Where Vassalboro's past and present meet.
Closed December 14, 2023 - January 1, 2024
The Vassalboro Historical Society will be closed after Tuesday, December 13th and reopen January 2nd, 2024 so our volunteers can enjoy their own holiday traditions.
If you have been wanting to squeeze in some research, you can always visit our Online Collection any time by clicking on the link above. Happy New Year!
Holiday Stroll and Tree Decorating - December 9thHoliday Stroll and Tree Decorating - Dec 9th
Join us on Saturday, December 9th from 3- 5 PM. We invite you to help us decorate a family Christmas Tree in our front room. We will be singing carols in the warmth of the museum before venturing outside for old fashioned caroling in the East Vassalboro village. Then returning to the museum for refreshments.
Our elves have been busy. The entire museum is adorned with decorations through the ages. View a decorated Victorian Tree in our parlor. As well as many other holiday items throughout.
10/5/2023: What a busy and comfortable summer we had, in part thanks to our new heat pumps which enabled us to keep working through the hot days of summer.
Our volunteers have stayed busy with a variety of tasks from cleaning, planting, photographing. posting, accessioning, organizing, researching, depositing, balancing, hanging, and on and on.
We have new Board Members: Secretary Sky Danforth; Ashley Cyr; and Laura Jones who join Vice President Ray Breton; Treasurer John Melrose; Membership Simone Antworth; Building Director Dave Bolduc and Directors: Russell Smith; Samantha Lessard; David Theriault; Doug Phillips; Dawn Cates; Stewart Corson; and Suzy Griffiths.
Volunteers are amazing and include: Julianna Lyon, Curator without the title (who is training Ashley Cyr); Sharon Hopkins Farrington (and her husband Steve) who have hung photos and labels and who took the lead on the yard sale, the raffle, and the quilt show (Raffle and Quilt Show 10/7&8/2023); Laura Jones serving as our technology and media consultant (think speakers, Facebook group and page) as well as with her brother Steve of Fieldstone Gardens planting beautiful barrels of mums beside our fence line; Dawn Cates who sorts and organizes; Russell Smith works on research projects and organizing; Suzy Griffiths cleans and weeds and with Stewart Carson ensure that the Blacksmith Shop and Taylor property are taken care of; Doug Phillips and John Melrose help Dave Bolduc in determining what our building needs are; Vicki Schad and Sky Danforth are helping with researching and writing as we get ready to publish an Arcadia Hist Book of Vassalboro (anticipated available date Vassalboro Days 2024; Scott Wentworth who mapped the graves and buildings he dowsed in Memorial Park; Judy Wentworth Goodrich who continues to cover coat hangers; Steve Clowes, Ben Gidney and Jeremy Cloutier who lift, remove trash, hang and in general do what is asked of them; and last, but not least the volunteers who allowed us to have the Blacksmith Shop open for most of our schedule: Chris and Christopher Santiago; Steve Clowes; Bob Shorey; Steve Farmington; Ben Gidney (and Board Members)!
I hope I remembered everyone. They all do what is noted and so very much more. The Vassalboro Historical Society would not be growing like it is without their help. If you see them, thank them!
The Society had Lynne Bassett, the Textile Conservator back for a second visit. She helped us identify our children’s and men’s clothing. She also instructed our volunteers on how to display dresses using our dress forms, batting, file folders, muslin, straight pins, and tulle. An impressive process and our volunteer Judy Goodrich did a great job !
Our display also shows jewelry, purses, shoes, men’s articles, children’s clothing, quilts, hooked rugs, samplers, and more!
Stop by for a visit!
The Textile Conservation Priorities Project is underway. Textile Conservation Specialist, Lynne Bassett spent two full days at the museum assessing, identifying fabrics, determining the age, and teaching our volunteers. A few volunteers learned four conservation stitches which will enable us to correctly repair damaged items. We pulled items from their acid free boxes and Lynne identified which should remain boxed and which should be hung. The articles that are hung were separated by age, making it easier to find the right item for any displays that we create.
Lynne also recommended that we find more hanging space so our fur storage can be separated from our clothing collection. She was impressed with the scope of our collection and was very pleased to see several dresses from the 1800s.
Later in the month, Lynne will return for two more days. In the meantime we will be collecting flat, wooden hangers which we will wrap in batting and cover in muslin. We will be emptying more boxes to ensure that she sees the majority of our collection.
What a great opportunity we were given through a grant from the Oak Grove School Foundation. Thank you to the Foundation and to our volunteers: Judy Goodrich; Dawn Cates; Maurine Macomber; David Theriault; Terry Curtis; and Holly Widener.
The Vassalboro Historical Society is pleased to present honorary ownership of the Boston Post cane to Mrs T. Lois Bulger. The tradition of the cane began in 1909, when the Boston Post distributed 431 of the canes to towns throughout New England with instructions that each should be presented to the oldest living citizen of the town.
The cane is made from Gabon ebony from the Congo. Each cane took approximately one year to make. The cane’s head is finished with a 14-carat gold top and is elaborately sculpted. Vassalboro’s cane was missing for many years, until purchased in 1988 from an antique dealer in California and given to the Historical Society by Betty Taylor, one of the Society’s founders. The honorary ownership of the cane was given to Louise Charlotte Seehagen Eastman in September, 2016. Mrs. Eastman passed away at 101 years of age in January, 2020.
Our new recipient, Thelma Lois Wood was born on April 24,1922, to parents Eva and Norman Wood in Oakland, Maine. Always known as Lois, she attended Oakland schools, where she met her future husband, Harold Bulger. She continued her education and completed a Special Secretarial Course at Thomas Business College. Harold and Lois were married on December 24, 1940 in Oakland.
Mr. and Mrs. Bulger moved to Vassalboro where they raised their four children, Mayella, Gregory, Linda, and Elizabeth. They also opened their own business, and ran Pine Tree Stables, Home of Fine Horses for 30 years. In 1982 the Bulgers opened Pine Tree Stables Antiques and Collectibles. Mrs. Bulger continues to run the antique business which now includes Ebay sales. Mrs. Bulger also worked for the Adjudication Division of the Veteran’s Administration at Togus as a Claims Examiner for 34 years.
Mrs. Bulger was a member of Adams Memorial Church until it closed. She taught Sunday School and was a member of the Womens’ Fellowship. She loves reading mysteries, gardening, and quilting. Her family has grown and she is the proud Grammie to ten grandchildren, thirteen Great grandchildren, and Great-Great Grammie to four.
Mrs. Bulger received a walking stick carved by Raymond Breton of Vassalboro and a certificate in recognition of her status as Vassalboro’s Oldest Resident.
T. Lois Bulger
Dec. 24 I got today for Christmas: 1 a white leather wallet, 2 a handpainted pink celluloid picture frame, 3 a fancy hairpin with a silver plaited butterfly on top, 4 a calendar for 1894, 5 a match holder, 6 an apron, 7 a handkerchief, 8 a writing desk with paper & envelopes, & 9 a red silk necktie.