Troy history ties into ‘Gee’s Bend’ show

Aug 01, 2014
Chris Marshall

Searsport — Unity College Professor Chris Marshall will give a talk titled Knowing Their Place: two stories (and the truth) about an African-American settlement in Troy on Thursday, Aug. 14, at 7 p.m. at the downtown Penobscot Marine Museum, as part of the museum’s exhibit “Do It Your Way: Gee’s Bend Quilts & Quilters in Maine.”

African-Americans have been in Maine since the very beginning of its settlement by Europeans, never in large numbers but always present. People in the central Maine town of Troy have local stories about an African-American settlement there in the late 1800s, which is said to have been large and self-sufficient at one time but is now vanished. Between 2004 and 2007, Marshall and his Unity College students interviewed Troy residents, sought out old records and excavated the site of the original settlement to discover the stories, and the truth, about what happened to the African-Americans of rural Waldo County.

Marshall is professor of anthropology at Unity College. He researches the ecology and historical archaeology of early Euro-and Afro-American settlers in the Central Maine backcountry, with emphasis on land-human interaction and landscape archaeology.

Tickets for the illustrated talk, which will take place in the Main Street Gallery, are $10, $8 museum members, available by calling 548-2529 or 548-0334.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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