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PPHS
Preserving the Past

Embracing the Present

Anticipating the Future


ANNOUNCING!

The New History of Parsonsfield Book


$25.00 (plus $1.38 tax) 
$5.00 shipping costs.

Send a check to the PPHS - Treasure, PO Box 250, Parsonsfield, Maine 04047
 

PARSONSFIELD MAINE

A Town of Many Villages

1785 – 2012




Compiled and Written by the

Parsonsfield-Porter Historical Society



Printed by Cardinal Printing Company
Denmark, Maine
  2012

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PARSONSFIELD-PORTER HISTORICAL SOCIETY – ANNUAL REPORT 2011

 
            The first 2011 meeting was held on April 23rd.  Officers for 2011 were elected as follows:  President – Sylvia Wilson, VP – Patricia Turner, Treasurer – Merry Shea, Secretary – Jan Iler, Auditor – Jean Williams. Clayton Locke was awarded the title of Honorary President.

            At the May meeting it was a pleasure to honor Clayton for his 25 years of service as President of PPHS.  He was presented with a cake and a green baseball cap imprinted with “PPHS Honorary President”.

            Each of the monthly meetings had an interesting program on such topics as:  gardening, the grant program for 4th grades at So. Hiram Elementary, barns, Warren Libby’s diary, and famous Maine women.

            The main exhibit for 2011 was “Needle & Thread – An Exhibition of the Textile Arts” that opened June 4th in conjunction with the Lilac Festival.  There were demonstrations at each of the five open house dates and two of the dates had an activity for children.

            The regular fundraising events included: catering a supper for the Oxford County Municipal Officers; yard and bake sale; raffle (three items this year); book sales – “Porter, Maine 200 Years” and “Cemeteries of Porter”; and sale of the Parsonsfield-Porter afghan.

            The Society collaborated in a special project this year that fit right in with our mission statement.  The 4th Grades at South Hiram Elementary had a 4 month grant program – “Weaving the Fibers of Learning and Community History”.   PPHS was actively involved by providing pictures and a history of the woolen mill, helped find former mill workers to be interviewed by the kids, helped with the field trip and were delighted to see the results -- a mural and program they presented in April.               The annual field trip in August was a tour of the Bridgton Historical Society and the restored Narramesic Farm. 

            The low attendance at the annual Old Porter Meeting House Labor Day Sunday Service this year was disappointing, continuing a downward trend of the last few years.  Therefore, a different event is being planned for 2012 in an attempt to attract more people to this precious landmark, raise awareness of its role in our town’s history and raise funds to help the town repair and maintain the building for the future generations to appreciate.  Watch for further information about this.

Our traditional Thanksgiving Pot Luck Luncheon for members and guests was held Nov. 12th. Everyone looks forward to the opportunity to visit and enjoy a meal together. It is a wonderful way to thank everyone for their support during the year. 

            Plans for 2012 are still in progress. The new exhibit for the year will be “From Cradle to Grave, Growing up and Growing Old in 19th Century America”.  Demonstrations and hands on activities will be incorporated whenever possible at open house dates.

            The Parsonsfield book is progressing and our goal is to have it ready for June.  Time is running out, but if you have pictures, or printed material that you think should be included, please contact us right away.

            We want to thank everyone who has supported the Society and taken an interest by attending our meetings, open house dates and fundraising events.  We welcome new members and encourage you to come see what we are all about.  Watch for our posters and notices of our meetings in “Your Weekly Shopping Guide” beginning in April.   

PARSONSFIELD-PORTER HISTORICAL SOCIETY – ANNUAL REPORT 2010

 
            In January, 2010 a major project at History House was completed – rewiring of the whole main house. That was followed with refurbishing of the two large ground floor rooms and major cleaning throughout. Thanks to many hours of donated time, the clean-up was all accomplished just in time to open the house for the season in May.

            The first meeting was held April 24th.  Before officers were elected and plans for 2010 were discussed, Dottie Locke announced her “retirement” as Treasurer after 21 years.  She was presented with a bouquet of 21 roses in recognition of her years of faithful service.  A valued member of the Society, Dottie will remain active in the Society.

The first exhibit opened on June 5th. It featured photographs by Patricia Turner from her book - “First Person Rural – A Portrait of a Maine Town” – all pictures of Porter residents.  It was a one day exhibit and was very successful.

            In June we held a joint meeting with the Hiram Historical Society.  This was well attended and was beneficial to both groups.

            The main exhibit for the rest of the season was “Collecting – a Hobby That Is Always In Style”.  In this exhibit we were able to show many of the seldom seen collections of the Society and also private collections of our members and friends. Our open house dates included demonstrations and activities for children which increased attendance and attracted new people to History House.

The annual field trip was a tour of Wadsworth Hall in Hiram and was exceptionally well attended.             

