Winter 2018





      T.C. Hanna , editor (989-2245)

Facebook:  Follow Brewer History on Facebook, “You know you live in Brewer when………………”

The Brewer Historical Society would like to thank the following corporate sponsors and supporter

Alexanders Professional Landscaping

Camden National Bank

City of Brewer

Brewer High School Air Force Junior ROTC

Brewer Parks and Recreation

Creative Print Services

Dead River Company

Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems

Joseph Ferris, Esq.

Gaftek Petroleum Services Company

Getchell Brothers Inc.

Gold Star Cleaners

Green Thumb Lawn Service


Marsh Property Management

Rand / Rand Dentistry

Scotts Lawn Service

TradeWinds Convenience Store

University of Maine Master Gardner Program

                            FRIENDS OF CHAMBERLAIN FREEDOM PARK

Atlantic Designs

Cross Insurance

Allen / Freeman / McDonnell Insurance

Machias Savings Bank

Gifford Electric

(Thank you for your support of Chamberlain Freedom Park and the Brewer Historical Society)


(The Brewer Historical Society newsletter is copied using the facilities at Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems. Thank you to EMHS and their staff.)


                                          Brewer Historical Society in 2017

This has been an exciting year for the Brewer Historical Society.

…..It is our 40th Anniversary. From 1977 until today, the Brewer Historical Society has worked to fulfill its mission of preserving and promoting the historical heritage of Brewer. Thank you to the hundreds of volunteers who have made this possible.

…..It is the 20th Anniversary of Chamberlain-Freedom Park. Brian Higgins and Archie Verow wrote articles for the Newsletter regarding the creation of the Park and what it has meant for them. This year, the Park was professionally maintained. New signage was developed and displayed to better focus on the Park’s mission, a tribute to Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain and a recognition of Brewer’s role in the “Underground Railroad” and the escape of slaves. New fences were installed to signify the bulwarks at the “Little Round Top” site in Gettysburg thanks to an Eagle Scout project. The garden areas were developed by a “master gardener” volunteer. Many people visit the park each year and it is an important part of Brewer’s waterfront. (A special thank you to Gaftek for straightening the informational sign while they were working on the Irving station)

…..It is the 100th Anniversary of the U.S. entry into WWI. Recognizing the role that the Brewer/Bangor area played in the conflict and educating people to the importance of the war was the major project of the year. The historical society teamed with the Maine Infantry Foundation to develop a WWI Centennial Committee that played a major role in all events. There was a Brewer Historical Society WWI newsletter with an article by author and historian David Bergquist, and historic photographs by author and historian Richard Shaw. A special display case at Brewer Community School was developed with help from “Dusty” Fisher. Barney Thompson and David Hanna gave talks to organizations, prepared a World War I display for various venues in the community, and participated in the Independence Day Parade.

…..The annual spaghetti supper and silent auction for “Brewer Days” was our major fundraiser. It was very successful; and everyone agreed that it was a lot of fun. This event has become a staple of activities at the Brewer Auditorium. As always, we are grateful to Ken Hanscom and his excellent staff for helping in this event.

….The Brewer Historical Society is very involved with Brewer school students. The historical display cases at Brewer Community School showcasing Brewer themes (paper production, ice harvesting, brick making, shipbuilding and the history of the Penobscot River) were maintained and a new WWI display was an important addition. Thank you to “Dusty” Fisher for his help.

…..Sarah Maxsimic was the recipient of this year’s $1000 Brewer Historical Society Scholarship. The award goes to a Brewer High School senior to help continue their education. The organization makes the award based upon community service and an appreciation of Brewer History. This is the third year that the historical society has awarded the scholarship.

…..Mataya Philbrick, a Brewer High School freshman, scanned the only copies known of the Brewer Register newspaper into a form that the Maine State Library can use for distribution on the internet. Over the winter she scanned 60 newspapers on a special scanner at the Bangor Library.

……The Brewer Historical Society received a handmade quilt created by three artists and an anonymous benefactor who donated the proceeds to the roof repair at the First Congregational Church. That quilt is in the museum for display. There was also a “Freedom Quilt” created by the fourth grade class at Holden School and donated to the Brewer Historical Society that recognizes the flight to freedom of slaves.

…..The Resource Center answered many historical inquiries during the year. These requests included requests for digitized photographs for magazines, information about Brewer’s history for authors, genealogical information, and requests for specific information about Brewer and its history.

During the year we lost two of our most important members, Bill Hayes and Lee Mathews. Both of these men contributed immensely to the organization and will be sorely missed.




