The final Local & Legendary: Maine in the Civil War kick-off event was held Sunday, October 20, in Evergreen Cemetery’s Wilde Memorial Chapel. About 45 people filled pews in the architecturally stunning chapel to hear about the Portland-Westbrook team’s plans for the year.
The team partners include the Friends of Evergreen, the Maine Masonic Civil War Library and Museum, Walker Memorial Library in Westbrook, and My Place Teen Center in Westbrook–all of whom had representatives at the event.
Speakers included Friends of Evergreen President Cynthia Loebenstein, Evergreen docents and team members Bob Riley and Linda Brown, local author Jean Flahive (whose book, Billy Boy: The Sunday Soldier of the 17th Maine, will be one of the two community read texts; the other being Rodman Philbrick’s The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg), and representatives from Maine Historical Society and Maine Humanities Council.
Bob spoke about the role of Maine Masons in the Civil War, which will be the focus of the team’s Maine Memory Network exhibit, and also about the contributions of the My Place teens involved in the project. During a recent field trip to the cemetery, the teens took a number of artistic photographs of gravestones and other architecture, some of which were on display at the event. Many thanks to Portland’s Photo Market, which generously donated several digital cameras for the teens to use!
Following the formal program inside the Chapel, and some delicious fall-themed goodies, participants broke into two groups for Civil War/Mason-themed cemetery tours, led by Bob and Linda. With mild temperatures, sunlight, and still-gorgeous leaf color, it was an ideal day for a walk through the peaceful landscape.
Now that all the Local & Legendary teams have formally announced their projects to their respective communities, stay tuned for posts about their scheduled activities throughout the year, and the progress of their Maine Memory work. Congratulations to all the teams for their hard work thus far!