            Our usual fundraising events did well (catering of the Oxford County Municipal Officers May Meeting; Annual Yard and Bake Sale; Quilt Raffle; and books sales – “Porter, Maine 200 Years” and “Cemeteries of Porter”). In response to popular demand, a small supply of the Parsonsfield-Porter afghan was purchased and they are available for as long as supply lasts.

            The Old Porter Meeting House Annual Labor Day Sunday Service was again held among scaffolding for roof repairs. The offering was passed on to the Town of Porter for the building repair fund.

Our traditional Thanksgiving Pot Luck Luncheon for members and guests was held Nov. 13th. This is always popular and a wonderful way to thank everyone for supporting us during the year.

            The final event of the year was a very successful Christmas Open House on Dec. 5th with the “Festival of Trees”.  Six local groups each decorated a tree in a theme of their choosing.  Besides the K.F. Library, 21 Club, Porter Grange and PPHS, we were delighted to have wonderful trees decorated by the K.F. Cub Scout Troup and Mary Cobb’s Fifth Grade class at Sacopee Middle School.  It was a great way to end the season.

            Plans for 2011 are still in progress. The exhibit theme will feature the Society’s Quilts and we will again have demonstrators and children’s activities.

            Over the next few months we will concentrate on completing the book about Parsonsfield with the goal of finishing it in 2011.  It is not too late to accept more material. If you have pictures, or printed material that you think should be included, please contact us.

            We take this opportunity to once again thank everyone who has supported the Society and taken an interest by attending our meetings, open house dates and fundraising events.  We welcome new members and encourage you to come see what we are all about.  Watch for our posters and notices of our meetings in “Your Weekly Shopping Guide” beginning in April.   

PARSONSFIELD-PORTER HISTORICAL SOCIETY – ANNUAL REPORT 2009

            The 2009 season began as usual with the first monthly meeting in April and a full schedule of events was kicked off with open house May 30th in conjunction with the Lilac Festival. 

            We tried a new approach with our open houses this year.  The main exhibit “Home Made – Starting From Scratch” was made up of five parts.  Each open house featured a different craft with demonstrations and a children’s hands on activity: “Working with Wool” in May with sheep shearing and spinning; “A Stitch in Time” in June with rug hooking, bobbin lace, tatting, and punch needle embroidery; “Working With Iron” in July with blacksmithing; “Working With Wood” in Sept. with coopering and timberframing; and “Putting Food By” in late Sept. with soap making and beekeeping.  The demonstrators were thoroughly enjoyed by our visitors and the kids really got involved with their activities.  This succeeded in attracting more visitors to History house.  Attendance was up every time.

            We continue to connect with our local schools.  Mary Cobb’s 5th grade class at South Hiram Elementary made posters about occupations in the 1700 & 1800’s which fit right in with our exhibits and were used during the summer exhibit period.   Forty of Kathy Rice’s  6th Grade students from Sacopee Middle School toured the house in June.  We also gave a tour to the teacher’s sorority “Upsilon Chapter Delta Kappa Gamma”  in May and we hosted the ”21 Club”  meeting at History House in Sept.

            Our usual fundraising events did well (catered Oxford County Municipal Officers May Meeting, held Annual Yard and Bake Sale; Quilt Raffle and books sales – “Porter, Maine 200 Years” and “Cemeteries of Porter”).

            The Old Porter Meeting House annual Labor Day Sunday Service was held among scaffolding for roof repairs.  Open house at History House followed.  $301.00 from the offering and donations was contributed to the Town of Porter toward the cost of the roof repairs.  We ended the year with our traditional Thanksgiving Pot Luck Luncheon for members and guests.

            Plans for 2010 are in progress and include interesting programs for our meetings. The June 5th open house will feature an exhibit of photographs of Porter people from the book of photography being published by Patricia Turner – “First Person Rural – A Portrait of a Maine Town”.  This event will include a “book-signing”. 

            The new exhibit theme will be “Collections” and will remain in place for the rest of the season.  Collecting as a hobby has been around for a long time, and we will feature some that are at History  House as well as from individuals.  We will again have different demonstrations and children’s activities each open house date.

            Our plans to publish a pictorial book about Parsonsfield continue as we search for ways to fund the printing.  We would appreciate hearing from anyone who has pictures, writings, old diaries, letters, etc. who would be willing to loan them to use in the book.

            We take this opportunity to once again thank everyone who has supported the Society and taken an interest by attending our meetings, open house dates and fundraising events.  We welcome new members and encourage you to come see what we are all about.  Watch for our posters and notices of our meetings in the Shopping Guide beginning in April.     

