ROCKPORT — The community is invited to an open house at Pascal Hall, the town’s newest arts and culture venue, Saturday, Dec. 10, from 1 to 4 p.m., where a freshly installed mural by artist Peter Walls, depicting the history of Rockport Harbor, will be unveiled.

Walls, who lives in Stockton Springs, worked closely with Ken Gross from the Camden Public Library’s History Center and Kevin Johnson at the Penobscot Marine Museum to gather more than 300 images that informed a visual storytelling of Rockport Harbor, beginning in the mid-19th century. Eventually, about 30 images depicting the diverse industries including shipbuilding, quarrying, the lime industry, ice harvesting, sail making, blacksmithing and grist mills were woven into the huge mural, measuring 16 feet high by 31 feet wide, that graces the building’s living room.

Owner Linda Lesher retained Leslie Curtis Designs in Camden to oversee the interior refresh. The two women, both history aficionados, worked closely with the artist to create a beautiful piece of art that both transforms the space and celebrates the rich history of Rockport Harbor. When it came to the interior design, Curtis recalled, “The team felt we didn’t want to disturb what was there, and we wanted to preserve a reverence for the space.”

The Dec. 10 event will offer visitors a first glimpse into the newly redesigned interior of the structure built during the 1850s as a Baptist church. During 2021 and 2022, the Lesher family, the new owners, undertook reimagining the space as a cultural hub for written and spoken word, art exhibitions, film, and other community events and celebrations.

“Just as we did when we attained the farmhouse that is now Barnswallow Books, we purchased Pascal Hall because we respect the historic nature of the building. We feel a sense of stewardship for these lovely old buildings that are such an important part of the
history of Rockport,” said Lesher.

Barnswallow Books and Pascal Hall are sister properties creating community through curated talks and titles with BarnTalks, GalleryTalks and HallTalks in Rockport. Pascal Hall is located at 86 Pascal Ave. and Barnswallow Books is located just up the street and around the corner at 166 Russell Ave.

The open house will feature live festive music and light refreshments. For more information, visit barnswallowbooks.com.