History of Bayside lecture at Belfast Free Library

Jul 12, 2012
On Saturday August 16, 1914 there was a carnival at Northport Campground which included a greased pole contest. The Republican Journal from August 20, 1914 says Charles Mahoney climbed the greased pole the quickest and won $7. This photo was printed from an Eastern Illustrating glass plate negative given to the Bayside Historical Preservation Society by Janet Collett Pattee in 1997.

On Tuesday, July 24, Beverly Crofoot will present an illustrated talk about the history of Bayside as a destination for summer folk titled, “The Tents, the Pretty Girls and the Homemade Gingerbread at Northport.” In 2008 Beverly was a contributor and chief editor of “if These Cottages could Talk: a History of Bayside in Northport, Maine.”

This summer the Belfast Free Library is hosting a lecture series in conjunction with the summer exhibit at Penobscot Marine Museum, “Summer Folk: the Tourists of Penobscot Bay.” The lectures will take place in the Abbott Room of the Belfast Free Library, at 6:30 p.m. and are free and open to the public.

Today’s Bayside began as the Northport Wesleyan Grove Camp Meeting in 1849. Maine Methodists gathered in Northport for two weeks each summer for a religious festival at this "most beautiful spot, on a point of land making out to the bay." From the congregations of the first 20 towns represented by the Methodists, the population grew to include rusticators, excursionists and vacationers. Tents pitched on small lots evolved to modest cottages with elaborate "gingerbread" décor; a grand hotel was built; steamers landed both the religious and the holiday-seeker. Services were held outside until an Auditorium built in 1893 sheltered the Methodist services. In the first decades of the 20th century this space saw more worldly entertainments. A Golf Club built in 1915 attracted many Belfast residents and was the focus of much socializing. Summer on Penobscot Bay gathers all of us to its shore — whether we seek a day of rest, a day on the water or a chance to visit with friends.

Next up in August, on Tuesday the seventh Megan Pinette from the Belfast Historical Society and Museum will offer a slide show and talk , “Belfast by the Sea, Summer Visitors.” Then on August 21st author Eleanor Motley Richardson will give a presentation titled, “Summers in North Haven.”

Maine's oldest maritime museum, Penobscot Marine Museum is celebrating the history of tourism with the exhibit "Summer Folk: The Tourists of Penobscot Bay," through October 21st with related programs and activities. More information is at www.SummerFolkMaine.com and www.PenobscotMarineMuseum.org, or call 207-548-2529.

For more information about the Belfast Free Library lecture series please call 338-3884 ext 10.

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