The Friends of Colonial Pemaquid is an all-volunteer association established in the fall of 1993 and incorporated as a 501c(3) non-profit organization. Our mission is to promote Colonial Pemaquids historical significance through the development, support, and implementation of educational programs, as well as assisting the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands in preserving, maintaining, and enhancing the site's buildings and grounds. This significant archaeological site was designated a National Historic Landmark on June 25, 1994.
During 1997-98, the Friends spearheaded a major capital fund campaign which raised $225,000 to preserve and renovate the historic Fort House. The refurbished building, with its archaeology lab and storage areas, period parlor, meeting and exhibit room, library, study center and gift shop was dedicated in August of 1999.
The Friends sponsor a variety of activities and events during the year. These include a summer lecture series focusing on historical and archaeological topics, living history events, and an archaeological workshop designed to show what field archaeology is like.
Other activities have included films, photo exhibits, and special workshops devoted to genealogy, preservation of photographs and documents, and healing with herbs. The Friends float, a replica of Fort William Henry is a favorite in local parades. The list of this year's events is available on this website.
New and renewing members are always welcome.
In late January of this year, two FOCP colleagues and I met with the Governor and received his approval for a new initiative. Basically, it would be an expanded public-private partnership between the State of Maine and the Friends of Colonial Pemaquid. Its underlying principle would be an arrangement that would permit FOCP to have management responsibilities, forge closer ties with the local community, and retain the funds obtained from admission and other sources at the site level to increase maintenance and enhance development, all with oversight by the Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, the state agency responsible for Colonial Pemaquids administration.
A similar arrangement has been in place for several years between the state and the Friends of Ft. Knox in Bucksport. That partnership has been very successful in delegating park management to a local non-profit organization which has raised substantial funds because of its tax exempt status, created new programs and expedited site maintenance. It has also saved significant sums for the State of Maine. While there are differences between the two historic sites, there are also similarities. Both, for instance, are National Historic Landmarks. Where applicable, FOCP has used this successful partnership as a guide, including its example of establishing a sustainable business model on which to operate a state-owned property.
The Friends of Colonial Pemaquid, an all-volunteer 501 (c) 3 organization established in 1993, has, for the past twenty-three years, raised funds, offered a whole range of special events from pipe bands to public performances and evening lectures, and demonstrated a high level of stewardship, all to help fulfill the sites educational mission, and at no cost to taxpayers. As in the recent past, FOCP can provide the dedication, the commitment, and the continuity thats critical to achieve the potential for Colonial Pemaquid a frontier outpost and the northernmost area of English influence in the 17th century to grow and expand and become all that it can be and which it truly deserves.
To achieve that goal, weve been having discussions with state officials for a number of months now, and will continue to meet until an agreement is reached. We will apprise our members of new developments as they occur, and will be asking them to contribute their time and talent to help implement a new and exciting chapter for the Friends and Colonial Pemaquid State Historic Site.