Calendar of Events 2014
please call for more information
  207-276-9323


Up Next!

Tuesday, August 26, from 10 to 11:30, A Walking Tour of Somesville, guided by C.H. Breedlove. Admission is free but reservations are required. The tour begins at the Somesville Museum. Email erin.earlyward@mdihistory.org  to reserve a spot. 

Wednesday, August 27, from 5-7 pm, Annual Meeting, at the Neighborhood House in Northeast Harbor, featuring University of Maine Professor Stephen Hornsby, who will introduce the forthcoming publication, "Historical Atlas of Maine."

 Past Events and Programs:

2014

Thursday, January 23, 2014, 6:00 to 8:30 pm, Annual Baked Bean Supper, at MDI High School.  Tickets sold only at the door – $10 for adults and $5 for children and students. After supper, Kevin Johnson of the Penobscot Marine Museum will present "Through Eastern's Eye," a selection of slides from the Eastern Illustrating collection of postcards. Stay tuned for more information!

Friday, January 17, 2014, 12:00 to 1:00 pm, Historian's Forum with Jeff Dobbs. Jeff will discuss his work in progress, "Acadia's Forebears," a film celebrating the centennial of Acadia National Park at the Sound School House. Bring a bag lunch and carpool if you can. 

2013

Wednesday, January 23, 6:00 to 8:30 pm, Baked Bean Supper, at MDI High School. Dine to the music of "Little Moose."  After dinner we will be showing the 1936 film "The Bar Harbor Movie Queen."  Tickets sold only at the door – $10 for adults and $5 for children and students.

Thursday, February 28, 6:00 pm, Free History!, featuring Robert Pyle who will be speaking about the arms of choice that men from Mount Desert Island carried during the Civil War.  The Old School House and Museum, Sound Drive.

Friday, March 15, 12:00 noon, Historians' Forum with Bill Horner, M.D.  In his presentation titled "From Horses to Horsepower:  Mount Desert Island's Ten-Year War for the Automobile," Bill will talk about one of MDI's most famous controversies: the admission of the automobile to the island's picturesque roads.  Admission is free. Bring a bag lunch

Wednesday, March 21, 6:00 pm, Women's History:  "The Old Gods Come to Somesville, Maine" presented by the Southwest Harbor Public Library and the MDI Historical Society.  Carl Little will introduce the work and provide background on the author.   Amanda Crafts will give a dramatic reading of the poem in the style of the popular radio program, "Selected Shorts."  Program will take place in the Holmes Room, Southwest Harbor Public Library, 338 Main Street, Southwest Harbor, ME 04679.  For more information call the library at 244-7065.

Wednesday, April 17, 6:00 pm, Free History! presentation by Rachel Snell, Ph.D Candidate in history at the University of Maine.  Rachel's talk is called "Adapted to this Country:  Cookbooks and the Creation of Identity in Canada and the United States, 1812-1860."  Cookbooks, printed and manuscript, offer a unique window into women's lives. More than collections of recipes, these texts record how women defined themselves and their families as distinctly American or Canadian through recipes and ingredients. The manuscript cookbook functions as a scrapbook preserving the details of women's lives. The cookbooks women crafted for themselves or the addendums they added to printed cookbooks record women's experiences in their own words. While seemingly entrenched within the domestic sphere, cookbooks divulge the intimate connections between private and public, home and community, family and society.

This presentation examines Canadian and American cookbooks from 1812-1860 to reveal the process of adapting recipes to communities: both in the sense of ingredients and climate and also in terms of social ideology.  The demonstrated connections between women's domestic work and their identity make unsurprising the revelation that women's sense of national identity developed in the kitchen. 

Admission is free for all.

Thursday, May 30, 5:00 pm, Somesville Museum Shaped by Water Exhibit Grand OpeningAt the newly renovated Selectmen's Building see our new exhibit Somesville's Golden Age, curated by COA graduate Kate Ross.

Friday, June 21, 4:00 - 6:00 pm, Opening Reception for Summer Exhibit: Shifting Gears:  How the Automobile Transformed Mount Desert Island, The Old School House and Museum.

June 21 - September 27, Summer Exhibit: Shifting Gears:  How the Automobile Transformed Mount Desert Island, Personal narratives, photos, maps and more to show how the coming of the auto transformed life on Mount Desert Island.  The Old School House & Museum.

Tuesday, July 2, 9:00 am, "Coffee and Conversation" event This is a joint event with the Historical Society and the College of the Atlantic featuring Dr. John Gillis.  John Gillis is Professor of History Emeritus at Rutgers University, now dividing his time between Berkeley, California and Great Gott Island, Maine.   He has written several books on British and American social history, but has recently turned his attention to cultural geography, publishing Islands of the Mind in 2004. His new book, The Human Shore: Seacoasts in History, is a global environmental history of shores and the people who have inhabited them from prehistory to the present. Meet at the Deering Common Campus Center.

Tuesday, July 9, 2:00 - 4:00 pm, Annual Strawberry Festival. A summer tradition!  Come to our annual event featuring lemonade, iced tea, and strawberry shortcake!  We only use delicious local strawberries and NEVER skimp on the fresh whipped cream.

