1903 Waldo Nash Brook Trout caught by the one-armed fisherman, E.J. “Romey” Spaulding, from the Bemis steamship pier.

In its Sixtieth season, the Rangeley Lakes Historical Society concluded perhaps its best season ever! Success can be measured sin so many ways in the non-profit world, but if one looks at number of visits to its museum, it truly was a banner year.

The Rangeley History Museum on Main Street had over 1100 souls come to learn more about the town. The Society’s other museum, the Outdoor Heritage Museum in Oquossoc had over 4600 visits as well. “The growing reputation of the Outdoor Heritage Museum as a must see stop when touring the Western Mountains region continues to spread and appearing three times on TV shows hosted by Bill Green of WCSH Channel 6, didn’t hurt,” shared Society Executive Director Bill Pierce.

The museums open several new exhibits annually that continue to entice regular visitors and members to return. As an example, an impressive Vintage Map Exhibit in celebration of Maine’s Bicentennial is just part of what lies in store for 2020. The museum just acquired a giant 11lb. 4 oz. brook trout mounted by Waldo Nash in 1903. “It was landed by a one-armed angler while playing hooky from his job at the store on the steamship wharf down at Bemis. Fly Rod Crosby wrote a great story about it and we’ll have it on display in Oquossoc when we open on May 1st,” added Pierce.

In commemoration of its 60th birthday, the Historical Society also sponsored several well-attended events last summer. Offerings included two 3D Stereo-view & Vintage Film Presentations, the International Fly-Fishing Film Festival and a Live Historical Performance, all at RFA’s Lakeside Theater. In addition to regular appearances by authors and artists during the summer months, the Outdoor Heritage Museum hosts the Lupine Festival and Oquossoc Day Art, Craft & Antique Shows annually. Their popular event for regional children known as the Rangeley Regatta just celebrated its 5th rendition with over 200 students attending.

Although pleased with six straight seasons of increased visitor-ship, the Society wants to do a better job and is now seeking the input of their constituents in a survey currently being offered. “This survey will help us understand what folks in the region think about our efforts and more importantly, inform us as to what we should be doing in the future, “noted Historical Society President, Gino Nalli.  Survey responses will be confidential, and the on-line questionnaire can be completed in less than 10 minutes. Members and contacts will receive an email with a link to the survey. The survey can also be accessed through a link on the Society’s website: www.rangeleyhistoricalsociety.org

The Rangeley Lakes Historical Society receives no taxpayer support. It is a 501C3 nonprofit supported by its members, donors and grant funders in its mission to preserve, share and celebrate the proud history of the region. Anyone with questions regarding artifact donations, volunteer opportunities or to make a gift of support, please email Bill Pierce at: [email protected]

 


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