BHS History

1966

Society founded at a meeting held in the Bethel Public Library

1969

Death of Society founder Eva M. Bean, author of 1959 work East Bethel Road

1971

Bethel Historical Society Incorporated

1972

Dr. Moses Mason House entered on the National Register of Historic Places

1972-73

Dr. Moses Mason House restored by the William Bingham 2nd Trust for Charity

1974

Dr. Moses Mason House given to the Society, dedicated, furnished and opened to the public

Publication of the booklet Dr. Moses Mason and his House

Special Edition of the Bethel Citizen published in honor of the dedication of the Dr. Moses Mason House and the bicentenary of the settlement of Bethel

1975

First annual Heritage Day held
Family Farm exhibit and booklet published with the support of the National Endowment for the Humanities

Microfilming of old newspapers project begun with the support of the Maine State Commission on the Arts and Humanities

Eva Bean Research Room constructed with funds from the William Bingham 2nd Trust for Charity

Society awarded Certificate of Commendation by the American Association for State and Local History for an effective program of preservation, publications, and education

1976

Society sponsors Old Fashion Fourth in honor of nation’s bicentennial observance

Society quarterly newsletter, The Bethel Courier, founded

Society hosts Maine League of Historical Societies and Museums annual meeting

Eva Bean Research Room dedicated during tenth anniversary festivities

Historical marker system initiated; first one placed at Bartlett Cemetery

Annual professional audit system established

Made in Bethel booklet published

1977

Society offers courses in history, genealogy, and crafts for the first time

Society hosts volunteer workshop sponsored by the American Association of Museums

First Dr. Moses Mason Award given for best student historical essay

Broad Street named to the National Register

Bethel’s Broad Street booklet published

1978

Constitution revised to add trustees and define other positions

Broad Street Historic District dedicated by Senator Edmund S. Muskie

Society receives news of endowment of $250,000 from William Bingham 2nd Trust for Charity to be received over the next five years

1979

Society Cookbook published

Annual endowment campaign begun

Historical Society calendar available for the first time

1980

Society sponsors Oxford County Historic Resource Survey with grant from the Maine Historic Preservation Commission

First Sudbury Canada Days held

A. D. Shattuck’s Sunset at Bethel on exhibit, loaned by Vassar College

Society Director attends Seminar for Historical Administration at Colonial Williamsburg

Society membership reaches 400
Faye Taylor Memorial Art Show established

Dr. Moses Mason Birthday party held for first time

Philbrook summer house moved to the Society grounds

1981

First film series held with the support of the Maine Humanities Council

Indian Raid ’81 bicentennial and Indian Raid special edition published

New editions of Molly Ockett and Dr. Moses Mason and His House booklets published

Reprinting of Lapham’s 1891 History of Bethel, Maine by the Society and the New England History Press

Summer house stationery offered for the first time

1982

Gift of Twitchell folk art portraits to the Society

Adoption of personnel, accession and de-accession policies

Museum Assessment Program grant

Gift of R. P. Tolman’s portrait of Dr. Moses Mason

1983

Society loans Dr. Mason portrait and other artifacts to the Maine at Statehood exhibit at Bowdoin College, Colby College, and other locations throughout the State

Society membership passes 500 level

1984

Grass Roots history course offered to Telstar High School students for first time
1880 Atlas of Oxford County maps of Bethel reprinted

Adams Chronicles film series

Exhibits: Twitchell Portraits; Martha Fifield Wilkins

1985

Publication of Thomas C. Hubka’s Big House, Little House, Back House, Barn: The Connected Farm Buildings of New England, which includes several Bethel Historical Society photographs

Museum Assessment Grant II awarded

Publication of Chester Harding catalog by the National Portrait Gallery containing photographs of the Mason portraits

Exhibits: Maine at Statehood; A Good Stand of Buildings; Early Peoples of Northern Maine; William Rogers Chapman, 1855-1935

