HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE
Knox Museum presents its annual holiday open house at Montpelier – the big white house at the turn to Saint George in Thomaston – on Saturday, December 7, and Sunday, December 8, from 1 to 4 pm. Ten rooms will be decorated for the season in 18th-century style and live entertainment and complimentary refreshments will be provided. Admission is free, and all are invited to attend. Canned or dry goods will be accepted at the door for distribution through Thomaston Food Pantry.
At 1 pm on Saturday The Kantele Ensemble, also known as Suomalaiset Jouset of South Thomaston's Finnish Heritage House, kicks off the festivities with their traditional holiday lap harp performance, led by Director Celia Jones. At 2 pm on Saturday, June Haining directs Harborside Harmony, a women's barbershop chorus, in their special seasonal offerings. And at 3 pm on Saturday the very popular duo Castlebay, with Julia Lane and Fred Gosbee, returns to Knox Museum with their Celtic harp, guitar, fiddle, tin whistle, and traditional vocal harmonies. All Saturday performances take place in Montpelier's beautifully appointed and decorated Oval Room. On Sunday afternoon at 1 pm a special musical guest – not yet confirmed at press time – returns to the Oval Room, followed at 2 pm by Camden's all-male Windjammer Chorus, led by director Kathy Chamberlain-Robitaille, in some popular holiday numbers. And at 3 pm Penobscot Bay Ringers, the Midcoast's first community handbell choir, makes its long-awaited debut performance at Montpelier, in the ground level Exhibition Room. Penobscot Bay Ringers performs with five octaves each of Malmark handbells and Malmark Choirchimes, which means that there are 122 different instruments at hand, blending together to create a rich and emotional resonance that tugs at one's heartstrings, particularly at the holiday season.
On both days visitors will be able to stroll from room to room at their own pace, enjoying the early American holiday décor provided by Anne Perkins, Signe Mather, Barbara Backus, Pat Kristiansen, Lysbeth Andrews, Deborah Cotton, Virginia Hodge, Sandy Orluk, the DAR, Michelle Young of Harborside Market &Gardens, Weskeag Farms, Hoboken Gardens, and The Green Thumb, among others. The Shop at Montpelier has been recently restocked with many unusual and well-priced holiday items, and will be open and provide free gift-wrapping – as well as a generous assortment of homemade goodies available at the baked goods table - on both afternoons. Free refreshments will also be served.
Admission is free for all, and everyone is invited to attend. In lieu of admission, canned goods will be accepted at the door for distribution through the Thomaston Food Pantry, and cash donations to support Knox Museum's programs are always welcome.
For further information contact 354-8062 or e-mail.
HOLIDAY HISTORY & CAROLING PARTY
Let your holiday spirit shine through by joining the Georges River Land Trust and Knox Museum for caroling and holiday cheer on Saturday, December 14, at 6:30 pm. Carolers will be welcomed at the traditionally decorated Montpelier in Thomaston, for an evening of holiday merriments. Tickets to the event benefit both organizations and are $25 for Land Trust and Knox Museum members and $35 for non-members. Tickets can be purchased in advance either on-line at GeorgesRiver.org/revelry or by calling (207) 594-5166.
Anthony Antolini, the Artistic Director for the renowned Down East Singers since 1991, will lead the caroling. Antolini specializes in Russian choral music and is passionate about helping people express their voice through music. Antolini lives on the St. George River and in 2002 worked with the Land Trust to protect 35 acres and a heron rookery through a permanent conservation easement.
Mr. Antolini will lead the group in singing traditional and modern carols in the Oval Room of Montpelier, a grand example of architectural elegance from the late 1700's. He will be playing his 1782 Longman and Broderip harpsichord, made in London, to bring a period flavor to the musical accompaniment. Guests will be treated to festive refreshments and holiday cheer for the body and spirit in this joyful atmosphere.
This is a Georges River Land Trust Revelry for the River event to celebrate life along the St. George River. The Land Trust will be hosting 16 new events in 2014, including industry tours, themed dinners, a contra dance, and a boat cruise. For further information on the Georges River Land Trust, its programs and upcoming events visit www.grlt.org or contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org or (207) 594-5166.
Caroling concludes Knox Museum's 2013 active season of public events —all of them reflecting the Museum's mission of honoring the life and times of Henry Knox, the important Revolutionary War General and cabinet member under President George Washington. Events connecting the Museum to the community will begin again in May 2014. Information is available at www.knoxmuseum.org.
MIDSUMMER AT THE MUSEUM
Knox Museum will host Midsummer at the Museum, a new two day community event celebrating the beginning of summer on the grounds of Montpelier, the big white house just off Route 1 at the turn to Saint George in Thomaston, on Friday, June 21 and Saturday, June 22. Admission to all outdoor events is free and all are invited to attend.
