Each year, the Castine Historical Society brings in speakers for its Annual Meeting, as well as for special events or subjects. These lectures are recorded and made available to everyone.
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Following a brief CHS business meeting, nationally-known artist, Robert Shetterly, gives a talk on portraits he has painted and the stories of the people who affected him the most with their courage & commitment.
Maine Maritime Academy instructor Captain Richard F. Miller gives a talk entitled “The Square Rigged Ship: Form & Function – Then and Now.” Captain Miller is an Associate Professor and Department Chair of Marine Transportation at Maine Maritime Academy in Castine. His classes of instruction include Terrestrial Navigation (Coastal Piloting), Celestial Navigation, Seamanship, Electronic Navigation, Meteorology, and Marine Weather Routing.
Christopher Timm, Curator of Exhibits for the Maine Maritime Museum, gives an illustrated talk called “Maine and the Caribbean: A Plantation? A Paradise?” Mr. Timm discusses how Mainers have long traded with, fought over, and traveled to the Caribbean. He looks at how has our view of the region changed over time, and looks at the role of Maine’s ships and mariners.
Castine summer resident and writer Lee Smith gives a talk entitled “BELIEVE IT OR NOT! Fact….or Fiction?” The author of 17 works of fiction, Lee has received many awards including the North Carolina Award for Literature and an Academy Award in Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Peter Davis, Castine resident and award winning author and filmmaker, is the speaker at the 50th Annual Meeting and makes observations about the Society’s first half century. His talk is entitled, “Happy 50th Birthday, Castine Historical Society: Some Truths, Lies and Consequences of Your First Half Century.” Mr. Davis’ bio can be found HERE.
Building and Grounds Committee Chair Marcia Mason, Contractor Steve Shea, and former Curator Paige Lilly speak about the construction of the renovated Grindle House.
Gail Winkler, distinguished preservationist and design historian, discusses the thinking that went into the interior design decisions for the restoration of the Historical Society’s acquisition of the Grindle House. Dr. Winkler’s bio can be found HERE.
Lisa Simpson Lutts talks about the stories of 18th and 19th century African and African American residents of Castine. Over the past few years, CHS staff researched archival records to uncover these stories, which were ignored in the town’s written histories. Attendees will learn about the earliest enslaved people who worked in Castine and hear the stories of free black families and individuals who lived and worked in Castine.
The Permanent Commission on the Status of Racial, Indigenous, and Tribal Populations has launched a Place Justice Project that seeks to engage Wabanaki and Maine communities in examining a wide range of commemorative practices to better understand and respond to the ways in which racialized and Indigenous populations are represented in or absent from the narratives inscribed on our natural and built environment. Whose memory is visible and celebrated, and whose has been erased or misrepresented? How do the politics and practices of public remembrance and forgetting continue to impact our communities today?
Did you know that Maine’s Black history goes back to at least 12 years before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock? The history of the Pine Tree State includes many Black builders, farmers, fishermen, ship captains, educators, and more whose lives have often been forgotten or ignored. The Castine Historical Society presents historian Bob Greene, who explores and celebrates this often hidden side of Maine’s history.
Guest curator for the Clark Fitz-Gerald exhibition Carl Little will deliver an illustrated lecture. In “Clark Fitz-Gerald: Castine’s Celebrated Sculptor-in-Residence” Little will highlight the life and work of the famed 20th-century sculptor, providing context for his place in modern sculpture, in Maine and beyond. The talk will feature photographs, sketches, caricatures and other materials from the Fitz-the Castine Historical Society, part of the gift of the artist’s children Leah and Stephen Fitz-Gerald.
Dr. Stephen J. Hornsby gives a talk on “Cotton’s Ocean: Castine and the Antebellum Cotton Trade.” The lecture focuses on the importance of the trans-Atlantic cotton trade for the growth of the shipbuilding and shipowning industries in Maine before the Civil War, and how Castine fit into this world of oceanic commerce.
Lincoln Paine, noted maritime historian, author, editor, and curator was the speaker for the 12th Annual Deborah Pulliam Memorial Lecture on July 15.
Anne Gass gives a talk entitled “Voting Down the Rose: Maine’s Fight for Woman Suffrage,” based on Anne Gass’s great-grandmother, Florence Brooks Whitehouse. Florence was a novelist, painter, vocalist, and mother of three sons when she first joined the suffrage movement in 1914.
Richard Ames, Guest Curator for our 2019 exhibit “Risky Business: Square-Rigged Ships and Salted Fish” gives an illustrated talk on his research on Castine’s square-rigged ships and maritime trade in the 19th century.
Tomlin Coggeshall, grandson of Frances Perkins and founder of the Frances Perkins Center, delivers a lecture entitled “Molly Dewson and Frances Perkins: Two Powerful Women.”
The Castine artist Clark Fitz-Gerald (1917-2004) created many works in his long and successful career. In this talk entitled “Treasures from Clark Fitz-Gerald’s Sketchbooks”, the audience views a digital sampling of these visual treasures with commentary by his son, Stephen, who is also an artist.
Women’s historian and Molly Dewson biographer Susan Ware gives a talk entitled “Two Lifelong Partnerships: Molly Dewson and Polly Porter, and the Historian Who Wrote About Them.” Additional information about Ms. Ware can be found HERE.
Noted art historian and author John Wilmerding joins the Castine Historical Society for a special event celebrating the opening of the Samuel L. Grindle House. A bio for Mr. Wilmerding can be found HERE.
Members of the Castine Arts Association present a tribute to the town historically, literarily, poetically, photographically, and anecdotally. Includes special appearances by Mary Appleman, Harry Kaiserian, Paul Gray, Dixie Gray, Sandy Dinsmore, and Riva Berleant.
Noted historian and educator Jim Stone takes us on a historical tour of Castine through the ages, much as he used to walk tourists through the town on an architectural tour.