Download the Winter 2020 Newsletter as a Word Document here: BHS Winter 2020 Newsletter

Download the Winter 2020 Newsletter as a PDF here: BHS Winter 2020 Newsletter



 “Today’s news is tomorrow’s history”

 Summer 2019 – Winter 2020


 “Like us” on: “Facebook”


 T.C. Hanna, editor

State of Maine Bicentennial plates are legal on the front of vehicles through 2020. You can purchase one from the state of Maine web site.


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

City of Brewer

Brewer Federal Credit Union

Brewer High School Air Force Junior ROTC

Brewer Parks and Recreation

Creative Print Services (Ray Curran)

Northern Light Health

Joseph Ferris, Esq.

Getchell Brothers Inc.

Gold Star Cleaners

Green Thumb Lawn Service


Marsh Property Management

                            FRIENDS OF CHAMBERLAIN FREEDOM PARK

Allen / Freeman / McDonnell Insurance

Cross Insurance

Gifford Electric

Marsh Property Management

Machias Savings Bank

Brewer Federal Credit Union

(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 Northern Light Health. Thank you to Northern Light Health and their staff)

Follow us on our Facebook page “Brewer Historical Society” and our web site “”. Events and activities are maintained and promoted on our Facebook page. The website has resource information, photos, and archives.

If you have any questions or suggestions please contact Brittany Goetting at

Also you can follow Brewer history on the Facebook page “you knew you grew up in Brewer when”

It is the 200th birthday of Maine

Brewer and Maine Statehood

In March of 1820, Maine was separated from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and added to the Union as a state. As Maine celebrates its 200th birthday, the state and our local community have a number of Bicentennial events planned.

(The following material dealing with the development of Brewer and the role it played in the state Constitutional Convention of 1819 comes from Brewer City Hall and represents the selectmen minutes from 1812 -1820)

Brewer separated from the town of Orrington in February of 1812. The area was previously known as Knapp’s Square.

Volume I of town proceedings dates from 1812 and is presently in the archives at Brewer City Hall. It are these proceedings that provided much of the town’s information from 1812 to 1820.

The first elected selectmen were John Farrington, Josiah Brewer and Solomon Blake. Because Brewer was still part of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the town also elected representatives to the Massachusetts Senate and House of Representatives.

Proceedings for Brewer took place at the “meeting house”. The meeting house was actually two separate buildings in two different locations in the town. Sessions alternated for increased citizen accessibility. These meeting houses were probably also used for polling places including voting for statehood. The location of these meeting houses is referenced in Mildred Thayer’s book, “Brewer, Orrington, Holden, Eddington – History and Families”

One meeting house was in the north part of Brewer near the Oak Grove Spring on the Farrington Farm. The second meeting house was in the Wrentham settlement on the west corner of the Silas Winchester farm.

For the next eight years (until statehood was obtained in 1820), Brewer was a part of Massachusetts and was required to follow Massachusetts’ directives.

In 1816 Massachusetts issued a directive for citizens (eligible males over 21 years of age) to “assemble at the meeting house on September 2, 1816 and vote for a delegate to a convention for the last Monday in September. This convention to be held at the meeting house in Brunswick; to vote to separate Maine from Massachusetts and become an independent state”. David Perham was chosen to represent Brewer. The results of that vote was 28 votes for independence at 21 votes against. Statehood was not authorized at that time.

Brewer had a population of less than 250 citizens. Note that there were only 49 votes cast. The available demographics do not indicate the number of eligible voters.

At the September 20, 1819 Brewer town meeting, there was another directive from for Massachusetts to “elect a delegate to a Constitutional Convention at the Court House in Portland to form a constitution for Maine to become an independent state”.  For this Convention, George Leonard was selected. Brewer voted 31 votes for statehood and 11 opposed (or 37 and 18 by another source). Statehood was authorized and a constitution developed at this convention.

George Leonard was a leading citizen of the time. He had been chosen as surveyor of highways, school committee member of District 3, treasurer of the church committee (First Congregational Church) and representative to the Court of Massachusetts. He would be a selectman and accessor by 1820. His biography as a member of the 1819 Constitutional Convention stated”

“George Leonard, Brewer, was the son of Dr. Jonathan and Rebecca (Smith) Leonard, born in Norton, April 13, 1784. Moved to Orrington (the Brewer part) in June 1806 and bought a farm fronting on the Penobscot River. Was elected to many town offices in Orrington, before the incorporation of Brewer (1812) and after that was selectman of the latter town for many years. Representative to the legislature several years. In 1834 he sold his farm and moved to Bangor where he built a residence, was a Notary Public and Justice of the Peace.  Died September 21. 1852. Married September 26, 1805 to Margaret B, daughter of Captain Phillip King.”

Maine was voted in as a state in March of 1820 (23rd State). William King was the first Governor. The April Brewer Selectmen proceedings referred to the “State of Maine” and needed to elect Senators and Representatives.

