Shaker Museum to Show Film on Buxton’s Local History

BuxtonVid1115

In an addition to this summer season’s programming, the Alfred Shaker Museum will screen Buxton, Maine: An American Story on Sunday, Nov. 15 , at 1:30 p.m. at the museum. The video is a production of Saco River TV’s director, Patrick Bonsant, and Matthew Fletcher, with support from the Narragansett Number One Foundation.

Bonsant will provide an introduction to the film before the screening. He and Fletcher taped, produced, and edited the film.

The film involved three years of work for Bonsant, who grew up in central Maine. He holds a BA in communications and media studies from the University of Southern Maine and enrolled in a seven-week program on video and film at Media Workshops in Rockport. He has worked as an evening editor at an ABC affiliate and has served as a media specialist for community tv networks in Portland and Gorham. He joined Saco River in Hollis as its director in 2007. Another documentary he produced, Saco River Indian Cellar, was a community film selection for MPBN three years ago.

While the current film focuses on Buxton, “the personal stories and the historical narrative will resonate with anyone who grew up in a small New England town,” he said. The narrative captures the distinctive history and development of much of Maine and its people. Since the full video is more than 2½ hours long, the Alfred museum’s screening will excerpt roughly the first 95 minutes for this presentation.

The film begins in the 1700s with the Native Americans and the first settlers and their families. With beautiful photography and a strong narrative, the film shows the emergence of dominant individuals and families, livelihoods, and industries over centuries and presents interviews with experts and current residents to capture its past and comments on its future. Many cultural institutions cooperated in the effort.

There will be no charge for viewers to see the film, but donations will be accepted with appreciation.

“We are very grateful that Patrick Bonsant offered us this program,” said Barbara Carlson, president of the Friends of Alfred Shaker Museum. “It is both insightful and enlightening.”

Museum Curator Linda Aaskov, who has ancestral roots in Buxton, noted that the production “might be said to be part of that ‘renaissance of Maine history’ that Sid Emery Memorial Forum speaker Richard Judd of the University of Maine recently cited in his Forum talk as a development of the last 20 years or more.

Videos of three presentations in the Forum series are now posted on the museum’s website. They include talks by Authors Anita Sanchez and Judd, and one about the history of Maine’s Native Americans by George Neptune of the Passamaquoddy tribe. The Forum co-hosts — Alfred Shaker Museum and the Sanford-Springvale Historical Society — hope that schools in Southern Maine will incorporate viewings of these talks in curricula for their students.

Museum Hours:

Museum Hours: 1 PM - 4 PM on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and by appointment.

Closing for the season on November 15.

Admission: Free. Donations are gratefully accepted.

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