AUGUSTA — The Kennebec Historical Society October presentation “The Kennebec in History” will take begin at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 19, at the Augusta City Center, 16 Cony St.

Maritime historian Lincoln Paine will use the history of the Kennebec River to examine Maine and American history since the pre-Columbian period, according to a news release from the society.

Examining the different ways that people have approached the river over time can provide a new way of reading and understanding the history of the United States and its people.

Abenaki culture was deeply informed by the way that people related to the river, which also helped shape patterns of exploration and settlement by early European settlers and the subsequent commercial and industrial development of the late colonial and post-independence period. While the river has often been viewed in terms of its importance to navigation — both for shuttling goods and people between the hinterland and the sea, as well as for shipbuilding — it has also been a source of industrial power, a conveyor belt for the lumber industry, a source of harvested ice, and latterly a showcase for environmental restoration. In this respect, the many uses of the river offer a periodization of history that affords a more nuanced appreciation of how Maine and the United States developed, according to the release.

Paine is a maritime historian, author, editor and curator whose books include the award-winning “The Sea and Civilization: A Maritime History of the World” (2013), “Down East: A Maritime History of Maine” (2000), and “Ships of the World: An Historical Encyclopedia” (1997). He is also an editor of “Itinerario: International Journal on the History of European Expansion and Global Interaction.” In 2012, he curated “Triumph of the Passenger Ship: Highlights from the Norman H. Morse Ocean Liner Collection, 1870–2010,” at the Osher Map Library and Smith Center for Cartographic Research, University of Southern Maine, in Portland.

He has lectured on a wide range of maritime and naval topics in the United States, Europe, Asia and Australia. A graduate of Columbia College, he spent 14 years as a non-fiction and reference book editor and currently specializes in editing academic writing by non-native speakers of English. He is a trustee of the Maine Maritime Museum. He and his wife, Allison, live in Portland and have two grown daughters.

The presentation is free; donations accepted.​ For more information, call 622-7718.

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