As part of the national observance of the 150th anniversary of America’s Civil War, the Thomaston Historical Society has joined 22 other societies, museums and libraries throughout the state of Maine by creating a special display as one stop on the Civil War Trail.

The public is invited to attend the reception and official opening of this display on Tuesday, June 18, beginning at 7 p.m. at the Thomaston Public Library, located in the Thomaston Academy building on Main Street.

The Civil War’s impact on the maritime town of Thomaston was great. One focus of the display is on the ideological split between wealthy shipbuilder/owners and sea captains of Thomaston, who depended on free trade and had personal relationships with southern plantation owners and the strong nationalism and anti-slavery fervor of many in outlying areas. The severe financial hardship of the war on this maritime community is told through stories of confiscated or burned ships and a decline in shipbuilding.

The second major part of this exhibit follows the personal impact on a few Thomaston soldiers and their families, drawing from personal journals and the Memory Volume of the P. Henry Tillson Post of the GAR.

Folks who might be related to Civil War soldiers and sailors will be special guests at the reception. Please come especially if family is connected to any of the following Civil War soldiers and sailors: Luman Butler, Nehemiah Boynton Catland, Perez Henry Tilson, the Fales Brothers – John, Sylvester and Fenelon, Martin Carr, Greenleaf and Jonathan Prince Cilley, Henry Knox Thatcher and James Henry Hobbs Hewett, all of whom are featured in the display with photographs and/or quotes from their personal letters, journals and military records.

In cooperation with the Thomaston Library this exhibit will remain on display into September. Special thanks to the Thomaston library for allowing us to use their space for the display so that their extended hours will allow many more visitors to see the exhibit.