This 2020 season has been a hard one for everyone, including those of us who love local history.
As the curator of the Newcastle History Society Museum, I have felt it necessary to keep it closed for this summer season. This is the first time in our 20 years since we have been organized that we have not opened the museum at the corner of Main and Pump streets. We have always enjoyed showing our treasures and talking with the history buffs who come each year. And it doesn’t look like we can get together again in the near future.
I have given the matter some thought and I have come up with an idea that will, perhaps, add a little cheer to the coming holiday season. As many of you know, I came out with a second history book on Newcastle in 2019. “More History Tales of Newcastle, Maine” makes a two-volume series of my writings over the many years for The Lincoln County News. As my little way of “payback” for all you patient people, I will sell this second book for half price — up through Dec. 24.
I think we all deserve a little payback. Those of us who have spent the summer at home and those of us who have had to be out but have protected the public with masks and correct distances, I say, this is my gift to you.
The regular price for “More History Tales of Newcastle, Maine” is $20 plus a tax of $1.10. I will sell this book up until Christmas Eve for $9.48 plus a tax of $0.52 for a total of $10. They make good Christmas presents — fine reading for those of us staying at home.
Those of you who are familiar with my book know it has a lot of good reading. There are 37 articles on the local history, 35 shorter articles, over 275 photos of Newcastle then and now, and a final section of 24 one-page stories.
The book contains articles on all Newcastle villages and stories of its rural life. You will like reading about Fort Anne in Sheepscot, the Erskine mill at North Newcastle, the post office on the River Road, the Malcolm family at South Newcastle, the 1949 break-in at the Thomas E. Gay and Son store in center Newcastle, and the alewives story in Damariscotta Mills.
It also includes articles on Lincoln Academy and the Stag Hill Journal, early ways of caring for the poor, Newcastle in the Cold War, and the Salt Bay Preserve. Other articles of interest cover Mary Ames’ diary, the bridges over the Damariscotta River, oyster shell heaps, and even beavers and their importance in early local life. This book has 493 pages and is too good to miss.
There are two ways you can get this book — safely. I will be at the pavement in front of the museum on the corner of Main and Pump streets from 3-5 p.m., Monday, Oct. 12. I will have a small table with my books on it and a milk bowl to put the $10 bills in — there will be no need for personal contact. Books are all signed by me.
Or you may come to my driveway at 156 Academy Hill Road, Newcastle. (If the construction people have not moved their sign, you will recognize my lawn by the huge orange sign that reads “Road Work 500 Ft.”)
My telephone number is 563-3448. We can make a time to meet in my driveway in front of my garage. I will have my little table with the book or books you order and a bowl for the $10 for each book. Again, there will be no need for personal contact.
This offer will be good until Dec. 24 at 5 p.m. Then the price will go back to the $20 plus tax.