Pittsfield Historical Society
Pittsfield Somerset County Maine U.S.A.
More information about the Depot Building, including pictures, can be found here.
|Some PHS Projects
· Our members have put together A Brief History of Pittsfield.
Early Interest in preserving our History
As early as the mid-1970’s there was action afoot to save Pittsfield’s remaining railroad depot station. Then active Athenaeum Club can be praised for taking the lead in the restoration of the town’s run-down, Victorian-Gothic structure built by Maine Central Railroad in 1886. After conversation with interested local citizens, the Personnel Director of Maine Central Institute, Gordon Peters, expressed his interest and offered assistance to the Athenaeum Club and the dream was born.Hours upon hours were spent in reaching the goal of the restoration of the depot station. The Athenaeum Club, the ARTS Club, businessmen and women, local citizens and more, contributed to rummage & craft sales, bake sales and a charity show to support the restoration. As this was amidst the U.S. bicentennial, a grant from the Maine State American Revolution Bicentennial Commission was applied for and $2000 was realized. Matching funds from the local clubs and the community-at-large put the restoration project in focus; in late 1977, the Pittsfield train station was back in business as a creative workshop center for the YMCA youth program funded through the Maine Criminal Justice Planning and Assistance Agency.
Interest in a Historical Program continues
Sanger Mills Cook, locally renowned for his contribution of Pittsfield on the Sebasticook, formed the Pittsfield Historical Museum early in 1983. The Athenaeum Club had since waned; Depot House, Inc. needed members and attention. The railroad station was purchased January 20, 1976 for $5000, restored at a figure nearing $11,000 and owned by the town, soon became the Depot House Museum, and its official caretakers, the Pittsfield Historical Society.
A Reawakening to our Heritage and History
As the century turned from the 1990’s to the new millennium, new interest dawned on the Historical Society. When Pittsfield’s first settler, Lovell Fairbrother, ventured from Norridgewock in 1775 and then found the wilderness area to his dislike, his despair was Moses and Anna Martin‘s delight. Beginning with a log cabin in 1794, they later built the first frame house in 1818 on what is now lower Peltoma Avenue. That’s perseverance! Now, as then, the local people have persisted despite obstacles, and the Pittsfield Historical Society remains a small, but steadfast group.
Pittsfield Historical Society’s main goal is opening the Depot House Museum to the public, to share with all the riches of a bygone era. Therein lies a smidgen of the past: a Civil War collection, area and human interest photos, scrapbooks, a doll collection and a working antique organ. Books and boots, Bibles, a hand crank telephone, artifacts from farms, businesses and homes.
Treasures are too numerous to count will be displayed in the Depot House lobby, and the Maine Central Railroad Caboose houses railroad and train artifacts for the railroad buff.
Visitors are encouraged to come often as we uncover more pieces of Pittsfield’s past.