BETHEL – David Chaplin of Brunswick presented the second lecture in the 2004 series at the Bethel Historical Society’s Regional History Center June 10.

Chaplin, a retired university professor who holds an undergraduate degree from Amherst College and a Ph.D. from Princeton University, spoke on “Cross River Ferries in 19th and 20th Century Maine.”

Chaplin was raised in Maine by a family with roots from Waterville to Machias in the 18th and 19th centuries. He taught sociology at the universities of Delaware, Bucknell, Wisconsin and Western Michigan.

On his return to Maine following retirement, Chaplin was awarded a Maine Humanities Council grant in 1997 to research trolleys in the state. From that project, he became involved in other modes of transport, including river ferries. He has researched many of the holdings at historical repositories throughout Maine, which has led him to speak on the subject to a number of groups around the state.

Chaplin discussed all aspects of the ferry’s equipment that allowed it to cross rivers, including cables, pulleys and splashboards. He concluded his presentation with slides of local ferries on the Androscoggin, which were such a part of life in the region in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Further information about the society and its activities may be obtained by calling 824-2908 or 1-800-824-2910 or e-mailing [email protected] Additional information can also be obtained by checking the Web at The mailing address is P.O. Box 12, Bethel, ME 04217-0012.

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