BETHEL – Plan are being made for a new event this year at the Bethel Historical Society’s Regional History Center to be held at 6 p.m. Patriot’s Day, Monday, April 18, at the Dr. Moses Mason House Meeting Room.

Modern day residents of the Bethel area will recreate an “antiquarian supper,” based on an event held in 1855, 1856 and 1857 by members of the Bethel Farmer’s Club (generally believed to be the first in Maine).

During the occasions, residents dressed in old-fashioned clothing, brought “relics” from the past to exhibit, shared stories of “olden times” and had a meal. Although the early effort toward preserving and celebrating Bethel’s past did not result in the formation of a permanent historical society (this would not take place until more than a century later in 1966), information gathered at the suppers was later used by Dr. Nathaniel Tuckerman True (1812-1887), founder of Gould Academy and the Bethel Farmer’s Club and an agricultural leader and editor of the Maine Farmer, in his “History of Bethel,” published in serial form between 1859 and 1861.

Participants attending the supper are encouraged to dress in clothes of an earlier time and bring an artifact to show. At least one item displayed in the 1850s will be on exhibit. In honor of Patriot’s Day, Jim Rose will appear in 18th century costume and will give a brief patriotic monologue.


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