Machias is preparing for a week of activities to mark its 250th anniversary this year, starting with the popular Margaretta Days Festival and Craft Fair, sponsored by Machias Historical Society on Saturday, June 15, on the mall at the University of Maine at Machias.

The Battle of the Margaretta was the first Naval Battle of the American Revolution. Activities will include a parade with floats, bands and Shriners’ units; an encampment of soldier and patriot reenactments, children’s activities, food, crafters, artists and period demonstrations, such as blacksmithing, timber framing, weaving, tomahawk throwers, music, storytelling and historical presentations.

Yankee Magazine in 2010 named Margaretta Days one of its Top 20 Events. Moreover, admission is free, and the event is handicapped accessible.

For information, email or

Many of those involved in putting on Margaretta Days also are experienced genealogists, so those who attend may well meet people who can offer guidance in climbing family trees in Washington County.


I think I have learned a new word. To mark 250 years, Ellsworth will mark its sestercentennial. The celebration will include special events and exhibits through the summer at the Ellsworth Historical Society. This past year, the society has been working on building repairs, including brickwork around the side kitchen door and repainting woodwork and trim with historically correct colors.

Annual activities include the popular Christmas Open House. This year the society will raise funds in hopes of restoring the front room upstairs by replacing the ceiling, floors, walls and fireplace mantle that is beyond repair.

This room would then be used to display artifacts showing Ellsworth’s history of ships and lumbering.

“We are also currently cataloging and archiving the society’s collection and looking for volunteers with this huge project,” wrote Terri Weed Cormier.

Ellsworth Historical Society meets at 7 p.m. the second Monday of the month in the dining hall at Meadowview Apartments unless otherwise posted. The Old Jail is open 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Thursdays and Saturdays in July and August, and by appointment.

For information, call Linda Grindle at 667-5716 or Terri Weed Cormier at 667-8235, or email

Membership is $20 a year, mailed to Ellsworth Historical Society, PO Box 355, Ellsworth 04605. Donations also are welcome for the Building Repair Fund, or for operating expenses and archiving the society’s extensive collection. Include your phone number and email, if you wish.


I say, “Let’s Figure Out Those Cousins.” All are welcome to attend this program when I speak to the Jonesport Historical Society at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 25, at the Sawyer Building, 21 Sawyer Square, Jonesport.

My “cousins” include Maine artist Waldo Peirce, Vice President Hannibal Hamlin and World War II pilot Gen. Jimmy Doolittle. One of these is a “half-cousin.” I’ll explain that as well as cousins “once removed,” etc.


I also will give the cousins program at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 25, for the Jonesport Historical Society at the Sawyer Building at 21 Sawyer Square, Jonesport, next to the Congregational Church.


I think Jean Thompson Lyford of Brewer is “on a roll.” On March 18, she and Lawrence Lyford marked their 69th anniversary.

On April 5, Frances Dighton Williams Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, presented Jean and her sister, Ellen Thompson Hayes, with certificates and necklaces from Maine DAR as two of its “pearls” as 50-year members. Jean and Ellen, both members for 58 years, have each served FDW as chapter regents and in other offices.

Then, on April 16, Jean was among those wielding shiny shovels at the groundbreaking of Brewer Community Center off Chamberlain Street. Jean, a 1940 graduate of Brewer High School and for 35 years the operator of Jack and Jill Nursery School, has with her husband, Bud, long been a promoter of Brewer Historical Society, Brewer High School, the legacy of Gen. Joshua Chamberlain and Brewer as a city.

It was announced that a section of the Brewer Community Center will be named the Jean Lyford Childcare Center. Congratulations, Jean.

For information on researching family history in Maine, see Genealogy Resources under Family Ties at Send genealogy queries to Family Ties, Bangor Daily News, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor 04402, or email

Roxanne Moore Saucier

Family Ties columnist