Learning from one another: Historical groups try networking
About six years ago, plans called for an old schoolhouse in Round Pond to be burned.
A group formed and managed to save the 1885 Washington School, now home to a new museum on the history of the village.
Alexandra Jansen and Bill Smith from the Round Pond Schoolhouse Association and their counterparts from other historical groups around Lincoln County met at the Nickels-Sortwell Barn in Wiscasset on September 22.
Jansen and Smith hoped to pick up tips from other groups that have restored buildings in their own towns.
“You can never have too much information,” Jansen said.
The Lincoln County Historical Association organized Sunday's event, which included a lineup of speakers on topics from accounting to keeping buildings in shape.
“We're not in competition with each other. We can cooperate with one another and communicate with one another,” association president Ed Cavanagh said about the groups.
They all share the same goals and likely also many of the same challenges, said Don Loprieno, the president of Friends of Colonial Pemaquid. “If you want to find out how to do something, you talk to someone who's doing it, too,” he said.
As part of an ice-breaker exercise, participants took turns telling a little about their groups. The Boothbay peninsula might already know that actress Margaret Hamilton, who brought life to the Wicked Witch from the “The Wizard of Oz,” summered in Southport.
But the tidbit was news to many in the room Sunday.
“We're very proud,” Bugbee said of Hamilton's Southport connection.
Participants also voiced surprise when they heard about the crowds the Wiscasset, Waterville and Farmington Railway Museum can draw to the small town of Alna; one event brought in 1,200 people.
Historic New England offered the Lincoln County Historical Association the use of the barn, part of the Nickels-Sortwell House, for Sunday's gathering.
Susan Johns can be reached at 207-844-4633 or firstname.lastname@example.org