AUGUSTA — Old Fort Western will conduct a 2016 Winter Lecture Series during February and March at the Lecture Hall, first floor, Augusta City Center.

• Michael Dekker will focus on French & Indian Wars in Maine: Conflict Along the Kennebec During the 1720s from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 7.

For eight decades, an epic power struggle raged across a frontier that would become Maine. Between 1675 and 1759, British, French and Native Americans clashed in six distinct wars to stake and defend their land claims. Author of French & Indian Wars in Maine (2015), Dekker will expand on the 4th Indian War of Maine, also known as “Dummer’s War” (1722-1725), a series of battles between British settlers of the three northernmost British colonies of North America of the time and the Wabanaki Confederacy who were allied with New France. Dummer, then acting governor, negotiated peace with Penobscot Chief Wenanganet in 1725, three years after the conflict began.

• Robert Sanford will discuss Everyday Reminders of History: Reading Rural Landscapes from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 14.

Author of Reading Rural Landscapes (2015), Sanford will discuss common landscape features ranging from plants and trees to stonewalls, cellar holes, and other altered landforms that show the dynamics of human-influenced change in the countryside. He will show that while we know a great deal about historical architecture, people and events of the past, we are surrounded by common, everyday places that also represent history. Yet these ordinary things are in danger of becoming forgotten. Still, they are accessible and interpretable if we take the time to look. Sanford will identify some common clues to the past; how we read them, and what can we find in our own back yard.

• Roger Madore will present Vintage Streetscapes: A Postcard History of Augusta, 1895-1915 from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 21.

Author of Augusta (2015) Madore will showcase vintage images and postcards to illustrate and discuss the history of the capital city. From the Cushnoc Trading Post in 1628, and the first encampment of Fort Western in 1754, early Augustans understood the importance and value of the valley and its resources along the river. Through innovations in publishing by Gannet & Morse and Vickery & Hill, textiles by the Edwards Manufacturing Co., and lumber production along the Kennebec, Augusta thrived and prospered. Madore will discuss this tenacious spirit and ingenuity as seen through the stunning images of his personal postcard collection, the majority of which have never been published.

• Richard Seymour will present Beyond Popham Colony: The First English Settlement in New England from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 28.

Seymour presents a segment of little-known history, and expertly weaves in adventure and romance as he simultaneously calls into question many facets of Maine’s first English settlement. Thirteen years before the Mayflower, five Native Americans are kidnapped and taken to England. One of them, Skidwarres, spends two years learning all things English. His tutor, a young Oxford educated gentleman, sails back with him to the New World, along with 140 English soldiers, craftsmen and adventurers. At the mouth of the Kennebec River they erect the first colony north of Jamestown.

• Leon Cranmer will present A Tale of Three Privies from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, March 6.

Retired historical archeologist of Maine Historic Preservation Commission, Cranmer looks at the archaeological excavation of privies on three diverse sites; an 18th-century fort (Fort Halifax) in Winslow, a 19th-century farmstead in Topsham, and a 19th-century urban house in Portland. From the large quantity of nearly complete artifacts from these privies, a picture of the lifestyles of the sites’ occupants can be developed along with an understanding of the material culture of the time. Cranmer will determine when these privies were filled in and even speculate as to why they were filled. He will show that combining the historical record with the archeological record we can form a more complete picture of the past.

• Old Fort Western staff will present Squatters, Settlers & Surveyors in 18th Century Maine from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, March 13.

Liberty Men, White Indians, and Settlers — Beware! Historical interpreters and members of James Howard’s Co. will take you back in time in the form of a Shakespearean-style history production focusing on the back country of Mid-Maine after the Revolution. Presenters will address the challenges of settling in the new frontier and that you don’t always get what you pay for. The production will conclude with a local conflict over land titles culminating in the Malta War (1808-1809), an uprising of settlers and propriators in what is now, Windsor, Maine.

James Howard’s Co. is an educational and living history reenactment unit based out of and in association with Old Fort Western. The company is dedicated to preserving and promoting Old Fort Western by demonstrating and interpreting the military history, mission, equipment skills, and experiences of its military provincial garrison forces during the French & Indian War years of 1754-1767. The company takes its name from Captain James Howard, Fort Western’s commander.

All lectures are free admission; however donations are accepted and used to benefit Old Fort Western educational programming; refreshments will be provided.

For more information, call 626-2385 or email [email protected].

Old Fort Western (1754) is a National Historic Landmark and living museum in Augusta and America’s oldest surviving wooden French & Indian War era garrison in North America illuminating 300 years of Maine and New England History.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.