News Feature

The Peninsula
Originally published in The Weekly Packet, July 31, 2014
Now showing at local historical societies
Touring Through Time opens a window into the past

Traveling back through time, in fashion

Brooklin Keeping Society member June Eaton dresses for an early 1900s steamship journey for a Touring Through Time exhibit on display at town hall. Four historical societies on the Peninsula opened their doors on July 26 and 27, 2014.

Photo by Anne Berleant Order prints of selected PBP photos.

by Anne Berleant

An 18th century doll in its doll-sized crib. A sextant used to navigate steamships in the early 1900s. Squares of applesauce cake created from a recipe handed down through generations. A quilt depicting a town’s history from its founding in 1817.

These were a few of the treasures offered by the historical societies of Blue Hill, Brooklin, Brooksville and Sedgwick during Touring Through Time, a weekend celebrating Maine history through the open doors of the historical societies that keep it alive.

At the Holt House in Blue Hill, a tasting of “recipes that have come down through time” returned for a second year. “It was a big hit” last year, said board member Lynne Clark. A favorite was Linwood Leighton’s Banana Nut Cupcakes, sold at one time at the Leighton bakery in the old Copper & Gold Exchange building, now occupied by Bar Harbor Bank & Trust.

Board member Jan Snow (née Leach) contributed many recipes handed down through her family, but “I think the rhubarb custard pie is my favorite,” she said.

Brooksville’s roots reach far, as Edson and Sally Blodgett, members of the Brooksville Historical Society, discovered recently. They were recently approached in a Montana motel parking lot—on the basis of their Maine license plate—by a man who turned out to be the great-grandson of Olden Tapley. He is now on the waiting list for a copy of the society’s 2013 publication, “Six Sea Captains and a Farmer,” profiling the deep roots of the local Tapley family, that sold out last winter and is being reprinted.


A glimpse into the Blue Hill Peninsula past. Touring Through Time, held on July 26-27, 2014, the Maine historical societies of Brooklin, Sedgwick, Blue Hill and Brooksville opened their doors to a myriad of exhibits, stories, recipes and more. Photos by Anne Berleant

On display at the society was a quilt depicting the historical buildings of Brooksville, created by Brooksville ladies and anchored by squares embroidered with its four churches, on loan from Margaret Fowler, whose husband won it in a raffle over 30 years ago.

The Sedgwick-Brooklin Historical Society hosted a photograph exhibit on loan from the Eastern Illustrating & Publishing Company and—to celebrate the 225th birthday of Sedgwick—an ice cream social. The Daniel Merrill house was also open to visitors and offered, room-by-room, a glimpse of family life and the artifacts of the 18th century.

In Brooklin, the Keeping Society displayed an exhibit of the town’s boat building heritage. “Maynard and Anne Bray put this whole show together for us,” said board member Karen Snow. Other members dressed in period costumes, as if they were about to step on, or step off, a steamship voyage of the early 20th century.

All the exhibits remain on display throughout the summer.