Officials with the Androscoggin Historical Society are planning to move the organization next year from Auburn to 93 Lisbon St. in downtown Lewiston. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

Calling it a “fearsome undertaking,” officials with the Androscoggin Historical Society plan to move the organization next year from Auburn to downtown Lewiston.

The society is set to buy a two-story building at 93 Lisbon St. that now houses a law office.

Curt Jack, the group’s president, informed members Wednesday that “after two years of deliberations and exploration, we are extremely pleased to tell you that we are moving into the first home we have owned in nearly 100 years of existence.”

The society plans to buy the property Jan. 3 and begin moving out of the Androscoggin County Building soon afterward.

“Although the move will be bittersweet, relocating across the river has many advantages,” Jack told members. “With a much greater exposure, we expect many more people will discover” the society’s collection of historical objects, records and programs.

As part of the move, the group is expected to announce a one-year, $500,000 capital campaign that is intended to leave it in the same financial situation it is now, despite buying a building in Lewiston.

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Pieces from the Androscoggin Historical Society’s collection. Submitted photo

Jack said $52,000 has already been raised to allow for matching contributions when the fundraising campaign gets underway.

It is unclear what will happen to the space in Auburn the historical society is planning to leave.

A 1903 advertisement for The B.B. Glove Store at 93 Lisbon St. in Lewiston. The Bates Student

Formed in 1923 as the Androscoggin Historical and Antiquarian Society, the group changed its name in 1951 and became a registered nonprofit organization in 1979.

The brick building eyed for purchase is a commercial structure built in 1866, the existing home of the law offices of Murphy & Coyne, between Rainbow Bicycle and the courthouse, on the first block of Lisbon Street.

Jack said that after 85 years on the third floor of the county building, the society and its collection have outgrown the space.

He also said access to the building has been limited and parking problematic.

“For these and other reasons,” Jack said, the historical society has long been “the area’s best kept secret.”

The society will look for volunteers, Jack said, to help with many tasks related to packing, moving and reshelving its books and determining how to utilize the new space.

Those interested in donating or helping should call 207-784-0586 or send an email to [email protected]

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