Cap’s Tavern Burned and rebuilt

Brewer lost “Cap’s Tavern”, a historical landmark in South Brewer. Archie Verow wrote an article on the history of “Cap’s” and present owner Del Merritt is rebuilding this iconic South Brewer neighborhood tavern. They will display historic photos of the original “Caps” thanks to “Cap” Morrell and the Brewer Historical Society


                            A Message from President Charlotte Thompson 

Greetings from 2018 to all the members and supporters of the Brewer Historical Society:

We’ve had a busy year and have accomplished quite a lot. We are working on the interior of the barn to clean it up and re-arrange it. This will make it more visitor friendly. Barney Thompson has spent hours refinishing the large upstairs bedroom. Looks great! The beautiful quilt with Brewer pictures has been hung and gets a lot of attention from visitors. A professional landscaper, Alexander’s Landscaping, has been hired to care for the Chamberlain-Freedom Park and it looks the best ever! Other upgrading has been done. One sad note. We lost two of our hardest working and devoted members this year, William (Bill) Hayes and Lee Mathews. They will be sadly missed.

Remember this is a voting year for new officers and Board members. A nominating committee has been formed so you may be approached to take an office. Please consider it.

We will work more on the barn and try to clean up the cellar to have less dampness and musty odor. We also plan to power wash the museum and upgrade the front entrance and landscape it.

We are hoping to get the Boy Scouts and maybe the Brewer Key Club to give us a hand. All this will be discussed at the March meeting. Hope to see you all there. .Have a wonderful 2018. Stay healthy and warm

……………..Charlotte Thompson, President

Brewer Historical Society Board and Officers

                    (Please consider volunteering for these important positions)


President                                            Charlotte Thompson

Vice President                                    Frank Gallant

Treasurer                                           Earl Seymour

Recording Secretary                         Gary Lowe

Corresponding Secretary                 T.C. Hanna

Accessions Clerk                               David Hanna

Board Members                                Archie Verow

                                                            Jean Lyford

                                                            Ron Kittredge

(All of these positions are available to any member for a 2 year period. We also need one more Board Member. All will be elected at the April meeting)

Brewer City Liaison appointed by the Brewer City Council:       Matthew Vachon


  A Message from Matthew Vachon, Brewer Historical Society Liaison

It is my pleasure to be entering my sixth year as the liaison between the Brewer City Council and the Brewer Historical Society. My job has been to act as a conduit between the two entities to find a mutually beneficial outcome for not only each other but the entire community. In my time I can’t think of a City department that hasn’t stepped up to the plate whenever the Historical Society has had a need. From Public Works dropping off a load of gravel, to partnering with the Library on guest speakers, working with the Parks and Recreation department to display our various items, and helping facilitate a partnership between the society and the JROTC program to landscape Chamberlain Freedom Park. The City Council and staff understand the importance of preserving our history while always looking towards the future. I feel Brewer has as strong a relationship between its Historical Society and City government as any in our region. It has been an absolute honor to serve as liaison, a role I hope to continue in years to come.

Respectfully submitted,

Matthew Vachon

Brewer City Council


Coffee Jello Recipe


We love this desert! It’s quick…it’s good…and it’s good for you


1 – 8 ounce cup hot black coffee

1 – 8 ounce cup cold black coffee

1 TBS sugar (more or less as you like)

1 envelope Knox gelatin


Dissolve the sugar and gelatin in the hot coffee (completely)

Combine hot and cold coffee in a dish (I use a quart stainless steel pan. It gets cold quicker)

Refrigerate for 2 hours or longer

Serve with whipping cream or ice cream


Enjoy!!………………………………Charlotte Thompson



Note: The Brewer Historical Society meets the second Tuesday of each month (except January and February) at 7 PM. Meetings are held at the Brewer First Methodist meeting room at 40 South Main Street in Brewer.  The August meeting is a 5:30 PM potluck at the Clewley Museum (199 Wilson Street) and the December meeting is a 5:30 Christmas party at the Methodist Church meeting room. There is usually a speaker and meetings are open to the public. Call T.C. Hanna at 989-2245 for more information. 

It is almost time to renew your annual membership in the Brewer Historical Society. Membership dues are not due until April and any new member who has joined after August is automatically renewed. Early renewal is always appreciated and you can send your check c/o Earl Seymour as treasurer. Please call T.C. Hanna at 989-2245 if you have any questions. Thank you for your continued support of the Brewer Historical Society.

                                             Brewer Historical Society

                                               Travel Back in Time

                                              Membership Form

Membership is due by April 1st.  Early payment is always appreciated





Email Address________________________________________


Membership Categories

___Individual                    $20.00

___Corporate                   $100.00

___Family                           $30.00

___Life Member              $200.00


Please make checks payable to “Brewer Historical Society” and mail to:

Brewer Historical Society

C/o Earl Seymour, treasurer

17 Aspen Way

Brewer, Maine 04412

The Brewer Historical Society is a non-profit 501 C (3) organization and depends solely upon its membership and the community for support.  Your donations are tax deductible