Yarmouth Historical Society hosted its first cocktail party fundraiser Nov. 17 at Camp Hammond, the family home built in 1889 for George Hammond, owner of the adjacent Forest Paper Co.

“Think of it as a really elegant log cabin,” said town historian Alan Hall. “They referred to this as their summer camp.”

“This is a historical anchor of Yarmouth,” said Jim Highland, adding that when he saw the invite for Cocktails at the Camp he knew right away that he was going.Event planners weren’t sure that a single-town historical society would draw enough interest for a formal evening event with a ticket price of $75 per person. The hope was that at least 60 people would attend – but then 77 members expressed interest in being part of the host committee and more than 145 bought tickets.

“I can’t tell you how pleased and overwhelmed I am to see this turnout,” said Bill Harwood, outgoing board chairman. “Caring about history isn’t just for book nerds.”

Cocktails at the Camp raised more than $8,000 to support the programs and operations of the Yarmouth History Center. Over the past five years, the center has seen 25,000 visitors, interacted with 2,000 local students and received 300 donations of items of historical significance. The official count increased to 301 during the cocktail party when Executive Director Katie Worthing was presented with an original pictorial history of Camp Hammond that had been given to architect Alexander Twombly in 1893.

“I’m having a great time,” said board member Peter Sillin. “It’s the first event like this the society has had, and it’s a real success by any measure.”

“There’s lots of history in this house,” said Maura Goessling, development director for Yarmouth Historical Society. “Part of this evening is to introduce this house and its history to the residents of Yarmouth. And, how many parties do you get to go to where there’s a fire in every room?”

“Isn’t it wonderful?” said Vesta Vaughan Rand, a former board member. “Would you like a whoopie pie?”

Amy Paradysz is a freelance writer and photographer based in Scarborough. She can be reached at:

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