July 10 - 21, Chebacco Days A twelve-day celebration with programs and events is planned around a visit from the Lewis H. Story, a replica Chebacco boat like the one that brought Abraham Somes and his family to Somesville in 1761. 

Thursday, August 15, Swan's Island Tour, in partnership with the Swan's Island Lighthouse Committee.  Ferry, lunch, and guided tour by John Bryan provided for $100.  Seating is limited to 40.  Call 207-276-9323 or email museum@mdihistory.org for reservations.

Thursday, August 22, 2013, Presentation with Richard Rubin, author of “The Last of the Doughboys:  The Forgotten Generation and their Forgotten World War” at the Southwest Harbor Public Library.  5:30-7:00 p.m.

Wednesday, August 28, Annual Meeting, featuring Kevin Johnson, Photo Archivist for the Penobscot Marine Museum who will be presenting "Greetings from MDI: Selections from the Eastern Illustrating & Publishing Co. Collection."  Breakwater Estate, 45 Hancock St, Bar Harbor, 5 - 7 p.m.

Friday, November 15, 12 noon, Historians' Forum: In collaboration with the George Edwin Kirk Post 25 of the American Legion. 
Post President Paul Durost will provide the history of the Post and a description of the rich trove of historical artifacts and documents held by the Legion. The historical material, some dating from the Civil War, consists of member records and souvenirs that were donated to the Post by men from Mount Desert Island who served in the armed forces. The collection includes captured flags, armaments, photographs, and documents - some of which have rarely been seen in public.

Attendees will be asked to participate in a discussion of the significance of these recently-surfaced materials, how they may be preserved, cataloged and accessed by researchers, and how they may be incorporated into the documented history of Mount Desert Island.  Admission is free for all.  You are invited to bring a bag lunch.  Address:  70 Cottage Street, Bar Harbor, Maine

Saturday, November 23, 10 - 11:30 am, Mount Desert Island Historical Society in collaboration with the Bar Harbor Historical Society and College of the Atlantic to present “Where were you when President Kennedy was shot?”

Nat Fenton will moderate brief interviews with Island residents about their memories of the Kennedy assassination fifty years ago and present a film of President Lyndon B. Johnson's speech to a Joint Session of Congress on November 27, 1963.  Explore why TIME magazine calls the assassination of John F. Kennedy “The Moment That Changed America” with those living during that time, and how President Lyndon B. Johnson was able to reassure the nation after its nightmare experience on November 22, 1963. A permanent video record of the interviews with local residents will be distributed to area archives.

The event will be held at the Thomas S. Gates, Jr. Community Center, College of the Atlantic.

Thursday, December 12, 4:30 pm, Holiday Sing-a-long, Old School House and Museum

2012

Wednesday, January 25, 6 to 8:30, Celebrate!250 Baked Bean Supper, at MDI High School. Featuring the music of Chuck and Emma, historic film of the Trenton Bridge opening, and a slide show review of the Celebrate!250 year with Jack Russell. Tickets sold only at the door – $10 for adults and $5 for children.

Saturday, January 28, 10:30 am – 11:30 am, A School Day from the Days of Tom Sawyer, at Sound Schoolhouse. This is part of the Big Read Program, a reenactment featuring Maude March.

Friday, Feb 3, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm, Questions for Our Time: Racist Language and Stereotyping in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, at College of the Atlantic, Gates Community Center. This program is a collaboration of the Acadia Senior College, Mount Desert Island Historical Society, College of the Atlantic, and the Abbe Museum.

Saturday, February 4, 9 am - 12 pm, A Genealogy Workshop, Machias Savings Bank on Cottage Street in Bar Harbor. Featuring Ralph Stanley, Tom Roderick, Patti Leland, and Sheldon Goldthwaite. Tickets are $25 each.

Thursday, February 16, 12 pm, The Fire of ’47 and its Aftermath. Abbe Museum, Bar Harbor. Tim Garrity will speak on the Fire of ’47 and its impact on the island.

March 13, 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm, Women’s History Project: Francis Parkman and LaRue Spiker. Southwest Harbor Library. Tim Garrity will speak on LaRue Spiker and Francis Parkman – two people who couldn’t be more different from each other – on the topic of women’s suffrage.

April 26, 5:30 pm -- 6:30 pm, Climate Science and History.  Old School House and Museum.  Abe Miller-Rushing will speak on his latest research that compares historical records to the present day and reveals the evidence and effect of climate change.  

Friday, May 25, 12:00 noonHistorian's Forum featuring Gunnar Hansen, Author and Actor, Screenwriter for "Dancing at the Mill:  Two Centuries of Life on Mount Desert Island".   Gunnar will talk about his experience of writing a history of Mount Desert Island, and how he distilled two hundred years into a 60-minute documentary.  Admission is free. Bring a bag lunch.

