Fairfield Historical Society

Fairfield Historical Society

President's Letter

The Fairfield Historical Society is a nonprofit section 501 (c) (3) which owns and runs the Fairfield History House. The society acts as a repository for the history of Fairfield and the surrounding area and the museum is set up to reflect life in the Victorian period when Fairfield was in the forefront of the industrial revolution. The Carriage House (barn) houses our collections which feature the rich agricultural and industrial history. Upstairs houses a barber shop, school room, sewing room, cobbler equipment and general store.

In January we supplied a large selection of historic pictures and artifacts for the display case in the lobby of Lawrence High School at the request of the History Dept. We developed a narrated power point program covering Fairfield's history from 1771 to 1915. Barbara Bailey and Doug Cutchin made a presentation to 2 U.S. History classes. The presentation included period slide pictures of the area. The classes also toured the History House. The program will be available for other public presentations. In June the society participated in Fairfield Days with wagon-ride tours and the History House was open for tours. A special exhibit of our collection of flags was on display to complement Fairfield day's "flag theme". The exhibit was on display for the summer. Our biennial quilt show was held June 28 & 29th at the Friends Meeting House (c.1837) in North Fairfield. The event was filmed by Laura Guite CATA for local viewing. In September we held a member/public old-fashioned picnic following a short business meeting at which officers were elected for the upcoming year. The annual Barn/Bake Sale was held October 5th and we netted over $1,300.00 which will be used toward operating expenses at the History House. Unity College Advanced Interpretive Methods Class visited the facility to learn how we preserve and exhibit the collections. We finished the month of October with a program for a home school group of 22 children. The program featured hands on activities emphasizing life and chores of the late 1800's. November 20th we held a member/public meeting at the Lawrence Library. A power point program "Amos Gerald-The Electric Railroad King of Maine" was narrated by Art Ray. The event was very well attended and generated lively discussion after the presentation. The Society also served as a resource for old photos of the Gerald Hotel used in a display for a KVCAP sponsored public open house. The last event of the year was the annual Christmas Open House Sat. & Sun, December 6 & 7. The theme was "Christmas Weddings" with a display of 20 wedding gowns from the FHS collection dating from 1867 to 1990 which included 2 on loan from members. The fresh flower arrangements were courtesy of Sunset Flowerland & Greenhouses and the wedding cake was courtesy of Hillman's Bakery.

A major capital improvement this year was the installation of a high efficiency natural gas fired heating system. This work was done with funds designated for capital improvements and a generous gift of $5,000.00 from an anonymous donor. Last spring long-time beloved member Jeanette Pratt passed away. The Pratt family honored their Mother by requesting donations in her memory to the Fairfield Historical Society. The Fairfield Low Family Sampler (1834) was conserved using funds from this fund. We are indebted to Loring and Jeanette Pratt who were instrumental in seeing that this important piece of Fairfield history became part of the Historical Society's collection.

Respectfully submitted,

Doug Cutchin, President December 2014

Annual Letter

SUBJECT: Annual Letter-2016

Dear Members and Friends:

This year has been full of activities beginning with our participation in the annual Fairfield Chocolate Festival. Our booth featured a display of historic photos, historical booklets and other Fairfield memorabilia for sale along with chocolate treats. In March for the first time the Historical Society participated in the Lawrence Adult Education program offering a power point and lecture on the "History of Fairfield's Golden Years 1845-1920". Doug Cutchin, Barb Bailey and John Verrier volunteered their time for this project. They presented the program again for the fall meeting of the Taconnett Falls Chapter of the ME Genealogical Society. Late in the spring the LHS American History Classes toured the History House as part of their course work covering the industrial period which the History House reflects. These students were the 1st group to view our pictorial exhibit covering Fairfield's Industrial Era. The exhibit was on display for the summer months. The annual Unity College Advanced Interpretive Advancement Class tour of the Hist. House took place in September.

Our biennial quilt show was held June 11 and 12 at the Friends Meeting House (c. 1837) in North Fairfield. The event featured quilts on loan by area residents and the FHS collection filmed by Laura Guite of CATV and narrated by member, Peggy Blair. This was our 8th biennial quilt show and it was noted that we have developed quite a following beyond our local area. A program sponsored by the Central Kennebec Heritage Council, July 15, featured State Historian, Earle Shettleworth, presenting an illustrated talk covering the life and work of early regional photographer, S. S. Vose. The program was set up by FHS and Victor Grange #49 members at the Grange Hall in Fairfield Ctr. Victor Grange #49 held a Chicken Bar-B-Que prior to the event. The society decided to hold the annual Barn/Bake Sale for 2 days this year the first weekend in October. Adding the extra day proved to be well worth the effort. Total sales were $1,958.00 to be used for operating expenses. The annual Christmas Open House was held December 3 & 4. The theme was "Toys Thru the Ages" and FHS members were joined by several Fairfield Town families who generously loaned family heirloom toys to add to our own collection displayed at the event. Visitors were very enthusiastic about the exhibit and the turnout was gratifying.

Capital improvements at the History House this year included repairing and replacing several storm windows. L.N. Violette Co., Inc. restored and painted the ceilings in the office, a bedroom, the upstairs back hall and the front entrance. The funds for this work came from generous donations from the Board of Directors, the Town of Fairfield appropriation and a gift to the Pratt Memorial Fund.

This was a busy year and a lot was accomplished. Special thanks to Emily Fournier for managing our face book page and to Peggy Blair for managing our Website. Also special thanks to Mark McPheters, Bill Blair and Doug Cutchin for yardwork and maintaining the walkways during the winter and to Frank Bouchard for his services providing year-to-date budget information. Thank you to all of our dedicated members and volunteers.

Fairfield History House Hours: March thru November, Tuesdays & 2nd Sat. each month 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. or by appointment (453-2998).

Marie Cutchin for The Board of Directors