The purchase of an engraved brick supports the South Portland Historical Society. Bricks may be purchased at the museum. South Portland Historical Society photo

In these uncertain times, nonprofit organizations that rely on donations are particularly vulnerable. Of course, donations are always welcome at South Portland Historical Society. We encourage and welcome your support.

Another unique way that you could help is through our Engraved Brick Program at the museum at Bug Light Park. Proceeds from the sale of engraved bricks help us raise important funding for preservation activities and museum operations. Brick orders can be made at any time of year, but the deadline is quickly approaching if you would like to make sure to have your brick installed this summer.

Brick orders need to be in by May 22 for an installation this year.

An engraved brick would make a unique gift for any friend or loved one, or even yourself. With Mother’s Day and Father’s Day coming, a brick would be a memorable gift for mom or dad and would also help out a worthy cause.

The engraved brick walkway and patio were initially installed in 2010 and they have been an attractive and meaningful addition to the museum grounds. A walk along the path reveals many names of current generous families who have supported the museum effort, as well as the names of many wonderful people who have come before us and who have been honored with a memorial brick.

There are also several local churches, businesses and groups, such as South Portland High School graduating classes, which have had bricks engraved and placed in the walkway and patio. It truly is a walk down memory lane.

A standard sized 4 x 8 brick is only $150 and includes three lines of engraving with 18 characters per line, including spaces. A larger 8 x 8 paver is also available with six lines of engraving for $250.

To purchase a brick, or to make a straight donation, you can mail or deliver a check to the South Portland Historical Society at 55 Bug Light Park, South Portland, ME 04106. To use a credit card, call us at 767-7299 or go online to www.sphistory.org and use the donate now button.

A brick engraving form may be viewed and/or downloaded from the website.

Like everyone else, we watch the news and wonder when we can get back to normal operation. It is impossible to predict right now. While we are still mounting our exhibit for the 2020 season, we don’t know when that season will start.

Our previously intended May 1 start is unlikely. The health and safety of our museum volunteers comes first, so the museum will remain closed until it appears that it is safe to open. The society’s Online Museum and Research Library is open all the time, of course. Patrons can reach that by linking through our website at www.sphistory.org.

Finding historic photographs and information on our local history is done with a simple key word search. Research and preservation work at the society continues, although volunteers assisting with that are doing so from their homes. We will make announcements about the museum opening, Bug Light Kite Festival, and other society events through our Facebook page and in future columns here in the Sentry. Stay safe, everyone.

Kathryn Onos DiPhilippo is director of the South Portland Historical Society.

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