The monthly meetings of the Pembroke Historical Society will offer an array of programs that will enthrall lovers of local, state, and national history. In putting the roster together Stephen Sanfilippo, PHS program coordinator, sought to schedule outstanding presenters on a variety of topics, including historic photography, subsistence settlement, women’s history, the American Civil War, shore life, and maritime commerce and culture. Presentations, which include lecture, visuals, and discussion, start at or soon after 7:00 PM, following each month’s 6:30 PM business meeting, at the PHS museum, intersection of Front Street and Old County Road, Pembroke. Admission and refreshments are free, and donations to the PHS are welcome. Presentations are appropriate for adults, especially for educators and for those interested in Maine’s history, and for students, grades 5 through college.

Check the calendar below for details.


Pembroke's Revolutionary War Naval Ballad

presented by Dr. Stephen N. Sanfilippo

Assistant Professor - Maine Maritime Academy (Retired)

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

- 7:00 PM Eastern Daylight Savings Time

the Registration Link is below the Description

Several years ago, an unusual discovery was made in the archives of the Pembroke Historical Society by Susan Sanfilippo, the society's curator. It had been seen a few years earlier by many people, but none had recognized its importance. Susan recognized it immediately as a lost treasure. Not just a lost treasure of Pembroke's history, but a lost treasure of the history of the United States. That treasure is a ballad.

Susan, assisted by her husband Stephen, made extensive searches of historic music, naval records, biographies, the census, and regional and local history, to determine just what it was she had found, whether or not it was authentic, why it was important, and how something of national significance might have come to be lost everywhere, except in Pembroke, Maine.

Stephen's presentation, which will include ballad singing, describes the long and often confusing story of an historic ship and its captain, and of the long-forgotten ballad, "The Hancock."

For more information, email

{Please Note: Although part of the presentation was recorded by PHS on Zoom during October 2020, it will include a new introduction, and those attending will be able to make comments and ask questions directly of Dr. Sanfilippo.

To Register, Please Click on the Link Below, Fill Out the Form, and Submit.

Tuesday, May 18, 2021 at 6:00 PM Eastern


Maine's Seafaring Wives & Daughters

presented by Cipperly Good

Richard Saltonstall Jr. Curator of Maritime History

Penobscot Marine Museum, Searsport, Maine

An old sailors' superstition holds that women at sea bring bad luck. Yet, despite, or in defiance of this belief, many women did go to sea for long voyages under sail. In "Women at Sea," Ms. Cipperly Good of the Penobscot Marine Museum will use historic photographs and dramatic readings to explore the herstories of Maine wives and daughters who accompanied their husbands and fathers during the 19th and early 20th centuries to all parts of the world. Some of these women were born at sea into the profession of seafarer, while others joined their loved ones with initial trepidation. With letters, manuscripts and newspaper articles from the Penobscot Marine Museum's archives, Ms. Good will tell of, and those attending the Zoom session will learn of the many varied experiences of these sea-going women, among whom were Joanna C. Colcord, of Searsport, who published a collection of chanteys and sea ballads, and Ruth Montgomery, of East Boothbay, who documented her life at sea as an accomplished photographer.

Ms. Good, a Colby College graduate who earned a Master of Arts in Museum Studies degree from George Washington University, did curatorial and public educational work at the Los Angeles Maritime Museum and the Falmouth (Massachusetts) Historical Society. Cipperly's presentation will be preceded by historic songs from Joanna Colcord's collection, performed by Jim Sherman of Machiasport, and Stephen Sanfilippo of Pembroke.

"Women at Sea: Maine's Seafaring Wives & Daughters" is a ZOOM presentation sponsored by the Pembroke (Maine) Historical Society. The program will be held on Tuesday, May 18th, starting at 6:00 PM Eastern time.

Email for more information.

ZOOM History Program - - - April 27, 2021


Women of Maine in the Civil War and Social Reform

Dr. Lisa Marie Rude

{registration link follows program description}

The women of Maine played many important roles during and following the Civil War. They were, of course, the mothers, sisters, wives and daughter of soldiers and sailors, and held the home-front together through four terrible years of warfare. They worked in hospitals just behind the battle lines, in factories, as merchants, did much of the farming, and assumed roles in community leadership. Rather than being a domestic burden, the women of Maine played key roles in preserving the Union and in trying to build a better society in its aftermath. Among these outstanding women were Sarah Sampson, of Bath, the nationally renowned Dorothea Dix, of Hampden, and Isabella Fogg, of Calais.

