Freeport Historical Society program digs the past

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FREEPORT — This summer the Freeport Historical Society will feature the history of Pettengill Farm with a program entitled “Diggin’ History – Piecing Together Pettengill Farm’s Past.”

The program will showcase historical items found through archaeological exploration at Pettengill Farm and will include an exhibit, an interactive excavation site at Harrington House (45 Main St.), a week-long dig at Pettengill Farm and a lecture with historic and prehistoric archaeologists. 

Christina White, executive director of the society, said the exhibit will be open from June 7 through Oct. 7.

“While there are different programming elements, the exhibit is the centerpiece,” she said. “The entire program gives an overview of the property and helps to piece together the history of the families who lived and worked at Pettengill throughout the years.”

The exhibit will include examples of items found during previous digs and will display the history of the earliest occupants of the farm, she said.  Some of the items date back to the late 1700s.

There will be a mock excavation site set up in the Historical Society’s courtyard for children and families to learn more about dig sites. The interactive site will be available to the public during the Historical Society’s regular hours for a suggested $3 donation.

White said there will be two guided tours of key archaeological sites at Pettengill Farm scheduled this summer. Tickets are $5 for Historical Society members, and $10 for nonmembers. Information will be posted on the website soon, she said.

From July 25 to 29, the society will host an archaeological dig for adults 18 and older. The field school will be led by historic archaeologists Peter Morrison and Pam Crane. Participants may sign up for for $100 a day, or for the week at $335. Contact the Historical Society to register.

“We are really excited to present the history of Pettengill Farm in this way,” White said.

To conclude the program in early September, White said Nathan Hamilton, a professor at the University of Southern Maine, and Dr. Stuart A. Eldridge, editor of the Maine Archaeological Society Bulletin, will discuss 18th and 19th century coastal farmsteads, historic archeology and prehistoric archeology. The panel discussion is $3 per person.

Amy Anderson can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or aanderson@theforecaster.net. Follow her on Twitter: @amy_k_anderson.

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