June 27, 2013

Video: Weatherproofing history in Colonial Pemaquid

A master thatcher from England is in Maine to make roofs like they used to – circa 1625 in Colonial Pemaquid, now a state historic site.

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Colin McGhee, originally from England, says the thatched roof he’s installing on this replica building at Colonial Pemaquid should last 40 years.

Photos by Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

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McGhee uses a leggett to position the reeds as he installs the roof Monday. He’s been thatching roofs for more than 30 years, and this is his fifth one in Maine.

Colin McGhee is topping off two replica buildings, a tavern and a blacksmith shop, that will be used to educate visitors to the former British settlement in New Harbor.

Hundreds of people have stopped by to watch the live thatching as McGhee uses a flat-metal hand tool, steel wires and rods to secure tight bundles of reeds imported from Turkey to the wooden roof skeleton.

When completed, the buildings will be ‘one more way ... to educate the public about Maine and U.S. history,’ said Barry Masterson, who manages the site.

– Staff Writer Karen Antonacci

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