Volunteers needed at two Maine sites for Park Day 2018

Civil War buffs and history fans can help spruce up two war-related sites in Maine as the Civil War Trust sponsors Park Day 2018.

The CWT website, www.civilwar.org, describes Park Day as “an annual hands-on volunteer event to help Civil War, Revolutionary War, and War of 1812 battlefields and historic sites shine their brightest.”

Volunteers carry out various site improvement- and maintenance-related activities, including “routine grounds keeping, fence and trail maintenance, painting,” and whatever else needs doing, according to the CWT.

Many Mainers are unaware that some Civil War action took place in the Pine Tree State. Confederate sailors captured the revenue cutter Caleb Cushing in Portland Harbor in 1863, Confederates attempted to rob a bank in Calais in 1864, and persons unknown fired on the Coast Guards garrisoning Fort Madison in Castine. One soldier was wounded in that night action, which remains murky to this day.

Park Day always takes place in April, and this year the CWT has designated Saturday, April 7 as Park Day 2018. “Park Day is open to all history enthusiasts, young and old,” the CWT states.

The two sites in Maine for Park Day 2018 are the Thomas Hill House/GAR Memorial Home owned by the Bangor Historical Society and Fort Knox State Historic Site in Prospect.

• Volunteers will meet on the front porch of the Thomas Hill House (159 Union St., Bangor) at 10 a.m., Saturday, April 7 and help prepare the mansion for its May opening.

The Thomas Hill House is located at 159 Union St., Bangor.

Park Day hours are 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Volunteers only need bring their work gloves. Depending on the weather, planned activities include clearing brush from the Thomas Hill House site, landscaping, and painting and tidying up various rooms inside the mansion.

Water will be provided, and volunteers can participate in Civil War-focused tours of the Thomas Hill House.

For more information, contact Amanda Black at 207-942-1900 or educator@bangorhistoricalsociety.org.

• Park Day 2018 will take place Saturday, April 21 at Fort Knox State Historic Site in Prospect.

Volunteers will meet at the Fort Knox Visitor Center at 10 a.m. Bring rakes and work gloves; the planned clean-up activities are clearing and removing brush, landscaping, and removing trash.

Water and snacks will be provided.

If the weather is bad, the event will be postponed until Saturday, April 28.

For more information, contact Leon Seymour at 207-469-6553 or fofk1@aol.com.

Brian Swartz can be reached at visionsofmaine@tds.net. He enjoys hearing from Civil War buffs interested in Maine’s involvement in the war.

Brian Swartz

About Brian Swartz

Welcome to "Maine at War," the blog about the roles played by Maine and her sons and daughters in the Civil War. I am a Civil War buff and a newspaper editor recently retired from the Bangor Daily News. Maine sent hero upon hero — soldiers, nurses, sailors, chaplains, physicians — south to preserve their country in the 1860s. “Maine at War” introduces these heroes and heroines, who, for the most part, upheld the state's honor during that terrible conflict. We tour the battlefields where they fought, and we learn about the Civil War by focusing on Maine’s involvement with it. Be prepared: As I discover to this very day, the facts taught in American classrooms don’t always jibe with Civil War reality. I can be reached at visionsofmaine@tds.net.