August 26th, 2020

Like many organizations, the Castine Historical Society did not host an in-person Annual Meeting this year. This did not stop the membership of the Historical Society from voting to elect new members of the Board of Directors. As a result of a virtual on-line election, the Castine Historical Society welcomes to its board three new directors, Kelly Gualtieri, John Mitchell, and Marc Pelletier. At the same time, the Historical Society celebrated the contributions of retiring board members John “Jack” Macdonald and Brooke Tenney.

The Castine Historical Society's Abbott School and Grindle House. Photo by Loi Thai.Jack Macdonald joined the Board of Directors in 2008. He served as Vice President in 2012 and as President from 2013-2015. Jack led the Historical Society during a time of transformation and growth that saw the restoration and opening of the Grindle House and the planning of the Tall Ship Hermione’s visit to Castine. Jack also served on various committees, including exhibits, collection, governance, and marketing and also is a docent in the Abbott School exhibits.

Brooke Tenney joined the Board of Directors in 2009. In 2013 she became Vice President and served as President from 2015 to 2017. While Brooke was President, the Historical Society won two state-wide awards for the Hermione project and embarked on a Strategic Plan that introduced a number of important changes to the institution. These included term limits for board members, a reorganized committee structure, a new mission statement, and the decision to hire the Historical Society’s first Executive Director. Brooke also served on various committees including marketing, governance, and exhibits, a committee that she continues to chair.

New board members include Kelly Gualtieri. Kelly and her family moved to Castine in 2016 when Kelly was appointed Director of Admissions & Enrollment Management at Maine Maritime Academy (MMA). Her children attend MMA and the Adams School. Kelly has worked in higher education since obtaining her degree in mathematics, beginning at Rutgers University, Montclair State University, West Point, and then for close to ten years at the Merchant Marine Academy before moving to Castine. She is currently working on her doctorate in educational leadership. Kelly serves on the education committee of the Castine Historical Society.

John Mitchell was also elected to join the Board of Directors. John has been a Castine summer resident for over 64 years. He spent 20 years in the jewelry industry and later owned and operated his own small screen printing, promotional products, and graphic design business.

The business operated for 20 years in Maine and New Hampshire when he sold it and retired in 2011. He and his wife, Maggie, split their time between Castine and Scarborough. He and Maggie are docents in the Abbott School exhibits. John also is the son of Hamilton Mitchell, a  long-time supporter of the Historical Society for whom the Mitchell Room is named.

Marc Pelletier, a part-time resident who has recently transitioned to full-time, has also been elected to the board. He and his wife, Penny Carlhian, have been active in the Historical Society since they moved here in 2016. Marc’s professional career was in historic preservation and the building trades. He has built and designed many projects using both his carpentry skills and his architectural education. An alumnus of the Boston Architectural College, Marc also served as a trustee of the college for several years and was their board chair. In addition, he was President of the Boston chapter of the Society of Marketing Professional Services and was a charter member of the board of Professional Women in Construction (Connecticut chapter). Marc will continue to chair the building and grounds committee for the Castine Historical Society.

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 is closed for the 2020 season. The Historical Society is offering free historic walking tours and a seated tour of the town common through October 11. For further information on these tours, the Castine Historical Society, or the online gift shop visit the website at or call 207-326-4118.