Public events to highlight Maine in the Civil War

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Do you have an interest in local history? How about the Civil War?

A series of events and resources promoting the Civil War and the area’s local history are on tap beginning in March for the public to participate.

Luke Sorensen, director of the Rumford Public Library (RPL), said this is a joint effort of the library, the Rumford Historical Society and RSU 10, with the help of a $2,000 grant from the Maine Historical Society and Maine Humanities Council.

He said the yearlong grant will, among other things, will explore the effects of the Civil War on the area and focus on such themes as motivation (why did/do individuals fight?), transformation (what changed?) and legacy (why does the Civil War still matter today?).

One aspect of the grant is a community-wide event, “One Story, One Community,” which will bring residents from Rumford, Mexico, Dixfield, Byron, Hanover, Roxbury, Carthage and Canton together through reading and discussing a common book, “Uncertain Glory,” by Lea Wait.

“Everyone is welcomed and encouraged to participate, so please join us for one of all of the events,” said Sorensen.

Community events are as follows:

* MVMS Culmination Day on Wednesday, March 11, starting at noon at RPL. Students, veterans and public will discuss Soldier’s Heart, by Gary Paulsen.

* One Story, One Community Read on Tuesday, March 24, starting at 6 p.m. at Rumford Falls Auditorium. There will be a community-wide book discussion of Uncertain Glory, by Lea Wait. The special guest facilitator will be Elizabeth Cooke, a former UMaine/Farmington English professor and author.

* Fourth Thursday Poetry Program on Thursday, March 26, starting at 6 p.m. at RPL. The public will discuss Civil War Poems, including “All Quiet Along the Potomac,” by Ethel Lynn Beers; “Little Giffen,” by Francis Orrey Ticknor; “The Hesitating Veteran,” by Ambrose Bierce; and “Driving Home the Cows,” by Kate Putnam Osgood. The special guest facilitator will be Doug Rawlings, a former UMaine/Farmington professor poet, and member of Veterans for Peace.

* Author visit by Uncertain Glory’s Lea Wait on Tuesday, April 14 at 6 p.m. at PRL.

* Mystery Readers Group and the public will discuss Faded Coat of Blue, by Owen Parry, on Thursday, April 16 at 6 p.m. at RPL.

* MVMS Culmination Day on Wednesday, June 3, starting at noon at RPL. Students, veterans and public will discuss Soldier’s Heart, by Gary Paulsen.

For more information, visit the Western Foothills in the Civil War: Local and Legendary Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/LocalandLegendary, or contact the Rumford Public Library at 364-3661.

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