Conference on Rural Reform hosted by the Society

Society membership tops 600

1986

Publication of a new and expanded edition of Eva Bean’s 1959 book, East Bethel Road

Long-Range Planning Committee formed

Railroad stationery offered for first time

Revised Society brochure published

Second reprinting of Lapham’s 1891 History of Bethel, Maine

Eight honorary members added to Society rolls

1987

Bequest received to establish Austin F. Twitchell Fund to benefit collections

Marjorie MacArthur Noll Volunteer Service Award established; Floribel Haines is first recipient

Publication by the Society of Oxford County, Maine: A Guide to Its Historic Architecture by Society curator Randall H. Bennett

Society sponsors oral history workshop with Northeast Folklore Archives of the University of Maine

Society receives Harry W. Rowe Award from Maine League of Historical Societies and Museums for an outstanding contribution to state and local history

Society receives a Preservation Award from the Maine Historic Preservation Commission

Society membership now over 700

1988

Microfilm of fifty years of the Norway Advertiser-Democrat added to Society collections

Maine Old Cemetery Association records (microfilm) added to Society collections

Sudie Vachon receives Marjorie MacArthur Noll Volunteer Service Award

Society membership tops 800

1989

Microfilm cabinet donated to the Society in honor of E. Louise Lincoln by her family

Seven honorary members added to Society rolls

Society sponsors Norumbega project with the Bethel Library

Barbara Herrick Brown receives Marjorie MacArthur Noll Volunteer Service Award

Society publishes Bethel, Maine, Cemeteries book

1990

Persis Post receives Marjorie MacArthur Noll Volunteer Service Award

Grant received from William Bingham 2nd Trust for Charity and the Bingham Betterment Fund to prepare a pictorial history of Bethel as part of Maine Street ‘ 90

1991

Society membership over 900
Constitution and By-Laws revised

Updated edition of Molly Ockett booklet published

Helen Morton receives Marjorie MacArthur Noll Volunteer Service Award

Publication of Randall H. Bennett’s Bethel, Maine: An Illustrated History

1992

First Hall Memorial Lecture held featuring Sarah McMahon of Bowdoin College

Margaret Herrick Oakes Book Fund established with $1,000 bequest from her estate

Friends and relatives of Agnes H. Haines establish fund in her memory to purchase local history and genealogical books and related resources

Society commended by the American Association for State and Local History for an outstanding record of publication in local and regional history

Elizabeth Mason Carter receives Noll Volunteer Service Award

1993

Kilgore family reunion held at the Dr. Moses Mason House

Society receives challenge grant from the Bingham Betterment Fund to publish a book on the history of the Richardson Lakes region

Society membership exceeds 1000
Annual Fund Campaign established by Board of Trustees

Society sponsors Preservation Award for first time, recognizing the restoration of the Civil War soldier’s monument fence and the Middle Intervale Meetinghouse

First Fourth of July brass band concert and community picnic held on the grounds of the Dr. Moses Mason House

Rosalind Rowe Chapman receives Noll Volunteer Service Award

New walking and driving tour brochures published

1994

Three honorary members added to the Society rolls by the Board of Trustees: Olive Anderson, Rosalind Chapman, and Rodney Howe

Margaret Joy Tibbetts receives Marjorie MacArthur Noll Volunteer Service Award

Society trustees approve the concept of another museum building on the grounds of the Dr. Moses Mason House for exhibition, research, and storage of collections

1995

Society publishes major history of the Rangeley Lakes region, The Richardson Lakes: Jewels in the Rangeley Chain, by Herbert Shirrefs

Society celebrates centenary of founder Eva M. Bean

Exhibit, China: Exploring the Interior, 1903-04
30th Annual Meeting held

Noll Award for Volunteer Service to Rodney & Geraldine Howe

1996

Gift of scale model of Bethel’s Grand Trunk Railroad Station from Jim and Linda Auman

