Bonfire to ignite Bangor’s 175th birthday

Posted Feb. 11, 2009, at 5:31 p.m.

Bangor was incorporated as a city Feb. 12, 1834.

Activities to kick off the city’s 175th “birthday” will begin today with a bonfire at 5 p.m. outside Bangor Auditorium. Mayor Gerry Palmer will give opening remarks at 6 p.m., then lead guests to inside activities at Bangor Auditorium.

Participants will include Gov. John E. Baldacci, representatives for Maine’s congressional delegation, Bangor’s legislative delegation and city officials from Bangor, Brewer and Old Town.

Refreshments and entertainment will include performances by the Carter Boys and the Bangor Band.

This will be the first in a series of events planned by Bangor’s 175th Birthday Celebration Committee. Other events will be announced tonight.

This coming week, join the Penobscot County Genealogical Society in attending a special slide show by historian Dick Shaw marking the 175th birthday of Bangor at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 18, in the Lecture Hall at Bangor Public Library.

Shaw will present a slide show featuring a collection of the families and events of Bangor, including 19th century timber tycoons Samuel Veazie and Rufus Dwinel and the Penobscot River log drivers; the Paul Bunyan mystique; the people who fought and were displaced by the 1911 Bangor fire; Vice President Hannibal Hamlin; 20th century personalities such as Flavius O. Beal and the Al Brady Gang; urban renewal, and dignitaries who visited Bangor.

Everyone is welcome to attend — you don’t have to be a member to see and hear his presentation. Refreshments will be served.

Bangor’s first white settlers, led by Jacob Buswell, arrived in 1769 when Bangor was known as Condeskeag Plantation. In 1791, the Rev. Seth Noble traveled to Boston on behalf of 567 residents to incorporate Bangor as a town. The act of the Massachusetts State Legislature authorizing incorporation was signed by John Hancock, then-governor.

As Bangor grew, the need for additional services was recognized with incorporation as a city sought and granted in 1834.

Council chairman Gerry G.M. Palmer Jr. said, “Bangor’s 175th anniversary provides us with an opportunity to commemorate our history, remember those who have come before us and recognize our accomplishments. Feb. 12 will be the kick-off event for a yearlong celebration of Bangor’s past, present and future. We invite everyone to join us at Bass Park on that date and to participate in other events throughout the year.”

For information, contact Gerry Palmer at 944-8000.

Who were some of Bangor’s early families? Read Family Ties on Monday, Feb. 16, in the Bangor Daily News, or online at www.bangordailynews.com under Lifestyle.

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