Hours of Operation

Gibbs Avenue Museum

and

Blynn Davis Memorial Archives

Tuesday & Thursday, 1  - 4, and by appointment or chance.  We are often around at other times, so please don't hesitate to come in if the door is not locked. To better serve you, we strongly recommend that researchers contact us in advance.

Narramissic

House tours by appointment through mid-October. Enjoy the grounds and the self-guided hike to the quarry any time during daylight hours.

What's Happening

Sat, Sep 19-5:00 PM Harvest Supper
Sun, Oct 18-2:00 PM Annual Meeting of the Bridgton Historical Society

News & Announcements


Blacksmith Classes and Demonstrations at Narramissic

We are proud to offer blacksmith classes taught by Master Blacksmith Sam H. Smith, founder of the Portland Forge.  Sam is concerned “solely with the protection of the blacksmithing craft as it was in the 19th century and prior.” He started out as an apprentice at the age of 15, and worked his way up to master at 20, overseeing an 1830s blacksmith shop.  He moved to Maine in 2003 and built a traditional shop by the Penobscot River. He now spends most of his time at the Portland Forge, which is housed in the original blacksmith shop of the Portland Company, ca. 1846, on Fore Street.

 

We can handle two students per session, so you will get close personal attention. Cost is $75 for one class; $140 for two; $205 for three; $270 for four classes.  A portion of the tuition benefits Bridgton Historical Society and its projects at Narramissic, the Peabody-Fitch Farm. Schedule to be determined.  contact us at  207-647-3699 or info@bridgtonhistory.org

Sam will be demonstrating before our Harvest Supper September 19. 
An Important Note on Deaccessioning

Over the years generous donors have given Bridgton Historical Society many important documents and artifacts that help us tell Bridgton’s story. However, we also have items that do not truly fit with the scope of our mission to encourage an appreciation and understanding of our local heritage through exhibitions, programs, and research. With finite resources, we cannot provide the appropriate level of care and access, so we must dispose of, or “deaccession” them, in a responsible way.

 

The Board of Trustees recently approved the deaccessioning of a number of items from the collection. These include books that are not relevant to our mission or are unnecessary duplicates, unidentified photographs, and objects whose history is unknown. Whenever possible we are donating these items to other local historical societies or appropriate repositories. However, many are basically generic and would have no more relevance for another institution than they do for us. These will be sold at public auction, with the proceeds going to our restricted fund for the acquisition and care of collections. 

 

We feel that it is important that this process be as transparent as possible, since deaccessioning can be controversial if mishandled or misunderstood. The American Alliance of Museums (AAM) points out thatDeaccessioning is a necessary and appropriate tool in collections management, and a way for a museum to refine its collections. Often times, an object does not fit the organization’s scope of collections, cannot be cared for properly or poses a hazard to staff, so it may be considered for deaccessioning.”

 
We approach this process carefully and thoughtfully. Our collections policy spells out a strict procedure which, in accordance with accepted ethical standards, specifies the following criteria for determining that an item should be considered for deaccessioning. 

1)  The item does not fall within the scope and purposes of the Bridgton Historical Society.

2)  The item is an unnecessary duplicate.

3)  The item is in extremely poor condition, beyond the resources of the Society to restore to a condition suitable for display or study.

4)  The item poses a hazard to human health and safety or other items in the collections.

 

Following a lengthy and formal procedure that involves input from staff, consideration by the Collections Committee, and approval by the board of trustees, items may be disposed of by the following means:

1)      Transfer to the Study Collection, which consists of items that can be used in hands-on situations

2)      Placement by donation, exchange, or sale with another institution where it will be publicly accessible.

3)      Public sale or auction.   All proceeds from such sales go to a special fund for the acquisition and conservation of collections.

4)       Destruction.

 

Welcome

Welcome to the Bridgton Historical Society's website!

 

Museum Fall 2006 - 1 Small.jpg Founded in 1953 to encourage an appreciation of local history, traditions and customs of Bridgton, Maine and the surrounding area, the Society operates a museum and research center at 5 Gibbs Avenue in downtown Bridgton,
and "Narramissic," the Peabody-Fitch House, a restored 19th-century farm, complete with a working blacksmith shop, in South Bridgton.  "Narramissic" is located near the end of Ingalls Road, one mile in from route 107.  Narramissic Fall 2006 - 1 Small.jpg

We're delighted that you have chosen to pay us a "cyber-visit," but we would be even happier to see you in person!

Let us know if there is something of particular interest that you would like to see included on the website.

 

The Bridgton Historical Society's 2015 Summer Schedule is generously underwritten by a grant from the Maine Humanities Council--we are grateful for their support!

 

 

Our Logo and the Lombard Weathervane

Rooster Weathervane.jpg The highly stylized rooster contained in the Bridgton Historical Society's logo is a representation of that found on the Lombard weathervane given to the Historical Society on exhibit at Narramissic.  The Rufus Porter museum here in Bridgton has two weathervanes attributed to Mr. Lombard, and another is owned by the Shelburne Museum in Shelburne, Vermont.

Early in 20th century, James Lombard, of Bridgton, designed and carved woodern weathervanes. These weathervanes are highly desirable examples of native Maine folk art. The most distinguishing features of the Lombard weathervanes are the stylized versions of hens and roosters, particularly the imaginative treatment of the tail feathers. Simple in design and execution, Lombard weathervanes were usually sawed from pine planks with the woodern legs attached separately.

Born in 1868, Mr. Lombard lived and worked at the family farmhouse on South High Street which was located on the present site of Becky Cook's barn across from the Catholic Church. The farmhouse was destroyed by fire. Mr. Lombard was the father of Perley Lombard, who worked for The Bridgton News as pressman for thirty-five years. Many will remember Perley and also Bill Lombard and other members of the family.

It is believed that Mr. Lombard might have been an itinerent wood carver in his earlier years because of the distribution of his weathervanes in various areas of Maine.

 

Bridgton and Saco River Railroad Page

B and SR RR Engine 5You'll now find information about the B & SR RR under the main Museum menu. Also, be sure to visit visit some of the links to other narrow guage railroad websites on our Resources -> Links page. The WW & FRY site is of particular interest as it includes a section on the B & SR RR in its discussion forum.

Help Support Us!

Click on the "Donate" button and follow the on-screen prompts to enter the amount you would like to donate and your contact information. You do not have to have a PayPal account to make a tax-deductible donation.