We both would like to take this opportunity to inform everyone that the Damariscotta Historical Society is hard at work on its cemetery projects. We had a silent auction at Skidompha Library and did very well. We now have printed a 2019 calendar showing Main Street, with many old photos of buildings along Main Street from the bridge to the Baptist church at the intersection of Main Street and Route 130.
We were able to find many sponsors in the local area, which helped pay for the printing of this historical calendar showing many of the old brick buildings on Main Street that were built back in 1846. We had a great time with many of our members in finding these old photos, and with the great help of Pattie Whitten, we were able to put this calendar together for the local printer.
We are a small group but work very well together, and everyone cares a great deal about the history of Damariscotta and the area people. For information on this calendar, contact Tim Clark, society president, at 549-4790, or Ernie McNiff, treasurer, at 563-2260.
Now the income from the auction and the sale of these calendars will go to our cemetery projects. This will help pay for projects in the 31 cemeteries in Damariscotta. We try to keep the cemeteries clear of brush, trees, and falling limbs from some of the old, large trees. We fix the stones that have fallen over and reset them or even mend them. We also have powerwashed many of them so one can read the writing on them. We have rebuilt fences around some of the cemeteries and even put new posts in some of them and placed markers on them. We have even had some of the large trees that were rotten taken down so they would not fall on the gravestones and do a lot of damage. One of the large trees was in Hillside Cemetery.
Pattie Whitten has spent hundreds of hours listing the names of everyone in the 31 cemeteries.
The Damariscotta Historical Society was formed in 1998 for the purpose of preserving Damariscotta’s history.
Pattie Whitten has worked very hard to make sure that all the veterans’ graves are marked and receive an American flag on them. Over the years, we have found many of the stones in the small cemeteries buried beneath the sod or piles of old leaves and have had them reset and marked. We strongly owe this to all our American veterans.
We have found a number of Damariscotta people who have given their time to take care of these small cemeteries for a year or so. Many of the local organizations, like the Lions and the Boy Scouts, have helped our cemetery groups in many different ways over the past 10 years.
The Damariscotta Historical Society meets on the third Monday each month at the Damariscotta town office at 7 p.m. We most always have a speaker talk on some subject of the surrounding area from 7-8 p.m., then we have our business meeting. We are a real friendly group and are always looking forward to new members.
In the past years we have done many projects throughout the town and the town parking lot. We have put up bronze plaques identifying special historic areas on Main Street and other places in town.
This spring we redid the kiosk at the entrance to the Damariscotta River boat ramp and set out plant pots in the area. We also take care and set out the flowers by the bronze plaque by the information bureau at the intersection of Main and Vine streets.
One year we printed a paperback book called “Oyster Shells and Sailing Ships,” which was a brief history of Damariscotta.
Then another year we published a book called “Transitions and Traditions,” which was a glimpse of the future, a touch of the past — Damariscotta at the turn of the century. This turned out to be a great success and we sold out all the books we had printed.
We receive many calls from all over the world inquiring about people who once lived in the area and later moved west.
Many call and ask about Damariscotta veterans and what cemetery they are buried in.
Over the years, Art Mayer and Natalie House have interviewed and recorded talks with many of our older people.
This is an important job to talk and interview our older citizens before they pass on. We are always looking for old pictures and photos of the Damariscotta area. We have a large collection in the small room in the Damariscotta town office.
We also printed a small book called “A Walking Tour of the Buildings on Main Street,” and this was also enjoyed by many people in our area, as well as summer guests who were staying for a week or two in the Damariscotta area.
This spring, I had the pleasure of helping a student at the University of Western Australia. He was writing his thesis for his master’s degree in professional archaeology. He had come across some our items of sailing vessels built here in Newcastle and that sailed around the world. One of these vessels was the North America. It was a ship of 1,402 tons, built by A.S. Austin in 1852. Her captain was Artell Austin in 1852. In later years, the vessel was sold and renamed Marianna on July 28, 1869. I sent him an old photo of Capt. Artell and his wife, Hanna. This vessel was again renamed Philadelphia and then sold and renamed Redemption.
The Redemption was beached south of Woodman’s Point on Wednesday, Oct. 12, 1898. With the help of The Lincoln County News and the Damariscotta Historical Society, we both were able to supply some past history of the vessel North America.
I just want to remind everyone after our election of officers in November, we would like to see some new faces at our meetings and share our history with everyone.