August 4th, 2020

View of the Town Common. Photo by Loi Thai.The Castine Historical Society is offering a new tour option for residents and visitors to Castine.  Starting August 8, the staff and volunteers of the Historical Society will offer a unique way to tour and learn about the town with its Castine Uncovered Town Common Tour, a fun, informative, outdoor learning experience.

This tour builds on the already popular free hour-long walking tours of town that are offered Wednesday – Sundays. Executive Director, Lisa Simpson Lutts noted “While these walking tours are a great way to learn the history of our town, not everyone can participate. We wanted to create a seated outdoor tour and knew that the Town Common was the perfect location.”

The free Town Common tours will be held every other Saturday beginning August 8 at 1:00 through October 3rd. No reservations are required to take the tour. Attendees will be seated on folding chairs in the shade while the guide provides them with a history of Castine documented in the eight buildings on the Common.

Thanks to the importance of the structures on the Town Common, as well as their remarkable preservation, the tour uncovers the sweep of Castine’s history. The tour looks at history no longer visible, such as the Hancock County Courthouse, the jail, and the tannery. It also delves into the history of the remaining structures from the earliest house on the Common dating from the American Revolution up to how the structures on the Common are used today including a church, library, school, homes, and the Historical Society.

To promote a safe experience for everyone, tours will be limited to ten people and everyone including the tour guide will be required to wear masks. The guide will have an amplification system to  allow the group to easily hear the tour, which begins and ends in front of the Castine Historical Society’s Abbott School Building at 17 School Street. No public restrooms will be available during the tour, but restrooms are available at the Castine Town Docks.

For those unable to make the scheduled tour times, private tours can be arranged with 48-hour notice subject to guide availability.

The Castine Historical Society seeks to invigorate Castine through collaborative exploration and stewardship of our region’s rich history, engaging residents and visitors of all ages in Castine’s extraordinary past and, through it, that of New England and North America. The Historical Society’s Abbott School, featuring the exhibit gallery, gift shop, and a community meeting space at 17 School Street, Castine will be closed for the 2020 season. The Grindle House offices and research library at 13 School Street have restricted access during 2020. For further information on the Town Common and Walking Tours, the Castine Historical Society, or the online gift shop visit or call 207-326-4118.