AUGUSTA — The Kennebec Historical Society’s February presentation, “Forts Along the Kennebec,” is set for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 22, at the Maine State Library, 230 State St. ​

According to a news release from the historical society, from 1676 and into the 18th century, much of Maine, including the Kennebec River region, was abandoned by the English because of a series of colonial Indian wars. In 1713, the Treaty of Utrecht afforded a sufficient promise of peace for settlers to return to the frontier of Maine.

The lands along the Kennebec were owned by various groups of proprietors who wished to sell these lands to settlers. To secure the frontier, and more importantly make the settlers feel secure, a series of four forts were built along the Kennebec between 1720 and 1754. This talk will discuss the history and archaeology of these forts.

Leon “Lee” Cranmer, the speaker, is an historical archaeologist who retired in August 2010 from the staff of the Maine Historic Preservation Commission. Cranmer has worked in archaeology in Maine for almost 30 years and has conducted archaeology for the state for more than 20 years. Prior to that he spent two seasons in England doing archaeology.

He has written one book and numerous articles on Maine historical archaeology and is working on another book on Fort Halifax, a French and Indian War period fort in Winslow. He has excavated hundreds of Maine sites for which he has written or co-authored site reports. Prior to his archaeology career, Cranmer spent seven years in the Navy and is a Vietnam veteran.

He lives in Somerville with his wife Liz.

For more information, contact the historical society at 622-7718.

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