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



January 9, 2015
Subject: Annual Letter - 2014

Dear Members & Friends:

The Fairfield Historical Society has participated in many community related activities this past year. 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. The Society has invested considerable time and effort during 2014 in the development of a narrated power point program covering Fairfield's history from 1771 to 1915. In the late spring Barbara Bailey and Doug Cutchin made a presentation to 2 U. S. History classes at Lawrence High. The presentation included 146 historic period slide pictures of the area. The classes also visited and 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 for the event to complement Fairfield Day's "flag theme". The exhibit was on display for the summer. Our biennial quilt show was held June 28 & 29 at the Friends Meeting House (c.1837) in North Fairfield. 50 quilts both antique and new on loan from area residents as well as quilts from the Society's collection were exhibited. The event was also an opportunity for the public to enjoy the historic building and was filmed by Laura Guite CATV 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: Doug Cutchin, President; Mark McPheters, Vice President; Frank Bouchard, Treasurer; Margaret Blair, Secretary; Marie Cutchin, Corresponding Sec. 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 Interpretative 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. We were very pleased with the number of visitors. The open house was filmed by Laura Guite and narrated by Margaret Blair for viewing on CATV.

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 FHS is so very appreciative of this memorial fund. The Fairfield Low Family Sampler (1834) was conserved using fund from the Jeanette Pratt Memorial 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.

The History House serves as a repository for area residents who have period items and family memorabilia that they want preserved. Recent donations to the collections are Barbara Gunvaldsen: wedding dress; Pete Cooper: football memorabilia; Ed Lord: long rifle c. 1820, short rifle Mexican War era; Arthur Julia: autographed book and army photo; Vicki Adams: dolls and adult and children's clothing from the early 1900's and a ledger; Leon & Dot Guerette: vintage clothing; Celia Williams: family documents from Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, Fairfield souvenir trivet and an 1892 Fairfield map.

New Items for Sale:
Historic House Plaques are available. Thank you to Barbara Bailey for spearheading this project. Tile coasters with historic Fairfield scenes are for sale. Thank you to Shirley Duplessis for her work making and donating the coasters.

Thank you to Mark McPheters for his on-going commitment to keeping up the grounds at the History House. Thank you to Phil Roy for his annual gift of snow removal. These specific volunteer commitments greatly help to reduce the operating expenses at the History House. Thank you to all of you who dedicate so much time and work keeping our organization active and productive. We are a very small group and are in need of volunteers. An hour or whatever time you can spare would help and training is provided for any task. Talk to family and friends about the Fairfield Historical Society and the work that we do. Our future depends on more members and volunteers.

Sincerely,

Marie Cutchin
Corresponding Sec.