Back on March 15, Maine celebrated its 200th birthday, albeit more quietly than originally anticipated. The state’s celebratory events in Augusta were postponed as a result of the novel coronavirus outbreak. Since then, we’ve all been hunkered down in our homes, connecting via Zoom and writing letters to one another to stay in touch. Not exactly how we hoped to be commemorating our state’s bicentennial.
Unfortunately, the global pandemic has also led the Lincoln County Historical Association and the Lincoln County commissioners to postpone our bicentennial Lincoln County Pilgrimage, which was originally scheduled for mid-August.
We had been working on this initiative for nearly a year, and had more than 10 organizations and nearly 20 sites throughout the county ready to organize and host open houses of historical sites, special tours of historic buildings and landmarks, reenactments of historical events, special displays, speakers, a guided driving tour, and an open archaeological dig.
We received a $4,500 grant from the Maine Bicentennial Commission to support the pilgrimage, and the commission has stated that we will be able to use the funds next year. Given the level of coordination, planning, and collaboration necessary to pull this off, we are currently planning to postpone until summer 2021.
While we’re disappointed that we’ll have to postpone, the participating organizations were all in agreement, and we’re hopeful that we can recreate, and perhaps even expand, the pilgrimage in what will be Maine’s 201st year of statehood. We’ll ask everyone to bring a plus-one to Maine’s bicentennial plus-one!
Maine’s 200th year has certainly been interesting thus far. I don’t think we’ll ever forget (much as we might like to) what we were doing during Maine’s bicentennial year.
The “Commemorating Statehood” column will return to normal next month with a fascinating piece by Jean Lawrence on Waldoboro in 1820.
(Ryan LaRochelle chairs the Lincoln County Historical Association Bicentennial Committee.)