SCARBOROUGH — With 2020 being Maine’s bicentennial, communities around the state are celebrating 200 years of history and progress, and the Scarborough community is no exception.

Beginning March 1, the Scarborough Public Library, together with the Scarborough Historical Society, will kick off the celebration with a presentation from Dr. Liam Riordan on Sunday, March 1 at 2 p.m., according to a press release from the library’s Coordinator of Programming and Communications Lucy Norvell. The presentation is called “Past and Present: Perspectives on Maine’s Statehood.”

Doctor Liam Riordan Courtesy Lucy Norvell

“This illustrated presentation explores the long statehood process in Maine that culminated in 1820 with formal separation from Massachusetts,” said Norvell. “That struggle engaged a range of challenging public issues that are still recognizable in contemporary Maine politics and culture. The talk focuses on four themes that bridge 200 years in telling ways: the ‘two Maines’ and sharp partisan conflict, the explosive pace of slavery vis-a-vis the Maine-Missouri Compromise, Wabanaki sovereignty, and the uncertain location of the international border to at least 1842.”

Doctor Matthew Edney, of Osher Map Library is presenting on March 22, 2 p.m., with a segment called, “Mapping Maine: The Land and Its Peoples, 1677-1842,” according to Norvell. The segment will use digital maps to enhance the presentation.

Dr. Matthew Edney Courtesy Lucy Norvell

“Dr. Edney has been a professor of geography at the University of Southern Maine since 2007 and is the Osher professor in the History of Cartography with responsibility for courses in map history,” said Norvell. “He is also ‘faculty scholar’ in the Osher Map Library and Smith Center for Cartographic Education. Since 2005 he has also directed the History of Cartography Project at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.”

A documentary is playing on April 5, also at 2 p.m. — “Dawnland: Documentary and Discussion,” said Norvell.


“Scarborough is identified by and recognized for its 3,200-acre saltwater marsh,” she said. “It inspired the town’s early Native American name, Owascoag: Land of Much Grass. This program will provide a meaningful opportunity to consider Scarborough’s indigenous history and the relationship between its native population and early settlers through the viewing of the documentary Dawnland — an exploration of Native American culture and intimate sacred moments of truth-telling and healing. Maine-Wabanaki REACH will provide expert facilitators to engage the audience in a meaningful discussion following the screening.”

The library will be presenting a community-effort quilt, with 50 quilters contributing, from April 17-19, said Norvell.

“Nearly 50 quilters from our community have created individual squares representing themes related to Scarborough and its history,” she said. “The Scarborough Public Library’s Bicentennial Series will culminate with an exhibit of the assembled quilt displayed on a bed owned by William King, Scarborough native and Maine’s first governor. The bed is part of the Scarborough Historical Society’s collection.”

“Visit, email, or call 207-885-9997 to learn more about the Scarborough Historical Society,” said Norvell. Those who are interested in other library programs can visit

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: