oldest district tartan in
the United States, Maine St. Andrews members performed
the distinctive music of Maines Scottish forebears. This
program was sponsored by the Friends of Colonial Pemaquid.
Based in Ellsworth,
Maine, St. Andrews Pipes and Drums has performed as a group
since 1996, traveling throughout Maine, throughout the United
States and into Canada participating in concerts, parades and
Highland Games, and providing educational presentations to school
groups. Their tartan, the official Maine state tartan, appropriately
includes light blue for the sky, dark blue for the waters, dark
green for the forests and a thin red line for the bloodline of
Memorial Day at Colonial
Pemaquid State Historic Site
Memorial Day Weekend
is a time of family gatherings, parades, and festive occasions,
but it is also a solemn reminder of sacrifice and loss. Here
on the grounds of Colonial Pemaquid, much of the 17th and 18th
century was marked by conflict between Europeans and Native Americans,
with hardship, deprivation, and loss of life on both sides. King
Philips War, for instance, struck this area in 1676, and
in 1689, Fort Charles, a wooden structure, was burned to the
ground with great loss of life. In 1696, Fort William Henry,
partially reproduced here in the early 20th century, was captured
and destroyed; and its successor, Fort Frederick, was attacked
several times. This was the frontier after all, and like all
frontiers, life here was difficult and dangerous.
Of course, wars have occurred throughout history, and have been
fought for different reasons, but one fact should never be forgotten.
Regardless of the military or political rationale, it is the
soldier who is always placed in harm's way - therefore one should
never confuse the warrior with the war. So here today, amidst
this peaceful setting by the waters of John's Bay, let us not
forget the reason for this holiday.
Let us take a
moment to pay tribute to those countless men and women who served
in all wars, and to their families who have borne and still bear
the burden of sacrifice. To paraphrase Winston Churchill, We
may occasionally be tempted to ask ourselves what we gained by
the enormous sacrifices made by those to whom this memorial weekend
is dedicated. But that was never the issue with those who marched
away. No question of advantage presented itself to their minds.
They only saw the light shining on the clear path to duty. They
only saw their duty to resist oppression, to protect the weak,
to vindicate the profound but unwritten Law of Nations. They
never asked the question, What shall we gain? They
asked only the question, Where lies the right? As
the poet Whitman has said:
With music strong I come, with my pipes and drums,
I play not marches for accepted victors only
I play great marches for conquer'd and slain persons.
Have you heard that it was good to gain the day?
Battles are lost in the same spirit in which they are won. .
Vivas to those who have failed!
And to those whose
war-vessels sank in the sea!
- - -
are links to recent media reporting of Colonial Pemaquid (click
on an image to view):
And to those themselves who sank in the sea!
And all overcome heroes!
And to the numberless unknown heroes equal
to the greatest heroes known.
- from remarks read by Don Loprieno, vice president of the
Friends of Colonial Pemaquid, and chair of the Living History
Committee, on Saturday, May 29, 2010, in observance of Memorial
July 26, 2009
Good Morning America Weekend's "Weekend Window on the Pemaquid
Peninsula" with several views of Colonial Pemaquid
August 6, 2009
reports on "Digging for History at Pemaquid" - Once
the page opens, click on the "play" button (u)
to view the video.
August 19, 2009
The Lincoln County
News publishes an article on a Brief History of Colonial Pemaquid.