Maine Historical Society



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Maine Humanities Council and Maine Historical Society award grants to four Maine communities

April 17, 2013

Maine Historical Society and the Maine Humanities Council recently awarded four Local and Legendary: Maine in the Civil War grants, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, to Belfast, Gorham/Windham, Portland/Westbrook, and Presque Isle, to support local history and humanities programs about the Civil War.

The grants will allow local organizations—historical societies, libraries, and schools in particular—to develop skills, build capacity, expand collaboration with local partners, and use their community as a laboratory to explore connections between Maine’s Civil War story and national themes and experiences. The communities will receive $2000 and in-kind assistance from the Maine Historical Society and Maine Humanities Council to develop three projects: a digital history exhibit on Maine Memory Network, accessible to an extensive audience of researchers, teachers, students, historians, and members of the general public in Maine and beyond; a community-wide “One Story, One Community” reading and discussion program, which will engage a diverse range of participants such as students, veterans, low-literacy adults, and the general public; and a theatrical performance based on local Civil War history, in partnership with theater professional David Greenham. All grant-supported projects in the communities will be carried out between September 2013 and May 2014.

- In Belfast, the Belfast Historical Society, Belfast Free Library, Game Loft, and Senior College will collaborate in recording and describing the effects of the war on the citizens of Belfast and use the “One Story, One Community” reading and discussion series to strengthen community ties around a shared study of local history. A Civil War-era quilt will form the focus for much of the historical work; the groups also plan to create their own booklet as the basis for the One Story, One Community program.

- In Gorham/Windham, the Gorham Arts Alliance, Baxter Memorial Library in Gorham, Windham Public Library in Windham, RSU 14 (Windham/Raymond), Gorham Historical Society, and Windham Historical Society will collaborate on a project that focuses on the Gambo Gunpowder Mill, which spans the two towns and played a vital role in supporting the Union Army during the Civil War. The two towns hope to create opportunities for collaboration between their populations, and plan to reach out specifically to students and senior citizens. - The Portland/Westbrook project is a collaboration between the Friends of Evergreen Cemetery, Walker Memorial Library in Westbrook, Mission Possible Teen Center in Westbrook, and Masonic Civil War Library and Museum. Their overall goal is to create a community “alive with history” and bond the neighboring communities of Portland and Westbrook. The unique story of Evergreen Cemetery will be a focal point of the project.

- The Presque Isle project is a collaboration between the Presque Isle Historical Society, Northern Maine Community College (including the E. Perrin Edmunds Library), and Mark and Emily Turner Library in Presque Isle. The partners hope to highlight the impact of the Civil War on this remote and rural northern Maine community despite the distance of actual Civil War battles, and build interest in local history as a way to connect students to the larger community.

A second round of community grants will be available for the 2014-15 academic year; the deadline will be March 3, 2014.

For more information:

Maine Historical Society
489 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101

Maine Historical Society preserves and shares Maine's story to enrich life in contemporary Maine.