Friday, May 25, 3:00 pm -- 4:30 pm,  Mighty Migration (easy walk). Witness the incredible persistence of spawning alewives as they return from the sea to the streams of their birth.  This race against time and other obstacles is key to the survival of these fascinating fish.  Meet at the Somesville Historical Museum and Gardens parking area - Route 102 near the picturesque white footbridge.

Saturday, May 26, 3:00 pm -- 4:30 pm,  Mighty Migration (easy walk).  See description above

Tuesday, May 29, 3:00 pm -- 4:30 pm,  Mighty Migration (easy walk).  Witness the incredible persistence of spawning alewives as they return from the sea to the streams of their birth.  This race against time and other obstacles is key to the survival of these fascinating fish.  Meet at the Somesville Historical Museum and Gardens parking area - Route 102 near the picturesque white footbridge.

Friday, June 15, Opening Reception for the Fred L. Savage Exhibition.  Join us at 5:00 p.m. at the School House and Museum for the opening reception of the exhibition celebrating the work of local architect Fred L. Savage.  This exhibition will be on view through the summer.

Thursday, June 28, 10:00 am, Beech Mountain Parking Lot. Landscape as Timescape.  Join MDI Historical Society Executive Director Tim Garrity on a hike in the Beech Mountain area, and learn how to see the past through the world around us.  Participants should dress for a moderate to strenuous hike in the weather of the day and must be sufficiently fit to hike 3 miles and climb and descend 800 feet of elevation over sometimes challenging terrain.  Call for more information.

Saturday, June 30, 1-4 pm, Grand Opening of the Somesville Museum: Exhibit, "Shaped by Water: An Island History." The Somesville Museum has been completely renovated for this summer. Join us to celebrate! 

Tuesday, July 10Annual Strawberry Festival. Back by popular demand, the Strawberry Festival will again be held at the Somesville Fire Station from 2 - 4 p.m.

Wednesday, July 25Inside Seal Harbor. A historical tour of Seal Harbor led by Anne Funderburk.

Wednesday, August 1, 5:00 pm, Annual Meeting. This year's Annual Meeting will be held at the Neighborhood House in Northeast Harbor.

Wednesday, August 8Inside Seal Harbor. A tour of historic Seal Harbor led by Anne Funderburk. 

September 22, Time and Place to be announced to members only.  A Tour of a Nearby Island. Become a member to receive an invitation to an unforgettable and rare tour, by permission of the island's owners.

Now through Sept 29, Architectural Drawings and Early Sketches of Fred L. Savage.   This exhibition highlights original work of Fred L. Savage and the grand cottages and public buildings he designed on Mount Desert Island.  The exhibition will be on view through the summer.

Now through the summer, "Shaped by Water: An Island History." The Somesville Museum has been completely renovated for this summer exhibition.   While you're visiting, don't miss the exhibit "Shipwrecked!" currently on view in the Selectmen's Building.

Friday, October 12, 5:30 p.m., Opening Reception for Running Through Time, A Celebration of the MDI Marathon.

Friday, October 19, 12:00 noon, Historians' Forum featuring Tim Garrity, Executive Director, MDI Historical Society.  In his talk titled "Far from Home: The Spring of 1864," Tim will discuss the decisions and course of three young Mount Desert men confronted by the demands of the Civil War.  Admission is free. Bring a bag lunch.

Friday, November 16, 2012, 12:00 noon, Historians' Forum.  Details to be announced.  Admission is free. Bring a bag lunch.

October 12 - November 30, 2012, Running Through Time, A Celebration of the MDI Marathon.  An exhibit that will delight marathon participants, visitors, and local residents alike. Historical images of places along the 26.2 mile marathon route are set side-by-side with pictures of past marathons to reveal the rich history of Mount Desert Island while also capturing the excitement and color of this annual event.  

Wednesday, December 12, 4:00 to 6:00 pm, Holiday Sing-a-long, at the Old School House & Museum.  Join us to celebrate the season and thank our members and volunteers with a festive sing-a-long.  Refreshments will be served.

January 18, 12:00 noon
Historian's Forum featuring Rob Gee, Environmental Historian. Rob will talk about his research into the management of fisheries in the nineteenth century in New England and the Maritimes. Nineteenth century management took on many forms, official and unofficial, formal and informal.  Many of the fundamental challenges faced were very much similar to those managers continue to grapple with today.  He will discuss these dynamics and talk about the difficulties of weaving together a narrative that encompasses marine science, politics and diplomacy, and the eccentricities of local culture, history, and ecology across a diverse region.  Fishing is a social activity. But it is also a function of where, when and how fishing is allowed--and issues of resource access, open and closed seasons, gear restrictions, and other management tactics are part of a complex negotiation that is as old as resource use itself.  Capturing this web of dynamics is challenging but ultimately fruitful.
Admission is free. Bring a bag lunch.

Wednesday, January 23, 6:00 to 8:30 pm, Baked Bean Supper, at MDI High School. Dine to the music of "Little Moose."  After dinner we will be showing the 1936 film "The Bar Harbor Movie Queen."  Tickets sold only at the door – $10 for adults and $5 for children and students.