If you think rural Maine was far removed from the issue of slavery, think again. Founded by the Free Will Baptists in 1832 and serving as a school here in southwestern Maine until 1949, Parsonsfield Seminary was very involved in the abolitionist movement. It was a stop on the Underground Railroad, notably under the leadership of Oren B. Cheney, who later founded Bates College. In 1853, the campus suffered a mysterious fire, possibly set by proslavery forces, though the case was never solved.
I’ll spotlight that heritage with some historical abolitionist songs at the 33rd Annual Par-Sem Day and Auto Show on Saturday, August 6, hosted by The Friends of Parsonsfield Seminary to raise funds for restoration and maintenance of this historic landmark. In addition to the vintage cars, there will be food, vendors, games, a yard sale, and music at the gazebo. The full musical lineup: 8:30 AM – Clayton Douglas; 9:30 AM – String Equinox; 10:30 AM – Katherine Rhoda; 11:30 AM – Amy Johnson Roberts; 12:30 PM – Makin’ it Happen – Darla Dee & Josh Royer. It all happens at 504 North Road (Route 160), Parsonsfield, Maine. Admission is free.