About the Society

2003-04-23 The FIRST MEETING of the Old Bristol Historical Society took place at the Bristol Town House in Bristol Mills. TownHall April2014
April 2014 by Paul Ring

2013-01-09 Plaque Commemorates History Of Town Office
L>R – William “Bill” Benner, Paul Yates, Chad Hanna & Peter Hope

OBHS Mission Statement

The mission of the Old Bristol Historical Society is to collect, preserve and share the artifacts and the oral, documentary, personal and physical histories of the communities formerly comprising the old township of Bristol, Maine, USA.

The history of the old township remains alive in the memories of its older citizens, in official and family documents, in artifacts, and in buildings and other monuments still standing on the landscape. The goal of the Society is to keep this history alive by recording these memories, researching and interpreting these documents, collecting these artifacts, and by visiting, exploring and photographing these buildings and other landmarks before they are lost.

By involving local people and institutions in its work, the Society aims to foster an even greater sense of pride and community in our collective past and future.

Peter Hope’s Presentation to the Bristol Area Lions Club, May 20, 2011

“Hope has been instrumental in starting up the Old Bristol Historical Society and building interest in both oral history and genealogy.” TH01 / Next Clue

2013 TOWN REPORT – Old Bristol Historical Society
Pete & Kay Hannah, Co-Presidents

The Old Bristol Historical Society (OBHS), formed in 2003, is a charitable and educational nonprofit corporation serving the public. Its purpose is to collect, preserve, and share the artifacts and the oral, documentary and physical histories of the communities formerly comprising the Old Township of Bristol, i.e. Bristol, South Bristol, Bremen, and parts of Damariscotta and Nobleboro.

Programs and meetings were held June-September at McKinley School (1856) on Harrington Road in Pemaquid Falls. At our public Sunday evening programs local presenters spoke informatively about mills, stores, and bygone days in Pemaquid Harbor and on the Pemaquid River and Monhegan and Muscongus Islands. At our August open house the Fossett and Elliott old photo and postcard collections were viewed by the public.

In September we participated in sponsoring commemoration of the “Battle Between the Boxer and the Enterprise” fought off Pemaquid Point on September 5, 1813 and supported maritime historian, James Nelson, who engaged students at Bristol Consolidated School in a discussion of the battle. Our fundraising efforts included the sale of t-shirts to commemorate the battle.

Other fundraising took place at our Old Bristol Days booth and the Lions Trunk Sales. Fundraising and member dues have helped with operating costs for necessities, such as electricity, insurance, and upkeep and repairs. In 2013, with the help of time donated by local specialists, building improvements included a new entrance/exit ramp and shoring up of the rear of the foundation. Future plans include improvement of outside lighting and interior/exterior painting.

Historical Resource Surveys for Round Pond and Bristol Mills progressed under the expertise of Rose Marie Ballard and Kenneth Coombs. Basic documentation of the architecture and locations of the older Round Pond homes is nearly complete.

In December a website, https://oldbristolhistoricalsociety.wordpress.com/about/, which has much information about OBHS and its interests was created for us by Paul Ring. The society also published spring and fall newsletters with the help of Carol and Paul Ring.

The current board consists of 10 officers and directors: Pete and Kay Hannah, Co-Presidents; Wayne Chadwick, VP; Daniel Purdy, Sec.; Robert Ives, Treas.; Larry Hayter, Peter Hope, David Kolodin, A.J. Lockhart, and Mollie Perley. In July Honorary Directorships were awarded to outgoing members, Carol Brightman, Suzanne Collins, and Kenneth Coombs for their outstanding service on the board during the past 10 years. The board continues to search for meaningful ways to help interest and inspire our townspeople, and particularly our young, in Old Bristol’s fascinating past, rich in historical events since long before the first permanent settlements in the 1700s. It is also focusing on finding a means to preserve the
historical records within its possession and those held in various homes in the area.

The goal of OBHS is to keep our history alive by collecting relevant artifacts, researching and interpreting our history, recording memories of its citizens, and by documenting and photographing buildings and other historical landmarks before they are lost. We aim to foster a sense of community and pride in our collective past through the involvement of local people and institutions. We appreciate the participation of all who make our society what it is and at all times welcome volunteer participants to help keep our goal alive. In 2013 our membership grew to 69 households and 90 members.


2014-02-13 BRISTOL MAINE – Article and pictures by Kay Sawyer Hannah
Three past members of the Board of the Old Bristol Historical Society (OBHS) have been chosen to be Honorary Directors of the Society in recognition of their outstanding commitment and dedication to the OBHS. They were honored at the Annual Meeting of the Society, July, 2013.

Carol and Suzy small

Carol Brightman, [left] formerly of Pemaquid [Walpole post office] and now residing at Chase Point, Damariscotta, is a founding member of the society and served on its Board for 10 years. Using her skills as a published author of several nonfiction books , she has creatively written many fascinating articles for the OBHS newsletters and society publicity through the Lincoln County News.

Suzanne Collins [right] of New Harbor and Whittier, NC served as the first secretary of the OBHS when it was formed in 2003. In addition, her oral recordings of the experiences and perspectives of persons in our community have contributed to Old Bristol’s oral history. She initiated the society’s collection of old photos and also has contributed to historical articles for its newsletters and publicity.

Ken Coombs small

Kenneth Combs of Bristol served on the Board of Directors of the society from 2005 to 2013. During that time he has worked diligently on the conduction of the OBHS Historical Resource Surveys in Round Pond and Bristol Mills, contributing his expertise for the map work in locating the older homes and buildings of Round Pond, which is now nearly complete.

The Old Bristol Historical Society was formed 11 years ago this spring. All three of the honorees have served the society in an exemplary manner in the past decade and through their enthusiasm have significantly contributed to the advancement of its goal. This goal is to keep our history alive by collecting relevant artifacts, to research and interpret our history, record memories of its citizens, and to document and photograph buildings and other historical landmarks before they are lost.


Lincoln County Historical Organizations Contact List

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