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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!

 

2017

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!

 

2016

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

2015

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

 

 

2014

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.

 

2013

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.

Sincerely,

Board of Directors, North Yarmouth Historical Society

 

2011

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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