Stephen Thompson will be the guest speaker at the Belfast Historical Society program meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, May 24, at the Belfast Free Library, Abbott Room.

The topic for the presentation will be “The Lost Trotting Parks of Maine.” After the Civil War, the trotting horse industry flourished. Trotting parks were built throughout the state, and at one time there were more than 92 of them in Maine. Few of these parks remain today and the rich history of Maine’s trotting parks and the horses that established the industry has nearly vanished.

The Belfast park was built by the Waldo Agricultural Society in 1860 on a parcel of land on Belmont Avenue for holding the annual exhibitions. It featured a trotting park with a half-mile track and a grandstand. In later years the site was used for car racing and as a drive-in movie theater.

Thompson maintains the Lost Trotting Park Heritage Center,, a Web site devoted to research findings related to lost trotting parks, noted horses and the people involved with agricultural fairs and harness-racing.

Program meetings are free and open to the public. For information about programs and membership, visit