January History Hour Featuring Tim Whitten

January History Hour Featuring Tim Whitten

We welcome you to join us via Zoom for the first in our Winter 2023 History Hour series on January 18th at 7pm. Our featured guest will be Tim Whitten, one of the world’s few remaining experts on marlinespike, which is the maritime art of rope work and knots. Tim is the owner of Marlinespike Chandlery in Stonington and will share his story of how he came to learn his craft as well as the history of it. He will also demonstrate examples of his work and the tools used.

Knot work is familiar to anyone who sails, but with the advent of new fasteners in the modern age, the intricate art of knots and ropes as used in marlinespike is a relic of the past – especially at the level of Tim’s fancy marlinespike seamanship. Tim was a 2021 recipient of the Maine Arts Commission Belvedere Craft Fellowship Award and his work has been featured around the globe.

Here is the link for the Zoom presentation:

Topic: Marlinespike Seamanship with Tim Whitten
Time: Jan 18, 2023 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Passcode: 728700
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Meeting ID: 812 5666 4040
Passcode: 728700
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Welcome to Our New Communications Coordinator!

Welcome to Our New Communications Coordinator!

Welcome to Tobey Crawford Connor, the new part-time Communications Coordinator for the Sullivan-Sorrento Historical Society!

 Tobey joined us in June as a summer intern where she set her considerable skills to digitizing more of our valuable documents.

Starting in September she will manage our internet presence, primarily our website and Facebook page, and continue our popular History Hour presentations in the winter.  She will also coordinate getting our annual newsletter sent out and periodic articles for the Sullivan and Sorrento monthly newsletters.

She brings extensive experience in media management and online development and communications, as well as genealogy, research, and museum experience. The history of Downeast Maine is one of her great passions and the focus of her studies as a full-time student at the University of Maine.

In addition to her work with us, she volunteers regularly with other nonprofits. We’re lucky she could fit us in! Tobey and her family live in Sullivan where her two children will attend the new middle school/high school. 

This is a baby step for the Sullivan-Sorrento Historical Society, which has been a 100% volunteer effort up to this point. From generous donations and bequests we have a small investment fund with the Maine Community Foundation that allows us to fund this new position for six hours a week. 

So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, goodbye…

So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, goodbye…

To Raina Sciocchetti, our Island Institute Fellow who has been with us two years! Raina leaves
us this month with a historical society improved beyond what we ever expected when she

She bumped up our presence on Facebook with frequent fun and interesting bits of
Sullivan and Sorrento’s history. People have loved it and responded with fun and
interesting bits of history of their own.

She looked under the hood of our very out-of-date website and attacked it with
mysterious technological thingies like “search engine optimization” and “parallax
scrolling.” Its new, fresh design is attractive, useful, and best of all – easy to use!
She created a monthly online “History Hour” for winter evenings when a virtual
gathering and information-sharing perked us all up. The speakers gave us new insights
into Sullivan and Sorrento’s past and the comments during and after told us this new
program was a hit!

Over months of hard work, she transformed our jumbled collection of Sullivan and
Sorrento’s history from stacks of mystery boxes and piles of unrelated papers to a well
organized, well labeled system. She found treasures we didn’t know we had! Now we
can locate things much easier and care for them properly.

She rejuvenated our museum! She muscled big display cases into tight corners,
sometimes with help, and filled them with treasures that had been out of sight for twenty
or more years. New labels, more lighting. She made us shine!

And so much more.

Raina’s skills and hard work over two years – during a pandemic – gives Sullivan and Sorrento a
great jumping-off place to plan for the future of the historical society.

Good luck to Raina as she moves to Boston where she will attend graduate school at Simmons
University for Library and Information Science with special studies in Archives Management.
We like to think we had a hand in her choice of specialty!

Along with the Fellowship program that brought Raina to us, the Island Institute team was always in the background to offer support, materials, organization, and trouble shooting.  The skill and experience of the Fellowship team helped us find focus and make best use of the Fellowship and the resources we have.  And now, even with Raina’s leaving, the Island Institute’s Community Leadership Team has stepped up to help us through a “visioning” process to sustain the hard work Raina did for us and to plan for the future.   Our thanks to the Island Institute and its outstanding teams!

Raina is our guest speaker at the August 10 program, 7:00pm at the Sorrento Community Building about “Maggie’s Journal.” Also on that evening we will celebrate Raina and her work with a few words of thanks. There will be cake!!!

We hope you can join us for both the program and the celebration.

New Exhibits

New Exhibits

New season… new exhibits! This summer we are open 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. on Saturday mornings and 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. on Tuesdays. Admission is free, donations always appreciated. We also have postcards, cards, maps, and books for sale.

Our opening this year is extra exciting because this is the culmination of several months of working to haul out the entire room of “stuff” to sort through it all and identify, catalog, and store items. We are especially grateful to the volunteers who assisted with the project and to the folks at Home Depot in Ellsworth, who gifted four shelving units that allowed us to set up a new storage area in the back of the museum for our textiles and large collections.


Volunteer Spotlight

Volunteer Spotlight

As we redesigned our museum over the past winter and spring, we came face-to-face with the reality that our wood-and-glass display cases are historic and lovely to look at, but awkward, heavy, and nearly impossible to move. Enter volunteer George Deans, who offered to build platforms with casters under three of our large display cases. The display cases now glide easily, greatly facilitating cleaning, (future) painting in the room, and setting up exhibits. George also turned a bookcase into portable shelving, improved the base of the North Sullivan Post Office, and made a new undercarriage on wheels for the headstone of town father, Daniel Sullivan. Captain Sullivan is on the roll again!

We also want to recognize volunteer, Eben Lenfest, who assisted George with some of the heavy lifting and generously donated several more hours to help Raina, Island Institute Fellow, whenever she desperately needed another pair of hands in the museum.

Our heartfelt thanks to George and Eben for their time, talent, humor, and strong backs that helped us get to opening day!  

Summer Hours – Starting June 14, 2022

Summer Hours – Starting June 14, 2022

We’re opening for the summer on June 14, 2022!

Our summer hours will be Tuesdays, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. and Saturdays, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Visit the Archives & Museum at the Sullivan- Sorrento Historical Society this summer and learn about local history. The Society maintains a collection of historical records, photographs, and artifacts. Volunteers will be available to help with your family research.

It’s a big year for the Sullivan-Sorrento Historical Society! We’re celebrating our 50th anniversary with a special exhibit featuring our organization’s history.

New volunteers are always welcome.