The Mission of Union Historical Society is to promote interest in and knowledge about history in general

and the history of Union, Maine in particular, through public programs

and through preservation and display of documents, artifacts, archives, buildings and published materials.


2014 Programs

Programs are held on the first Wednesday of every month from March to December, excluding July because of the Founders Day celebrations. March, April and December programs are held at the Robbins House on the Union Common. The rest of the programs are held at the Old Town House on Town House road, just a few steps north of the Union Common.

All UHS programs start at 7:30 pm regardless of location. A brief business meeting precedes the program and refreshments are served afterwards.

April 3: At the Robbins House - In his inimitable style, medical historian Dr. Richard Kahn discusses early psychiatric treatment and gruesome crimes by the criminally insane (hint: have you read The Alienist by Caleb Carr?).

May 7: At the Old Town House -
450 years after his arrival on the scene, Shakespeare still makes us laugh, cry and contemplate the complexities of existence.  Linda Tatelbaum, an author herself and Professor of English at Colby College, shares thoughts about and readings from the work of the birthday boy.

June 4: At the Old Town House -
Rockland started out as East Thomaston and has evolved from an afterthought to a thriving Midcoast city.  Curator of Rockland Historical Society Ann Morris has all the information to take us on a tour of the Lime City’s history.

July 2: At the Old Town House -
Younger than its country, the National Anthem is 200 years old this year.  Vocalist Molly Luce  leads us in singing a tribute (she has no trouble with those high notes!) and flag expert Dave Martucci  discusses Francis Scott Keys’ actual star-spangled banner, expensively conserved and displayed in the Smithsonian.

August 6: At the Old Town House -
Artist Winslow Homer’s work is central to the Maine “brand”.  Art historian Stephen May assesses its artistic importance.  Come early to enjoy a potluck supper.

September 3: At the Old Town House -
Hank Lunn, UHS member and history teacher, shines a light on a few Remarkable Mainers, folks who have made an indelible mark in the history of our State and the world.  Ayuh.

October 1: At the Old Town House -
Before SIM cards there were postcards.  State Historian Early Shettleworth presents photographic postcards documenting the lives of Maine’s children in the first half of the 20th century.

November 5: At the Old Town House -
Our Annual Meeting, and after the business part, architect Chris Glass looks at another aspect of the Maine “brand”: shingle-style architecture.

December 3: At the Robbins House -
To round off the year on the same murderous note as we began, author and historian Andrew Vietze relates the chilling tale of a sensational maritime misadventure in the early 18th century.

Founders Day 2014

Each year the town of Union celebrates its founding during the weekend closest to July 19th, which is the day John Sibley states in his "History of the Town of Union" that the first tree was felled in 1774 to begin the settlement. Founders Day weekend for 2014 is July 18-20.

Activities are being planned by various community organizations; if you have would like to be involved, please contact the Union town office.



Two Come Spring Bus Tours will take place on Founders Day weekend in Union. The first tour departs the Old Town House, 128 Town House Road, Union, at 5:30 p.m. on Friday July 18, and the second tour starts at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday July 19. The popular narrated 2-hour bus tours follow the Georges River Scenic Byway, identifying sites where Union’s early settlers built cabins and lived. The names of the settlers are documented in town records, and their lives and stories are recounted by Ben Ames Williams in his 1940 historical novel Come Spring, reprinted and sold by the Union Historical Society.

Tickets may be purchased in advance at the Robbins House, headquarters of Union Historical Society, on Wednesday and Saturday mornings, or by calling 207-785-5444 and leaving a message. The Come Spring Bus Tours usually sell out and we strongly recommend pre-purchasing your tickets.


Silent Movie SignOnce again, we bring the past to life with a classic silent movie screening at Union’s Old Town House, 128 Town House Road in Union, at 6:30 pm. on Founders Day, Saturday, July 20. The Union Historical Society will present several short comedy films from the early careers of three of the most famous silent movie stars.

Doug Protsik, director of the Maine Fiddle Camp and of The Old Grey Goose band, will play the non-stop piano accompaniment from his own score. Doug’s enthusiasm for silent movies has led to work composing and recording original scores for silent film restorations for Turner Classic Movies cable network. We are fortunate to have him play for this presentation.

Union Historical Society is proud to present this old-time entertainment for all ages and gratefully acknowledges the sponsorship of Susan Fay whose generosity underwrites this event. Doors open at the Old Town House at 6:30 pm. on July 19. Entrance is free. Donations are gratefully accepted for the maintenance of the Old Town House.
FD Sign 2012

Founders Day

We have included some photos from past Founders Day celebrations for your enjoyment.

The Union Area Chamber of Commerce organized again this year the now traditional "Pie Social" at the Union Common. Along with the pies, hamburgers, hot dogs and soft drinks were also available and a beautiful jazz band entertained one and all.


Tumblewood Inc. held its first World Games on the Common in Union in 2012. FMI on this Union made game and its creator, see

Bus Tour The Come Spring Bus Tour held many delights for those interested in the history of Union, as well as those who enjoy the landscape of woods, ponds and farms that remains little changed from the early days after settlement. Several stops are on private property where the owners graciously host the tour participants and share the sites of the founders’ first dwellings. This plaque marks the cellar hole of the cabin where Phillip Robbins and his large family spent their first winter in 1774.


The Come Spring Cabin was in the parade on Founders Day and was a backdrop for the “Come Spring Chronicles,” a dramatization of the popular historical novel COME SPRING (1940).

“Welcome Home Vets” was the theme of the Founders Day parade in 2012.


The cast for the “Come Spring Chronicles,” a dramatization of the popular historical novel COME SPRING (1940) which was set in Union by author Ben Ames Williams, using actual people, places and events to tell of the early settlement of a typical inland Maine town during the time of the Revolutionary War.


Moxie inventor, Augustin Thompson, was from Union; on Founders Day everyone has MOXIE!

Alden Store

Tour Bus participants end their tour at the Ebenezer Alden property. When Alden built his store, the first in Union in 1797, there were just 20 families in town. This barn was a later addition to the property in the mid-1860’s.


The MidCoast Community Band, directed by Joann Parker, played for the crowds on Founders Day in Union.

Moon Bounce

The Selectmen of Union coordinated the events of Founders Day 2012. Here they work to deflate the “Moon Walk” that children had enjoyed during the day.  The Town Office is looking for a Founders Day coordinator the 2014. Please call to offer your services.

Silent Movie

Another annual tradition is the silent movie that the Union Historical Society offers on Saturday night; it is accompanied by Doug Protsik at the piano.


A Sunday morning worship service on the Common begins with gospel music.

Other Programs

Annual Meeting

The UHS Annual Meeting is scheduled for November each year at the Old Town House. There is a business meeting with reports and election of officers. The slate of officers for the new year is presented and additional nominations for officers are accepted. Elections follow the nominations.

Pot-Luck Supper

Pot-luck Supper

This is social, very popular get-together for members and guests alike. Everybody brings a salad or casserole to share. After the supper, the regular program of the month follows. This potluck is held at 6:30 pm, prior to the August meeting at the Old Town House.

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