Winter Lecture Series 2017

These illustrated Saturday afternoon lectures taught us how the history of early New England helped shape the Portland of today. The events were co-sponsored by the Department of History and Political Science at the University of Southern Maine (USM).

January

Material Culture and Early “Makers” in 19th Century Portland

Jessica Skwire Routhier

Routhier, an art historian, writer, and editor, will share an intimate look at the makers who rest at Eastern Cemetery. Portland’s artists and craftsmen broke new ground, learning and perfecting their skills on the fly. This lecture will highlight the well-known members of the community such as landscape painter Charles Codman, furniture-maker Daniel Radford, and mirror manufacturer James Todd. Routhier will also focus on lesser-known contributors—girls who made samplers and members of the Maine Charitable Mechanic Association.

February

Hail the Conquering Heroes Come: Lafayette Visits Portland and Commodore Preble on the Shores of Tripoli

Herb Adams

Adams, well-known orator, author, or contributor to 6 books on Maine history, discusses 2 men—one interred at Eastern Cemetery—as he addresses the question, “What does it take to be a hero?” Lafayette was the hero of 2 nations and 2 revolutions. Toasts, tree climbing, and a thundering cannon were all part of his Maine saga. Commodore Edward Preble was a hero of the next generation. Portland-born, the Commander of “Old Ironsides” besieged Tripoli for President Jefferson. Swordplay, sea serpents, and the USS Constitution were all part of his grand career.

March

Early Portland’s Off-Peninsula Lifestyle and Architecture

Julie Ann Larry

Larry, Director of Advocacy for Greater Portland Landmarks, will discuss how Portland’s early settlers transplanted the building traditions and culture of Northern Europe into the wilds of Maine. Though modern development now surrounds these early settlements, Portland’s colonial roots are still apparent off the peninsula in the area of Stroudwater and neighborhoods off of the Back Cove. She will tell us what the surviving colonial homes tell us about life in the 18th century.

Winter Lecture Series 2016

Winter Lecture Series 2015

Winter Lecture Series 2014