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Upcoming events at the Dyer Library and Saco Museum
SACO — The Dyer Library and Saco Museum have the following events scheduled for September and October. The exhibition schedule is current as of September 1; the schedule is subject to change so please call to confirm dates. The Dyer Library and Saco Museum will be closed October 15 in observance of Columbus Day.
The University of New England’s History Department and the Saco Museum have teamed up to create this summer’s exhibition celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, "John Haley’s Civil War." Dr. Elizabeth A. De Wolfe, Professor of History at the University of New England, and Camille Smalley, Collection and Research Manager for the Saco Museum, team-taught an exhibition class titled Museums & Public Culture: John Haley’s Civil War. The resulting exhibition, curated by students in the class, will feature a treasure trove of artifacts related to the Civil War - prints by Winslow Homer, decorative arts, Civil War weaponry, uniforms and much more. "John Haley’s Civil War" opened on May 3 and closes on Sunday, Nov. 10.
Students in the spring semester course Museums & Public Culture: John Haley’s Civil War, offered through UNE’s History Department, used the journal kept by Private John Haley (1840-1921), a Saco native, to explore various aspects of the Civil War. Born on March 3, 1840, Haley describes being born “in a hamlet called Biddeford…a stone’s throw from the Saco Fort.” The family was poor, and Haley left school to work as an alley boy in mill #4 of the York Manufacturing Company. At age 22 John Haley answered Lincoln’s call to raise an army of 600,000 and enlisted in the army in August of 1862, and found himself in the 17th Maine Regiment. During his three years as a soldier, Haley kept a diary and chronicled daily activities at camp, on the battlefield, marching, and visiting various towns in the South. Students consulted Haley’s journal for day-to-day events of a Private in the 17th Maine as well as experiences in major Civil War battles such as Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, and others. At the war’s end, Haley was promoted to Corporal, a promotion he felt he didn’t deserve. In 1865, Haley returned to Saco and resumed working at the Saco & Biddeford Gas Light Company. Haley married Abbie Batchelder in 1875 and the couple had two children, George and Adelaide. In 1892, John Haley became the second librarian of the Dyer Library at the 308 Main Street location (now the Steppin’ Out Dance Studio). Adelaide worked alongside her father as a library assistant, and taught school in the Boston public school system. Haley was instrumental in the development and construction of the 1907 Saco Civil War Monument that stands at Eastman Park.
This exhibition was funded, in part, by a major grant from the Maine Humanities Council. The Council determined the project to be a unique method for uniting an academic institution such as the University of New England with a steward of local history, like the Saco Museum. This is the second major grant from the Maine Humanities Council, the first being the second partnership between the Saco Museum and the University of New England that resulted in the “Voyages and the Great Age of Sail” exhibition in 2011.
"Works by Living Innovations" is on exhibit through Sept. 30 at the Dyer Library. There is no admission fee charged to visit the community gallery at the Dyer Library, located in the hallway just beyond the main circulation desk. For more information about the community gallery or to display your work, contact Laura Vickery at firstname.lastname@example.org or 283-3861, ext. 107. All programs and events are free and open to the public unless otherwise indicated.
A John Haley Gallery talk with Curator Camille Smalley will take place Friday, Sept. 13 at 6 p.m. at the Saco Museum, Main Gallery. Camille Smalley, Collections and Research Manager at the Saco Museum, will give a gallery talk on the exhibit, Haley’s life, and answer questions.
The Saco Area Historical Society will meet on Wednesday, Sept. 18 from 3:30 to 5 p.m. in the Deering Room at the Dyer Library. At this meeting, Susan Littlefield will discuss the historic Stackpole Bridge. Contact Kitty Chadborn at email@example.com with any questions.
Watercolors: Beginners and Beyond with Judith Kinsman - 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Sept. 11, 18 and 25 and Oct. 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30 in the Deering Room at the Dyer Library. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced watercolorist, bring your paints to the Deering Room of the Dyer Library on Wednesday mornings. Learn new techniques or practice old ones with famed Saco watercolorist Judith Kinsman. Preregistration is required. These classes are available in four-week sessions; cost is $70 per session with a Dyer Library card or $75 without. Please contact Anna Kelley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 283-3861 ext. 115 to sign up.
You've Got Me in Stitches - This crafting group meets on Thursdays, Sept. 5, 12, 19 and 26 and Oct. 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31 in the Deering Room at the Dyer Library. Knit, crochet, embroider, hook rugs - just bring yourself and your latest project! Drop in anytime from 1:30 to 4 p.m.
