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Historical Society plans summer walking tours beginning July 8

Jun 24, 2020
The Castine Historical Society will offer Castine Uncovered Walking Tours for the 2020 season.

Castine — The Castine Historical Society is offering residents and visitors to this Maine coastal village a new way of learning about Castine’s multi-layered history. Starting July 8, the staff and volunteers of the Historical Society will offer Castine Uncovered Walking Tours, a fun, informative, outdoor learning experience.

After careful deliberation, the Castine Historical Society has chosen not to open the exhibits this season. Instead, the Historical Society is expanding its walking tours of historic Castine, a signature program of the Historical Society for many years.

The free hour-long walking tours will be offered from July 8 through Sept. 6, Wednesday through Saturday at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. From Sept. 9 through Oct. 11, tours will be offered Wednesday through Saturday at 10 a.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. While the tours are free, donations will be gladly accepted. No public restrooms will be available during the walking tour, but restrooms are available at the Castine Town Docks.

To promote a safe experience for everyone, tours will be limited to 10 people and everyone including the tour guide will be required to wear masks. The guide will have an amplification system to allow the group to easily hear the tour, which begins and ends in front of the Castine Historical Society’s Abbott School Building at 17 School St.

For those unable to make the scheduled tour times, private tours can be arranged with 48-hour notice subject to guide availability. Those with mobility concerns are encouraged to book an outdoor seated tour on the Castine Town Common.

On rainy days, in lieu of the scheduled tour, the staff will offer a 45-minute illustrated talk on Castine’s maritime history in the Mitchell Room of the Abbott School. These talks are scheduled at the same time as the walking tours and will be limited to 10 people. Masks will be required and seating will be set up for social distancing.

Castine is ideally suited to historic walking tours as the community’s history is still visible around every corner. From its beginnings as Wabanaki homeland, before the Plymouth Bay Colony established its 1626 trading post, up to its role today as a training center for the Coast Guard and Merchant Marines at Maine Maritime Academy, Castine has had a distinctive history. Tour stops will range from the beautifully preserved Town Common, to the 19th century maritime Customhouse for the Penobscot District, to the home of America’s great poet Robert Lowell and his wife, the writer Elizabeth Hardwick.

The Castine Historical Society seeks to invigorate Castine through collaborative exploration and stewardship of our region’s rich history, engaging residents and visitors of all ages in Castine’s extraordinary past and, through it, that of New England and North America. The Historical Society’s Abbott School, featuring the exhibit gallery, gift shop, and a community meeting space at 17 School St., Castine, will be closed for the 2020 season. The Grindle House offices and research library at 13 School St. are open year-round and researchers are welcome by prior appointment. For further information on the History Walking Tours, the Castine Historical Society, or the online gift shop, visit or call 326-4118.


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