Happy Semiquincentennial, Edgecomb!

Sun, 01/21/2024 - 10:00am

    The town of Edgecomb was incorporated in 1764 as a part of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Now, the Midcoast town is part of the state of Maine in the United States of America. Edgecomb will celebrate its long history in 2024 during the 250th anniversary. Residents have begun a year-long series of celebrations marking the town’s semiquincentennial. 

    The festivities began this month with a couple of historical talks. On Jan. 14, local historian Chip Griffin presented “Four Centuries of Edgecomb History” at the Merry Barn located on River Road. The inaugural event drew over 100 people on a Sunday afternoon. Edgecomb 250 organizers were thrilled with the turnout. “We’re off to a fantastic start,” said Edgecomb 250 member Barbara Brennan. “We have a fantastic diverse team of 15-20 members who planned a series of events celebrating all aspects that make Edgecomb an unique, interesting and great place to live.”

    The next event was Jan. 21, “The History of Fort Edgecomb” by James Kochan. He detailed the fortress from 1812 to 1819. The committee believes two historical discussions were an appropriate way to begin celebrating the town’s past. “I really enjoyed the stories of the early shipbuilders, Moses Davis, and some of the names kept coming up over and over,” Brennan said. “We still have several ‘Chases’ around, and learning about life in Edgecomb during the 18th and 19th centuries was very informative. I enjoyed listening to journal recounts of how people dealt with disease and other challenges (of) settling a new community.” 

    Edgecomb’s actual anniversary date is March 4, but a big celebratory party occurs March 3. The party will happen at one of the town’s oldest buildings. The original colonial meeting house built in 1764, which now serves as the town hall, will be the party’s site. Students from Edgecomb’s two schools, Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) and Edgecomb Eddy, will headline the celebratory program. Students will perform skits. Speakers will present “Fun Facts” about Edgecomb, and Dan Patrick Band will perform patriotic songs.

    Selectmen invited Gov. Janet Mills and State Rep. Holly Stover to attend. Organizers expect one of them to deliver a legislative proclamation celebrating the anniversary.

    There will be two celebratory events in May. On May 18, “An Afternoon at Glidden Point Oyster” at 637 River Road comes first. Participants will have food, drink and entertainment along the banks of the Damariscotta River. On May 27, the local American Legion Post will host a flag ceremony at the town hall. 

    Beginning June 1, Schmid Preserve will host a self-guided tour. Lisa McSwain is the Schmid Preserve Advisory Board’s chairman. She is also a member of the Edgecomb 250 committee. “Joe (McSwain, husband) and I joined the committee because we love the Edgecomb community and want to share all the good and interesting things happening with the greater community,” she said. 

    On Sept. 7, Schmid Preserve will host its second 250th celebratory event. Schmid Preserve Day will highlight some activities done by residents in the 19th century. Activities include sawing, logging, milling, hauling logs with oxen and possibly stone wall building.

    On June 22, a 10K road race will take place on Cross Point Road. The race starts at Edgecomb Community Church with competitors running 3.1 kilometers to CTL and back to the church. 

    Edgecomb Volunteer Fire Department hosts its annual pancake breakfast on July 6. Edgecomb Community Church hosts three anniversary events. On July 14, a special service and ice cream social is scheduled. Sept. 23 is the Autumnal Equinox. The church will host an Autumnal Labyrinth walk. On Oct. 19, the church hosts a potluck supper which includes “local stories.”

    The celebration also includes self-guided arts and shop tours. On July 27, Edgecomb 250 will provide maps of participating shops. On Sept. 20-21, the arts tour is scheduled to visit local artists’ studios. “I’m working on organizing both of these, and I’m really excited (about) taking the tours,” Brennan said.

    The annual Charlie Brown Christmas Tree Decorating Contest marks an end to a year-long celebration. The contest invites local school students to decorate trees on Dec. 6.