Bridgton Historical Society’s annual meeting

The public is invited to attend the Bridgton Historical Society’s annual meeting, which will be held at 1:00 pm Sunday, October 24, in the museum and archives building, located in the old fire station on Gibbs Avenue, just off Main Street.  Following a brief business meeting Jerry Genesio will present a program about his recently-published book, Portland Neck: The Hanging of Thomas Bird.

Thomas Bird, 40, an Englishman, was tried for murder and piracy in Portland’s First Parish meeting house.  Captain John Connor, master of the slave ship Mary, had been murdered and thrown over-board off the coast of Africa.  The Mary then sailed to the coast of Maine.  Bird was one of four crew members on board when the ship was captured by Portland’s Naval Officer.  Bird was found guilty and hung from a gallows at Bramhall Hill on June 25, 1790, although he swore in his dying statement that he was innocent.  This was the first death sentence handed down by a U.

Night of the Jack O’Lanterns at Narramissic

The Bridgton Historical Society has invited members and the public to its annual Night of the Jack O’Lanterns at Narramissic, the historic Peabody-Fitch Farm Saturday, October 23, from 3:30 to dusk.  Bring a pumpkin to carve, or buy one from the society.  As darkness falls, the Jack O’ Lanterns will be set up in the field and lit in a spectacular display.  Visitors can also enjoy hot chocolate and treats, and warm themselves by a small campfire.  There is no charge for admission to the event.

Tours of the house will be available by request, and a special added attraction this year will be a reproduction nineteenth-century coffin in the parlor.  The society will also present an informal discussion of home funerals and 19th-century funerary practices.  The coffin was made by Chuck Lakin, from Waterville, who became interested in home funerals after the death of his father.  He makes simple wooden coffins, many of which are designed to be used

Nineteenth-century Coffins and Funeral Practices

The Bridgton Historical Society’s “Third Tuesday” Series will be held at Narramissic, the historic Peabody-Fitch Farm on Tuesday, October 19, at 7:00 pm.  As the final phase of the society’s “Cradle to Grave” programming theme, made possible by a grant from the Davis Family Foundation, a reproduction nineteenth-century coffin will be exhibited in the parlor of the house.  Chuck Lakin, from Waterville, who made the coffin, will be on hand to join Ned Allen and Margaret Reimer for a panel discussion of home funerals and 19th-century funerary practices.  Mr.