Originally published in Seasonal Guide, June 27, 2014
Discover local culture…
Societies, libraries and museums on the Peninsula
Steeped in culture and rich in history, the area has a lot to offer within short distances. Make sure to use the map included with this publication for help getting from point A to point B.
Go to Castine to find a cannon on the remnants of an American Revolutionary fort. Stay to see the Maine Maritime Academy training vessel, State of Maine. In Stonington, there is a replica of a 1900s-era granite quarry—complete with explosion. See blacksmithing demonstrations, view historic collections of local artifacts, drop in to a children’s reading hour with a reader dog, or see a music collection believed to be one of the best in the world. These fun-filled activities and many more are right around the corner—so go explore and see what you can find!
Bagaduce Music Lending Library, 5 Music Library Ln.
Open year round Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Over one million pieces of sheet music and scores and over 250,000 individual titles. 374-5454, bagaducemusic.org
Blue Hill Public Library, 5 Parker Point Rd.
Extensive collections—print and multimedia. Cultural center, lectures, community activities and local art exhibits that change periodically.
Mon., Tue., Wed., Fri., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Thu., 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 374-5515, bhpl.net
Blue Hill Historical Society, 3 Water St.
The Holt House (1815), built by Jeremiah Holt, grandson of the fifth family to settle the town, contains period furniture, clothing, antique dishes, quilts, toys, photographs, genealogical files and town memorabilia. Open July 6-Sep. 14: Tue. and Fri., 1-4 p.m.; Sat., 11 a.m.-2 p.m. bluehillhistory.org
Jonathan Fisher House (1814), 44 Mines Rd.
Jonathan Fisher (1768-1847) was the first settled Congregational minister of Blue Hill. He was an artist, farmer, scientist, mathematician, surveyor and writer of prose and poetry. Today, at the homestead he designed, you will see the life’s work of this “Versatile Yankee.” The house contains artwork, handmade furniture, an extensive library, homemade surveying tools, a recreation of his 1820 orchard. A special summer program celebrating 200 years will be announced this summer. Open July 5-Sep. 7, Wed.-Sat. 1-4 p.m. and Sep. 13-Oct. 19, Fri.-Sat. 1-4 p.m. Tours and groups available at other times by request. 374-2459, jonathanfisherhouse.org
East Blue Hill Public Library, 9 Curtis Cove Rd.
Featuring local historical documentaries, unique titles and historical artifacts. Saturday gathering place for locals and visitors alike—with coffee and locally made snacks (if you arrive early enough). Free WiFi. Tue., Thu., Fri 2-4 p.m., Sat. 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. 374-5577
Friend Memorial Public Library, 1 Reach Rd.,
WiFi available. (July & Aug.) Tue.-Sat., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; story time: Sat., 10:30 a.m. 359-2276, friendml.org
Brooklin Keeping Society, 23 Bay Rd., located in the rear of the Brooklin Town Office.
The society collects, preserves, exhibits and researches materials pertaining to the history of Brooklin. A large genealogical database and expanding reference library of Maine and the Peninsula area are available to the public. Open year-round, Tue., 1-4 p.m., and by appointment. Program meeting last Thu. of the month, Apr.-Oct., 6:30 p.m. brooklinkeepingsociety.org
Free Public Library, 1 Town House Rd.,
Collection of local genealogy. Books and media resources. Mon., Wed., 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Thu., 6-8 p.m.; Sat., 9 a.m.-12 p.m. 326-4560, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brooksville Historical Society, 150 Coastal Rd.
Library of local history, genealogical records, quilts, farm equipment. Farmhouse Museum, also on Coastal Rd., open for Touring Through Time, with an exhibition of past farming life. Open July-Aug., Wed., Sun., 1-4 p.m. brooksvillehistoricalsociety.org
The Good Life Center at Forest Farm, 372 Harborside Rd.
Forest Farm is the last homestead of Helen and Scott Nearing. The working homestead, organic gardens and renowned stone buildings are open for visitors beginning in June. Please check the Good Life Center website for specific dates and hours. 326-8211, goodlife.org
Witherle Memorial Library, 41 School St.
