Machias – As a part of the Machias 250th Anniversary Celebration the Machias Historical Society announces they are sponsoring a bus tour of historic Machias River Valley sites. Local historian, Valdine Atwood, will conduct the tour with plans to visit numerous interesting sites in the area, telling the story of each place and the history of the people who might have been involved with the particular location. The bus tour is scheduled to take about four hours, beginning at 1 p.m. on Monday, June 17th.
Atwood first developed the program for a local school teacher who wanted to tell the colorful history of the area to her students. Areas that are covered in the tour include the gravesites of Hannah Weston in Jonesboro, Joseph Getchell in Marshfield and, of course, Jeremiah O’Brien in Machias. Among the important sites to be visited will be the area around Machias’ Bad Little Falls. The falls were a part of the reason the first settlers of the area decided to settle in the area, and it is where the life of the community was centered until the mid-twentieth century. She will tell the story of the many mills, the coming of the British up the river in 1814 and of the many other activities centered on the river. Other sites in Machias to be visited will include University of Maine at Machias and the major influence that the school has played on life in this area of Maine.
The tour will continue with a visit to Machiasport and Fort O’Brien, across the Rim Bridge which links Machiasport and East Machias, and a tour of the settlement of “East Falls” – now East Machias. The return along Route 1 to Machias will have stories of events that transpired along the Machias River, ending with a drive up Court Street and the storied history of that area of the settlement which is now Machias.
Because of limited space on the bus, which is being supplied by the Machias School Department, the bus tour is by reservation only. The cost will be $12 each and must be made in advance. Reservations can be made, with payment at the time of the reservation, by sending a check made payable to the Machias Historical Society, c/o Valdine Atwood, 17 Colonial Way, Machias, ME 04654.