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Maine History

Hampden, Penobscot County, Maine

 Historic Hampden

Pageant produced 9/4/1944 in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the incorporation of the Town of Hampden, Maine

People ask about exactly what this document was.  Was it intended to be a history of the town, expressed in a play?  Was it simply an exercise for the young people of the community, lacking much in the way of historical integrity?  Well, neither is exactly correct.  Beginning in the late 19th century it became popular for towns, organizations, municipalities, and regions who were marking an important anniversary to stage a “pageant” – a historical depiction of the founding and of key events that had occurred since.  Usually the pageant hewed to tradition, and rarely was there “new news” in it about the history of the entity being memorialized.  However, for a sense of the way local tradition was viewed when the pageant was produced, these documents are an excellent source.  It’s also interesting to see just who was chosen from the population to fill the various roles. 

Generally pageants such as this were principally the work of one dedicated person, usually a woman of some social standing, and often substantially funded by her.  We do not know who Mrs. Lora Blanding Knott was or why she staged this pageant, or how much she contributed to its production financially.  However, we do find several pages listing the individuals who played the various roles in the pageant, and to the social historian with an interest in Hampden, much might be inferred from who was chosen to play what. 

This is a souvenir program, sponsored by “The Hampden Community Associates”, and the inside cover describes in glowing terms life in Hampden at that time, and there are a number of pages of advertisements in the back by both local and regional businesses.  The largest part of the document, however, is the pageant script, and therein lies its principal historical value.

 60+ pages, in PDF format.  Download now for $4.00


Being able to offer documents like this as downloads makes this sort of re-publication possible, and your purchase of them enables us to continue to offer more obscure documents of this type, even though they are of interest to only a tiny population.  Your purchases of our downloads make it possible to continue to collect and republish this kind of material for you.


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Between the Lakes Group is located at 372 Between the Lakes Road, in Salisbury, Litchfield County, Connecticut.  More specifically, we're in Taconic -- a hamlet  in the Twin Lakes area of the Town of Salisbury.  Questions about us or about our products?  Go to our Frequently Asked Questions page.  

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