Bethel Bicentennial program and exhibits

Noll Award for Volunteer Service to Donald & Arlene Brown

Preservation Award to Scott Oldakowski, Pat Thurston, and Bethel Rotary

1997

Grant from Exxon for purchase of computer hardware for Society office

Bequest from estate of Olive A. Head to establish Paul and Olive Head Educational Fund

Preservation Award presented to John and Janet Todd

Launching of $900,000 Capital Campaign for additional museum facilities

Society hosts American Association for State and Local History regional workshop

Exhibit: Good Things Come in Small Packages

Noll Volunteer Service Award to Richard and Jane Hosterman

1998

Grant from Exxon for video equipment

Exhibits: The Mount Zircon Moon Tide Spring; The Way Life Should Be: Tourism, Romance, and Reality in Early Modern Maine

Bethel Historical Society web site established

Preservation Award presented to the Alpine House (Thomas and Rebecca Zicarelli)
Noll Volunteer Service Award presented to Edna York

1999

Official opening of the O’Neil Robinson House as a Society museum property (3 June)

Lecture series on Maine historians sponsored by a grant from the Maine Humanities Council

Exhibits: From Mansion to Museum: The Robinson House Story; John Francis Sprague: Disseminating Maine History in the Early Twentieth Century

Exxon grant for exhibit display case

Noll Volunteer Service Award presented to Willard and Sylvia Wight

Preservation Awards to Elmvale Cemetery (Waterford), Naimey Block (Carl Glidden, owner), and Bethel Inn

Capital Campaign raises over $350,000 from over 200 donors

Jim Mann of Mountain Mann Jewelers, Bethel, donates Western Maine Heritage Necklace as a Capital Campaign fundraising item

2000

Capital Campaign fund-raising total nears $500,000 Robinson House mortgage paid

Concept plan for renovating the Robinson House as a museum facility approved by Board of Trustees
Scenery of the White Mountains exhibit
Bethel: A Historic Town exhibit

Noll Volunteer Service Award presented to Ranald and Sarah Stevens

Preservation Awards to Bethel Opera House, Hall House (George and Danna Nickerson), and Whitman Library

Dr. Moses Mason House is listed as an Editors’ Pick in the 2000 Yankee Magazine’s Travel Guide to New England

2001

Reading and discussion course in Maine History

Special commemoration of 150th anniversary of the arrival of railroad service to Bethel (March 10) at historic Potato John Barn, Railroad Street

Exhibit and gallery talk by Pat Stewart, Light Years Ago: The Art and Science of the Kerosene Lamp

Exhibits: A Sampling of Winter Recreation in the Bethel Area; All Aboard! 150 Years of Railroading from the Atlantic to the St. Lawrence

Sunday River Valley House Tour & Luncheon

Noll Volunteer Service Award presented to Mary C. Keniston

Preservation Awards to Scott and Jenna Smith (Wiley Block), and Bethel Methodist Church
2002 Capital Campaign fund-raising total nears $600,000
Exhibits: Plants and Animals in Peril: Maine’s Endangered Species; Signs of the Times

Five-session Spring course in White Mountain history

Restoration of Sunday River snowroller completed

Hall Lecture by Joseph A. Conforti, From Yankee Doodle to Yankee Go Home: The Odyssey of a Regional Character

Noll Volunteer Service Award presented to Margaret Davis

2003

Capital Campaign fund-raising total nears $630,000
Winter course: Four Centuries of New England History

Exhibit: Stepping Toward Middle Ground for Maine’s Woods

Hall Lecture by Allan R. Whitmore, Ph.D., Ellsworth’s George Washington Madox (1821-1882) and This Down-East Democrat’s Surprising Linkage of Know-Nothing Nativism to radical Feminism and Marxism

Noll Volunteer Service Award presented to Mary E. Valentine

Fall course Wood and Woods: Logging and Landscape in Northern New England

2004

Capital Campaign fund-raising total nears $670,000
Spring course: Four Centuries of Canada and Northern New England History

Exhibits: Molly Ockett and Her World; The Martin Collection of Maine Minerals

Hall Lecture by Elizabeth De Wolfe, Fighting Pious Frauds and Base Deceptions; Anti-Shakerism in New England

