Finale Field Trips

In the waning days of the Maine Community Heritage Project (and the school year) a few teams braved the elements (and the dispositions of teenagers eager for summer to begin) to get in one last history-related field trip. Here then, in photo-essay format, is a “field trip finale” courtesy of Scarborough, Cumberland/North Yarmouth, and Hallowell.

JUNE 2: SCARBOROUGH

On the morning of June 2, Jessica Kelly’s Scarborough Middle School students trekked to Higgins Beach at low tide to examine the remains of the 1897 Middleton shipwreck, which you can read about on Scarborough’s website.

After a talk about the history of Higgins Beach by Scarborough Historical Society President Rodney Laughton, the students spent some time writing about their experience.

Historical Society members and MCHP team members Flo Maguire and Mary Pickard were also along for the excursion.

Finally, Rodney graciously hosted a picnic lunch for the students at the nearby restaurant, The Breakers. What a way to spend a school day!

JUNE 3: CUMBERLAND/NORTH YARMOUTH

The very next morning, the students in Steve Hill’s 8th grade Social Studies classes who handled, scanned, and cataloged historic Cumberland and North Yarmouth items got a chance to tour some of the historic facilities those items came from — plus a number of other sites around the two towns — in a comprehensive “Main Street” bus tour.

Some of the stops include Cumberland Historical Society…

The Old Town House in North Yarmouth…

And Skyline Farm.

And to mark the many directions they traveled during their morning, the students received this cool sticker:

JUNE 14: HALLOWELL

Finally, a day a half before school ended for the 2009-2010 year, Hallowell 7th graders hiked in and around the newly opened Granite Hill Quarry for the better part of the morning. As this was post-final-MCHP-celebrations, my schedule allowed for me to tag along. At first, there was a bit of waiting around while the teachers and the tour guide synched their plans.

But then we were off, and almost immediately, there were some fascinating artifacts laid out alongside the path to whet our appetite. These old odds-and-ends have been recovered as new quarry owner Lenny Nason, who led the tour, has been draining the quarry in order to restart the operation.

After a brief jaunt through the woods, we came upon the cliffside of the quarry. It was pretty amazing to see so much water drained from the edges, revealing the old railroad tracks used to transport the stone out of the earth.

Lenny talked about how clean the water has tested and its shimmering beauty has been known to tempt a few daredevil swimmers in the past. But as the students saw, getting around the area is not a walk in the park. (Warning/Disclaimer: It’s not safe or legal to swim there now!)

At last, we were on the lower level, up close and personal with the quarry itself. The students milled around examining the well-rusted machinery. Meanwhile, Lenny talked about what various items had been used for, and the new orders he had coming in, such as from the Albany, New York, State House, which is constructed of Hallowell granite and in need of repair.

The last leg of the trip was a half-hour hike through the woods notable for a number of beaver-nibbled trees, a pile of scrap granite pointed out by teacher Wendy Wingate (had I a way to transport it, I might have snagged some for a new kitchen countertop!), and a gradual ebbing of the energy level of the students. They were obviously ready for the barbecue awaiting them back at Hall-Dale Middle School.

Ahh… there was our final destination: The peaceful and inviting (and public–yes, you can swim here) Hallowell Resevoir… and the bus, to bring us back.

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About mainechp

Maine Community Heritage Project at Maine Historical Society
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