VERY SORRY: we are not

open this Saturday, MAY 4. We don’t have an available volunteer. IF you would like to come by at another time, we’d be happy to arrange an appointment. Please contact us at nyhs(at symbol)maine.rr.com







We are OPEN

this Saturday, April 13,

9 AM–noon—come on by!

(It’s not our regular first Saturday hours—
but last Saturday we were all at Town Meeting …)





And Away We Go …

We’re on our way!! A million THANKS to the North Yarmouth voters who raised their hands yesterday at Town Meeting in support of the land exchange/lease between North Yarmouth Historical and the town.

The Old Town House now has a new home … right where Wescustogo Hall used to stand. And now in the spirt of Wescustogo, we welcome the whole community to help with this project—planning the move, preparing the site, designing the addition, and raising the money to get it done.

You’ll be hearing a lot more about this project as the months go on; meanwhile, thanks to our Old Town House Committee member Bill Hopkins, we have a conceptual “sketch” of what the Old Town House could look like in its new location . We’d love to have your comments.

We welcome your participation and we’re thankful for our supporters. Onward and upward!






“Let us be bold; let us be brave;

let us be together.”

This Saturday, April 6 North Yarmouth holds its annual Town Meeting at 9 AM at the Greely Center for the Arts in Cumberland. 
Item #4 on the Warrant is a vote concerning our Old Town House: 
to “authorize municipal offer to lease the town-owned property known as the Village Green …to North Yarmouth Historical Society for the sum of one dollar … in exchange for the transfer of ownership of the .25 acre property at 470 Memorial Highway …”  (the current site of the Old Town House)
This is what we’ve been working toward for quite some time. There are huge benefits to re-locating the Old Town House in the center of our town and adding a modest addition for our priceless archival collections. 
What we ask of you, if you are a town resident, to come to Town Meeting and VOTE in favor of this proposal—cast a vote for North Yarmouth Historical and for our town. 
We hope you have read the recent Gazette, which tells you a lot more We’ll have extra copies of the Gazette and more information at the meeting, too. And will be happy to answer your questions.
SEE YOU THERE and, as always, thanks for your generosity and support of North Yarmouth Historical Society.



The latest Gazette has been mailed! If you haven’t seen it in your mailbox yet, send us a message and let us know. Also, know somebody who would like to receive this issue of the Gazette? We’ll be happy to send one out!






UPDATE: Despite the wintry weather, we are ON for today’s presentation. See you there!

Sunday, March 10, 2019: Hope to see you at our Annual Meeting and Program!

Eleanor Phillips Brackbill embarked on a writing career after thirty years of teaching and directing the education programs of the Neuberger Museum of Art at Purchase College, State University of New York.

With an appreciation not only for family history but also for the history of place, Eleanor has turned her research skills to her own home. In An Uncommon Cape: Researching the Histories and Mysteries of a Property she created a kind of genealogy of her property.

Come join us for this great program!








Saturday, February 2, 9-12 Noon:

The NYHS Archives will be open for our first Saturday of the month public hours (9 AM-noon). But just be forewarned that we’re still putting things back together after a rehab and, although everything looks great, sometimes it’s hard to put your hand on exactly what you’re looking for!

Nonetheless, drop by to ask a question and see what we’ve done. AND … we’ll be having an open house in April. More about that as we plan and get ready!







Heads up for this Saturday, January 5:

Sorry, NYHS Archives are not yet open for business—no public hours this Saturday. Big re-ordering, re-structuring, painting, and freshening is in process. When we’re done, it’ll be a lot easier and more fun to do research in our Fire Station space. Now … where did that tape measure go???




NOTE: October 6 Public Hours cancelled.

Hello folks, we are unable to have public hours this upcoming Saturday, October 6 at the Archives due to the sheriff’s use of our space during the missing persons search. Thoughts and prayers for the Westra family.


Saturday, August 4,

9 AM-noon:

NYHS Archives

Tour and Orientation!

We have a lot of fascinating items related to the history of our town, its houses, and its families. Come take a look and see what we have. This is scheduled during our usual monthly public hours.

Our vault and its treasures!







Come join us on May 20. A fascinating and fun event!

Ron Romano is an expert on the early stonecutters of southern Maine. His groundbreaking research on the life and work of stonecutter Bartlett Adams led him to write Early Gravestones in Southern Maine: The Genius of Bartlett Adams. There may be up to a dozen Adams gravestones in Walnut Hill Cemetery; Ron will tour us through our historic burying ground, identify stones, and demonstrate preservation techniques. Ron’s books will be available; refreshments served!



Our Archives are open to the public on the first Saturday of each month from 9-noon. Please contact us in advance if you have specific research requests/questions. Thanks!





Our First Saturday hours for February 4 will be “on demand,” due to Skyline Farm’s Sleigh Day and their need for volunteers. If you’d like access to the Archives, please call 595-2997. Thank you!




Please not that our May 22 program, Show & Tell, has been canceled. Both program coordinators are out of town. To be rescheduled!




Soup & Cider Day is scheduled for Sunday, October 26. SEE our Schedule of Events!







Single Pratt PC

Click to enlarge. (This photo was taken in North Yarmouth.)

