From the community

Presque Isle Historical Society to host first 2014 “One Story, One Community” presentation at TAMC March 5 at 5:30 p.m.

Posted Feb. 19, 2014, at 10:24 a.m.

The Presque Isle Historical Society is gearing up for the first of its 2014 quarterly presentations and TAMC is pleased to partner with the organization to bring this informative series to the community.

The first of the four 2014 presentations, “One Story, One Community,” will take place on Wednesday, March 5 at 5:30 p.m. TAMC will host all of the presentations in their conference rooms located in the A.R. Gould Memorial Hospital at 140 Academy Street in Presque Isle. The first presentation occurs during the 2014 IBU Youth/Junior Biathlon World Championships, and has been added to the cultural programming schedule for the festivities.

“These presentations are geared towards the general public,” said Kimberly Smith, secretary/treasurer of the Presque Isle Historical Society. “Some, based on the topic, are more for local residents. For instance, the March 5 presentation would be for anyone interested in local history or the Civil War; June’s presentation for anyone interested in the Victorian era or flowers; and the last two would be more for local residents interested in local history.”

Lynne Nelson-Manion, an instructor at NMCC, will lead a discussion as part of a collaborative community Civil War grant for the “One Story, One Community” presentation. The discussion will center on the book “This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War” by Drew Gilpin Faust. This reading is a part of the collaborative “Local and Legendary” grant on Maine and the Civil War. It is funded, supported or made possible by a grant from the Maine Historical Society and Maine Humanities Council, with support of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Faust’s book delves into the consequences of Civil War deaths on U.S. culture and society. According to the book’s description on Amazon.com, more than 600,000 soldiers lost their lives in the American Civil War, which, in an equivalent proportion of today’s population, would be 6 million. Through the voices of soldiers and their families, of statesmen, generals, preachers, poets, surgeons, nurses, northerners and southerners, the book “reveals the ways that death on such a scale changed not only individual lives, but the life of the nation, describing how the survivors managed on a practical level and how a deeply religious culture struggled to reconcile the unprecedented carnage with its belief in a benevolent God.”

For the past several years, the Presque Isle Historical Society has offered such presentations to the public. Smith says it’s good to know where you come from and that there are important lessons to learn from history.

“Becoming involved in local history builds a sense of community pride,” said Smith, who has been the primary organizer, researcher and presenter for the various presentations since the society decided to offer this quarterly series. “These are a direct tie to our mission, which is to study, promote and preserve the history, culture, heritage and physical artifacts of Presque Isle for present and future generations.”

TAMC has partnered with the Presque Isle Historical Society on many projects in the past. This year, in addition to helping publicize the presentations, TAMC is also providing space for the society to host the community events.

“This is extremely important to us as a society as we do not have a facility of our own in which to offer such presentations at this time,” said Smith.

“We are pleased to again work with the Presque Isle Historical Society to help offer these sessions to the community,” said Jason Parent, TAMC director of advancement. “As the County’s largest non-profit organization, we look for opportunities to partner with other non-profit groups to help make a difference in not only the health and well-being of area residents, but in the vitality of The County community we serve.”

The second presentation of the year will be “The Victorian Language of Flowers” on Wednesday, June 4 at 5:30 p.m. This presentation will examine some of the meanings of flowers and plants to the Victorians, who believed that each plant represented a specific emotion and who often created bouquets to convey very sophisticated messages. There will be real life examples and door prizes.

On Wednesday, September 3 at 5:30 p.m., local history fans will enjoy a presentation about “The Pioneer Club.” In 1915, a group of local businessmen, over a social dinner declared themselves “The Pioneer Club” – the remaining pioneers of early Presque Isle. This presentation will help attendees discover who they were and what each of them contributed to the community’s early history.

The final presentation of 2014 will be on Wednesday, December 3 at 5:30 p.m. and will tell the story of “The Presque Isle House Hotel.” That site has continued to serve in that capacity for over 170 years albeit in different incarnations. During this presentation, attendees will have an opportunity to learn more about the early hotel and see hotel artifacts from the Society’s collections.

For more information, contact the Presque Isle Historical Society at PO Box 2285, Presque Isle, ME, 04769, or by phone at (207) 762-1151. Interested persons can also visit their website at www.pihistory.org, or email pihistoricalsociety@hotmail.com.

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