Midsummer's Evekicks off on Friday evening with a pig roast - cooked by Larry Oakes of Automaster in Spruce Head - at 6:30 pm under the apple trees behind Montpelier. People are asked to bring their own blanket or lawn chairs, plus a side dish for sharing on the public buffet table. There will be games and activities available for children and families, including making traditional flower crowns to wear in celebration of the solstice, a paper bag luminary workshop, and that old Scandinavian midsummer favorite, a wife-carrying race. Some seating will be provided.
Also on Friday evening Northport Music Theater previews a dynamic program of country/folk/blues songs celebrating small-town America from its big upcoming summer production, The Spitfire Grill. Six talented singers will perform Songs from The Spitfire Grillin Montpelier's Oval Room at 7:30 pm. Admission for this concert is $10 Adults, $8 Members, and $5 Kids. Seating is limited, reservations are recommended, and tickets are available by calling 354-8062.
At 8:30 pm on Friday the 3-piece fiddle, flute, and guitar band The Milliners begin their 2-hour set outside on Montpelier's north lawn. Shortly thereafter, when the sun finally sets on the longest day of the year, a big bonfire built earlier in the day by Finnish heritage House's Ron Anderson, will be lit. And a fireworks display designed by Thomaston's Peter Lammert caps off the evening about 9:45 pm.
The midsummer celebration continues on Saturday, June 22 with a Midsummer's Daytraditional Finnish Juhannus picnic - featuring a Smorgasbord of Scandinavian proportions - at 12:00 pm under the big tent directly behind Montpelier. Members of Finnish Heritage House in South Thomaston will bring some of their traditional dishes, and Knox Museum volunteers will augment the offerings with additional dishes prepared according to recipes provided by the Finns. Music will be provided by accordionist Marianna Filippi. All are invited to attend and soak up some local Finnish culture. Admission is free, but plated dishes to share are always welcome.
These events will take place rain or shine with some seating and a tent provided. Montpelier is open for tours both days from 10 am to 4 pm with regular 2013 admission charges of $10 Adults, $8 Seniors, Children ages 5 to 13 $4 and under 5 free, and a Flat Family rate of $20. Knox Museum is a Blue Star Museum and offers free tour admission to active military families all season long.
For more information and to purchase tickets or reserve seating for Songs from The Spitfire Grill, call 354-8062 or e-mail.
BOOTS ON THE GROUND RETURNS
The Knox Museum will kick off the 2013 season with its second annual Boots on the Ground, a Memorial Day Weekend community event honoring Americas veterans and active military personnel and their families, on Saturday, May 25 at 11 am. The event takes place on the grounds of Montpelier, the big white house just off Route 1 at the turn to Saint George in Thomaston. Lieutenant Colonel (ret.) Peter W. Ogden, Maine State Director of Veterans Affairs, will give the keynote address. Admission is free and all are welcome to attend.
LADY KNOX DAR PRESENTS MAP TO KNOX MUSEUM
On Thursday, January 17, Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Lady Knox Chapter hosted an open house at the Samoset Resort in Rockport to celebrate its 115th birthday. DAR State and Chapter members, prospective new members, and representatives from local historical societies and museums attended. Lady Knox Chapter Regent Suzy Shaub, right, presented a copy of a 1776 map of Boston Harbor to The General Henry Knox Museums Collections Manager, Matthew Hansbury, center, and Interim Executive Director, Howard Lowell, left, to be used at Montpelier for educational purposes during guided tours. DAR purchased the map with proceeds from a bake sale they held at Montpelier in October
FOLLOWING THEIR FOOTSTEPS: THE KNOX TRAIL HONOR WALK OF 2012
During the winter of 1775-1776, Colonel Henry Knox left Boston, marched to New York's Fort Ticonderoga, and – with a team of men and oxen – hauled more than 50 tons of cannons and other arms back to Boston's Dorchester Heights. The threat of these cannons firing on British ships in Boston Harbor led to the British evacuation of Boston, a major victory for the fledging Continental Army.
In 1926, New York and Massachusetts began installing commemorative markers that traced the so-called "Knox Trail" at locations in the two states.
In April of 2012, staff members of Patriots of the American Revolution Magazine will walk the Knox Trail.
The mission: to honor Henry Knox and his "noble train of artillery," to raise awareness of and promote the Knox Trail as a unique American historical route, and to help the American Revolution Association raise needed money for history-based museums and parks with connections to Henry Knox and the Knox Trail., including The General Henry Knox Museum.
