Belfast Historical Society Awarded Grant

Courtesy of: The Penobscot Marine Museum, Peggy McKenna photograph In 1990 Milo Blood of Knox told his story of working as a farmer during the Depression and how he was able to send all his children to the University of Maine.

The Belfast Historical Society and Museum has received a $3000 grant from the William and Emily Muir Community Fund II of the Maine Community Foundation to publish a book of interviews and photographs of Waldo County Seniors which first appeared as “Fireside Chats” in the Waldo Independent newspaper in the 1990s.


Almost thirty years ago, photographer Peggy McKenna and staff writer Jeff Shula, both working for Belfast's Waldo Independent newspaper, produced a lengthy series of interviews/photo spreads called "Fireside Chats." These stories focused on wise, colorful old-timers whose lives spanned most of the 20th century.  From their favorite rocking chair or their kitchen table, they told their life stories.  The tales, in addition to revealing the resilience and humanity of each person, also opened a window into the challenges and joys of Waldo County life in a bygone era.


The purpose of this project is to re-issue many of those old first-person accounts and photographs in book form. With the passing of Peggy McKenna in May, 2014, her photographs and negatives were donated to the Penobscot Marine Museum in Searsport.


The Belfast Historical Society and Museum is dedicated to the collection, conservation, preservation and interpretation of documents, photographs and other artifacts relevant to Belfast history. The Society and Museum, by means of museum exhibits, lectures and other presentations, promotes the intellectual and cultural life of Belfast, and informs and educates the Belfast community and visitors about its distinguished heritage.


With offices in Ellsworth and Portland, the Maine Community Foundation works with donors and other partners to improve the quality of life for all Maine people. To learn more about the foundation, visit



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