Waterville’s First Photographs, a lecture by Maine State Historian Earle G. Shettleworth Jr., will be presented at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 21, at the First Baptist Church, 1 Park St., Waterville. The lecture will illustrate views of the city from the 1850s to the 1880s.

Photography came to Waterville in the 1840s, and one of its first photographers was Simon Wing, who took panoramic and street views of the community in the 1850s. When Wing moved to Boston in 1860, he was succeeded by photographers such as E.N. Pierce, C.G. Carleton, and S.S. Vose., whose stereo views of Waterville are the source of most of the images in Shettleworth’s talk. These photographs depict every aspect of Waterville a century and a half ago, including Main Street commercial buildings, homes, schools, churches, industries, and the old Colby campus. Currently celebrating its 200 anniversary, the First Baptist Church will be shown before and after the 1875 remodeling that gave the building its present appearance.

A native of Portland, Shettleworth attended Colby College and Boston University and was the recipient of honorary doctorates from Bowdoin College and the Maine College of Art. At the age of 13, Shettleworth became interested in historic preservation through the destruction of Portland’s Union Station in 1961. A year later he joined the Sills Committee which founded Greater Portland Landmarks in 1964. In 1971 he was appointed by Gov. Kenneth M. Curtis to serve on the first board of the Maine Historic Preservation Commission, for which he became architectural historian in 1973 and director in 1976. He retired from that position in 2015. Shettleworth has lectured and written extensively on Maine history and architecture, his most recent publication being Maine in World War I, which he co-authored in 2017. Shettleworth has served as state historian since 2004.

A reception with refreshments will follow. For additional information, contact 968-2828 or [email protected].

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