BETHEL – The Bethel Historical Society sponsored its annual “Christmas with the Masons” on Dec. 4 in the Dr. Moses Mason House Museum. The 1813 house was decorated much as it might have been in the early 19th century with boughs, berries and fruit. With fireplaces blazing, candles lit and the smell of mull cider served from the hearth of the winter kitchen, visitors could enjoy what one termed “a magical moment” as they exchanged greetings with the various hostesses and munched on holiday refreshments.

Harpist Elissa Lufkin provided Christmas music.

The final class of “Wood and Woods: Logging and Landscapes” held in conjunction with the society’s current exhibit “Wood and Woods: Finding a Middle Ground” was held on Dec. 1. Featured during the evening was a panel discussion with four presenters who held differing views of how the Maine woods should be managed to bring about the greatest benefit for all those who have a stake in its future.

Participating in the panel were Mike Wilson of the Northern Forest Center based in Concord, N.H., but has an office in Bethel; Donald Feeney, a forester, Jym St. Pierre of Restore the Northern Woods, and Arlan Jodrey, the 2002 Maine Tree Farmer of the Year. There was a lively exchange of views which were supplemented by commentary and questions from the class.

Nearly 1,200 members strong, the Bethel Historical Society, founded in 1966, is a full-time historical agency, dedicated to collecting, preserving and interpreting the regional past for present and future generations. For more than 35 years, the society’s activities have included lectures, exhibits, special events, heritage festivals, workshops, conferences, school and educational programs, and publications.

Since 1974, the society has operated from its Broad Street headquarters, the Dr. Moses Mason House, a period house museum and research library. In 1999, it opened the O’Neil Robinson House (next door) to the public for an expanded exhibit program, museum shop space, and administrative offices. Through the years, the society’s achievements have been recognized by a number of state and national organizations.

Further information about the society and its activities can be obtained by calling (207) 824-2908 or (800) 824-2910 or e-mailing: [email protected] The mailing address is P.O. Box 12, Bethel, ME 04217-0012.

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