Noll Volunteer Service Award presented to Avery Angevine

Fall course: Indian New England

2005

Capital Campaign fund-raising total nears $700,000
Spring course on Maine Agriculture

Re-creation of 1850s Antiquarian Supper

Special Lectures Honoring Oxford County’s 200th Anniversary

Exhibit: Newry at 200: A Bicentennial Glimpse

Hall Lecture by Bunny McBride, Molly Ockett and other Wabanaki Women Healers

Smithsonian Exhibit: Barn Again! Celebrating an American Icon

Fall Barn Tour and Lecture Series in Conjunction with Barn Again! Celebrating an American Icon

Noll Volunteer Service Award presented to Mabel A. and Alden T. Kennett

2006

Spring course: Maine and the Civil War

Special events honoring the 40th anniversary of the Society’s founding in 1966
Exhibits: The Bethel Historical Society: Our First 40 Years; Cohen, Congress, and Controversy: Rediscovering Civics in the Archives, co-hosted with the Gilead Historical Society

House Tour of nine Bethel homes

Yankee Brass Band Concert

Hall Lecture by David H. Watters, New England’s Legacy: Memory and Identity in an American Region

Fall course: Antiques and Collectibles

Noll Volunteer Service Award presented to Judy and Colwyn Haskell

2007

Spring course in genealogical methods and sources

Exhibits: A River’s Journey: The Story of the Androscoggin; Documenting the Native American Experience: Selections from the Charles Huntoon Collection; Among Our White Mountain Souvenirs

Hall Lecture by Vandall King on the history of the Bumpus Mine in Albany, Maine

Noll Volunteer Service Award presented to Adaline Clough

Fall tour of historic barns in and near Bethel in conjunction with Chamber of Commerce’s Harvest Fest

Valuation Day with antiques authority Jay Boschetti

Society completes MAP Governance Assessment program sponsored by the American Association of Museums

2008 Spring course, Topics in New England History

Exhibit: To Improve the Farmer’s Lot: The Grange in Maine

Hall Lecture by Donna Cassidy of USM on Marsden Hartley

Noll Volunteer Service Award presented to Rachel and Blake MacKay

Winfield Scott Ripley Brass Band Festival

Historic Preservation Award presented to Bruce and Heidi Perry for adaptive re-use of early 19th c. English barn

Development Committee formed and Director of Development hired

First issue of The Broad Street Herald (new BHS newsletter) published

Fall Conference on the History of the Grange in Maine

2009

Spring seminars: Prominent Local Women Writers & Abraham Lincoln and New England

Society celebrates 50th anniversary of Eva Bean’s East Bethel Road

Society Facebook site established

Online exhibit: A River’s Journey: the Story of the Androscoggin

Talks and book signings for The Gilded Age of Rangeley, Maine (Gary Priest), The Mountains of Maine (Steve Pinkham), Bethel, Maine: A Brief History (Stanley Howe), and Nature and Renewal: Wild River and Beyond (Dean Bennett)

Noll Volunteer Service Award presented to Walter and Carolyn Hatch

Exhibit: Sunday River, Mt. Abram and More! Celebrating the Skiing Heritage of the Bethel Area

Handicapped facilities, steel shelving and microfilm reader/printer funded by grants from Davis Family Foundation, Maine Humanities Council and Franklin Savings Bank

Strategic Plan 2009-2013 brochure distributed to more than 1,000 Society members and donors

Staff restructuring plan approved by Board of Trustees

2010

February Winter Heritage Festival featuring numerous presentations and activities for all ages

Talks and book signings for Sunday River: Honoring the Past, Embracing the Future (Dave Irons), Write Quick: War and a Woman’s Life in Letters, 1836-1867 (Roberta Pevear and Ann Chandonnet), and Cobblestone to Hot Top: A Life in Maine (Charles Heino)

Spring Symposium: The Good Old Days—They Were Terrible!