  

PARSONSFIELD-PORTER HISTORICAL SOCIETY – ANNUAL REPORT 2008

     

    The 2008 season began with the first monthly meeting in April.  A full schedule of events   started June 6th with a new exhibit hung for open house in conjunction with the Lilac Festival.  The Maine State Archives loaned us 16 framed photographs taken by George French (1882-1970), a Porter/Parsonsfield native.  These pictures inspired the theme for our exhibit “Doorways & Details”.  A second new exhibit was opened in August called “Pastimes”, featuring old time hobbies, games, sports, etc.
    Twelve members and guests went on the annual summer field trip in August, a wonderful boat trip to Eagle Island the former summer home of Admiral Robert Peary. 
    Visits from the local school children this year included: 40 Seventh Grade students June 16th initiated by Kathy Rice; a home schooled young lady and her mother on June 18th; and 18 of Mary Cobb’s Fifth Grade students on Oct. 20th.   Connecting with our local schools is part of our mission and we enjoyed having them come to History House.
    We held our usual fundraising events: catered Oxford County Municipal Officers May meeting; held Annual Yard and Bake Sale; Quilt Raffle; and book sales – “Porter, Maine 200 Years” and “Cemeteries of Porter”; and sales of other miscellaneous small items.
    Of course, the annual Labor Day Sunday Service was held at the Old Porter Meeting House with open house at History House following.  We ended the year with our traditional Thanksgiving Pot Luck Luncheon for members and guests.
    Plans for 2009 are in progress and are sure to include interesting programs at our meetings. A new exhibit will be hung with the theme based on the skills and knowledge of our ancestors when everyday things were homegrown, homemade and hand crafted.  We anticipate this exhibit will be enhanced by demonstrations by some of today’s crafters, at each of the summer open house dates.
    Our plans to publish a pictorial book about Parsonsfield were put on hold during the summer months.  We will be working on it again this spring and searching for ways to fund the printing.  We would appreciate hearing from anyone who has pictures, writings, old diaries, letters, etc. who would be willing to loan them to use in the book.
    We take this opportunity to once again thank everyone who has supported the Society and taken an interest by attending our meetings, open house dates and fundraising events.  We welcome new members and encourage you to come see what we are all about.  Watch for our posters and notices of our meetings in the “Shopping Guide beginning in April.             

PARSONSFIELD-PORTER HISTORICAL SOCIETY – ANNUAL REPORT 2007

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    This was an exceptionally active year for the Society.  With the new addition complete we were finally able to hang a new special exhibit, have the History House open on a regular basis and hold our meetings there.   
    We had a full schedule of events starting with open house in conjunction with the Lilac Festival.  At that time we dedicated the new research room to the late Janice Burch and opened a new exhibit hung especially for Porter’s Bicentennial.  


TRUEWORTHY FAMILY

Left to right are Arlyn Trueworthy, Charles Trueworthy, Claire Trueworthy, 
a photograph of Janice Trueworthy Burch, and Isabel Sanborn, formerly Trueworthy

On Saturday, June 2nd, members of the Trueworthy family were on hand at the Open House and Dedication of the new wing of the Parsonsfield – Porter Historical Society’s History House at 92 Main Street in Porter.  During the event, the research room of the wing was dedicated to the memory of Janice Trueworthy Burch (1941 – 2005).  Janice was a valued member of the historical society who helped design the addition and believed passionately that it should house a space where the public could do historical research.
        Co-President Sylvia Wilson thanked the many people and groups who helped in fundraising and/or building the addition which houses an office, storage areas and handicapped entry and facilities, as well as the research room.  In addition to many individual donations, special mention was given of the grants from the Margaret Burnham Charitable Trust, the Davis Foundation and the Giovanella Family Trust as well as a donation from the estate of Janice Trueworthy Burch.  Of special note also were Rudolph Anderson and Fred Iler who supervised the work crew and oversaw the building project, Ken Wilson of Kennard Hill Design who designed the addition, and Steve Wilson of Monteath Moulding who donated molding. 

     We participated in the Bicentennial celebration on July 28th, again held open house and entered a prize winning float in the parade.  It was an exciting day and we were happy to be part of it.

PPHS BICENTENNIAL FLOAT     
    In August we participated with the historical societies from Cornish and Limington to present the First Annual Tri-Town Antique Car Show at the Cornish Fair Grounds.   The annual summer field trip was to the Rufus Porter Museum in Bridgton – an interesting and  worthwhile trip for all who attended.

