Shettleworth opens library lecture series

Jul 06, 2012
The storied past of Rockland’s SamOset Hotel will be explored by Maine State Historian Earle Shettleworth, Jr. Tuesday evening, July 10 at Belfast Free Library.

Belfast — This summer, the Belfast Free Library will host four lectures in conjunction with Penobscot Marine Museum’s “Summer Folk: the Tourists of Penobscot Bay” exhibition. The lectures will take place in the Abbott Room of the Belfast Free Library, 106 High St., at 6:30 p.m. and are free and open to the public.

The series will open Tuesday, July 10 with a presentation by Maine State Historian Earle Shettleworth, Jr. on the history of the Samoset in Rockland titled The SamOset: Maine's Premier Coastal Summer Hotel.

Built in 1889 as the Bay Point House overlooking Rockland Harbor, this beautifully sited summer resort was acquired by the Ricker Family of Poland Spring fame in 1902. That year, the Rickers expanded the building and renamed it the SamOset Hotel. Under Ricker management, the SamOset thrived as Maine's premier coastal resort hotel of the early 20th century. The SamOset closed in 1968 and burned four years later. However, its grand architecture and elegant social life continue to sparkle in the old post cards, photographs and promotional brochures that illustrate this presentation.

Shettleworth is the director of the Maine Historic Preservation Commission and is the Maine State Historic Preservation Officer. A native of Portland and a graduate of Colby College, he earned his master’s degree at Boston University, where he held the first fellowship of the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities. He has played an important role in the preservation of Maine’s architectural, historical and archaeological heritage for more than 40 years.

Shettleworth became the Maine Historic Preservation Commission’s architectural historian in 1973 and has been its director since 1976. He is currently the longest actively serving state historic preservation officer in the United States. He is the author of numerous books on Maine’s social and architectural history and delivers an average of 30 lectures a year. He has a real passion for historical photography and is a postcard collector.

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, was a contributor and chief editor of “if These Cottages could Talk: a History of Bayside in Northport, Maine.”

On Aug. 7, Megan Pinette from the Belfast Historical Society and Museum will offer a slide show and talk titled Belfast by the Sea, Summer Visitors. And on Aug. 21, author Eleanor Motley Richardson will give a presentation titled Summers in North Haven.

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

Courier Publications' A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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