Earl Smith Photo by Dave Dostie


The Kennebec Historical Society plans to host speaker Earl Smith this month, as he speculates on the reasons Maine had a large number of important inventors, and which inventions he feels had the greatest impact worldwide.

The event is set for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 20, at the Hope Baptist Church, 726 Western Ave. in Manchester. If COVID-19 cases continue to climb, the presentation will be held on Facebook Live.

Smith will have a conversation with those attending the presentation and reveal some of the intriguing things he discovered in doing research for his book, “Downeast Genius.”

A native of Waterville, his 40-year career at Colby College ended in retirement in 2002. He continues to serve as the college historian and as a commissioner of Maine State Museum.

Smith has written numerous articles and is the author of six books, including “Mayflower Hill,” a history of Colby College; “With the Help of Friends,” a history of the Colby Art Museum; and “Water Village,” a history of Waterville.

His novels include “The Dam Committee,“ a comic Maine murder-mystery, and its sequel, “More Dam Trouble,” as well as “Head of Falls” a work of historical fiction. He has served on the Waterville City Council and Board of Education, and as a member of the Maine House of Representatives.

Signed copies of the book can be ordered from Oliver & Friends Bookshop, 87 Main St., Belgrade Lakes. Orders can be placed by calling 207-707-2123 or emailing [email protected]. In-store pick up and shipping are available.

For more information, call Scott Wood, executive director, at 207-622-7718.