Mission of Union Historical Society is to promote interest in and
knowledge about history in general
history of Union, Maine in particular, through public programs
through preservation and display of documents, artifacts, archives,
buildings and published materials.
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
April 3: At the Robbins House -
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
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
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.
COME SPRING BUS TOURS
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
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 MOVIES AT THE OLD TOWN HOUSE
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
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.
We have included some photos from past Founders Day celebrations for
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
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
Moxie inventor, Augustin Thompson, was from Union; on Founders Day
everyone has MOXIE!
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
The MidCoast Community Band, directed by Joann Parker, played for the
crowds on Founders Day in Union.
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.
Another annual tradition is the silent movie that the Union Historical
Society offers on Saturday night; it is accompanied by Doug Protsik at the
A Sunday morning worship service on the Common begins with gospel music.
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.
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.