The 366th Infantry Regiment was a “colored” and “separate” infantry regiment—deceptively simple and misleading designations.

During WWI, the 366th Infantry Regiment was part of the 92nd division, the “Buffalo Soldiers,” serving with distinction in France. Ten months before Pearl Harbor, the 366th was organized as a “separate’”regiment at Fort Devens, Massachusetts. The 366th saw 90 days of intense combat at the Gothic line in Italy in late 1944 and early 1945.

Dr. James Pratt took on the task of enumerating and  identifying 366th soldiers who died while in service. And along the way, he discovered some fascinating information about the 366th’s service throughout New England.

After Pearl Harbor and Germany’s declaration of war in 1941, the U.S. military was woefully unprepared. Remembering the acts of sabotage carried out by German agents in New England during WWI, the U.S. Army was desperate to provide security to sensitive locations in New England.

The 366th Infantry Regiment—trained, armed, in possession of its own transportation and available for assignment—was literally the only unit capable of providing immediate security to the many vital infrastructure and facilities in New England.  Platoon-sized units were sent to numerous locations throughout New England between December, 1941 and December, 1942.

The sudden appearance of armed units of colored soldiers in communities where there were few, if any, colored residents created challenges for both the soldiers and local citizens.

Dr. Pratt’s talk provides information about the 366th’s service. He will also be here in Maine to gather information and stories from anyone who remembers the young men who served here in Maine. If YOU have information to share, please let us know!

About James Pratt:

Dr. Pratt’s father, Capt. Charles Pratt, served with the 366th Infantry Regiment. While visiting Italy, Dr. Pratt learned that the Italians knew much more about his father’s military service than he did. Further research has led to a passion for documenting the 366th’s unique history.

A retired agricultural economist, James Pratt served with the USAF in the 1960s and earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Kalamazoo College, a Masters from Purdue University, and a PhD from Michigan State University, both in agricultural economics. For over 30 years he studied logistics and spatial economics in the dairy industry and taught statistics and mathematical programming to economists and business students. He lives in Groton, New York.



A letter to the North Yarmouth Board of Selectmen, sent Feb. 26, 2013:

We note that on February 19, 2013 the Board of Selectmen voted to authorize a contract with Carroll & Associates to develop a plan for a town center for North Yarmouth. This letter is to indicate our strong interest in participating in the planning process for the center.

As a community organization in North Yarmouth since the early 1970s, we consider ourselves to be an important stakeholder in this process.

North Yarmouth Historical Society, as you know, is based in two separate buildings in town: the 1853 Old Town House, close to East North Yarmouth; and our workroom and archives, located in Walnut Hill Center.

NYHS faces challenges with both facilities.

A 2012 engineering study of the Old Town House has highlighted the need for the building’s restoration; in fact, the Town House has been closed to the public for about a year due to structural concerns.

As for our archives and workroom, we’ve reached capacity for our collections. Our vault is full, many items and papers await accessioning, and we’re hesitant to accept new materials. We also recognize the changing nature of Walnut Hill Center. The Historical Society is becoming an outlier in a building that’s more of a public safety facility, and we know that additional space will be needed for Fire and Safety Department activities, especially for housing of interns and other personnel.

Despite the need for better and larger space, NYHS has been reluctant to give up our small space in Walnut Hill Center. It’s important that we have a presence among the historic houses, town facilities, and businesses of Walnut Hill village. It’s been suggested that we consolidate our organization’s activities at the Old Town House, but since it lacks the utilities and equipment we need to store and access our documents and artifacts, it is not at all suitable for our archives and workroom, even if it were fully restored. And its relatively isolated location is far less advantageous for public programming.

Meanwhile, we’ve been watching the recent visioning and planning for a town center in North Yarmouth with great interest. We see ourselves as an important stakeholder in this process, as a long time community organization with a unique private/municipal identity. We feel that the success of this plan for a town center is very important to the town’s future economic development, and that NYHS’s presence could be a significant part of the plan.

To that end the NYHS Board, on February 10, 2013 voted to write to the Selectmen to offer the idea of moving the Old Town House to the planned town center or creating a new building for our purposes within the scope of this plan.

We’re extremely excited by the potential benefits of merging NYHS activities, collections, and programs together with an enhanced town center.

We would be happy to answer any questions you might have about this proposal and look forward to your comments.


Board of Directors, North Yarmouth Historical Society



I n the spring of 2010, North Yarmouth participated in the Maine Community Heritage Project (MCHP), funded by Maine Historical Society. Several electronic presentations of the shared history of North Yarmouth and Cumberland were completed and can viewed here.

Many historical images of North Yarmouth have been mounted on Maine Memory Network (MMN) and some are included as part of our MCHP exhibits. Take a look here to see all images of North Yarmouth on MMN.

In an exciting new development, North Yarmouth has been notified that the University of Southern Maine Libraries will undertake a digitization project of our town’s Annual Reports! This project will commence in late October 2010 and will take several months to complete. Check back here for a link to this valuable online resource once it is complete!

NYHS on Maine Memory Network

Maine Memory Network

NYHS, c/o NY Town Office   |   10 Village Square Road   |   North Yarmouth, Maine 04097   |   Email us!
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