Kate McBrien, left, and Aimée Keithan.

WISCASSET — This year’s Lincoln County Historical Association’s Winter Lecture Series is scheduled to be held at 5:30 p.m. Thursdays Feb. 2, 16, and 23 via Zoom.

They are open to all, but registration is required. To receive a link, visit lincolncountyhistory.org. There is no charge, although donations are welcome.

A common thread that binds the three talks selected for the series is that each speaker has delved deeply into Maine history to learn about certain communities of its people and the influences that shaped them. These stories are dramatic, intriguing, and surprising, according to a news release from Christine Hopf-Lovette at the association.

Kate McBrien explores the history of the Malaga Island Community in the late 1800s in the first talk of LCHA’s 2023 Winter Lecture Series. Submitted photo

Feb. 2 — “Malaga Island,” Kate McBrien explores the true history of the community who lived on Malaga Island, off the coast of Phippsburg in the late 1800s. This program examines the individuals who were part of this community and the state’s actions to evict them from their homes through the complex history of racism and eugenics in Maine.

McBrien serves as Maine state archivist, overseeing state government’s archives and records management programs. As curator of the award-winning exhibition “Malaga Island, Fragmented Lives,” she also is a historian for the Malaga Island community. She previously held positions as chief curator and director of public engagement at the Maine Historical Society and as the curator of historic collections for The Maine State Museum.

Aimée Keithan looks at social issues and criminal biases as they affect criminalization and the lives of prisoners in early New England in two LCHA lectures. Submitted photo

Feb. 16 — “Put in their Place: Criminalizing the Other in Early New England,” Aimée Keeithan notes that Lincoln County’s history is full of stories of valor, civic leaders and enterprising community builders. But the area’s history was also shaped by thieves, murderers, ladies of the night, and others accused of crimes there. Then, as today, criminalization intersects with social issues like race, gender and class.


Feb. 23 — “Silent Witnesses: The Architecture of Justice in Early New England,” In this talk, Keithan delves into the people behind the crimes. She shares how social biases impacted prisoners’ lives. Using the Pownalborough Court House, Wiscasset Old Jail and other examples, she illustrates how changes in architectural design were intended to deliberately manipulate the behavior of those accused of crime and attempt to shape them into “productive” members of society.

Keithan is a buildings archaeologist and architectural historian, working as Pejepscot History Center’s Museum services manager in Brunswick. She has held research fellowships at George Washington’s Mount Vernon and the Preservation of Newport County in Rhode Island. Her research focuses on using the material culture of architecture to reveal the history of marginalized populations.

For more information, visit lincolncountyhistory.org or find Lincoln County Historical Association (Maine) on Facebook.



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