AUBURN – Donna Berry, who regularly plays the part of schoolmarm while recreating an 1850s school day for students visiting the one-room school in West Auburn, which speak at a meeting of the Androscoggin Historical Society at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 25, at the society’s headquarters on the third floor of the Androscoggin County Courthouse.

She will talk about the history of the West Auburn Schoolhouse and 1850s education — the school day, the teacher, textbooks, subjects, discipline — and will invite people in the audience to share their stories.

Berry, a native of Long Island, N.Y., is a graduate of the State University of New York at Oswego and Teachers College, Columbia. Her teaching career spanned 28 years in public school and as a museum educator in New York State. She and her husband retired to Maine in 1996.

A member of the West Auburn School Historical Society, she recently co-authored a book on the history of North and West Auburn. She has played the part of the schoolmarm at the West Auburn schoolhouse for more than 10 years. (Teachers may call her at 346-3106 to book a visit.)

The meeting is open to the public without charge; donations will be accepted. An elevator is available.

This program will be the first in a series presented by the society that will include:

Oct. 23: Pre-Civil War Politics — Doug Hodgkin, historian and author, will describe how nativism, temperance and slavery caused difficulties for politicians in the 1850s. As professor emeritus of political science at Bates College, he specialized on American political parties and has written about the local party system in his book, “Frontier to Industrial City: Lewiston Town Politics, 1768–1863,” 7 p.m. at AHS headquarters.

Oct. 27: Halloween Tour — Shamrock spirits will walk as John Henderson portrays resident Cornelius Murphy. He will tell how the jack-o’-lantern, an Irish invention, was created for Halloween, 1 p.m. at Mount Hope Cemetery, Lewiston.

Nov. 27: Old Maine Films — Winston Greaton will show copies of 16 mm films used to promote the state of Maine between 1930 and 1965. The films, which cover a wide variety of subjects, were made by his father, Everett F. Greaton, while he was executive director of the Maine Development Commission, 7 p.m. at Auburn Public Library.

Feb. 16: Tracing Family Roots — A Saturday afternoon workshop led by a panel of local genealogists. This is the newest of the society’s popular workshops, which are intended to help genealogy enthusiasts, 2 p.m. at Auburn Public Library.

March 26: Nine Irish Women — History is kind to men, naming all their exploits, while women are assumed to have stayed home. John Henderson will present some of the immigrant Irish women in L/A who did more than “keep house,” fostering a deeper appreciation of women’s role in our society, 7 p.m. at AHS headquarters.

April 23: L/A Service Clubs — Representatives from several local service organizations will describe how the groups began and what they are doing to serve L/A, 7 p.m. at AHS headquarters.

May 28: Civil War Fashions — Day dresses, ball gowns, and uniforms of the era will be modeled by members of the Sons of Union Veterans Auxiliary. This also will be the society’s annual meeting. Location to be announced.

June 22: Civil War Game — Elery Keene will demonstrate a game that uses miniature soldiers on a tabletop battlefield, with teams competing to carry out their Civil War battle plans. Players 10 and up, teenagers and adults will enjoy this Saturday program, 1 p.m. at Auburn Public Library.


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