Starting from Fort Ticonderoga on Friday, April 6, 2012, Patriots of the American Revolution Managing Editor Benjamin Smith and Copyeditor Alex Culpepper will march south along Lake George and the Hudson River to Kinderhook, New York, where they will veer east into Massachusetts, aiming to reach Dorchester Heights in Boston National Historical Park on Wednesday, April 18. Along the way they will take photographs of the various markers along the Knox Trail and document their trip for in-depth articles about the Trail that will run in future issues of Patriots of the American Revolution magazine.
Donations received by corporations and private individuals will be collected by the American Revolution Association and distributed directly and equally to the following four museums and parks: Fort Ticonderoga (www.fortticonderoga.org), New York State Military Museum (http://dmna.state.ny.us/historic/mil-hist.htm), Boston National Historical Park (www.nps.gov/bost/index.htm) and Montpelier, The General Henry Knox Museum (www.generalknoxmuseum.org). Patriots of the American Revolution and the American Revolution Association will keep none of the donations.
Checks should be made out to the American Revolution Association and sent to:
Knox Trail Honor Walk
For questions about the Knox Trail Honor Walk, please call 937.767.1433 or email Vicki McClellan at email@example.com. For more information about Patriots of the American Revolution Magazine and the American Revolution Association, please visit www.patriotsar.com.
THE GENERAL HENRY KNOX MUSEUM LAUNCHES SIGNATURE SOCIETY
The General Henry Knox Museum announces the launch of a major donor society, the Signature Society.
Benefits for all levels:
$1,000 - $2,499
$2,500 - $4,999
To sign up as a founding member of the Signature Society, please make an unrestricted donation of $1,000 or more by December 31, 2010. Please contact the Museum at (207) 354-8062 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
THOMASTON COLLABORATION CREATES HERITAGE WEB SITE
The Maine Community Heritage Project (MCHP), a partnership between the Maine Historical Society and Maine State Library, is an innovative program that promotes collaboration between local schools, historical societies, and public libraries through the exploration and celebration of local history.
In May of 2008, the Thomaston Historical Society, Thomaston Public Library, Georges Valley High School and the General Henry Knox Museum were chosen as one of the beta groups to create a town heritage web site, funded through a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. After a year of intense research and writing, the site was unveiled in June of 2009.
To learn more about Thomaston's history and the project, see thomaston.mainememory.net.
The General Henry Knox Museum has been selected to participate in the Museum Assessment Program (MAP) of the American Association of Museums (AAM). Through guided self-study and on-site consultation with a museum professional, participation in MAP will help the Museum better serve the public.
Participant museums choose one of four categories for assessment: collections management, governance, institutional, and public dimension. The General Henry Knox Museum will take part in the public dimension assessment process, which considers the public's perception, experience and involvement with the museum. The assessment will assist the Museum in effectively communicating with the public and help the museum identify and strengthen collaborations with other organizations around the country. It includes a review of all the ways in which the museum interacts with its audiences, including marketing, public relations, audience developments, and exhibitions.
Administered by AAM through a cooperative agreement with the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), MAP is an entirely self-motivated program; application to and participation in MAP is initiated by each local institution; and those accepted from among the dozens of annual applicants invest considerable human and institutional resources into the assessment. Of America's estimated 17,500 museums, less than half of one percent participate in MAP each year.
Museums of all types, including art, history, science and technology, children's, natural history, historic houses, nature centers, botanical gardens, and zoos participate in the program. "Choosing to be part of the MAP program is indicative of the commitment to civic involvement, public service and overall excellence on the part of The General Henry Knox Museum," said Ford W. Bell, president of AAM. "Studies have shown America's museums to be among the country's most trusted and valued institutions. MAP is designed to make them even better."
Since its creation in 1981, MAP has provided more than 5,000 assessments for 3,500 museums. Museums representing 37 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands have been accepted into the program this year. Further information about MAP is available at www.aam-us.org/museumresources/map/about.cfm. AAM is the only organization representing the nation's entire museum community and has been dedicated to promoting excellence within the museum field for more than 100 years. The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation's 122,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. To learn more about IMLS, visit www.imls.gov.
WARREN COMMUNITY SCHOOL UNVEILS KNOX CANAL QUEST
The sixth grade at Warren Community School, working with the Warren Historical Society, the Knox-Lincoln Soil and Water Conservation District, and The General Henry Knox Museum, recently developed and unveiled a community "quest" along the site of Warren's lock and canal system developed by Henry Knox.
"Questing," similar to the British pastime of letterboxing, is a process in which classrooms or other community groups design "treasure hunts" within the community. Using a series of clues and/or maps, quest creators direct those who follow the quest along a set path, teaching them about local history and environment along the way. At the end of the path, the "quester" must find a hidden treasure box with a logbook inside. Delia Clark, author of "Questing: A Guide to Creating Community Treasure Hunts" and presenter at the Knox museum's summer teacher institute, has developed very successful community questing programs in Vermont, and is hopeful that the concept will blossom in Maine as well.
