Wabanaki: People of the Dawnland

Wabanaki: People of the Dawnland

Native American Heritage Month raises awareness of the histories and diverse cultures of Native Americans, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians. The Wabanaki people, including the Abenaki, Maliseet, Micmac, Passamaquoddy, and Penobscot Nations, have inhabited the land we now call Maine for over 12,000 years.

In Sullivan and Sorrento, we acknowledge that we are on the land of the Passamaquoddy and Penobscot People.

 

Here are some resources for learning more about Native American history in Maine.   

  1. Holding up the Sky

What does it mean to live in one place for over 13,000 years? Holding up the Sky, a companion exhibit to State of Mind: Becoming Maine, tells the story of Wabanaki people, culture, history and art over the course of 13,000 years. Holding up the Sky was on display at the Maine Historical Society in 2019 and 2020, but you can still view the online exhibit here.

 

  1. Dawnland

Dawnland, an Emmy award winning documentary, tells the story of Indigenous child removal in the United States. In Maine, the first official Truth and Reconciliation Commission travels across the state to gather evidence and bear witness to the impact of the state’s child welfare policies on families in Maliseet, Micmac, Passamaquoddy and Penobscot communities. Released in 2018, Dawnland follows the Commission as they grapple with difficult truths, charter a new path towards better state and tribal relations, and share stories that have never been told before.

 

  1. Wabanaki Heritage Stories from Maine Memory Net

The Wabanaki Heritage Stories is a collection from My Maine Stories, a project by the Maine Memory Network. History happens person to person, and everyone has a story to tell. From learning basketmaking to pairing indigenous knowledge with western science, the collection comprises a wide variety of primary source historic material.

 

  1. Abbe Museum

 The Abbe is a museum of Wabanaki art, history, and culture. In the Abbe’s downtown location in Bar Harbor and the trailside museum at Sieur de Monts Spring, exhibits explore the history and culture of the Wabanaki. Although the museum is currently closed for the season, you can continue to explore their educational resources and programs online.

 

 

 

Visit this map to see the native land where you live.

 

Additional Resources.

 

 

East Sullivan Union Church Replica Repaired by Generous Residents

East Sullivan Union Church Replica Repaired by Generous Residents

The Union Church in East Sullivan was built in 1825, burned and torn down, rebuilt in 1858, and burned to the ground in 1973. A replica of it was built in 1975 by the children of Eva Johnson and placed on the site of the old Union Church in 1982. Forty years of Maine winters and blistering summer heat took their toll on the “little white church” at the entrance to the Simpson Cemetery. The paint was coming off, the shutters and some of the clapboards fell off, the ornate steeple had rot.

In July 2021, Matt Masse of Sullivan Harbor, whose parents were married in the Union Church in East Sullivan, stepped up and offered to repair and rebuild the little church at no cost! Its gradual decay bothered him and decided he would be the one to do something about it. He carefully removed the little church to his home shop where he, his brother-in-law Bruce Larson, and his nephew Jeff Larson took it apart, rebuilt all the rotted pieces using modern materials that will withstand the weather, put it all back together, and gave it a new coat of paint. He brought it back to its home, all done, in only two weeks! Matt added a little spotlight in front so it’s lighted up outside after dark. It’s beautiful.

 

The replica before and after the repairs.

The East Sullivan Union Church, undated.

Archives and Museum Opening July 13! – Summer 2021 Update

Archives and Museum Opening July 13! – Summer 2021 Update

We are pleased to announce that the archives and museum will be re-opening in July for Tuesday afternoons (1-3 p.m.), and we will be hosting the following programs this summer.

Thank you to all who joined us on Zoom these past months. We hosted four History Hour programs with over 140 attendees. You can view the recordings for the first three presentations at sullivansorrentohistory.org.

 

Archives and Museums Opening July 13

The archives and museum will be open on Tuesdays from 1-3 p.m., beginning July 13, featuring new exhibits. The archives will be open for research, assistance is available. Please note that you can continue to visit at other times by making an appointment.

