We Surrender! Historic Fun (and Pizza and Beer) Sept. 1-5, 2014

The First of September:  Belfast in the War of 1812, 200 Years Later

Megan Pinette, Belfast Historical Society

The War of 1812, the second with England, was not looked upon with general favor by the citizens of Belfast, since as a maritime town it was inevitable that commerce should suffer greatly. Many people in Belfast were receiving news about the latest war with the British through public readings of mail and newspapers from other towns and states. As they learned more about the battles and skirmishes, they knew that at some point the British fleet would be back to take charge of the Penobscot Bay and River.

The British fleet returned on the 26th of August 1814 with eight vessels of war and eleven transports. According to John Lymeburner Locke’s “Sketches of Belfast,” on Thursday morning, Sept. 1st, the British fleet made its appearance in Belfast Bay. So numerous were their masts that the fleet is described by an eye witness as having “looked like a spruce swamp.” It is a date well remembered by the ditty “On the first of September, the English we’ll remember.

It seems that most of Belfast was on alert. The local militias were assembling and gathering up their two cannons and small arms and heading out of town. It was late in the afternoon around 4 o’clock when the British frigate Burhante and two transports anchored off Steele’s Ledge. At 5 o’clock, a barge with several officers and a flag of truce landed on the shore. The officer in charge asked to be taken to see the chief magistrate and Mr. William Moody conducted the British up the hill to Huse’s tavern, located at the corner of Main and High streets.

At the tavern was chief magistrate Asa Edmunds, who was informed by General Gerard Gosselin that he and his Majesty’s troops would be stationed in Belfast for a few days, after which they would peaceably leave. The condition was that if, during their stay, a gun was fired against them they would be forced to burn the town. Mr. Edmunds accepted the flag and replied that the farmers of Belfast might be hard pressed to provide enough provisions on such short notice for the 500 – 600 troops. The General and his aides took supper at the tavern and returned to their ship to oversee the disembarking of the troops.

According to Williamson’s history, “To prevent desertions, the officers represented Belfast as an island, some distance from the mainland. One of the picket guards, stationed on Wilson’s hill, conceived the idea of visiting the western shore of the “island,” and started on an exploring expedition in the direction of the setting sun.” When the troops departed, he was in Davistown, now Montville, where as a respectable citizen, he resided until his death.”

On the morning of Sept. 5, after an uneventful occupation, the British troops departed from Belfast and returned to Castine. Hearing this, the Belfast militia marched back into town from Belmont. The British re-fortified Castine and remained there until April 25, 1815, four months after the December 1814 signing of the Treaty of Ghent. The English returned to Belfast once more that winter, and, as a friendly gesture, a group of officers held a ball at the Whittier Tavern on Primrose Hill and brought their own military band.

Please join Megan Pinette, Belfast Historical Society president, at 6:00 p.m. at Heritage Park for a commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the occupation of Belfast. 

Street Party Ready to Rock in Sixth Year!

Painted faces are a familiar sight at the Belfast Street Party. Look for more family and kid-friendly activities at this year’s event on Monday, August 4th, from 5-10:30pm on High Street.

THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS:  The City of Belfast, Bangor Savings Bank, Camden National Bank, The Belfast Co-op, Dutch Chevrolet, Coyote Moon, and JoJo’s Corn.

Our Town Belfast is hard at work getting ready for the 6th Annual Belfast Street Party, Monday August 4th from 5-10:30pm. It’s still summer!  Locals and visitors will remember this event as that wild and wonderful Monday in August when downtown Belfast High Street (from the traffic light to MacLeod Furniture) is closed off and filled to bursting with carnival feats of skill, strength, and daring, activities for people of all ages with an emphasis on children and families, clowns and face painting, tasty food from local vendors, street performers of all kinds, and of course a main stage with nonstop music and dancing from 5pm until the party ends at ten thirty.

Street Party organizers at Our Town Belfast promise an event “bigger and better than ever” as many new activities are in store for 2014.  The main stage will be moved to accommodate more room for dancing, and the evening’s entertainment will finish with a performance by Courtney Porter’s dance squad kicking off the grand finale of the best dance tunes from the past 40 years, courtesy of DJ Matt Bixby.  Kicking off the evening will be Belfast-based blues and rock and roll powerhouse Captain Obvious from 5-7pm.  Fan-favorites Don Nickerson & Country Mist will return this year with their musical stylings of classic rock and country tunes providing a living-breathing jukebox of hits from 7-9pm.

Thanks to funding through their Healthy Maine Streets program, Our Town Belfast is also able to up the wellness factor at this year’s party.  While there will be no shortage of fried dough and cotton candy, families will enjoy healthier options as well from vendors like Belfast’s Juice Cellar and fun physical activity such as Zumba and Hula Hooping.  There will even be some family-friendly activities highlighting local foods and farms thanks to the Belfast Farmer’s Market and Maine Farmland Trust.

