J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Thursday, November 03, 2011

Tide Mill Conference in Kennebunkport, 18-19 Nov.

This is one of the more specialized historical events I’ve heard of this fall, and in that little way one of the most intriguing. Not that I plan to go—I just enjoy its existence.

The Kennebunkport Conservation Trust and the Tide Mill Institute will hold a conference on 18-19 November at the trust’s headquarters in Kennebunkport, Maine, where historians from Europe and North America will discuss the history of tide mills. The conference description says:
One presentation will lay out legal issues that affected early tide mills and confront those seeking to make use of tidal energy today. An open forum will allow Maine’s coastal historical societies to share information and to study the tide mills that existed in their back yards. Participants will also have the opportunity to hear about and see first-hand the current archaeological work being done by the Trust at its 1740s James Perkins tide mill site in Kennebunkport.
There will be an informal reception at the Trust’s headquarters on Friday evening, and registration starts on Saturday at 8:30 A.M. There’s a $20 conference fee, and the event is subsidized by a grant from the Maine Humanities Council. For more information, contact Bud Warren or Lisa Lassey.

The picture above, courtesy of the Tide Mill Institute, shows the Perkins tide mill in the early 1900s when it was a tea room. Built in 1794, the structure lasted exactly two centuries before burning down. Tide mills are preserved in some form in Revere and Quincy, Massachusetts.

Looking for pictures also led me to the Mills Archive Trust in Britain, which has extensive links to sites in that country.

TOMORROW: How tide mills helped to define colonial Boston.


Charles Bahne said...

For those who aren't already familiar with it, the Slade Mill in Revere (see J.L.'s link) is right beside the Revere Beach Parkway, just east of Route 107. Every time I drive past it I am so glad to see that it's still there. It sat vacant for a few decades and I was so sure that the vandals would torch it. But about 8 or 10 years ago it was bought by a new owner who has restored it. It's not in the mill business any more; I believe that it's used for offices, perhaps for high-tech. But I've talked with the owner and he's well aware of its historical significance.

maine character said...

My brother had his wedding reception there - quite a place, with lots of history.