Maine’s oldest municipal library, with a collection of print and electronic resources. Meeting place for community discussions, full summer schedule of events. Mon., 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Tue.-Fri., 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sat., 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Closed holidays. 326-4375, witherle.lib.me.us
Nutting Memorial Library, Maine Maritime Academy, Battle Avenue
On the MMA campus. A full service library with access to numerous database resources, e-books, DVDs and more. Mon.-Fri., 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. 326-2263, library.mma.edu
Castine Historical Society, 17 School St.
Located in the 1859 Abbott School on the town common. Collects, preserves and exhibits materials that illuminate the rich history of Castine/Bagaduce River area from pre-Colonial times to the present. Seasonal and permanent exhibits are free and open to the public from early June through mid-Oct. Lecture and other special events scheduled through the summer. Gift shop on site. 326-4118, castinehistoricalsociety.org
Wilson Museum, 120 Perkins St.
Like you stepped back in time. See blacksmithing demos and artifacts from Castine and beyond. Museum open May 27-Sep. 30, Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sat., Sun., 2-5 p.m. John Perkins House, blacksmithing, wood turning and other demonstrations, July-Aug., Wed. & Sun., 2-5 p.m. Admission is free, except for the Perkins House, where there are guided tours on the hour. 326-9247, wilsonmuseum.org
Chase Emerson Memorial Library, Main St.
Located in the heart of Deer Isle village. Substantial collection of children’s, young adult books. Mon., 2-7 p.m.; Wed., 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; Sat., 9 a.m.-12 p.m. 348-2899. sites.google.com/site/deerislelibraryorg/
Deer Isle-Stonington Historical Society, 416 Sunset Rd., Deer Isle
Restored and furnished home with adjacent post-and-beam exhibit barn featuring island fisheries, Indian artifacts and more; marine exhibit hall with ship models and America’s Cup exhibit; and an archives building. Salome Sellers House (1830). Open mid-June to mid-Sep., Wed., Thu., Fri., 1-4 p.m. Archives only, open Oct. 1-May 31, Wed., Fri., 1-4 p.m. 348-6400. dis-historicalsociety.org
Isle au Haut
Revere Memorial Library
WiFi hotspot. Summer hours: Mon., Wed., Fri., 10 a.m.-12 p.m., or by appointment. email@example.com.
Penobscot Historical Society, 88 North Penobscot Rd.
Restoration of Conner farm, which houses artifacts of society; old red school house; reconstructed carriage house; restored general store. Events throughout summer. Open July-Aug., Sat., Sun., 1-4 p.m.
Sargentville Library, 953 Reach Rd.
Unique collection of new and old titles, classics, biographies and local history. WiFi hotspot. Sat., 10 a.m.-12 p.m., Wed., 6-8 p.m.
Sedgwick Library, Main St.
Local genealogy, photographs of Downeast Maine and extensive mystery collection. Summer hours: Wed., 5-7 p.m., Thu., 3-5 p.m., Sat., 9 a.m. to noon. 359-2177
Sedgwick-Brooklin Historical Society & Museum, Rte. 172, 575 North Sedgwick Rd.
Located in historic Rev. Daniel Merrill House (1795), opposite Sedgwick Town House (1794). Old tools; photographs; toys; local history library; horse-drawn hearses; one-room schoolhouse. Open Sun. 2-4 p.m., July-Aug. or by appointment. 359-8086
Stonington Public Library, 64 Main St.
Variety of summer events, WiFi hotspot (one of few in town). summer, Tue., Thu 12:30-5 p.m., Sat., 10 a.m.-12 p.m., 367-5926. sites.google.com/site/stoningtonlibrary123/.
Deer Isle Granite Museum, Main St., Stonington
Features a working model of a 1900s-era granite quarry—complete with explosion. Free admission, donations appreciated. July & Aug. only, every day except Wed. and Fri., 9 a.m.-5 p.m. 367-6331
Surry Historical Society, 619 Surry Rd.
Headquartered at the former Surry Town Hall. Speakers at meetings, June-Aug. Open summers by appointment. The public is always welcome. 667-8054