Another welcome addition to this year’s Street Party will be a beer and wine tent run by Rollie’s Bar and Grill.  Those over 21 who wish to enjoy an adult beverage or two will be able to do so in a one-night-only beer garden next to MacLeod Furniture.

“The Street Party planning committee is very pleased and proud to put on an event each year that appeals to a wide array of Waldo County families and visitors as well,” says Our Town Belfast executive director Breanna Pinkham Bebb.  “We’ve got it all – from Spunky the Clown to the Bucking Bronco, bounce houses and bungee jumping, popsicles to beer, from rock and roll to disco fever.  It truly is fun for all types – and free admission to boot!”

 For more information on the Belfast Street Party, one may contact Our Town Belfast at or 207.323.9100.  The planning committee is still accepting applications for vendors, as well as activities and street entertainment.  Sponsorship and volunteer opportunities are still available.  This year’s Street Party is put on with the generous support of sponsors including the City of Belfast, Bangor Savings Bank, Camden National Bank, Dutch Chevrolet, the Belfast Co-op, and Coyote Moon.

Our Town Belfast hopes to see another huge crowd of friends and family at the 6th Annual Belfast Street Party on Monday, August 4th.  In the event of rain the party will be held on the next sunny day.  Admission is free, with any donations and sales of tickets for rides going to support next year’s event.  Bring a chair and visit with old friends or just hang around and make new friends.  See you at the Street Party!

Hundreds of Hostas on Parade at the Belfast Garden Club

From the enormous Empress Wu, which can grow to nine feet in diameter, to the Itsy Bitsy Spider, which grows a whopping 2.5” tall, to literally hundreds of varieties in between — all will be on display at Ron Dow’s Belfast Hosta Gallery on Friday, July 25, as part of the Belfast Garden Club’s annual Open Garden series.

“Gallery” is indeed the correct word to describe Dow’s garden. Strolling around his property, one wishes only that there were curatorial notes alongside each specimen because each has a story to tell. Dow knows not only the names of his hostas, but their origins, habits, bloom time, height and color variations.

Dow’s fascination with hostas began in 1986 when he moved to a house with eight hosta plants in the Presque Isle area. Nine years later, when he moved to Belfast (after serving as English professor and humanities department chair at the University of Maine Presque isle), he brought with him 400+ varieties of hostas in pots – which ended up being stored in Ruth Holmes’s backyard until he was able to move them to his new home.

Many of the hostas that Dow grows are for sale. If Open Garden visitors want to buy any, he will mark them as sold and ask that buyers return on another day to complete the purchase, especially because many will need to be dug and potted first. “If you agree to to be on this tour, I think it’s important to be on site as a host. . .to be available to answer questions and point out interesting things about the plants. I can’t do that and sell plants at the same time. But don’t get me wrong — I’m happy to sell plants!”

The Belfast Hosta Gallery is located at 194 Back Belmont Road in Belfast. Take Route 52 out of Belfast and bear right onto Back Belmont Road at the Belfast Variety/Irving station. After crossing Jesse Robbins Road, the garden is .5 mile on the left.

This is the fourth of eight Open Gardens, all of which are on Fridays, rain or shine.
The next is Andrea Whyte’s beautifully landscaped Belfast garden, complete with a custom-built waterfall and fire pit that overlooks the Front Street Shipyard.

All Open Gardens can be visited by purchasing a $25 season pass with 8 garden admissions (available at The Good Table or Brambles on Main St. in Belfast, or at Scallions in Reny’s Plaza, or at Aubuchon Hardware on Rte. 1) or individually by making a $4 donation at each garden. For a complete schedule, visit or pick up a brochure at numerous retail businesses in and around Belfast. For more information about Open Gardens, call Martha Laitin (948-2815) or email

Open Readings in Belfast!

Friday, July 18
Open  Poetry
& Spoken Word
Reading at
Bell the Cat in Belfast


Poets, poetry fans, slammers, jammers, performance artists, students, teachers and cahoots:

Get your jam ON! Another open reading at Bell The Cat in Belfast.

Here’s the deets:


Friday, July 18th at Bell The Cat 6:30 – sign up, chat, snack, have a cuppa.

7PM – Open Reading starts

Former Belfast Poet Laureate Jacob Fricke guest hosts the July edition of this bi-monthly open reading in Bell The Cat’s performance space. We have a poets table, a great group and a fine time of it.
Read your own work, recite some of  your favorite poets work, it’s all good.
Bring poems or spoken word works to read, recite or to work on, an instrument if you play one, or a musician, to accompany poetry. And bring your appetite. BTC has scrumptious fresh soups, salads, deli sandwiches, cookies, pastries and coffee/tea beverages and cold stone ice cream.  Not only that, get ready for it, beer & wine.