(Follow the Brewer Historical Society Facebook Page and the Brewer Library for more events centered around Maine’s Bicentennial)

Brewer Historical Society Accomplishments for 2019

The Brewer Historical Society hosted the “Brewer Family Reunion” in June. Brewer members came from all over the country to the city of their ancestor John Brewer, who helped settle the area in 1770. The Brewer Family gathered at the cove where John Brewer had his sawmill and received the history of his life. Mayor Jerry Goss was on hand to discuss Brewer and history with the family. Bruce Moore met the group at Oak Grove cemetery and discussed the ancestors of Brewer. Everyone enjoyed themselves and agreed that it was a high point of the reunion.

The museum was open for events in the summer including the Brewer Garden and Bird Club which had their annual sale at the museum. The museum stayed open through the time of the ribbon cutting for the new waterfront trail extension. As always, the museum is open by appointment in the summer.

With a thank you to Legislator Arthur “Archie” Verow, there is a new flag flying at Chamberlain-Freedom Park. Archie contacted Senator Angus king who provided a flag that had flown over the Capital in Washington as well as a certificate of authenticity. Thank you Senator King.

There was maintenance work on the museum. Bill Higgins built a new railing to the front door and the storm door remover for easier access. Bob Daigle helped maintain the grounds and the Thompsons along with TC and David Hanna worked on the inside. A display was erected focusing on World War I and World War II. Larry Murray provided his collection of World War II models of fighter planes. The display featured uniforms of the day.

The annual Brewer Historical Society Spaghetti Supper and Silent Auction was held at the Brewer Auditorium as part of “Brewer Days”. This is a major fund raising event for the Brewer High School Scholarship and has become part of the community activities for the celebration.

The Brewer Auditorium is now the Joseph Ferris Community Center and the activities room is named after long time director Ken Hanscom. Congratulations to these outstanding members of the community for what they have accomplished.

As usual, the Resource Center was able to provide reference material for individuals and organizations around the world. The archives have been expanded to include over 200 years of history of the First Congregational Church. We also thank those who have generously donated items. The Resource Center vision is to provide all of its material on-line. There are many items including photographs and newsletters at the web site (www.brewerhistorical Also on the web-site is a new heading, “Resources” with links to sources as well as a complete electronic version of the new Brewer Historical Booklet, “The History of Brewer”.

“The History of Brewer” was published this year by the Brewer Historical Society and copies made available to the libraries of Brewer schools, the Public Library, and the City. The booklet covers the development of Brewer and was written to provide an overview for students and those interested in learning about the community. Copies are available free of cost .Contact the Brewer Public Library or David Hanna at

The Brewer Historical Society Scholarship

Each year the Brewer Historical Society makes a $1000 scholarship to a Brewer High School Senior. This scholarship, available for tuition and materials, is presented to a student enrolled in a program to further his or her education. The scholarship is presented after the student successfully completes the first semester of a college, community college, or trade school and is enrolled for a second semester. The focus of the scholarship is on community service and the importance of history on him or her.

Students should apply for the external scholarship at the senior Brewer High School senior website. For more information contact Emily Sevigny ( or Brewer Historical Society Coordinator, TC Hanna (



INDIVIDUAL                              $20

FAMILY                                       $30

LIFETIME                                    $200

CORPORATE                              $100

Dues paid after August are considered 2020 and not due. Please check with TC Hanna if any questions

 Accessions for 2020

Thank you for all the donations and contributions made to the Brewer Historical Society this year. The organization is a non-profit 501-c-3 and contributions are tax deductible to the amount allowed by law. Contact David Hanna at of you wish to donate items or make a contribution. Thank you



1 egg, beaten

½ cup grated cheddar cheese

½ cup of milk

2 slices of bread

1 tablespoon minced onion

1 6 and ½ ounce can tuna

Mix together and put in buttered casserole.  Butter Ritz crackers and crumble to cover top. Bake 350 degrees about 35 minutes.

This Recipe is by Berth Beal and is in the 1985 “First Congregational Church Kitchen Treasures

In Memory of Arthur “Archie” Verow

(Archie Verow was a staunch supporter of the Brewer Historical Society. He was a lifetime member and served on the Board of Directors.  Through his efforts, the City of Brewer began a Brewer Historical Resource Board, the major results being a Brewer Register of Historic Places. This program is a joint effort between the City of Brewer and the Brewer Historical Society to recognize historic landmarks. Presently there are thirty sites on record, each historic site with a distinctive historical marker. As a legislator, Archie had the local I-95 rest area and tourist information bureau named for Brewer native Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain. This summer he worked with US Senator Angus King to have a new flag raised at Chamberlain-Freedom Park. A flag that had flown over the US Capital. His legacy as a driving force in the maintenance of Brewer’s historical heritage has made much of the historical society vision possible. He will be greatly missed.)