The Friends of Colonial Pemaquid (FOCP) has announced its summer lineup of events at Colonial Pemaquid State Historic Site in New Harbor, one of New England’s earliest European settlements of life in the New World during the 17th and 18th centuries.
“We are thrilled to once again offer this community and visitors a wonderful 2019 schedule of special events from pipe bands to public performances and evening lectures to fulfill the site’s educational mission, and at no cost to taxpayers,” said Don Loprieno, president of FOCP.
The summer schedule provides lectures and a living touchstone of our collective past that is guaranteed to delight the young and old alike. In May, the grounds will come alive with the sounds of bagpipes and commentary, including a tribute to those who have served their country. A public reading and celebration of the 243nd anniversary of the Declaration of Independence combined with portrayals of those who opposed or supported the American Revolution will ring in July. Later that month, Jim Nelson, living interpreter, will recreate the attack on Pemaquid in 1632 by the fearsome pirate Dixie Bull. Finally, the season will come to a close with a Labor Day concert of Celtic, nautical and early American music on the grounds of Fort William Henry.
History lectures are held on Monday evenings at the Learning Center at Bristol’s Lighthouse Park, where a modest fee of $5 is charged for non-members, free to members.
Details of the summer 2019 schedule are as follows:
Saturday, May 25 - Memorial Day Weekend Concert — Maine St. Andrew's Pipes & Drums. Enjoy traditional tunes of the British Isles performed on the parade grounds of Fort William Henry by a band from Ellsworth, Maine wearing the official Maine State Tartan. Also included are a commentary and a tribute to those who have served our nation. Always a favorite! 2 p.m. Rain date is Sun., May 26.
Saturday, July 6 - The 243rd Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. Public reading and commentary by living history interpreters and a portrayal of historic figures who supported or opposed the American Revolution. 2 p.m. Rain date is Sun., July 7.
Monday, July 15 - The French and Indian Wars: Survival on the Maine Frontier. Local author Mike Dekker leads off FOCP’s annual Monday Night Lecture Series with a program about the impact of regional conflict on the coast of Maine in general and on Pemaquid in particular. 7:30 p.m. ($5 or free to members) New Location: The Learning Center at Bristol’s Lighthouse Park.
Saturday, July 20 - Pirates at Pemaquid – The Infamous Dixie Bull Strikes Again! Living history presenter and local author James Nelson re-creates the irascible Dixie Bull who attacked Pemaquid in 1632. The public is advised to guard their valuables! 1 and 3 p.m. Rain date is Sun., July 22.
Monday, July 22 - Blusterers, Bunglers, Blockheads: Naval Actions of the American Revolution in Maine. The naval action of the American Revolution was fought in many far-flung theaters around the globe, from the United States to the Caribbean to the shores of Great Britain, including, as well, the Province of Maine. But unlike the fighting in places such as Saratoga or Yorktown, the war in Maine was marked by bungling, miscalculation and incompetence on both sides. Award-winning author James L. Nelson will discuss the three major events of the Revolution to take place Down East, and the mistakes that led up to them. 7:30 p.m. ($5 or free to members) New Location: The Learning Center at Bristol’s Lighthouse Park.
Monday, July 29 - The Involuntary American: A Scottish Prisoner’s Journey to the New World. Local author Carol Gardner chronicles the life and times of Thomas Doughty, an illiterate Scottish foot solider who was captured and shipped to the New World against his will, a story told against the background of what life was like for 17th century slaves and servants who were a vital part of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Join us for this informative new program. 7:30 p.m. ($5 or free to members) New Location: The Learning Center at Bristol’s Lighthouse Park.
Monday, Aug. 5 - The Capital Crime of Witchcraft: What The Primary Sources Tell Us. In l692, Fort William Henry was built at Pemaquid, and in the same year a more notable event occurred that still captures the public imagination – The Salem Witch Trials. Margo Burns is a historian specializing in those trials, and is an Associate Editor and Project Manager of the Records of the Salem Witch-Hunt. Join us for what promises to be a compelling and informative presentation. 7:30 p.m. ($5 or free to members) New Location: The Learning Center at Bristol’s Lighthouse Park.
Monday, Aug. 12 –Boothbay & Bristol Heroes /Hell-Raisers in Colonial and Post-Revolutionary Maine. Every age has its characters and heroes, with Midcoast Maine in the 17th and 18th centuries being no exception. Join us for an engaging look at these memorable figures of the past presented by Chip Griffin III. 7:30 p.m. ($5 or free to members) New Location: The Learning Center at Bristol’s Lighthouse Park.
Monday, Aug. 19 - The Story of the Pemaquid Mill. Archeologist Dr. Neill dePaoli will present a program that documents the history of the mill at Pemaquid Falls, a historic site recently acquired by local preservationist groups. The presentation also incorporates information about the Robert Given home site adjacent to the mill. 7:30 p.m. ($5 or free to members) New Location: The Learning Center at Bristol’s Lighthouse Park.
Sunday Sept. 1 - Castlebay in Concert: A Labor Day Weekend Tradition. Join the Friends for their traditional close of the season special event and enjoy an outdoor performance of Celtic, nautical and early American music featuring the popular local duo of Fred Gosbee and Julia Lane on the grounds of Fort William Henry. 1 and 3 p.m. Rain date is Mon., Sept.2.
Events other than Monday Night Lectures take place outdoors and are free, except for the customary state fees if touring the museum and the fort. The site is open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Memorial Day through Labor Day. The Monday night lecture series will be held at a new location at the Learning Center at Bristol’s Lighthouse Park.
For more information about The Friends of Colonial Pemaquid, a volunteer organization now in its 26th year, visit www.friendsofcolonialpemaquid.org.