 

Upcoming Programs

Scavenger Hunt for Young Explorers – July 19 – 31, 2021. Calling all young explorers! We have put together a self-guided scavenger hunt of hidden history all around town. Go on the quest to discover the places around us and life in the olden days! Each participant will receive a FREE packet with instructions to find each location as well as coloring pages and other activities. Please sign up to receive a packet by contacting Raina at rsciocchetti@islandinstitute.org. Packets will be available beginning July 19 at the Historical Society. The hunt will conclude with a celebration and prizes on July 31 at 11:00 a.m. at the Sorrento-Sullivan Recreation Center playground.

Visit a Working Quarry — July 21, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. Discover the history of local quarrying with a trip to Sullivan’s very own working quarry, Sullivan Granite CO. We will meet at the Sorrento-Sullivan Recreation Center, then drive to Conrad’s quarry to explore the area, ask questions, and learn about our region’s long history with granite. All ages welcome!

Remembering Margaret – August 2021, date to be determined. Reverend Margaret Henrichsen was a minister of the Sullivan-circuit, a well-loved community member, and author of Seven Steeples, which chronicles her time in Sullivan. We invite you to join us to view her paintings and hear memories of Margaret from those who knew her well. Refreshments will be served.

We will continue to update our calendar online, or follow us on Facebook for the latest news.

Volunteers Needed

Looking to learn more about local history? The Sullivan-Sorrento Historical Society is looking for volunteers to help out in the archives! Available projects include scanning historic photos, filing and data entry, and research. We have a great collection–help us preserve this history and share it with the community! There is no minimum commitment required, and hours can be flexible. Please contact Raina at rsciocchetti@islandinstitute.org (email) or 707-734-0842 (call/text).

 

Thank you for your continued support. Happy summer!

 

The First Sawmill in Sullivan

The First Sawmill in Sullivan

One of the original proprietors of Sullivan was John Bean of York who came with family members before 1760 to settle here. As an original proprietor, he was granted 200 acres, land around Morancy Pond and land at Waukeag Neck (Sorrento). His children were Samuel, who married Elizabeth Johnson, James, who married Lucy Preble, John, who married Miriam Donnell, Joanna, Abigail, who married Daniel Sullivan, and Abitha. 

In 1822, Samuel and James, both in their seventies, signed affidavits as to the persons and history of the mill (Registry of Deeds, Bk. 43, page 319). In James’s affidavit, he states that he “came to Sullivan in the year 1763, and know(s) that the saw mill on Flanders Stream in Sullivan was built in 1766 by (my father) John Bean, Samuel Bean Jabes, Paul and Josiah Simpson, and Daniel Sullivan, proprietors claiming under a grant from the Province of Massachusetts.”

Samuel’s testimony reveals that the mill was rebuilt in 1783, and again in 1799. His property, in 1803, lay to the west of Flanders Stream.. The depositions were taken as requested by Ebenezer Bragdon, James Bragdon, Joshua Dyer, Ephraim Dyer, Stephen Johnson, Benjamin Johnson, John Bragdon and Jotham Bragdon,”… to be preserved in perpetual remembrance of the thing.” 

The Swiss Chalet and the Manor

The Swiss Chalet and the Manor

In 1886, Clyde Hunt and some associates formed the Sullivan Harbor Land Company. They purchased 500 acres of land in Sullivan Harbor, hoping to sell property and make a good profit. In 1887-1888, they had built the Swiss Chalet Restaurant to attract summer people from Bar Harbor to Sullivan. Advertizing brochures contained information on the “Swiss waitresses in costume” and “the flotilla of Venetian sail boats always in readiness for guests.”

Realizing that there also needed to be a lodge for overnight stays, the Land Company built the Manor Inn in 1889, “in the style of an old English Inn.” Some guests were enticed by the promise of excellent hunting and fishing in nearby lakes. In 1894, Gov. H.A. Stearns of Rhode Island, who was staying at the Manor Inn, experienced “unparalled success fishing at Tunk Pond, 95 black bass was the result of his toil” as reported in the Bar Harbor Record of July 18, 1894. 

In 1895, the Sullivan Harbor Land Company was in financial trouble. Dwight Braman took over the mortgage for the buildings and acquired the property by foreclosure. He did have trees cut on his woodlots. Even after his death in 1929, Mrs. Braman continued to summer at the Inn.

In 1937, it was announced that the Inn would no longer be open. Mrs. Braman sold the property in 1951. She died at her home in Newburgh, New York in 1955.

A video of the demolition in 2020 can be seen at https://youtu.be/5SnaTg2Nap4?t=194.