Centennial Tour of 1910 Hall House

Exhibits: War & Pieces: A Civil War Reproduction Sampler; The Art of Helen Anna Morton

Antiquarian Supper in conjunction with Summer Heritage Festival

Noll Volunteer Service Award presented to Jean K. Owen

Fall Tour of Historic Barns
2011 History Book Discussion Group

Talks and/or book signings for Folk Art Murals of the Rufus Porter School: New England Landscapes 1825-1845 (Linda Carter Lefko & Jane E. Radcliffe); Breaking Ground (William Andrews); L.L. Bean—The Man and His Company: The Complete Story (James Witherell)

2011

Spring Symposium: Dr. John George Gehring and His Bethel Clinic

Exhibits: “Glorious Ridges and Princely Peaks”: Artistic Visions of the White Mountains; The White Mountain Club of Portland: Exploration and Adventure in the “Crystal Hills” 1873-1884; A Rich and Vibrant Legacy: The Traditional Crafts of Florence Bickford Hastings

Second Ripley Brass Band Festival

Hall Lecture, Reluctant Warriors: Mainers React to the Outbreak of the Civil War. by Thomas Desjardin, Historian, Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands

Church & Meetinghouse: A Historical and Architectural Tour

First Annual Stanley Russell Howe Lecture: Environmental Legacies: Land-Clearing, Forest Use, and Conservation in Northern New England, 1820-1920, by Richard W. Judd

Noll Volunteer Service Award presented to Arlene D. Lowell

2012

Programs and/or book signings on the following topics: Maine Women in the Civil War (Lynda Sudlow); L. L. Bean (James Witherell); 100 Years of American Quilts (Bonnie Dwyer); Charles Kellogg: The Nature Singer (Roxanne Gupta and Donald Bennett); Old tales of the Maine Woods (Steve Pinkham)

Exhibits: ‘Full of Memory and Sentiment’: Autograph Quilts from the Bethel Historical Society Collection; Treasures Concealed & Now Revealed!

Spring Symposium: Don’t Let the Truth Get in the Way of a Good Story: Myths, Lies and Other Traditions of Local and Regional History

Stanley Russell Howe Lecture: The Civil War of 1812: American Citizens, British Subjects, Irish rebels, & Indian Allies, by Alan Taylor

Hall Lecture on Capt. Charles A. J. Farrar by William B. Krohn
My House/My Land: What is Its History? three-part series

Noll Volunteer Service Award presented to Grace McKivergan

Stanley R. Howe retires from BHS staff, with title Executive Director Emeritus

2013

Programs and/or book signings on the following topics: The Life of Francis Payne Bolton; Nelson Dingley, Jr.’s Daily Evening Journal: A View of the Northern Civil War Homefront; the 200th anniversary of the Dr. Moses Mason House; William Bingham II biography; the Appalachian Trail in Maine; Real Photo Postcards of Three Maine Women Photographers

History Symposium: Teaching the Civil War in Secondary Schools

Exhibits: In the Field & On the Homefront: Bethel During the Civil War; Pictures Serene and Sublime: Traditional White Mountain Art Recaptured with guest artists Erik Koeppel and Lauren Sansaricq

Presentation of a detailed scale model of the 1813 Dr. Moses Mason House by Jim and Linda Auman, who are made Honorary members of the Society

Ground is broken and construction begins for the new Mary E. Valentine Collections Wing at the Society’s Robinson House

2014

Programs (some with book signings): women physicians in Maine; Edmund S. Muskie; Civil War Soldiers’ quilts; History and Music of the 4-String Roaring Twenties Banjo; 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act; Maine hunter and guide Daniel E. Heywood; The Civil War Aftermath in Maine

Dedication and official opening of the Mary E. Valentine Collections Wing

Exhibit: Stitched Together in Time and Place: Valentine Family Quilts

Yankee Brass Band concert in late July

Noll Volunteer Service Award presented to Tineke Ouwinga