Put that poem up on its feet and strut it around!

Left Bank Books Celebrates 10th Birthday with Signings

Celebrating our 10th birthday on August 2 & hoping you’ll join us for four wonderful signings!

All of the events are free, but reservations are required. Please call or send us a note. The dates are coming right up…..

Richard was chosen to serve as the fifth inaugural poet of the United States, following in the footsteps of such great writers as Robert Frost and Maya Angelou. He read his original poem, “One Today,” at President Obama’s second inauguration on January 21, 2013.  That day confirmed him as an historical figure: the first Latino, immigrant, and gay writer bestowed with such an honor, as well as the youngest ever.  His newest book is For All of Us, One Today: An Inaugural Poet’s Journey (we have lots on hand) and a new memoir is due in September (we’ll be glad to take orders).

We are thrilled to have Richard joining us.
Please don’t miss this very special evening!
Sunday, August 3
3 pm – 5 pm
Inspired by events in the life of anthropologist Margaret Mead, novelist Lily King’s latest novel, Euphoria, tells the story of three trailblazing anthropologists caught in a complex love triangle in 1930s New Guinea.  This character-driven narrative, vividly imagined in its primitive setting, has received glowing national reviews — including a front page review in the NYT Book Review last month.  Lily’s previous novels include The Pleasing Hour, The English Teacher, and Father of the Rain, a NYTEditors Choice and winner of the 2010 New England Book Award for Fiction and the Maine Fiction Award.  (It is also one of our personal favorites.)
We had the pleasure of hosting Lily in our Searsport shop and
can’t wait to welcome her to Belfast!

Saturday, August 9
3:00 – 5:00 pm
Elizabeth Strout, a native of Portland, won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for Olive Kitteridge, a collection of thirteen short stories set in Crosby, Maine, and bound together by the title character, a blunt, flawed and fascinating school teacher who deplores the changes in her small town.  Her most recent novel, The Burgess Boys, was a New York Times bestseller and hailed as “One of the Best Books of the Year” by the Washington Post.  She’s also the author of Abide with Me and Amy & Isabelle, a debut novel that we’ve loved since its debut!
We’ve hosted just a few Pulitzer Prize winners at the shop.
It is a great treat to be able to have Elizabeth!
Saturday, August 16
3:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Acclaimed naturalist and author, Bernd’s newest book, The Homing Instinct: Meaning & Mystery in Animal Migration, explores mysteries such as how geese imprint true visual landscape memory; how scent trails are used by many creatures; and how the tiniest of songbirds are equipped for solar and magnetic orienteering over vast distances.
Bernd’s previous books include the popular Ravens in Winter, A Year in the Maine Woods, Summer World and Winter World.

Bernd has been on our author ‘wish list’ forever.  We feel so lucky that he’s made room for us on his schedule!

Sunday, July 20 from 5 pm – 7 pmWe’ll be celebrating Marilyn’s beautiful book, Bill Moss: Fabric Artist & Designer, a tribute to the life and work of the iconic Maine artist and
co-founder with Marilyn of Moss Tents. 

Hoping to see you at some or all of these events!  Please do call us to reserve seats or copies of desired books (338-9009).Marsha, Lindsay and Barb


“Once Upon A Mattress” Coming To Belfast


Rehearsals are underway for the Belfast Maskers’ production of the rollicking musical comedy, “Once Upon a Mattress,” by Mary Rodgers, Marshall Barer, Jay Thompson, and Dean Fuller. This over-the-top re-telling of the classic fable, The Princess and the Pea, debuted in 1959 and made entertainment icon Carol Burnett an overnight star.

The Maskers’ performances will all take place at Belfast Area High School on July 17, 18, 19, 24, 25 and 26. All shows at 7 pm. Tickets sold only at the door, $15 for teens and adults, $10 for ages 12 and under. Cash and checks accepted. For more information, call 930-7090 or visit our website at All photos by Kelly McKenna.

Belfast Summer Nights Returns With New Artists

Bridget Matros – Singer Songwriter
followed by: The Tom Luther Quintet who will be featuring two alumni and Belfast favorites, Noah Fishman and Jeff Densmore.
Come join us for a great evening of
song and original Jazz.
Bring your chairs and your picnic.

For more information call: 322-7123

Internet Expert at Free Social Media Marketing Roundtable, June 24th 12-1pm

Join us upstairs at Darby’s Restaurant on High Street from noon until 1pm on Tuesday, June 24th for the second installment of Our Town Belfast’s 2014 “Lunch & Learn” series.  These events are geared toward representatives of Belfast businesses and organizations.  As we will meet in a private space at Darby’s restaurant, participants are welcome to bring their own lunch or order off the menu.  We will provide iced tea, water, and other snacks free of charge!

