BETHEL – Bethel Historical Society members will hear David Chaplin of Brunswick speak at the second of the lecture series on “Cross-River Ferries in 19th and 20th Century Maine” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 10, in the lecture hall of the Dr. Moses Mason House. Chaplin, a retired college professor, has studied ferries for several years. The series is free and open to the public.

The first of several planning meetings was held at the society’s Regional History Center recently. Three museums have been selected by the Maine Humanities Council to host the Smithsonian exhibit, “Barn Again! Celebrating An American Icon,” in 2005. The Bethel Historical Society’s Regional History Center is one; the others are the Saco Museum and the Muse Cultural du Mont-Carmel at Lille-Sur-St. Jean.

Trudy Hickey of the Maine Humanities Council chaired the group, which included Director Don Sharland and two others from the Saco Museum, Don Cyr of the Lille site, who is also the project scholar, Deanne Herman of the Maine Department of Agriculture, and Erik Jorgensen of the Maine Humanities Council. Christi Mitchell of the Maine Historic Preservation Commission is also a member of the Planning Committee, but was unable to attend the meeting.

Discussions centered around what might be done locally to highlight the exhibit, which has circulated nationally. Ideas included lectures, contests, school projects, barn tours, art projects, farm equipment exhibits, quilting exhibits, barn dances, petting zoos, farm demonstrations, barn surveys, local farm history studies, photographic exhibits, architectural and preservation projects, husking contests, produce events, 4-H programs, Grange events and conversations with farmers.

Visitors also toured the Bethel Historical Society facilities and saw some barn and farm videos. The exhibit will be in Saco, April 7 through June 8, 2005; in Lille, June 15 through Aug. 12; and Bethel, Aug. 19 through Oct. 22.

From the July 29, 1847, issue of the Christian Mirror of Portland was found the following: “We learn through J. H. Lovejoy, Esq., Postmaster at Albany, in Oxford County, that during a thunder storm on Tuesday the 13 inst., five valuable cows and four young cattle, nine in all, the property of Henry C. Lawrence and son of that town, were killed by lightning. Whether they were in the pasture or yard, near to or remote from any tree or elevated object, which could be supposed to have attracted the electric fluid, we have not been informed; nor is it of any consequence as to what is passed. But any knowledge of the circumstances, which could be applied for future security of animal life, whether of man or beast, would be valuable.”

For more information about the society and its activities, call 824-2908, 1-800-824-2910 or e-mail [email protected]

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