The Edgecomb Historical Society will hold a meeting to discuss the future of the organization at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 14, at the Edgecomb Town Hall.
Registered as a nonprofit in 1999 and a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in 2015, the Edgecomb Historical Society is dedicated to preserving and interpreting the town’s history and sharing that history with residents.
Deb Eaton, president of the society and a member for four years, said the organization seems always to have struggled to recruit new members. However, with the pandemic disrupting the society’s meetings over the course of the last year and a half, participation and fundraising has stalled considerably.
“I feel like we’re fighting a losing battle, young families are busy in general anyway and I think town history isn’t a focal point of most, which is a shame because if it’s not recorded and preserved, it will disappear,” Eaton said.
Ultimately, the goal is to determine whether there is any sort of energy in Edgecomb for the historical society, or whether it should be disbanded now before it fades away, Eaton said.
The historical society has consisted of the same group of people for years and no fresh faces have come in to reinvigorate the group.
The historical society obtained a collection of blacksmithing artifacts from an old shop on Fort Road in 2016. They may have been used for the ironwork to construct Fort Edgecomb in 1809.
The society labored to catalogue all the artifacts and have them appraised by a blacksmith. The goal was to eventually construct a building to serve as a reproduction smithy and allow the public to visit.
The organization was never able to raise the money to create and maintain such a structure, despite its best efforts, Eaton said.
Jack Brennan, a member of the historical society for about a decade, said the decision of whether the historical society goes forward is not up to the few members who continue to participate in meetings, but those in the town who have not yet joined or considered dedicating time to the organization.
“This area, Edgecomb, is loaded with history. We have archival documents stored away, and we just don’t want the history of this town to be lost and we need more members. We need more support,” Brennan said.
The historical society has plenty of goals that will demand funds, including establishing its own location, but the first step is to find the requisite energy in the town’s population to keep the society materially existent.
“I think the real test of any nonprofit is to be worthy of a donation, and we’re not there yet… I think the first step is to make us worthy of such recognition,” Brennan said.