June 25, 2018
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Ellsworth Historical Society now online

By Roxanne Moore Saucier, BDN Columnist

Congratulations to the Ellsworth Historical Society on establishing a website.

“This Web page marks a transformative experience for the society’s long history,” said Co-President Terri Weed Cormier. “This represents the next major step ahead as we continue to expand our community outreach and make more people aware of the society’s goals and continued preservation of our building and archives.”

The Ellsworth Historical Society evolved from a meeting held in 1978 of interested members of the community who wanted to save and protect the town’s history.

The first meeting of the Historical Society was held on May 22, 1978.

Since then the society has been collecting the history and memorabilia of Ellsworth and serving the local community in preserving and sharing local history through exhibitions and outreach.

The Ellsworth Historical Society and the Ellsworth Historic Preservation Commission joined forces to preserve the Old County Jail from demolition in 1980. After working with the county commissioners office, an agreement was made and a lease signed to make the building the society’s home.

The first meeting was held in June 1981 at the Old County Jail. The building officially was transferred to the society with the signing of the deed in 1998.

Restoration of the interior of the brick Queen Anne Revival building from 1886 started at once, and with local help from area businesses, groups and individuals.

The building now houses the society’s collection of Ellsworth history, with displays and changing exhibits from the society’s collections.

The museum is open free on Thursdays and Saturdays in July and August.

In 2008, the building was named to the National Register of Historic Places. The announcement was made by Earle Shuttleworth Jr., president of the Maine Historic Commission, which submitted the nomination.

The front of the building was a former residence for the jail warden and his family, and the back contains 14 small cells on two floors. A dividing wall between the two sections once allowed the warden to monitor inmates through two small wickets that are still in place today.

The Ellsworth Historical Society is an all-volunteer society that is dedicated to preserving the history of Ellsworth for future generations.

As for the new website, Cormier said, “We could not have done this without the help of John and Allison of MDI Web Design who offered their services to us as well as the webhosting at Ellsworthme.com and Ellsworthme.org, which have been wonderful to work with in helping us achieve this goal.”

The website includes pictures of the interior building as well as some historic Ellsworth photos.

Membership in EHS open to all, Cormier said,“ and we look forward to growing more in our local community, continuing to collect and preserve local history, and to helping others know the history of our hometown. We hope that everyone will visit our new website and join us to show your support.”

Contributions may be sent to Ellsworth Historical Society, P.O. Box 355, Ellsworth, ME 04605.

For additional info, email ellsworthhistory@yahoo.com or write to the address listed.

You may be wondering about genealogy at this point.

The Ellsworth Historical Society does not house genealogical materials, a decision that makes complete sense to me.

There is no need to duplicate the efforts of Ellsworth Public Library, which has a wonderful genealogy section in its 20 State St. building, including the Alan S. Whitmore Collection.

Check out Ellsworth Public Library online.

Also online are:

Bar Harbor Historical Society.

Mount Desert Island Historical Society.

Sullivan-Sorrento Historical Society.


Diane Bergstedt will present “Rednecks and Red Men” at the meeting of the Greater Portland Chapter of Maine Genealogical Society at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 5, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 29 Ocean House Road, Route 77, Cape Elizabeth.

Bergstedt has been researching the genealogy and history of the Scottish and Cherokee-Scottish Diasporas in the framework of her family.

She is a Fellow of the Scottish Antiquarians Society and member of several local and national genealogical and cultural associations.

For more information, visit her website.

Send queries to Family Ties, Bangor Daily News, PO Box 1329, Bangor, ME 04402; or e-mail familyti@bangordailynews.com.

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