The Leeds Historical Society plans to host a program at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 23 on Maine’s corn shops. Pictured is an early photo of workers husking corn at the Leeds Corn Shop. Submitted photo

The Leeds Historical Society plans to host a program at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 23, in the Leeds Community Church gym, 123 Church Hill Road in Leeds.

Paul Frederic will give a talk about Maine’s corn shops, including one in Leeds Center which ran until the 1960s.

Frederic, professor emeritus of geography at the University of Maine at Farmington, is the product of a corn shop town, a hamlet or city whose existence was once centered around a canning factory. Frederic brings not only academic expertise but also personal, hands-on experience in this once-golden industry, according to a news release from Pam Bell, board member.

Frederic is the author of “Canning Gold: Northern New England’s Sweet Corn Industry: A Historical Geography.” The book is described by publishing company Rowman & Littlefield as “a meticulously researched examination of how sweet corn canning helped shape the economy, landscape and people of rural Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont during the ‘corn shop century,’ 1860-1960s. In it Frederic powerfully demonstrates the strong community bond essential for the industry’s initial success. Interviews with farmers, factory owners and cannery workers who raised and packed the corn, combined with the written record, and Frederic’s insight derived from growing up in the shadow of a corn shop, enrich the work and trace various threads linking local patterns to regional, national and global forces.”

Along with hearing Frederic’s description of the canning shops in general, there will be an opportunity to look at old photographs of Leeds’ corn shop. Additionally, there are still members of the Leeds community who remember the corn shop in Leeds Center. Some remember their mothers working at the shop to earn money to buy their children’s school clothes. Others remember hours of hoeing rows of corn or beans their families grew for the corn shop.

Those with photographs or memories of the corn shop are asked to share them during the Oct. 23 program.

Refreshments will be served. The suggested donation is $5.

For more information, call Laura Juraska at 207-524-2324.

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