2018 Events


September 22, 9am–4pm
York Village Marketfest

Marketfest is a fun, family-friendly community event celebrating the end of summer and the beginning of harvest season. This year’s Marketfest at Old York features Colonial re-enactors, reduced admission to our buildings, a tour of the Old Burying Ground with Cassandra Davidson, a special appearance by the Piscataqua Rangers Junior Fife and Drum Corps, a kids’ apple pie eating contest, traditional craft demonstrations, farm stand with local produce and flowers, apple-cider donuts, cider and hot coffee, and a hands-on cider pressing demonstration.


Saturday, September 29, 12:30pm and 3:30pm
From Petticoats to Pockets: Getting Dressed in the 18th Century
A special presentation on women’s clothing by Hannah Peterson and Kristel Henry

If you think getting dressed every morning is a chore, imagine what it took for a woman to look good in the 1700s. There were petticoats and stays, of course—but also a whole lot of other things under those skirts too. From detachable “pockets” to hip pads and bum rolls designed to lift a woman’s skirts and make her waist look small, it was no easy task to assemble an outfit in the 18th century. Many garments couldn’t be fastened without the help of another person, so it is no wonder that if women could afford it, they would hire a maidservant to help them dress.

Curious to know exactly what it took to get dressed in the 18th century? Come learn from Old York’s own historic clothing experts, Hannah Peterson and Kristel Henry, as they explain the complexities of a woman’s wardrobe. As living history enthusiasts they have extensive experience constructing and wearing reproduction clothing. Using a combination of historic and reproduction examples, Peterson and Henry will examine each layer of clothing, explore various clothing construction techniques and materials, and discuss the difference between lower and upper class garments.

Tickets: Free for members, or included with your admission for the day.

Program Room, Old York Museum Center, 3 Lindsay Road, York, ME 03909


Thursday, October 11, 7pm
Lecture: A Storm of Witchcraft: The Salem Trials and the American Experience
Emerson “Tad” Baker

Beginning in January 1692, Salem Village in colonial Massachusetts witnessed the largest and most lethal outbreak of witchcraft in early America. Villagers—mainly young women—suffered from unseen torments that caused them to writhe, shriek, and contort their bodies, complaining of pins stuck into their flesh and of being haunted by specters. Believing that they suffered from assaults by an invisible spirit, the community began a hunt to find those responsible for the demonic work. The resulting Salem Witch Trials, culminating in the execution of 19 villagers, persists as one of the most mysterious and fascinating events in American history. Historians have speculated on a web of possible causes for the witchcraft that started in Salem and spread across the region—from religious and political crisis, to ergot poisoning and an encephalitis outbreak. While most agree that there was no single cause, Baker asserts that a unique convergence of conditions—“a perfect storm”—set the stage for events in Salem.

This lecture is the second in a four-part lecture series exploring the complex topics of crime, punishment, superstition, and death in old New England. The lectures are followed immediately by dessert, coffee, and tea in Jefferds Tavern.

Emerson W. Baker is professor of history at Salem State University. He is the author of The Devil of Great Island: Witchcraft and Conflict in Early New England, and co-author of an award-winning biography of Sir William Phips.

Tickets: $18 / $15 members Available for purchase online at oldyork.org/events, or at the door.

Program Room, Old York Museum Center, 3 Lindsay Road, York, ME 03909


Sunday, October 21, 3pm
Lecture: Lasting Impressions: Art, Symbolism, and History Found in Graveyards and Cemeteries
Paulette Chernack and Cassandra Davidson Chernack

The stones of New England’s graveyards are rich in art, history, and symbolism. Their meaning, once patently understood however, is generally shrouded in mystery to modern visitors. The mother-and-daughter team of Paulette Chernack and Cassandra Davidson recently compiled their extensive collection of gravestone rubbings and photographs into a seminal book on the subject. Together, they decode the iconography of New England gravestones—including a few in York’s own Old Burying Ground—and talk about American gravestone carving of the seventeenth through the nineteenth centuries.

This lecture is the third in a four-part lecture series exploring the complex topics of crime, punishment, superstition, and death in old New England. The lectures are followed immediately by dessert, coffee, and tea in Jefferds Tavern.

Paulette Chernack and Cassandra Davidson Chernack are members of the Association for Gravestone Studies and the Maine Old Cemetery Association. They educate people about gravestone art and its history through hands-on lectures, demonstrations, and gallery exhibits. In 2003, they acquired Old Stone Enterprises, continuing its tradition of manufacturing and selling high quality supplies for making stone rubbings.

Tickets: $18 / $15 members Available for purchase online at oldyork.org/events, or at the door.

Program Room, Old York Museum Center, 3 Lindsay Road, York, ME 03909


Sunday, November 18, 3pm
Lecture: Devil Made Me Do It!: Crime And Punishment In Early New England
Juliet Haines Mofford

Scarlet Letters, wanton dalliances, Sabbathbreaking, and debt: Colonial laws were easily broken and the malefactors who broke them, swiftly punished. How did our ancestors deal with murder and mayhem? How did seventeenth- and eighteenth-century New England communities handle deviants? How have definitions of criminal behavior and its punishment changed over the centuries? What were early prisons like? What were the duties of a turn-key? Drawing on early court dockets, diaries, sermons, gaolers’ records, and other primary sources, Mofford investigates historical cases from a time when accused felons often pleaded in their own defense: “The Devil made me do it!”

This lecture is the last in a four-part lecture series exploring the complex topics of crime, punishment, superstition, and death in old New England. The lectures are followed immediately by dessert, coffee, and tea in Jefferds Tavern.

Juliet Haines Mofford lives in Bath, Maine, where she works as an author and historical researcher. She is a graduate of Tufts University and former educator at the Old Gaol Museum and Old York Historical Society. She has published hundreds of feature articles and books, including a recent historical novel set in 1692, Abigail Accused: A Story of the Salem Witch Hunt.

Tickets: $18 / $15 members Available for purchase online at oldyork.org/events, or at the door.

Program Room, Old York Museum Center, 3 Lindsay Road, York, ME 03909

The Bulman Bed Hangings

The Bulman Bed Hangings at Museums of Old York, Maine

The Bulman Bed hangings are the crown jewel of our collection, and are widely considered a national treasure. The Museum has recently received a grant from the Coby Foundation to have the bed hangings professionally stabilized and conserved in preparation for installation in the Remick Gallery.

We will be telling the fascinating history of the bed hangings through a series of posts on our blog, introducing readers to the talented team of experts involved in the project, as well as documenting the conservation and reinstallation process, and sharing new findings. Please join us on this incredible journey by reading our first post and signing up to follow the blog.

Follow our blog to receive updates of future posts.