June 24th:  Marketing Belfast – Stronger Together Through Social Media

Is your business or organization using Facebook and other social media to market itself?  Having trouble keeping up with constant changes, figuring out how to make sure your fans and followers see your messages?  Are you hashtagging?  Linking fellow businesses and Belfast events in your posts?  Are you connected with the right pages to raise your own profile?

Ross Lasley, “The Internet Educator” will be joining us to field questions and make smart recommendations as we discuss all things social media marketing.  Bring your tough questions!  Ross has spoken at many chamber gatherings and national conventions including Internet Retailer!  You can learn more about Ross and his wealth of internet experience on his website:

Please RSVP ahead of time by clicking here.  Don’t miss out on this FANTASTIC FREE OPPPORTUNITY for LEARNING and NETWORKING.

Brought to you by the Economic Restructuring Committee of Our Town Belfast.  Ellie Daniels, Chair.

Our Town Belfast Annual Meeting 2014


Our Town Belfast held its annual meeting on March 19th at PlantLab in Belfast.  A big thank you to Matthew Kenney and Kaia Harper at PlantLab and Chef Jason Paul of the Gothic for providing delicious food and beautiful surroundings.  Additional thanks goes to Allen Insurance & Financial for sponsoring the event as well as the Belfast Historical Society & Museum for decorating the venue with historic Belfast photographs.

Executive Director Breanna Pinkham Bebb shared a brief summary of the past years accomplishments with the 65 assembled guests and directed their attention to our first ever printed annual report and brand new rack cards for further information.
New members and new officers of the Board were introduced:  Chair, Marjorie Byers, Vice-Chair Chris Bitely, Secretary Dorothy Havey and Treasurer Amy Bowen.  New members are  Abigale Avey, Michael Casby, Wendy Cummings, Terri Mahoney and Seth Thayer.
Chair Marjie Byers thanked the retiring board members (Mallory Banks-Harnden, Coleen Marsh, Jamie Oates and Anne Saggese)  for the many, many hours of time they have devoted to the organizationsince its inception in 2010.  These amazing volunteers, as well as Mayor Walter Ash, were presented with a framed print by Dianne Horton.
The meeting ended with an introduction to the Happy video that Our Town is producing and a first taping of the happy attendees dancing to the music.

New Location on First Fridays for the Belfast Farmers Market!

The Belfast Farmers’ Market would like to announce the completion of its first full-time Winter Market! Started five years ago, each year has added a few weeks as more of you realized how much great local food could still be had in the snowy months. We would like to give a big, hearty thanks to Aubuchon for the use of their greenhouse each year from Nov to April.
As Aubuchon needs their greenhouse back to gear up for Spring, and we feel the need to be out and one with the elements again, the market has moved back into the sunshine at Waterfall Arts. It’s all your favorite Winter Market vendors until full season starts May 9 with everybody on board! Come say Hi to your old friends and make some new as we welcome our latest additions:
  • Plymouth Pond Farm and Bakery raise beautiful grains in Maine and will have milled flours for you as well as specialty breads like bagels, wraps, croissants and pretzels. 
  • Pemaquid Lobster & Seafood Co. will offer fresh-off-the-boats seafood.
  • Toddy Pond Farm is bringing you their farm-made gelatos, kefir, yogurt and fromage blanc.
  • Suecakes joined the Winter market this year and will continue into the full season with gluten-free sweat and savory treats. 
  • and also joining us from a seasoning at the Winter Market is Neill Peterson of Ace Blades to sharpen all your kitchen and garden tools.
And one more piece of big news! As apparently the rumor mill has been turning and you’ve been hearing of changes at the market we can finally confirm that it is true – we are ending our run of First Fridays on Main Street. They were so much fun for the years we did them and we want to give a huge thanks to the City of Belfast and all the Main Street businesses that both loved having us there and I’m sure were sometimes driven a little crazy by our gypsy caravan. It is my belief that such a high-profile location really helped to tune people into the amazing array of Maine-grown goods we have to offer. It’s a much different picture than when I was a kid. It has, in fact, worked so well that we are simply too large now to squeeze on to that block so we are very pleased to announce that the spirit of the festival will live on in our new First Fridays location in the Tarratine Hall parking lot. 
So, Winter Market continuing at Waterfall Arts though April.
Full Market season with all vendors opens may 9.
You can find us at Waterfall Arts every Friday from 9am-1pm, except on the First Friday of the month, when you can find us at the Tarratine Hall 9am-1pm.