Museum opens June 16

The Belfast Quilt on Flag Day

Jun 08, 2012
The Belfast Historical Society and Museum's 1864 "Civil War Flag Quilt" will be displayed at the city's library for a Flag Day program.

Belfast — The Belfast Historical Society will exhibit its 1864 "Civil War Flag Quilt" on Flag Day, Thursday, June 14, at the Belfast Free Library, 106 High St. This special program will take place in the Abbott Room from 4 to 7 p.m.

On June 17, 1864, the Ladies Aid Society from the First Church in Belfast began work on an American flag bed quilt to honor those who fought to preserve the Union. In mid-July, the finished quilt was sent to a soldiers ward at the Armory Square Hospital in Washington, where it was displayed to the sick and wounded. In 2011, nearly 150 years since its making, the quilt was donated to the Belfast Historical Society and Museum and made its final journey home.

Pam Weeks, quilt historian, curator at the New England Quilt Museum and author of “Civil War Quilts,” will sign copies of her book. Co-authored by Don Beld, it features an illustrated article about the Belfast quilt. At 5:30 p.m., Brian Swartz, Special Editor at the Bangor Daily News, will give an illustrated talk titled Maine at Gettysburg. Swartz has a monthly column, "Maine at War," which features the often un-told stories about soldiers from Maine during the Civil War.

The Flag Day event is free and open to the public. To learn more about the remarkable history of the Belfast quilt, visit belfastmuseum.org.

The Belfast Historical Society and Museum will open for the season Saturday, June 16. The Belfast Museum houses the Percy Sanborn painting gallery, maritime exhibits and collections that highlight Belfast’s 200-year history. Brand new this season is the “Belfast-By-The-Sea” exhibit, which depicts the many pleasures that visitors enjoyed while summering in Belfast in the early 1900s. Other special exhibits include the restored ship model of the Charlotte W. White, a Belfast-made vessel; “Rally the Troops! Belfast During the Civil War"; and “Crime and Punishment,” a visual history of some of Belfast’s more notorious moments. The recently renovated Barn adjacent to the museum showcases Belfast’s old, two-man city jail, a horse-drawn hearse and an old coal delivery cart.

Visitors are invited to stop in and meet summer student-interns Emma Bonneville and Allie Njaa. The interns, acting as docents, enable to keep the museum open five days a week during the summer season. They also help with organizing and cataloging collections and the creation of exhibits.

The museum is located at 10 Market St., on the corner of Market and Church streets. Hours are Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free. For more information about the museum and historical society programs, visit the website or call 338-9229.

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

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