The Lincoln County Historical Association (LCHA) is a membership based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. It was founded in 1954 by noted local artist Mildred Burrage.
Mission: Our mission is to collect, preserve and interpret the history of Lincoln County, Maine, which once extended from Brunswick to Canada. We are stewards of three historic buildings: the 1761 Pownalborough Court House in Dresden, the 1811 Old Jail in Wiscasset, and the 1754 Chapman-Hall House in Damariscotta.
LCHA maintains its historic buildings as museums that are open to the public. The museums feature collections of textiles and costumes, tools, furniture, baskets, housewares, photographs, maps, manuscripts, and other ephemera that help to tell Lincoln County’s stories. The buildings, with the help of our docents, also tell human stories of the lives of county residents as our towns grew and flourished.
Shannon Gilmore – Executive Director
Executive Director Shannon Gilmore brings to LCHA her lifelong passion for local history and a strong interest in building community connections, along with her experience in many facets of nonprofit work. Shannon holds a bachelor’s degree in History from Bowdoin College and is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Historic Preservation at Goucher College. She has conducted extensive historical research in subjects ranging from textiles to environmental history, but most enjoys researching house and neighborhood histories. Shannon currently serves as President of the Board of Trustees at Pejepscot History Center in Brunswick, where she has especially enjoyed program and membership development. For LCHA, Shannon juggles all of the above and more, while gratefully relying on the help of a strong and talented staff and volunteer force.
Louise Miller – Education Director
Louise grew up in Connecticut and is a graduate of the University of Connecticut with a Bachelor of Science degree in Home Economics and History. Her experience working with children and the public in an historic venue was developed while on the staff of Old Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts and as administrator at the Fort at No. 4 Living History Museum in New Hampshire. Outside of museum work, Louise wrote for and published a quarterly publication, The Pine Tree Shilling, for 15 years. The periodical’s focus was everyday life in the American Colonies from 1650 – 1780.
In her position as Education Director, Louise strives to gives students and the public an appreciation of the rich history of Lincoln County, especially as it is documented in the three historic properties under the care of LCHA. Louise reaches out to public, private, and home schools offering resources, programs and presentations to enhance curriculum – her approach is inter-disciplinary. In addition to her school outreach work, Louise has given presentations to historical societies and for other local groups.
Officers and Trustees
Michael Chaney – President
Michael Chaney is the Executive Director of the Frances Perkins Center, based in Newcastle with administrative offices and a public exhibit on Main Street in Damariscotta. Chaney, a native of Alna, holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Maine-Orono and a Master’s in history from the University of Connecticut. Before returning to Maine in 2010, Chaney’s career was in non-profit management and public history in Vermont and New Hampshire, including, from 2001 to 2009, serving as President and CEO of the New Hampshire Political Library, a non-profit educational organization founded to preserve New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation presidential primary. From 2010 until 2014, Chaney was the Executive Director of the Yarmouth Historical Society. He joined the Frances Perkins Center in April 2014 to serve as Executive Director. He has served as a trustee of the LCHA since 2016.
Ryan LaRochelle – Vice President
Ryan LaRochelle is a faculty member at the Cohen Institute for Leadership and Public Service at the University of Maine, where he teaches courses on American politics, public policy, and leadership studies. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from Brandeis University, and has conducted research at several archives as part of his academic research and teaching. He has published in scholarly journals including the Journal of Policy History and The Forum, along with popular outlets including the Washington Post and the Washington Monthly. Ryan and his wife Sarah live in Searsport and previously owned in a c. 1780 home in Dresden. He joined the Lincoln County Historical Association Board of Trustees in 2018.
William (Bill) Brewer – Treasurer
Linda Pope – Secretary
For most of her adult life, Linda Pope has been involved in public education, working as teacher, aide, or administrator. She taught at both the elementary and high school levels and directed an outreach program for the University of Maine, Orono. When residing in Newcastle, Linda headed the planning board and was deeply involved in local civic affairs. During summer vacations and in retirement, she has happily joined her husband in the renovation or re-purposing of a half dozen historic buildings. Linda lives in Wiscasset, not far from the Old Jail where she docents in the summer
Bruce Campbell – Trustee
William (Bill) F. Gemmill – Trustee
William F. Gemmill was raised in northern New Jersey. He graduated from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in Economics and Marketing, followed by an MBA in International Business and Marketing from Northwestern University. Upon graduation from Northwestern, he joined the Navy and served as a Bomb Disposal Officer in the Western Pacific, the North Atlantic and the Mediterranean during the Vietnam War. Following his discharge, he relocated to New Jersey and then New York City where he held jobs in Sales and Marketing in the cosmetics industry. In 1980, Bill’s work brought him and his wife Sally to Johannesburg, South Africa. He settled on a late career as a financial advisor with American Express and Ameriprise. Bill and Sally moved to Wiscasset in 2014. His interests in historical architecture and maritime history led him to joining the Board of LCHA and the Old Jail and Museum Stewardship Committee. He also served on the Board and Collections Committee of the Maine Maritime Museum and the Collections Committee at Historical New England.
