AUGUSTA — The Mayor’s Committee for Martha Ballard, a city group planning a memorial celebrating the famed early American midwife and diarist, is planning a June 15 presentation of the 1997 documentary film “A Midwife’s Tale.”

The 89-minute movie, which first appeared on PBS in 1998 as part of the American Experience film series, is based on Laurel Thatcher Ulrich’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book “A Midwife’s Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Diary, 1785-1812.”

Ballard, a native of Oxford, Massachusetts, moved with her family to the Augusta area at the start of the American Revolution. Her 37-year diary records not only many of the births, illnesses, deaths and illnesses in which she was involved as a caregiver, but also blunt, insightful observations about the customs, conflicts and living conditions of her time, according to a news release from the committee.

To honor Ballard’s achievements, The Mayor’s Committee for Martha Ballard is planning the design and construction of a permanent monument to her. The film presentation is part of an effort to raise money for and community awareness of that project.

The event is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. with a social hour featuring hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar at Le Club Calumet, at 334 West River Road in Augusta.

That is followed by a 7 p.m. live interview with sisters Glee and Ruth Ballard of Sidney, and their cousin, recently-retired Army National Guard Brig. Gen. Diane Dunn of Newburgh, all direct descendants of Martha Ballard; and a silent auction. The showing of the film will conclude the event.

The committee’s members are Chairman Larry Fleury; the Ballard sisters; Earl Kingsbury, Augusta’s director of community services; Courtney Allen and Heather Pouliot, Augusta City Council members; Stephen Arbour, local historian; Rachel Merriam, of Hallowell; and Secretary Jamie Logan and Joseph Owen, representing the Kennebec Historical Society.

Tickets for the film showing event cost $30 each and are available online at, or by arrangement with Fleury, who can be called at 207-242-0540.

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