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.
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
All UHS programs start at 7:30 pm. regardless of location. A brief business meeting
preceeds the program.
May 1, 2013:
“Builders’ Plan Books and Building Design”
Powerpoint presentation by “Old House Man” Les Fossel of Alna
Hosts: Anita and Travis Brown
June 5, 2013:
“History of the Maine Blueberry Industry”
Powerpoint presentation by David Yarborough, Profession of Horticulture at UMO and Cooperative Extension
Hosts: Norma Jones and Jackie Perrin
July 3, 2013:
“Warden Work and Being Sheriff”
Talk by retired Maine Game Warden John A. Ford of Brooks
Hosts: Connie Day, Betty Nims and Kay Santorineos
Friday, July 19 through Sunday, July 21, 2013:
"FOUNDERS DAY WEEKEND"
Come Spring Heritage Trail Bus Tours on Friday evening and Saturday morning
Silent Movie Comedies with piano accompaniment by Doug Protsik
August 7, 2013:
Potluck Supper at 6:30 pm.
“Civil War Art”
Powerpoint presentation by Stephen May of Washington DC and Union
Hosts: Jennifer Arbour and Suzi Barbee
September 4, 2013:
Illustrated presentation by Margaret McCrea of Thomaston Historical Society
Hosts: Lynda Cassidy and Marion Gray
October 2, 2013:
“Carving a National Image; the Civil War Sculpture of Franklin Simmons”
Powerpoint presentation by Earle Shettleworth of Maine Historic Preservation Commission
Hosts: Elaine Frost and Debbie Hilt
November 6, 2013:
Powerpoint presentation by UHS member Jeff Nims of Union
Hosts: Donna Busch and Margie Margolis
December 4, 2013:
“Reminiscences of World war II”
Conversation with UHS member and World War II Navy veteran Walter Rich of Union
Hosts: Phyllis Parsons and Elaine Tracy
Founders Day 2013
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 2013 is July 19-21.
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
Tickets are now on sale for two Come Spring Bus Tours to 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 19,
and the second tour starts at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday July 20. 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, priced at $10.00, 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 by the Union Historical Society
Once 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 20 and admission is $5.00. Entrance is free for young people up to
the age of 21, and for present and former military personnel with some form of ID. The program will
run for about an hour. Tickets for this event are available at the door.
Founders Day 2012
We have included some photos from the 2012 Founders Day celebrations for your enjoinment.
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 entairtained one and all.
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
“Welcome Home Vets” was the theme of the Founders Day parade.
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!
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.
The Selectmen of Union coordinated the events of Founders Day. Here they work to
deflate the “Moon Walk” that children had enjoyed during the day.
Another annual tradition is the silent movie that the Union Historical Society offers on Saturday
night. This year it was "Steamboat Bill Jr.", a Buster Keaton 1928 classic, and as always, it was
accompanied by Doug Protsik at the piano.
A Sunday morning worship service on the Common began 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 state of current officers is announced and
nominations for new officers are accepted. Elections follow the nominations and the officers for the
coming year are announced.
In the past, the annual meeting was combined with a pot-luck supper, but in 2012 we elected to have
the supper in August to entice a wider participation. We will continue this for 2013 as well.
This is social, very popular get-together for members and guests alike. Everybody brings something
to share. After the supper, the regular program of the month follows.
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