Two hundred and fifty years ago a 21 year-old man bought a parcel of land on Great Chebeague Island. By the time he married seven years later he owned over 100 acres on the north shore of the island. Ambrose Hamilton and his wife Deborah Soule raised their family of fourteen on Chebeague. As the years went by the many of their progeny settled there, but in each successive generation folks moved off the island and in some cases settled for economic reasons on other Maine islands or in coastal communities.
This summer Chebeague will celebrate its settlement with several special events. On June 3rd The Museum of Chebeague History will open a new exhibit entitled Creating Community: The Hamilton Connection. The exhibit will focus on the entrepreneurial spirit of the Hamiltons, as they adapted to economic and social changes over the centuries. The entrepreneurial spirit of the islanders will be highlighted, and a section of the exhibit will include stone slooping and the role of Chebeaguers as marine contractors who built breakwaters, lighthouses, and set navigational markers up and down the eastern seaboard. The evolution of tourism and the creation of an island mercantile center will also be explored. The Maine Historical Society will hold their annual meeting on Chebeague on June 3rd the day of the exhibitıs opening.
The Chebeague Historical Societyıs annual meeting on June 17th will focus on genealogy. Three Grannell siblings, who have deep island roots and are avid students of history, will share their amazing journeys following their intuition about their roots.
All Hamilton descendants from near and far are invited to come to Chebeague on July 15 to join in a Hamilton Family Reunion. If you have ever wondered if you have a Chebeague connection this is the time to find out! Local genealogists and historians will be on hand to share stories and to help you find those missing links! Numerous activities are planned and the day will culminate with an illustrated talk by local historian Donna Miller Damon, who will tell the story of Chebeague and the people who created and sustained this island community, which is soon to become the newest town in Maine!
For more information about any or all of these events call the Museum of Chebeague History at 846-5237, check the Chebeague WEB site at WWW. Chebeague.org or email Donna Damon at firstname.lastname@example.org.