On Tuesday, April 27th, the Pembroke Historical Society is a talk and discussion on Maine's Women and the Civil War. The program is on Zoom, starting at 6:00 PM Eastern Daylight Savings Time. The presentation will be made by Dr. Lisa Marie Rude, Professor of History at Normandale Community College, Bloomington, Minnesota. Dr. Rude received her Ph.D. in History and Women's Studies from the University of Maine - Orono, and is the author of "What the Women of Maine Have Done: Women's Wartime Work and Postwar Activism, 1860 - 1875," published by the Maine Historical Society and the University of Maine, in the January 2014 edition of Maine History.

The presentation is free, appropriate for all age levels, and open to everyone.

To register click the link below and fill out the form.

APRIL 6, 2021 6:00 PM Eastern

"TikTok's Sea Shanties ZOOM into Maine"

What Are Chanteys and Why Do They Matter?

Featuring Two Long-Time Outstanding Sea Music Scholars & Performers

Bob Madison, formerly of U. S. Naval Academy & Mystic Seaport

Jerry Bryant, sea music performer extraordinaire

Pembroke, Maine, has been at the center of the sea shanty revival in Downeast Maine for over a dozen years, with monthly "Chantey Sings" drawing loyal and enthusiastic support, so it figures that the Pembroke Historical Society is taking a lead in the current shanty revival, which it will with an exciting chantey program on April 6th.

The most unexpected recent cultural phenomena is the all-pervasive popularity of "sea shanties." TV hosts, rock stars, and teenagers, who half a year ago would laugh at chanteys, now embrace them, while TikTok creates "sea shanty" choruses. Is this the start of a traditional music revival, or a fad that trivializes sailors' songs, soon to be forgotten? Perhaps it will result in a widened appeal for a form of singing that tens of thousands have already been embracing, on the non-commercial margin of society since at least the 1950s. Time will tell, but for now, this is what educators call "the teachable moment."

There's a lot of misinformation in the shanty craze. To begin with, the TikTok super hit sea shanty, "The Wellerman," is NOT a chantey; so, what is it? Did Pirates sing chanteys? Are chanteys from Scotland? Are shanties four of five hundred years old? Why did sailors sing chanteys? Are all sea songs shanties? What does the movie "Fisherman's Friend" get right? What does it get wrong? How many chanteys are there? And, why does this description keep going back and forth between shanty and chantey?

The answers to these and many more questions about the living tradition of sea music will be found when the Pembroke Historical Society presents a singing discussion on Tuesday, April 6th, at 6:00 PM Eastern, on Zoom. The program will feature nationally recognized chantey scholar and performer Bob Madison, Professor Emeritus at the United States Naval Academy, and a founder of the Chantey program at Mystic Seaport. Jerry Bryant, who grew up in Caribou, Maine, has long been a favorite with sea music audiences in both concerts and lectures. Pembroke's own Stephen Sanfilippo has been singing chanteys for nearly 50 years, and taught maritime history through historic sea songs at Maine Maritime Academy. Jim Sherman, of Machiasport, a long-time singer of all sorts of sea songs, and Kris Paprocki, researcher and performer of historic songs of Washington County, will also take part in the presentation. The audience will be invited to ask questions and take part in the discussion.

Additional information at <>

To register for the event click the link below:



Rural Women and Suffrage in Maine

presented by Dr. Mazie Hough

Unfortunately this program needs to be postponed. Date to be determined.


Tuesday, March 16th, 6:00 PM, Eastern Daylight-Saving Time


Irish Music Concert

A Ceilidh is a celebration of traditional Irish songs and tunes. Irish culture has greatly enrichened American culture and the development of the United States, and Pembroke, Maine is no exception. Large numbers of Irish immigrants worked in Pembroke's iron works and shipyards. Dr. John Conway Rogers, son of Irish immigrants, served as a surgeon in the Civil War and as Pembroke's physician afterwards. He was also an accomplished journal keeper and poet.

The Pembroke Historical Society's Ceilidh will bring together nearly two dozen outstanding performers of Irish music of immigration, life in North America, industrial and maritime work, romance, adventure, and homelife. The performers have performed at major cultural and historic venues in the United States, Canada, Europe, and beyond, including Mystic Seaport, Maine Maritime Museum, the Mariners' Museum in Virginia, and the Yarmouth (N.S.) Historical Museum, major festivals, universities, and aboard historic sailing vessels, including the whaleship Charles W. Morgan. In addition to singing, the Ceilidh will include performances on mandola, fiddle, concertina, and guitar.

For additional information on performers and songs, please send an email to: <>

To register click here: