The museum received a terrific new acquisition today! The circa 1790 Henry Trefethen family desk returned to Peaks Island, a gift from Trefethen descendant, Charles Blackman. A group of board members and other volunteers safely moved it into the building where it is now on exhibit. Come take a look!
The desk was used by the Trefethen family on House and Peaks Islands, and possibly on Monhegan Island before leaving for the mid-west in 1946. We’re happy to welcome it back to Peaks!
The Fifth Maine Museum’s new exhibit, Peaks Island in the 1970s: Building a Community, opened to rave reviews during Peaks Fest. The exhibit displays previously unseen pieces from the museum’s collection, as well as photographs and objects borrowed from community members who lived on Peaks Island during the 1970s.
The new exhibit poster features the finish line of a round-the-island race during the 1970s
Holly Hurd-Forsyth, Fifth Maine Museum curator, says that the exhibit goes beyond nostalgia.“The 1970s was a time of action on Peaks Island. Many of the island organizations that are in existence today were founded during the 1970s,” says Hurd-Forsyth. The Peaks Island branch library was founded during the 1970s as well as a parent-led childcare cooperative that evolved to become the Peaks Island Children’s Workshop.
Among the islander contributions is a scrapbook of newspaper articles from Reta Morrill. The articles document the numerous captains’ strikes that plagued Casco Bay Lines at the time and the islanders’ concerns about ferry service disruptions and bankruptcy throughout the 1970s. These problems led to the formation of the Casco Bay Island Transit District through emergency State legislative action in 1981.
Bill Hall, president of the board of directors of the Fifth Maine Regiment Museum, says the close-knit Peaks Island community has embraced the exhibit. “The Fifth Maine Museum is committed to preserving and showcasing Peaks Island history, even recent history. We continue to add to our collection and rotate artifacts in and out of display so that visitors can see something new each season,” says Hall.
We’ve got some good news and some bad news.
The bad news is that the roof of the Fifth Maine Museum, which is nearing the end of life, continues to degrade. Several roof patching attempts can be seen in this overhead shot of the building.
During the 2018-2019 winter, roofing shingles allowed some water damage to develop in one of our upstairs storage rooms. In response, the Board of Directors has launched a “Raise the Roof” campaign to fund the re-roofing of the entire building during the fall of 2019. After soliciting several bids, the building committee reports that the project will cost approximately $75,000.
Now the good news! Board member, Perry Sutherland, has submitted several grant applications to help fund the project. He recently received news that the Davis Family Foundation will provide $10,000 and the Casco Bay Islands Alliance will provide $1,500. Fundraising efforts will continue throughout the summer of 2019. Watch this space for more details!
Thank you to both the Davis Family Foundation and the Casco Bay Islands Alliance! And thank you to our superb grant writer, Perry!!