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Travel through time

Learn about living in 1628 'firsthand'

Oct 11, 2019
Photo by: Jamie Bloomquist, WNET/Thirteen

CAMDEN — Julia Friese Pierce got on a boat in the year 2003 and sailed off to the year 1628 to participate in the PBS hands-on-history series "Colonial House." On Tuesday, Oct. 22, at 7 p.m. at the Camden Public Library, Pierce will talk about spending four and a half months living in a rugged, remote and primitive location on the northern coast of Maine to experience what life may have been like for 17th century settlers fresh off the boat in the new frontier.

"Colonial House" was part of series of shows produced by WNET/THIRTEEN in New York and the UK production company Wall to Wall. The Emmy-nominated series explored a variety of historical periods and placed everyday individuals and families in experimental historical settings in order to film the challenges that modern people would face while attempting to literally walk in the shoes of their forefathers. Upon arrival at the show’s filming location, the show’s production crew provided the two dozen colonists with authentic period clothing and disclosed the “roles” that everyone would have in the small upstart community. Pierce’s role was the lowest rung on the ladder: female indentured servant.

“I had been on camping trips before, so living without modern conveniences wasn’t the most challenging part,” Pierce said. “It was far more difficult to figure out how to create a functional and productive community with a group of strangers while trying to conform to 400-year-old societal norms.”

In addition to screening one of the episodes of "Colonial House," Pierce will discuss her experience, answer audience questions, and display clothing and other related materials used in the show. This is a can’t-miss program for anyone curious to know what it feels like to milk goats while wearing a corset, not use shampoo for nearly five months, and experience the closest thing possible to time travel.

Camden resident Julia Friese Pierce has spent 20 years working for museums and cultural attractions and currently serves as the Programs & Events Coordinator for the Camden Public Library, 55 Main St. For more information on this presentation, visit

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