MHS Hosts Vintage Baseball

Join us this Saturday, June 22, for 19th century baseball! Last year, more than 150 people attended the double-header Vintage Baseball event at Fort Williams, and it made the front page of the Portland Press Herald. This year we’ll be at Southern Maine Community College’s baseball field on Fort Road in South Portland.

MHS_Base Ball Event_2013

We hope you’ll grab some friends, a picnic lunch, and come have some unique historical fun by the ocean. The event is being co-hosted by the Cape Elizabeth Historical Preservation Society and the South Portland Historical Society.

The Dirigo Vintage Base Ball Club is a non-profit, educational and living history organization dedicated to preserving and promoting the game of Base Ball as it was played during its formative years in the mid-nineteenth century and other historic eras.

The Essex Base Ball Organization, a growing league based in Newbury, Massachusetts, also plays by rules and customs of the 19th century. They wear period uniforms and play on an open field. Like Dirigo, EBBO has a well-established outreach program that focuses on education and engagement as well as playing the games.

The teams will play two nine-inning games (60-90 minutes each) starting at 12PM and 2PM. Between the games, team members will talk about baseball in that era, and provide opportunities for kids to run the bases, interact with players, and ask questions. The games are free and open to the public.

Thank you to our lead corporate sponsor, Investment Management and Consulting Group, for its generous support of this community event, and John Babin, Residential Broker with Coldwell Banker, for additional support.

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In the Good Ol’ Summertime

School’s almost out, we’ve finally had some warm and sunny days, and everything’s growing and blooming. It’s almost summertime! Up in these parts, that’s well worth the extra shout-out: IT’S ALMOST SUMMERTIME!!

In case you’re not already geared up enough, Maine Memory Network has several summery-themed exhibits to whet your appetite.

First, for you sports enthusiasts, there’s Summer’s Favorite Game, chronicling our love for baseball–American as apple pie. The exhibit contains just a few of the 120+ baseball-related images on Maine Memory.

Baseball game, Squirrel Island, early 1900s. One of the images in the "Summer's Favorite Game" exhibit.

How many of you attended a summer camp–in Maine or elsewhere? There are two camp-related exhibits on Maine Memory that will have you reliving memories of those days in no time.

Summer Camps provide a rich historical overview of the Maine camps for boys and girls during the 19th and 20th centuries. Images include those MHS’s own collections, but also from Camp Winnebago, Camp Runoia, Good Will-Hinckley Home, and Eliot Baha’i Archives.

Waterfront, Camp Runoia, 1951. The final image in the "Summer Camps" exhibit.

Songs of Winnebago focuses on the history of camp songs–around the campfire, at meals, and on other occasions. It features several audio recordings.

Camp Winnebago recording of "Buckle Down Winnebago," one of the several audio recordings in the "Songs of Winnebago" exhibit.

Finally, Poland Spring: Summering in Fashion serves as a stellar example of the history of tourism during the summer months. Numerous out-of-staters, some famous, flocked to the resort for its luxury, peaceful setting, and unique water source.

President Harding, Poland Spring, 1921. He was one of the many people--famous and otherwise--who flocked to the popular resort.

There are other exhibits that touch on summer in big and small ways–and 690 total items on Maine Memory with the word “summer” somewhere in their cataloging record. So it would probably take you longer to work through them all than summertime in Maine actually lasts.

Instead, just enjoy this sneak peak and then get out there and… “Play ball!”

One Historical Item We Hope Doesn’t Make a Comeback

Although unfortunately there are some baseball players who would still make use of this in the dugout between innings if their chew didn’t come already cut and pressed.

We tip our baseball caps to three of you who guessed tobacco plug cutter on our Facebook page today. This “Champion Knife” tobacco cutter, made by Enterprise Manufacturing Company of Philadelphia, was used in a Haynesville general store in the 1880s.

It was contributed by Aroostook County Historical and Art Museum, which has a whopping 674 items on Maine Memory, including a number of other fascinating artifacts. Check ’em out!

May Basket Full of Treasures in This Month’s e-Connection

May basket made by Sarah Owen of Cape Porpoise, ca. 1980. Owen made these for neighborhood children.

The old-time tradition of leaving treasure-filled baskets on doorknobs or doorsteps on the first of May is the subject of both “Stories from Maine Memory Network” and “From the Collections” in this month’s e-Connection. Among other things, learn how World War I-era Biddeford children earned themselves a party after initially being chased away during their May basket reverie.

Speaking of treasures, the newsletter also announces the first round of Community Mobilization Grants–the new Maine Memory Network (MMN) program made possible by funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Open up e-Connection and discover the nine organizations and communities who made the cut! Then hop on over to our “Living History” blog, which shares MMN project work, and read in detail about their plans.

A lush spot by the Longfellow Garden fountain.

May baskets should include something from the garden, and we’ve got that in spades in this month’s newsletter. On May 19, the annual Olmstead lecture focuses on “The Longfellow Gardens: The Evolution of Two Landmarks.” (Yes, there is another Longfellow Garden, here.)

Plus, the Longfellow House and Garden are now open to the public for the season. (At long last… it seemed like that winter would never end!) Check out the tour details and times and come on in.

We’ve even got a way to get you intimately involved with the Garden–right down into the dirt, in fact. May’s e-Connection features a call for volunteers to weed and prune this spring. Check out the details and the dates, and sign up to become one with the soil.

Rounding out the surprises “in store” for you: A seasonally-apt Portland Sea Dogs book coupon good in the museum shop or online.

So now that we’ve left this virtual basket full goodies on your electronic doorstep… won’t you open it? You’ll be glad you did!