Three tour participants inspect a village of dollhouses in the woods on the 2018 Hidden History Tour. Contributed photo via Pejepscot History Center

After a two-year hiatus, Pejepscot History Center (PHC) brings back its family-friendly Hidden History Tour, which began in 2017. A dozen surprising historical features hidden around Brunswick, Harpswell and Topsham in buildings or the landscape comprise the self-guided, walking-and-driving tour on Saturday, June 18, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“My teenage son and I loved this tour,” said previous participant Kathy Thorson. “It got us to slow down and pay attention to details that we had walked by and never noticed. Each site had knowledgeable and enthusiastic guides. We became PHC members because of it.”

Sites are kept secret until the morning of the tour — except for this year’s headliner.

“We are delighted to be one of the first organizations to have access to the newly restored Lemont Block,” said PHC Executive Director Larissa Vigue Picard, referring to the 1870 brick building on the corner of Maine and Pleasant streets in downtown Brunswick that has been undergoing extensive renovation into apartments and community space. “Tour goers get bragging rights about seeing a newly-restored gem: the second-floor, former Knights of Pythias meeting hall.”

Now called “The Lemont Hall,” the room seats nearly 300 and once hosted the likes of Frederick Douglass and Joshua Chamberlain.

“The new owners have dedicated themselves to saving this space for the community and making it fully accessible,” said Vigue Picard.

Advertisement

Knights of Pythias Meeting Hall, Lemont Block, circa 1890 Contributed photo via Pejepscot History Center

The restoration of the block, listed in the National Registry of Historic Places, took years to plan. By participating in the Historic Tax Credit program, the owners took pains to make sure doors, windows, painted plaster ceilings and trim were all restored.

The remaining tour sites will be revealed the morning of the event, beginning at 9 a.m. on the steps of PHC at 159 Park Row in Brunswick. Detailed site maps are provided to participants, along with scavenger hunts for children, who can claim prizes.

Participants spend 10-15 minutes at each site, which stay open until 2 p.m. While some sites are within walking distance of one another, others require a car ride. Instead of full tours of each site, the focus is on one or two special features. The tour takes place rain or shine.

Advance tickets are $25 for PHS members, $30 for general admission, $8 for children (ages 6-16). Tickets can be purchased the morning of the event at PHC: $30 for PHC members, $35 general admission, $10 children. For more information, visit pejepscothistorical.org/events/hidden-history-tour.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.