Lecture and Tours Focus on South Berwick’s Fire of 1870


At online with the Old Berwick Historical Society

Lecture and Tours Focus on South Berwick’s Fire of 1870


South Berwick, Maine- On Thursday, October 22, at 7:30pm, local historian Wendy Pirsig will present an online account of this dramatic community story in treasured photos, maps and eyewitness accounts from the Old Berwick Historical Society archives. One hundred fifty years ago, South Berwick’s town center lay in ruins following a cataclysmic fire on the night of July 25-26, 1870.  Citizens then pulled together and raised the iconic brick business block that defines the village today. 


Participants will sign up on the Old Berwick Historical Society’s website or by calling the Counting House Museum. Admission is free to members, and $5 suggested donation to non-members.


Wendy Pirsig has spent 30 years studying local history through the Old Berwick Historical Society archives. In 1989, Pirsig began cataloguing thousands of documents in the Counting House. She served on OBHS board as well as collections, fundraising, properties and finance committees and has been OBHS past vice president and president. Pirsig has contributed endless hours to many exhibits and lectures, as well as material for the Hike through History and OBHS website. She also edited the 2007 OBHS publication The Placenames of South Berwick.


In conjunction with the lecture, there will also be two History Strolls about the Fire of 1870, on Saturday, October 17 & Saturday, October 24, both at 10am. OBHS archivist John Demos will present the tours. Limited to 6 people per tour, masks & reservations required. Meet in the parking lot of the South Berwick Post Office. Tour is open to the public and free of charge, $5 suggested donation for non-members. Sign-up on the OBHS website or call the museum.


The Counting House Museum is currently open by appointment only on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The Old Berwick Historical Society’s 2020 lectures are generously sponsored by Kennebunk Savings and supported by historical society members and donors. More information is available by calling 207-384-0000 or at  www.oldberwick.org.