Old Towns/New Country: The First Years of a New Nation

A workshop for teachers & local history enthusiasts sponsored by the Massachusetts Historical Society and Penobscot Marine Museum

Wednesday, August 6 and Thursday, August 7, 2014
Searsport, Maine
8:30am — 3:30pm

This two-day workshop will explore how to use local resources—documents, artifacts, landscapes, and the rich expertise in every town—to examine historical issues with a national focus. We will concentrate on the period just after the Revolution and the concerns and conflicts, hopes and fears, experiences and expectations of the people living in the Penobscot Bay and River area at a time of uncertainty, fragility, and possibility. We will investigate such questions as: What was it like to live in a town that had existed for decades in a country that was new? When the nation was first forming after the Revolution, what were people in our town/region worried about? How much did the geography, economy, culture, and social makeup of our region influence those concerns? How can we find out? What resources/pieces of evidence does our community have that relate to this time period and the people living in it? How can we best present this evidence and allow people of all ages to discover answers to some of these questions? How does our local focus add a crucial dimension to our understanding of a key period in American history?

Workshop faculty will include local historians, educators and museum/archives professionals. The program will also include visits to early American fortifications and sites of interest.

The workshop is open to teachers, librarians, archivists, members of local historical societies, and all interested local history enthusiasts. There is a $25 charge to cover lunches on two days; program and material costs have been generously funded by the Richard Saltonstall Charitable Foundation. Educators can earn 15 PDPs and 1 Graduate Credit (for an additional fee) from Framingham State University.

For more information, or to register, please contact the education department at education@masshist.org or (617) 646-0557.