Maine Historical Society



Press Releases

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

April 7, 2014

Maine Historical Society and the Maine Humanities Council recently awarded five Local and Legendary: Maine in the Civil War grants, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, to Bethel, Livermore-Livermore Falls-Jay, Pittsfield, Rumford, and Scarborough 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 $2,000 and in-kind assistance from Maine Historical Society and the 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 Book, One Community” reading and discussion program, which will engage a diverse range of participants such as students, working adults, immigrants, veterans and the general public; and a 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 2014 and May 2015.

* In Bethel, Gould Academy, the Bethel Historical Society, and Bethel Library Association will collaborate to promote local history in the schools and the community. Students will have the opportunity to work with primary sources and assist with making local Civil War material available on-line.

* In Livermore-Livermore Falls-Jay, Spruce Mountain High School and Library (RSU 73), and Washburn-Norlands Foundation, Inc. will collaborate on a project that focuses on the role of Livermore’s Washburn family in the Civil War, and the local experience during the Civil War. Students will have the opportunity to participate in a new course, “Our Hands-On History” which will provide them with the opportunity to do the work of an historian in conjunction with the staff at Norlands. The three towns hope to create opportunities for interaction between students and the adults in their communities.

* The Pittsfield project is a collaboration between Maine Central Institute (MCI), Pittsfield Historical Society, and the Pittsfield Public Library. Their overall goal is to create community connections, and to explore “life at home” and the influence of post war and reconstruction politics on the rise of Pittsfield as an educational and cultural center in central Maine.

* In Rumford, the Rumford Area Historical Society, the Rumford Public Library and Mountain Valley High School (RSU 10), along with other schools in the Western Foothills School District, will work to enhance their community’s understanding of the Civil War’s impact on the River Valley of the 1860s. Using documents, technology, drama, literature, and history, the team will reach out to and include a broad spectrum of citizens in the project, from youth to families, students to teachers, and veterans to pacifists.

* The Scarborough project is a collaboration between the Scarborough Middle School, Scarborough Historical Society and the Scarborough Public Library. The partners hope to explore the basis for the Hon. Augustus H. Moulton’s remark “no town and no place surpassed the patriotic record of old Scarboro,” as he spoke at the dedication of the Scarborough’s Soldiers’ Monument in 1913.

About Maine Humanities Council

The Maine Humanities Council is an independent, statewide, nonprofit organization dedicated to helping the people of Maine deepen their understanding of themselves, their communities, and the world. The Council works with volunteer literacy programs, educators, school systems and libraries to promote the power and pleasure of ideas through its programming; the Council also provides grants supporting projects in community history, exhibits, workshops and other areas of study.

About Maine Historical Society

MHS preserves the heritage and history of Maine: the stories of Maine people, the traditions of Maine communities, and the record of Maine's place in a changing world. Among other services, MHS offers public programs that help diverse audiences engage history; innovative education programs including Local History/Local Schools; tours of the Longfellow House; changing museum exhibits; and the nationally-recognized Maine Memory Network, a digital museum that helps communities across Maine build capacity, develop skills, and become active contributors to Maine history.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this press release do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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.