The Dyer Library Book Club is open to all who love to read and talk. The group will meet Wednesdays, Sept. 18 and Oct. 16 from 1:30-3 p.m. in the Deering Room at the Dyer Library. Contact Stephanie at the Reference Desk for this month's book.
After Hours Dyer Library Book Club Join in for this book club at the Dyer Library that takes place after work! Contact Cheryl Spaulding, ext. 104 for the latest title. This group will meet Tuesdays, Sept. 10 and Oct. 8 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the Deering Room.
Laughing with Lois: Preschool Storytime - Bring your three- to five-year-old to the library every Tuesday morning for a reading adventure. This program runs Sept. 10, 17 and 24 and Oct. 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29 from 10 to 11 a.m. in the Deering Room at the Dyer Library.
Terrific Toddlers - This special program for kids 18 months to three years includes finger plays, songs, and stories just for them. Make it part of your routine and join in every Thursday morning in the Deering Room at the Dyer Library. This program runs Sept. 12. 19 and 26 and Oct. 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31.
Bouncing Babies - The very youngest library patrons (up to 18 months) are welcome every Friday morning from 10 to 11 a.m. for baby bounces, songs, and stories in the Deering Room, with time for grown-ups to visit together afterward. This program runs Sept. 13, 20 and 27 and Oct. 4, 11, 18 and 25.
Adults only! Sex, Murder and Mayhem Tour of Saco - Join Camille Smalley for this tour of the seedier side of Saco! See what lurks beyond the beautiful brick façade of this historic town - prostitution, murder, suicide and more! Beware, this tour is not for the faint of heart or those under the age of 17. These tours require preregistration and there are a limited number of spots available. Please wear walking shoes and be comfortable with a somewhat brisk walking pace. The tour meets in the parking lot of the Saco Museum. Email or call Camille at email@example.com or 283-3861 ext. 113. The tour will be held Fridays, Oct. 11 and 18 at 6:30 p.m.
"Joshua L. Chamberlain and the Battle of Gettysburg: Man, Myth and Monument" Gallery Talk with Richard Schubart will take place Friday, Oct. 25 at 6:30 p.m. Join in at the Saco Museum for this special talk with Richard Schubart about Joshua L. Chamberlain. Chamberlain is one of Maine’s most famous Civil War generals, having served during the Civil War and later as Maine’s governor.
Located side by side on Main Street, the Dyer Library and Saco Museum serve as a lively center of culture and education for Saco and surrounding communities. Since 1881, Dyer Library has served the changing educational and cultural needs of the Saco area. In addition to maintaining a strong and growing collection of books, periodicals, and reference materials, the Dyer Library offers extensive archives and a wide array of community programs. The Saco Museum, founded as the York Institute in 1866, boasts an exemplary collection of more than 11,000 objects, including superb collections of documented local furniture and other decorative arts, textiles, and costumes. The museum is well-known for its rich collection of paintings from the Saco River Valley, including the largest and finest collection anywhere of portraits by deaf artist John Brewster, Jr. (1766-1854).
Library hours are Monday, Wednesday and Friday 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Tuesday and Thursday 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Museum hours are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 12 to 4 p.m.; Friday 12 to 8 p.m. (free from 4 to 8 p.m.); Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday 12 to 4 p.m. (June through December only).
Regular admission is $5 for adults; $3 for seniors and students; $2 for children (seven to 18) and free for children six and under. There is free admission for all on Friday evenings from 4 to 8 p.m. Admission is always free for cardholders of the Dyer Library and Saco Museum. This card is free for all residents of Saco; others pay an annual fee of $35 for unlimited museum admission plus full library borrowing privileges.
The Museum Shop carries a wide selection of Maine-made crafts, ceramics, and jewelry as well as books, cards, and seasonal items. Stop in to pick up a unique gift for someone special today! No admission fee to visit the shop.
The Dyer Library/Saco Museum is located at 371 Main Street (Route 1) in historic downtown Saco. From the Maine Turnpike, take Exit 36 onto Route 195. Take Exit 2A, Route 1 South (Main Street). The museum and library are about 8/10 of a mile down Main Street on the left. Turn into the parking lot: the museum is on your left and the library is on the right. Parking is free.
For more information, call 283-3861 or visit www.dyerlibrarysacomuseum.org. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for library information; email@example.com for museum information; firstname.lastname@example.org for collections information or email@example.com for program information.