Just as many stores, restaurants, and other businesses have fallen victim to the dictates of the coronavirus, museums and historic sites including three that are maintained by Lincoln County Historical Association  remain closed to summer visitors.

This display of 17th and 18th century navigational tools was featured at a Lincoln County Historical Association event at the Chapman-Hall House in 2017. Photo courtesy of the Lincoln County Historical Association

In a normal year, volunteer docents would share stories of these buildings to show how history intertwines with the heritage of this part of Maine. The association’s Chapman-Hall House, Pownalborough Court House, and the 1811 Old Jail span 200 years of Lincoln County history. The individuals who lived and worked in these historic buildings were observers and sometimes influential participants in the growth of Lincoln County from a district of the Massachusetts Bay Colony to one of the 16 counties in the State of Maine, according to a news release from the association.

Although the buildings themselves remain quiet for now, the association looks to the future. Education director Louise Miller is adjusting her programs to meet the needs of a school year that promises to be unlike any other, with the exception perhaps of 1918.

The cancelation of summer children’s programs and fundraisers has limited the organization’s ability to network and share with the community, but a successful grant proposal will help fund a major electricity renovation in the Old Jail, and members have have shown their appreciation for the mission of the association with its memberships and donations to support ongoing projects.

In the coming year, as restrictions ease and protocols are put in place to keep visitors and docents safe, the association’s historic sites will once again be open to share insights into the rich heritage of Lincoln County. Meanwhile, the association created a new website, lincolncountyhistory.org. Hiking trails at the Pownalborough Court House also are open to all.

The association is a nonprofit organization that provides stewardship for the 1754 Chapman-Hall House in Damariscotta, the 1811 Old Jail and Museum in Wiscasset, and the Pownalborough Court House in Dresden.

For more information, visit lincolncountyhistory.org and the Facebook pages, Lincoln County Historical Association Maineand Pownalborough Court House Museum.