Summer with the Past: Hands-on History

Stepping Back: Discovering the Skills and Pastimes of the 18th & 19th Centuries

Decorating a checker board and checkers

Summer with the Past: Hands-on History programs are open to children ages 7 through 15.  Sessions are offered at both Damariscotta’s Chapman-Hall House and Wiscasset’s Old Jail with attached Jailer’s House. The participants will be introduced to each site’s unique history and enjoy a variety of projects and games popular in the 18th and 19th Centuries.  These activities vary depending on the time frame of the historic site and vary from year to year.  Among the activities planned for both sites are art and textile projects, and unique craft work.

In support of summer reading, each child can choose an historical theme book to borrow for the week.  The books have been chosen based on their historical themes, and/or their relevance to Maine.

Children will need to bring their own snack, drink, and lunch.  Please have children arrive on time to begin the day’s activities, and please, pick them up promptly at the end of the day’s program.   We look forward to meeting your child and sharing a fun week of history and activities.  Feel free to contact us with any questions.

Louise Miller, LCHA Education Director, oversees Summer with the Past program. She brings to the program an extensive background in museum work and school programs built on American history, particularly daily life in the 18th and early 19th centuries.  During the rest of the year, Louise is working with mid-coast schools and home schools to enhance awareness of LCHA’s three historic sites and the roles they played in the development of the Lincoln County we know today.

2024 Sessions & Dates:

Stepping Back: Discovering the Skills and Pastimes of the 18th & 19th Centuries

Week One: June 24 – 28, 9:00 am – 1:00 pm, Chapman-Hall House, Damariscotta, Ages 7 -11, $100, $90 with member discount

A farmer, tinsmith, a Wabanaki family, a widow – they all made things to trade for goods that they needed. During the week children will make some of those items and learn how tradespeople and merchants kept track of sales and payments. Among the hands-on projects are a birch bark container, a tin lantern, and small toys. Some fun with 18th Century pastimes will be part of each day.

Week Two: July 22-26, 9:00 am- 1:00 pm, Chapman-Hall House, Damariscotta, Ages 12 – 15, $110, $100 with member discount

History and traditional trades come together for a fun and interesting week. The projects will include trade skills from both the 18th and 19th Centuries: basket making, broom making, floor cloth design work, reverse painting on glass and band boxes. It is not all work, 18th Century entertainment will also be part of each day.

Week Three: August 5-9, 9:00 am to 3:00 pm, Old Jail, Wiscasset, Ages 7 – 11, $150, $140 with member discount

Wiscasset was a prominent place in the early 19th Century. Themes for this week revolved around that time frame: Vessels & Navigation, Trains to Wiscasset, Merchants & Tradespeople, the Jailer and his family. Pastimes, such as games, will round out each day’s activities.

Payment options:

-Please register online to pay with credit card or

-Please mail the registration form with payment by check to LCHA, PO Box 61, Wiscasset, ME 04578

-If you are considering registering your child (children) and you need assistance covering the fee, please submit a letter of request for scholarship money. Requests will be handled confidentially.

Questions? Email Education Director Louise Miller – [email protected].