Greetings Friends of Maine’s Paper & Heritage Museum!
For our inaugural newsletter, I want to take this opportunity to let you know how the museum fared in 2020 and the exciting opportunities our small group of dedicated volunteers and supporters envision for 2021. We continued to work towards achieving our mission; to create an exciting interactive museum where visitors can experience life in a paper making community, as well as to encourage tourism, increase economic activity and showcase the area’s distinctive heritage. Due to the COVID19 pandemic, 2020 was a trying year that required us to cancel most of our events. Despite this we were able to provide the following services and are looking forward to preparing for 2021!
- Conducted a private tours of the museum and assisted a visitor in researching her family history in our area while following CDC guidelines.
- Provided the publisher of “Memories of Maine” magazine with photos of Alvin Record and the Jay Paper Company for an article they will be publishing.
- Served as a base of operations for Ryan Cooks, a filmmaker and native Mainer who currently lives in Massachusetts. We provided a tour of the museum and set up videotaped interviews at the museum with local papermakers for use in a documentary he is creating on the Maine Paper Industry.
- The museum staff wants to thank all of the generous donations of time, garage sale items and money. These donations are critical to the museum’s survival and help us continue to meet our mission of service to the area we live in.
- We were able to run three garage sales over the summer which resulted in a total of $1,050 in profit.
- No grants were awarded to us in 2020, but we are actively working on several applications for 2021!
- Our immediate need is to replace the weather cracked roofing shingles which leak and have caused ceiling damage to the top floor of the building. Repair is estimated at $22,000.
- Water leaking through the rock foundation into the basement. Efforts to prevent this from happening (landscaping and paving) have been unsuccessful. Foundation repair cost will be significant.
- Exterior painting of the house and garage
- These are all expensive but critical infrastructure projects that will require acquiring grant money to complete.
- Improve our educational outreach opportunities to the local schools and organizations.
- Expand the hours of operation at the museum and increase season length.
- Install wheelchair ramp access into the building.
- Increase the number of volunteer staff to act as docents, general help for special events and board members.
- Create a membership base and implement a quarterly newsletter
With the continued challenges the paper and wood products industries are facing, preservation of our heritage is even more important. I look forward to the museum overcoming its challenges and reaching our goals through our volunteers and help from the community. The challenges are great but the opportunities and benefits are greater!
We recently received a generous donation from an anonymous donor of $5,000 with an offer to match donations of up to another $20,000 to help ensure that we can continue our mission far into the future. We will be kicking off a fundraising effort this spring – more information will be available soon. Please help us take advantage of this generous offer! Donations can be sent anytime to our PO Box or through the donate button on our website.
2018 Papermaker Heritage Day