The next time you stop by the South Bristol Historical Society building, you'll be in for a surprise! A group of Trustees including Cathy Stockwell, Carolyn McKeon, Sue Edwards, Carol Kelsey, Deb Storch, Donna Plummer and Genie Cole have given the museum a major facelift. The room appears brighter, more spacious, much warmer and inviting.
You may first notice the beautiful ten-foot long wood counter which once stood in the grocery store two doors down the hill from SBHS. In front of this counter are items that immediately remind you that you are in a fishing village — a wooden lobster trap, buoys, a clam hod. The many local history books SBHS offers for sale are arranged on the top of the counter.
The rear (east) wall may be next to catch your attention with its old wooden signs from our post offices, the Autograph Library and the Island Grocery. Your eyes might next settle on the ends of the two display shelves. On the left side hangs the Red Men regalia worn by leaders during official ceremonies, complete with fringed leggings and feathered headdress. On the right is the red wool jacket donated by the Thompson family, worn by Herbert Thompson and his father before him cutting ice at the Thompson Ice House.
The left (north) wall left features three large framed pictures; one, painted by Parker Gamage of Bristol, depicts a barkentine of which Joseph Drummond Sproul is believed to have been the captain and below it hangs a portrait of Captain Sproul. The third is a landscape painted by Everett A. Poole, the first clerk of the Town of South Bristol. Nearby wooden shelves are filled with photographs and items related to boat building and fishing.
To the left of the front door is a glass case containing toys of yesteryear; paper dolls, cloth books, roller skates, a tom-tom, board games, hand-made dolls and an antique doll that went to sea. Her story appears elsewhere in this issue.
The two double-sided display shelves, obtained when Belknap's Hardware Store in Damariscotta closed its doors, have had an inexpensive but transformative make-over. Simple white foam core and paper totally cover the utilitarian peg-board as less-distracting backdrop for our displays. The shelves have also been repositioned perpendicular to the store counter, with ample room to explore all four sides.
Each side of the display shelves focuses on a theme from South Bristol's history. The Education shelves are filled with photographs of students from our local schools, books and teaching items, and a tribute to Miss Sarah Emery. The Home and Family area has sewing, cooking and gardening items. There is a large collection of delicate lace cuffs and collars made by Charlotte and Sarah Emery, quilts, crewel work, an embroidered baby bib and christening dress. There are hats, gloves, shoes and a little boy's sailor suit. Ladies Aid Cookbooks contain our grandmothers' recipes, still the best!
Business and Industry displays photographs of and items from the many general and dry-goods stores once in the village. Dining room china, souvenir pitchers and dishes, card and photos give a flavor of the thriving summer hotel business. The Social Organizations shelves contain journals from Ladies' Aid Societies, documents from the Anchor Lodge of the Masons, a Pocahontas membership log, bingo cards and tokens from the Red Men organization, and many installation photographs for these organizations, including Eastern Star. Items from the Christmas Cove Improvement Association round out the display.
Stop by and explore the many treasures that have been generously donated to our museum: