Originally published in Castine Patriot, July 31, 2014
Touring Through Time
Penobscot Historical Society offers vision of the past
A working Victrola Talking Machine was one of the unusual items on display at the Penobscot Historical Society in Penobscot, Maine during Touring Through Time on July 26-27, 2014.
by Tevlin Schuetz
The Penobscot Hist-orical Society hosted a public supper with a pig and turkey roast on Saturday, July 26, as part of the larger Touring Through Time open house weekend at area historical societies.
Members of the society welcomed visitors throughout the day, while the smoker, manned by Elizabeth Dow, emitted the enticing aroma of the impending dinner.
“Today and Penobscot Days are our main [fundraising] events,” said PHS member Rose Grindell, who showed visitors around the historical site and related stories of times gone by.
The grounds feature 19th century buildings, including a general store, a furnished Cape Cod home with a cellar filled with local historical artifacts, a barn with meticulously labeled farming tools plus wagons and machinery, and the one-room Bay schoolhouse.
Halford “Hap” Grindell shared tidbits of local history with guests and pointed out former and existing locations of one-room schoolhouses on a map in the Bay School building.
A featured addition this year to the collection of historical items was a dress worn by Vera M. Leach on the day of her graduation from Clark High School in Penobscot in 1917. Also on display was a rare, fully functioning Victrola Talking Machine, an early record player.
The cellar under the historical cape house contained military uniforms and other items of significance, including a full complement of a World War I soldier’s gear—from a gas mask to a collapsible canvas wash basin to a paper ticket for recreational leave—in a separate display case. Also of note was the original telephone operator’s desk from Penobscot, with all of its cables and plugs neatly stowed.
The General Store was filled with a variety of Penobscot-made items, including canned goods churned out during World War II, harkening back to a time of intensified productivity in the area.
Those interested in Penobscot’s local history can still visit the society, which is open Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. through August. Other times can be arranged by appointment for group tours.