The Knox Canal Quest, which starts at Payson Park on Route 90 in Warren, is an excellent way to explore a National Register of Historic Places site, while learning more about Knox's involvement in the economic development of the local community. Those interested in following the quest can pick up the clues at Warren Community School, Lincoln's Country Market, the Warren Historical Society, the Warren Free Library or on the Knox museum's web site, www.knoxmuseum.org.
DONOR ESTABLISHES ACQUISITIONS FUND AT THE GENERAL HENRY KNOX MUSEUM
Last spring, a chair said to have come from the original Montpelier came up for auction at a local auction house. Sadly, the museum had to pass up the opportunity to bid on it -- the acquisitions fund held under $100 and the museum was not able to identify a donor to purchase it for the museum in the short amount of time before the auction.
Happily, the museum will not find itself in that position the next time an original Knox piece is on the auction block. This summer, museum friend Mary Alice Foster presented a $50,000 check to Development Committee Co-Chair Molly Kellogg to establish a real acquisitions fund. "I wanted to do something that would make a real difference to the museum," noted Foster. And indeed, she did: Her generous donation will be used to reclaim Knox and Montpelier items, and is expected to make a huge impact on the development of Montpelier's collections for years to come.
Anyone interested in donating to the museum's collection or the acquisitions fund should contact Ellen Dyer at (207) 354-0180 or email@example.com.
KNOX MUSEUM RECEIVES $79,000 FEDERAL GRANT
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Rep. Tom Allen announced Monday that the Institute of Museum and Library Services, a federally-funded grant-making agency, is awarding Museums for America grants totaling $365,863 to four Maine museums, including one in Thomaston.
The Peary MacMillan Arctic Museum at Bowdoin College in Brunswick is receiving $109,238; the Yarmouth Historical Society is receiving $34,671; the Portland Museum of Art is receiving $142,720; and the General Henry Knox Museum in Thomaston is receiving $79,234.
"Maine's museums are a crucial component of the state's vibrant cultural life," said Allen. "They connect us to our rich history and can play an important role in Maine's public schools. I congratulate each of the recipients of this year's Museums for America grants and thank them for their contributions to Maine's communities."
The General Henry Knox Museum is matching its IMLS grant with $79,666. To promote and support the teaching of history, the museum is establishing both the Center for the Study of Early American History and a collaboration among Midcoast Maine's historical organizations and educators.
The Peary MacMillan Arctic Museum is matching the IMLS grant with $120,120. The museum is creating an exhibit, "Northward Over the Great Ice," to commemorate the 100th anniversary of American explorer Robert Peary's exploration of the North Pole. The exhibit plans call for an artifact-based interpretive exhibit, placing Peary's work and that of his American and Inuit crews in social and technological context. The grant funds will support the interpretive and outreach components of the exhibition.
The Yarmouth Historical Society, which is providing matching funds of $34,961 to its IMLS grant, is hiring a professional museum educator. The educator will meet with community groups and school representatives to discuss educational needs, develop public presentations, organize volunteers and plan for future programming and exhibits.
The Portland Museum of Art is providing matching funds of $144,518 to its IMLS grant for exterior signage, an exterior way finding system, improved seating and added in-gallery interpretive tools.
THE GENERAL HENRY KNOX MUSEUM BEGINS EXPANSION PROGRAM
Montpelier, the General Henry Knox Museum, is about to take
a significant first step in implementing a Long-Range Capital
Improvements Plan at its prominent site at the intersection of Routes 1
and 131 south.
RESTORED BANNER ATTRACTS NATIONAL ATTENTION
newly restored Thomaston Cavalry Banner, on display at Montpelier, the
Gen. Henry Knox Museum, since July 2005, is attracting some national
MONTPELIER UNVEILS ITS FIRST COLLECTIONS CATALOGUE
The General Henry Knox Museum is proud to announce the
publication of the Museum's first collections catalogue. Entitled
Montpelier: This Spot So Sacred To A Name So Great, the catalogue
presents highlights from the museum's significant collection of Federal
Period furnishings. It was officially unveiled to great acclaimation at
gala on July 23, 2004 with 130 people in attendance.
The Thomaston Cavalry was one of two local militia units started
by the patriot Major General Henry Knox, following his retirement to
the province of Maine after serving as George Washington's chief of
artillery in the American Revolution, and as the nation's first
Secretary of War. Evidence indicates that the cavalry was formally
organized about 1800-1801, and according to local historian Cyrus Eaton,
the cavalry marched in Knox's funeral procession in 1806.
MEDIA & PHOTOGRAPHY REQUESTS