Frontier Heritage Historical Society
Fort Fairfield, Maine 04742
Originally organized in 1974, the Frontier Heritage, Fort Fairfield's own historical society, was established with the purpose of fostering, promoting and encouraging interest in the history of the region of Fort Fairfield and it's surrounding communities. Equally important to the organization was the preservation of the heritage and culture of this region.
One of the first projects undertaken by the Frontier Heritage was to construct a replica of the original Fort Fairfield Blockhouse that was built to defend the town during the Aroostook War in 1839.
In 1992 we acquired the Fort Fairfield Railroad Museum. The railroad museum saw a significant expansion of the "rolling stock" to include a caboose, dining/sleeper car, boxcars and even an engine! A number of small motor cars were acquired that provide scenic rides for visitors to our museum.
In 1995, the Friends Church was graciously donated to the Heritage. This church remains a significant part of the history of Fort Fairfield. Originally constructed in 1858 by an assembly of Quakers, it served as a refuge point on the Underground Railroad during our country's Civil War.
Finally, in 1997 the sole remaining one-room schoolhouse in Fort Fairfield was deeded over to the Heritage. Although it is in need of some repairs, the schoolhouse will be the future site of a museum devoted to highlighting the role of the one-room schoolhouse in the educational development of Fort Fairfield.
Click on photos to enlarge
The Railroad Museum is located at the old Bangor & Aroostook
yard on Depot Street and is comprised of a display of locomotive and
cars. It includes a newly
refurbished combination sleeping-dining car used for elegant gourmet
dinners and other events. The
Canadian-Pacific Railroad station (1875) was moved from the floodplain
to this site in 2000. A
public pancake breakfast is featured during the Potato Blossom Festival
the 3rd weekend in July. Rides
on motor cars are available.
The Blockhouse museum is a 1976 replica of the original structure located on
the banks of the Aroostook River which served to prevent transport of
lumber into Canada during “the Bloodless Aroostook War” of 1839.
The Blockhouse is filled with artifacts from early Fort Fairfield
History including agricultural items, antiques, photographs and
Located on Route 1a, Friends Church is the oldest still-standing church in
Fort Fairfield. It was built
in 1859-1860 by the Haines family and a bunch of their Quaker friends,
who, according to oral history, were part of the Underground Railroad
before and during the Civil War. The
church was later used as a neighborhood community church and is being
restored by Frontier Heritage. Friends
Church is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
McIntosh One-Room School House
McIntosh School is the only restorable one left out of the
twenty-six listed in 1904. It
was built in 1848, before churches and other public buildings, and was
also used for Town meetings, social gatherings, church services,
weddings, baptisms and funerals. It
used to be situated on the corner of Route 1a and 167, but was moved to
a location near the Railroad Museum. The first official Town meeting of
Letter D Plantation was held at Black School on April 11, 1853
The blackboards are still in place and even privy compartments,
one each for girls and boys are still intact.
The original desks are gone, but replacements will be used.
An antique farm machinery
display is set up near the B&A Railroad museum.
It features large and small horse drawn equipment for
transportation and farming potatoes, hay, flax, and grain.
Some equipment goes back to the time when oxen were used.
The FHHS is always seeking members. Members receive a newsletter, advance notice of museum activities and free admission to major events. “We currently have around 25 members,” said Wayne Troicke, from the FHHS, “but only 12 or so are what I would call active” At the annual membership meeting, members learn about progress during the year and plans for the future as well as enjoy a sociable and entertaining evening.
The Frontier Heritage Historical Society plays a vital role in
the preservation of a valuable part of Maine’s Heritage.
Volunteers are needed to
help maintain the area, clean out brush and setting up the antique farm
equipment display this spring.
“We are trying to come up with some ideas to raise funds
to replace the CP Station Roof this year and get the building painted.
We also want to finish getting the dining car painted and back into
shape to have some dinners to raise funds for the museum.”
For information on how to obtain a membership in Frontier Heritage Historical Society, email us.