August 2013 Update


The Hooked Rug Exhibition on August 10th 
was well attended throughout the day.

The two events during Heritage Days weekend at the Union Meeting house were a great success.  Both the Hooked Rug Exhibition and the evening concert by the Maranacook String Band and the Sandy River Ramblers drew large and appreciative crowds. People came and kept coming all day at the rug show and showed their enthusiasm by stuffing the donation box. Comments were extremely favorable with guests from out-of-state and all over the State of Maine.

Thanks are extended to Board member, Joan Wiebe, who chaired the event, to Mildred Cole Péladeau who curated it, and to Joe Caputo who made all the display easels, helped set up the exhibit and loaned many of his fine rugs for display.

Thanks are due to Board members Marianne and John Perry for making all the arrangement for the concert. Their coordination of all aspects made it possible for everything to come off without a hitch. The audience was full of energy with a lot of foot-stomping going on. A rough count showed over 100 persons were present. The proceeds, like the rug show donations made a good addition to the bank account. Thanks also to advisory Board member Dale Marie Potter Clark for designed the two posters for the weekend and to all those who distributed them. Flo Drake assisted by taking charge of  the bottled water table during the concert.

To the president the weekend showed what can be accomplished with volunteer help. It also made it obvious that the Meeting House needs more volunteers. If anyone is interested in helping to preserve the Brick Church get in touch with us. The membership drive for 2013-14 is still ongoing and the UMH would appreciate your financial support as it prepares to tackle the next big chore – the removal of moisture from the basement and crawl space to prevent further deterioration of the floor substructure. This will be a five-step project spread out over several years so any assistance you can lend now will help the Board take the first step this fall (hopefully).


Our thanks to Donna McCormick and family for 
donating funds to restore the Nancy Hunton Atkinson 
window. Donna’s mother was a Hunton.

The attendance at the recent events show that people care about the Brick Church. All that is needed to make the restoration and upkeep move ahead more expeditiously is additional financial support and more volunteer effort. Also, remember that the UMH is available for public use. If you wish to schedule weddings, concerts or other programs feel free to contact the Board of Directors. The two weddings held in the sanctuary this summer demonstrated that it is a most pleasing venue for such an occasion.

Historically Significant Hooked Rugs to be Shown August 10th


One of many beautiful rugs.

Saturday August 10th10am-3pm at the Union Meeting House there will be an exhibit of both historical and contemporary hand hooked, shirred, yarn-sewn and punch-needle rugs organized by Mrs. Joan Wiebe, a member of the UMH Board, and Mrs. Mildred Cole Péladeau, author of Rug Hooking in Maine 1838-1940.

 One of the hooked rug highlights will be the first public showing of a striking mid-19th century rug attributed to renowned rug maker, Mrs. Lucy Trask Barnard of Dixfield Common, Maine. This is an exciting new discovery and is the sixth rug attributed to Barnard. Three are in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC, and two are at the Farnsworth Museum of Art in Rockland. Privately owned, it is being made available for the rug show by a noted Maine collector. In all, close to 50 or more rugs will be available for viewing and will include contemporary rugs which have never been out for public display previously.

Rug hooking is an old art form with evidence suggesting that it likely originated in Maine in the second quarter of the 19th century. Early hooked rugs made in the Waldoboro area have achieved great notoriety for their artistic three-dimensional quality and one such rug, made by Minnie Light, will be included. Admission is free but a donation is suggested. All income will go to the UMH restoration fund. Information about being included in the show can be obtained from Mrs. Wiebe at 685-4725.

Maine Bluegrass Concert to benefit Restoration Efforts ~ August 10, 2013 at 7:00pm

On Saturday, August 10, Readfield Union Meeting House will reverberate with Bluegrass music that boasts a distinct Maine twist. Starting at 7:00pm The Sandy River Ramblers and the Maranacook String Band will showcase their repertoire, which includes many original songs about Maine. The concert will benefit restoration efforts at the unique and historic Readfield Union Meeting House on Church Street.

The Maranacook String Band is a youthful group of singers/musicians that started as a gifted and talented project at Maranacook Community School in 2010. “The Sandy River Ramblers is our grown-up band,” says bandleader Stan Keach. He and virtuoso mandolinist Dan Simons play and sing in both bands. The Ramblers are known for their breathtaking instrumentals, their 3-and-4 part harmony singing, and their hilarious comedy numbers.

The performers present fourteen original songs about Maine, all penned by Keach. The tunes are included on their new CD,Cry of the Loon and other original songs about Maine, which showcase the members of both groups. Among the titles are:Donn FendlerLogger’s SonUp on Little Round Top (about the 20th Maine at the Battle of Gettysburg); Boots from L. L.Bean; and Slow Down (You’ll Hit A Moose).

Keach is a nationally-known Bluegrass songwriter whose creations have been recorded by some of the biggest names in Bluegrass, but he says, “The (Cry of the Loon) collection, which I’ve been working on for 30 years, is my real labor of love as a songwriter.” Recently he also wrote What the North Pond Hermit Knows which gained notoriety across New England, on You Tube and was featured on the WCSH TV showBill Green’s Maine.

In addition to Keech and Simons there are instrumentalists in both groups that include: Zach Greenham and Megan Dood; Liz Keach on the upright bass; and Bud Godsoe on the banjo. Vocalists include 19-year-old Julie Churchill, of Fayette, and 17-year-old Lee Stetson of Readfield.

General admission tickets are $10.00 pre-sold and $12.00 at the door. Children under 5 yrs are free. FMI or to reserve tickets call (207) 685-3531.

Thank you to our event sponsor Saunders Manufacturing

UMH “Old Vestry” Giveaway

Our board of directors has voted to give away (for free) the “Old Vestry” to anyone who will move it off the premises. This 19th century post and beam building has a meeting hall on the first floor and several small rooms on the second floor. It retains old doors and mantles. Windows are new. The “Old Vestry” is located next to the Union Meeting House, 22 Church Road, Readfield. If interested in removing the building call (207) 685-4537 or email

meeting house common_Readfield_cropped

The “Old Vestry” was part of Capt. John Smith’s 
mansion. It was donated by his daughter, Ursula
(Smith) Gile. to UMH for use as a vestry in 1868 
and moved to this location where it has been used 
for religious activities ever since. 
It was originally part of the 
Asa and Ursula (Smith) Gile home on Main Street

Spring has arrived…

We are pleased to announce we made progress last winter on repairs and restorations to the doors and some of our beautiful windows. This work has been made possible with these generous gifts: Two façade windows from the Warren Boenke memorial donations; two front doors – one from Mr. Therrien’s gift and one from Evelyn Potter’s quilt raffle proceeds; the Huntoon window with Mrs. Donna Page’s donation; three additional windows including the Haines, Pierce and Notables with Susan Wagner memorial gifts. There is still much work left to do at UMH so your donations are welcome and very gratefully received.

Plans are underway for summer activities and the UMH building will be utilized in various ways. For one, there will be a wedding later this month. On June 21st Readfield grammar school alumni (pre- 1956) will be holding a reunion and commencement re-enactment at UMH. Our UMH board and members are planning for Readfield Heritage Days, a benefit concert, lawn sale, and a hooked rug show for later this summer. Stay tuned for details on this and more.

In the meantime we are sprucing up and getting ready for lots of visitors who have interest in touring  UMH. Are you one? If so, please do contact us to make an appointment!

February 2013 Update

Just because there is snow piled against the front door does not mean that The Union Meeting House (the Brick Church) is inactive. The stained glass in the bottom sash of the Hunton-Atkinson has been com-pleted by Stained Glass Express (a division of Oakes & Parkhurst in Manchester/Waterville) and returned to the building. The entire win-dow is being restored because of a gift from Mrs. Donna Page (a Hunton descendent). Mr. Joseph Caputo has taken the top sash to his workshop and is working on the repair of the wooden parts of the window. The entire unit will be re-installed during warmer weather.
Mr. Caputo has also taken the left front door for a complete overhaul in his shop. It needs to be strengthened and tightened up, coats of old paint removed and new primer and paint applied. This is being restored with a gift from Mr. and Mrs. Dana Therrien of Readfield in memory of Mr. Therrien’s parents. Once that door is done Mr. Caputo will take the right hand door and likewise restore it. Funds for that door are coming from the successful quilt raffle organized this past summer by Advisory Board member Evelyn Potter.

At the last Board meeting this month it voted to follow the wishes of Mr. and Mrs. Alvin Wagner of Read-field to use the funds donated by friends of their late daughter, Susan, to continue the restoration of the large windows. Three windows are on the list to be done this winter and they will receive a memorial plaque in memory of Miss Wagner once they are returned and installed. More details on this in the February Messenger.
Therefore, persons driving by the Brick Church this winter will see a lot of plywood closing up windows and doors that have been removed for restoration but this is a good time to get the work behind us before the sum-mer season.

If you have not renewed your membership this is a good time to do so. If you want to join with other inter-ested persons and become a first time member, the Board would welcome you on board. We hope that every-one would help to keep the Brick Church as an important Readfield landmark. Thanks for your support.

Contact the UMH at: 685-4537 or 158 Thorp Shores Rd., Readfield 04355.

January Board of Directors Business Meeting

The Board of Directors are meeting January 17th 6:30pm. This is a business meeting to determine / prioritize which stained and stenciled glass windows can be repaired / restored with monies in hand. There is still time to make a donation for this worthy effort! Donations can be sent to: Marius Peladeau, UMH President, 158 Thorp Shores, Readfield, ME 04355. Thank you for your kind consideration!20091103_3