Embracing the PresentAnticipating the Future
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 –
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
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.
fundraising events included: catering a supper for the Oxford County Municipal
Officers; yard and bake sale; raffle (three items this year); book sales –
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.
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
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
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,
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
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.
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
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.
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
fundraising events did well (catered Oxford County Municipal Officers May Meeting,
held Annual Yard and Bake Sale; Quilt Raffle and books sales – “Porter,
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
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
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,
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.
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.
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,
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
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,
Our annual calendar for 2007 – “Porter,
Because of the construction going at History House, most of our meetings were held at
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.
Janice M. Iler, Secretary
Parsonsfield-Porter Historical Society
Dues: $10 – individual, $15 – couple, $5 – student (under 18).