Robin Grant – Trustee
Robin grew up in antique homes in New York and Maine for most of her early life, hence her love for old buildings. Robin’s professional life encompassed mechanical engineering sales in Boston, to owning a landscape gardening business for many years in Southern Maine. She previously lived in Arizona, where she established the ‘Cactus Chicks’ Garden club of North Scottsdale. Robin sat on the Board of the Strawberry Banke Museum in Portsmouth, NH. Her favorite pastimes are gardening, day trading, and making music with good friends.
Tina Guy – Trustee
Christine Hopf-Lovette – Trustee
Christine retired to Maine from the Bay Area in 2009 after a career in advertising, publishing, and public relations. Active as a trustee since 2012, with a year off in 2020 due to term limits, Christine has been Board secretary and in 2015 she introduced the Kermess dinner/auction fundraiser, which she has chaired since its inception. She is co-chair of the Old Jail stewardship committee and edits the LCHA Chronicle newsletter. She lives in Wiscasset, right near the Old Jail.
George Keyes – Trustee
George Keyes has been involved with LCHA for more than a decade, and is currently serving his second stint as a trustee. He is actively involved with our Collections Committee, helping to archive our materials using Catalogit. An expert in Art History, he holds a Ph.D. University of Utrecht in the Netherlands. He previously served as the Curator of Paintings at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and as the Curator of European Paintings and the Chief Curator and head of the European Art Department at the Detroit Institute of Arts. He has published widely on 17th century Dutch and Flemish Art. George also serves as a trustee for the Coastal Rivers Conservation Trust and the Theater at Monmouth and as member of the advisory council of the Bowdoin College Museum of Art.
Jeffrey (Jeff) Miller – Trustee
Jeff was raised in Lunenburg, Massachusetts. His first job after college was at Old Sturbridge Village, working in the cooper shop, learning the trade, and the blacksmith shop, a trade with which he had already been experimenting. Within three years he was head of the blacksmith shop. Jeff and his wife Louise (LCHA’s Education Director) have been involved with many historical societies and both are avid researchers of Colonial history. They both previously worked at Fort at No. 4 Living History Museum in Charlestown, NH and together they published The Pine Tree Shilling, a quarterly periodical focused on daily life between 1650 and 1780. In 2008, Jeff and Louise moved to Waldoboro to be closer to their son and his family.
Perry Palmer – Trustee
Perry fell in love with 18th century history when she first visited Colonial Williamsburg when she was twelve years old. She went on to earn her AB in History from Smith College, and spent many years living and working around the world and across the United States, including stints in Australia, Papua New Guinea, Bahrain, the United Kingdom, San Diego, and New York City. Upon retirement at age 42, she moved to her weekend house and farm in upstate New York, where she soon became involved with local historical societies and reenactment groups. She discovered the Pownalborough Court House during her first weekend in Maine with one of her reenactment groups and has been involved as a trustee and key member of the Collections Committee ever since.
Dave Probert – Trustee
Dave Probert worked at Bath Iron Works for thirty-five years before retiring in 2009. He joined LCHA in 2011 while helping create the Pownalborough Court House trail system and joined the Board of Trustees shortly thereafter. He co-chairs the Pownalborough Court House Stewardship Committee.
Faye Snyder – Trustee
Faye Snyder is originally from the North Shore area of Massachusetts. Her parents relocated to Maryland where she graduated from the University of Baltimore with a degree in Dental Hygiene. She enjoyed a wonderful career that spanned over forty years. Married to a Navy Pilot, his career moved them to many parts of the United States and included a 4 year tour in Wales, UK. Their first tour in the Navy brought them to Brunswick Naval Air Station, where they fell in love with Mid Coast Maine. Before retiring from Dental Hygiene, Faye opened Parade Antiques on Main Street in downtown Wiscasset. Interested in history from a young age, she became a member of LCHA and serves on the Board of Trustees as well as Chair of the Collections Committee.
Joseph (Joe) Zoellers – Trustee
Joe graduated from the University of Kentucky with a BA in Housing and Interior Design. He has long been interested in the history of interiors, architecture and home building. He was immediately taken by the beauty and history of mid coast Maine, with its endless majestic views, proximity to water, and the impressive inventory of historic homes and villages. He resides part time in Wiscasset. For the last several years, he has enjoyed the privilege of being involved with LCHA as a docent, member and trustee.
View a list of all LCHA officers that have served since 1962
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Friends of LCHA (more coming soon…)