    We held our annual Yard and Food Sale in July and started selling Quilt Raffle tickets at the Sacopee Valley Fair (drawn at the Oct. meeting).  These are regular fundraisers for the society. 
    The annual Labor Day Sunday service was held at the Old Porter Meeting House followed by open house at History House.   
     It was decided to have History House open for Christmas with the theme “Christmas Through the Years”.  We have not been able to do that for several years.  It was scheduled in conjunction with the Library’s House Tours and was well attended.  Every nook and cranny was decorated. A Victorian Tree and decorations were featured in the Longfellow Room and 1950’s Tree and typical 50’s decorations in the middle room.  Guests seemed to enjoy the festivities which included an appearance from Santa and music from Porter’s Bicentennial String Band.  Refreshments were served and cookies were sold to take home.  A really fun day!
    Our plans for 2008 include interesting programs and a special exhibit, the centerpiece of which will be 16 photographs loaned by the Maine State Archives called “Doorways”.  These are pictures taken by the late George W. French, a Porter/Parsonsfield native. 
    We also plan to publish another pictorial book similar to the “Porter, Maine  200 Years”.  This one will be on Parsonsfield.  We would appreciate hearing from anyone who has pictures, writings, old diaries, letters, etc. that they would be willing to loan us to use in this book.
    We take this opportunity to once again thank everyone who has supported the society and taken an interest by attending our meetings, open house dates and fundraising events.  We welcome new members and encourage you come see what we are all about.  Watch for our posters and notices of our meetings in the “Shopping Guide” beginning in April.      

PARSONSFIELD-PORTER HISTORICAL SOCIETY – ANNUAL REPORT 2006
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     This was an extremely busy year for the Society and we are proud of our accomplishments.
    Our first project was to produce a book for the Porter bicentennial – “Porter Maine – 200 Years”.  From February to May a committee of five worked on the application for a grant from the Oxford County Fund of the Maine Community Foundation to fund printing of the book.   In July we were notified that we were eligible for a grant for half the amount needed, in the form of a challenge grant of $2,800 that had to be matched by new donations in order to receive it.  An appeal letter was immediately sent to our members who responded both generously and promptly.  By the first of September the grant was matched and we had the full amount needed to print 500 copies.   
    From May to the middle of August the committee worked countless hours on actually creating the book.  The result was a 200 page book with 300 pictures that was ready for the Bicentennial "kick off" Sept. 16th at the Old Porter Meeting House.  Everyone seems to enjoy the book and sales are going well.  Proceeds go to our building fund.

    Our most ambitious project, which has been ongoing for a couple of years, was to get the new addition at History House constructed and finished so it could be used by 2007.   Again we were successful.   By December we had our addition at the back of the building with a new handicap access ramp and entrance. It houses an entrance hall, a research library, office, handicap bathroom, and 3 small storage rooms.  A furnace was installed in the old basement that heats the kitchen and new addition. Grading for the parking lot and driveway will be done in the spring.  Although, there is much work to be done to get it set up and ready for use, we expect to have it ready for open house and dedication in the spring.   We are so grateful for the donations and grant money which, added to fundraising proceeds, financed the project.  With those funds, a great deal of work and many hours of donated labor a dream became reality.  In order to complete the rest of the project, the fireproof vault included in the original plans was postponed. That will be done as soon additional funds can be raised.
    A third project was to finish and publish Janice Trueworthy Burch’s book “Cemeteries for Porter,
Maine”.  It was finally completed, published and ready for sale by Thanksgiving.  This was a labor of love and an obligation that we were happy to fulfill.

    Our annual calendar for 2007 – “Porter,
Maine 1807 – 2007, a Bicentennial Celebration – Now and Then”, continues the theme of the Porter book with more pictures of Porter.  Once again, Sylvia Wilson did a fine job putting this together.
    Because of the construction going at History House, most of our meetings were held at Porter Town Hall. For the same reason, we were unable to have any special exhibits this year and held only two open house dates at History House – Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend.  We did hold the usual open house dates at the Old Porter Meeting House in August and on Labor Day Sunday.       
    We are now planning for 2007 and it promises to be another busy year.  We will be participating in the bicentennial festivities and getting our History House ready for visitors once again with new exhibits and making use of the new addition. 
    Thanks to some dedicated workers and many supportive members; we have come a long way in the seven years since the Millennium Committee began to breathe new life into our Society.  We continue to strive to increase awareness of the Historical Society and interest in our work there and welcome new members.  We appreciate all the support we receive from everyone, for without you we could not continue.  Watch for our posters and notices of our meetings and events in the “Shopping Guide” and the “Citizen” beginning in April.
 

 

Respectfully submitted,
Janice M. Iler, Secretary
Parsonsfield-Porter Historical Society
Located at 92 Main Street, Porter – Mailing Address: PO Box 250, Parsonsfield, ME 04047

 Dues: $10 – individual, $15 – couple, $5 – student (under 18).

            It is the mission of the Parsonsfield-Porter Historical Society to collect and preserve artifacts, photographs, documents and publications of historical significance that relate directly to the history of Parsonsfield, Porter and South Hiram, Maine – including the village of Kezar Falls; to preserve and make available for research the genealogical records of families from the area; to encourage the love and study of local history in the youth of the area; to encourage the preservation of historical sites and structures; and to discover and disseminate local history, legend and lore so that succeeding generations may benefit from a better understanding of their past.

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