Originally published in Castine Patriot, July 31, 2014
Touring Through Time
British occupation is the focus of Castine Historical Society exhibit
The Castine Historical Society’s summer of 2014 exhibit, titled “Mr. Madison’s War”—Castine and the War of 1812, was a feature of the Touring Through Time weekend July 26-27, 2014. The Castine, Maine society opened its doors to visitors throughout the weekend.
by Tevlin Schuetz
The Castine Historical Society threw open its doors to share this season’s exhibit, “Mr. Madison’s War”—Castine and the War of 1812. The display was made available to the public in concert with the area-wide Touring Through Time event on Saturday, July 26, and Sunday, July 27.
The exhibit, which opened in June, focuses on the eight-month British occupation of Castine in 1814-15 and includes period documents, maps, paintings and individual testimonies from those caught in the turmoil of that conflict.
The drafters of the Castine Resolutions of February 1814 revealed local perspective at the time, referring to the war as “unjust and impolitic” and citing the insensibility of a young nation with an essentially nonexistent navy entering into war with “the most powerful maritime nation in the world.”
Adams School fifth graders created a section of the exhibit, including a map of Castine and artwork depicting historical events accompanied by narrative text. Students from the school usually participate in some way with the seasonal displays, according to CHS member and volunteer Janis Bobb. “Children contribute something to every changing exhibit we have,” she said.
Also on display at the CHS museum is the Castine Community Bicentennial Quilt, made by 60 members of the community and presented to the society in 1996.
“Touring through Time,” an annual event, featured open houses hosted by eight historical organizations on the Blue Hill Peninsula and in the East Penobscot Bay area.
Coinciding with the historical festivities over the weekend was the 74th Highland Regiment of Foot Encampment, a living history reenactment at the Wilson Museum in Castine marking the 235th anniversary of British arrival and the Penobscot Expedition during the Revolutionary War.