Winthrop Maine Historical Society will host a Zoom talk by Ron Kley from 6 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 12, via Zoom.

Kley will focus his presentation on the history of land ownership and subdivision in the Kennebec watershed, the transition of control from indigenous people to the British monarchy, to the Plymouth Company and to the so-called Kennebeck Proprietors, the Proprietors’ strategies and struggles in developing that wilderness empire and how Winthrop’s early history relates to that broad-brush picture, according to a news release from the society.

Ron Kley Contributed photo

Much of Kley’s research has been an outgrowth of his work since 2006 with the Vaughan Homestead in Hallowell and his study of the Vaughan and Hallowell families’ roles in early development of proprietary lands extending from the Kennebec Valley to the shores of Great Pond, or what we know today as Lake Cobboseecontee.

Kley’s academic and early professional background was not in history, but in the fields of mining geology and civil engineering applications of thermonuclear explosive devices (better known as hydrogen bombs). Those were subjects that occupied him through four years of undergraduate study at Dartmouth, six years of specialized graduate study at Harvard, MIT and Boston University and two years of active military service as the Research and Technical Operations Officer of the U.S.A.C.E.N.C.G. – the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nuclear Cratering Group, according to the release.

He has worked in history and in museums for more than 50 years and on four continents. Kley came to Maine from New Hampshire by way of California and the Nevada Nuclear Test Site back in 1968 to work at Maine’s State Museum, and settled into a house in East Winthrop that was called “old” in the 1830s and “ancient” in the 1890s. He still lives there and acquainted himself with the history of that place and the people who have lived under its roof before him.

The Zoom link is Meeting ID: 810 9663 6540. A business meeting will follow.

For more information, contact Nick Perry at [email protected].