If Houses Could Talk Project

Take part in this community-wide history celebration!

The goal is pretty simple: tell us about your house by placing a few facts about it on a posterboard for all to see (near the front sidewalk of your house) for one week, June 20 – 28, 2020.

Due to COVID-19, national surveys have suggested a certain public hesitancy on returning to gathering spaces like museums. Outdoor spaces – including outdoor exhibitions at museums – will be most important to provide this summer. We’re asking for YOUR help!

Tell the story of your home as if it were an artifact in a town-wide exhibit! How large an exhibit can we create? That’s up to you! “Visitors” will be able to walk the sidewalks of town and read all about the homes and histories surrounding us.

Want to track your mileage while walking the exhibit? Participate in the Museum’s Bicentennial Distance Challenge, too!

 

Here’s the details:

Share the amazing history of your home with the public!

Kennebunk’s Bicentennial is this year. Make your house a part of our shared history!

The instructions are simple:

  1. Draft your text of 4-5 sentences (max). Tell some interesting tidbit – contemporary or historic, personal, or public –  about your building or the people inside it.   Examples:–  “In 2005, during construction, we found a shoe in the wall,” or –  “Captain Smith lived here in 1776; he and his wife had 11 children.”
  2. If you want help investigating the history of your house: The Brick Store Museum can help! We have a volunteer deed researcher, and may have information in our archives about your house. Contact the Collections Manager, Leanne Hayden via our online Contact Form. You’ll need to list your home address (for title research), and anything you might already know about it (i.e. names of previous owners, etc.). Please be patient for a response from staff & volunteers. Especially in this shut-down for COVID-19, we may not be able to do all the deed research possible.
  3. With a permanent marker, copy your text onto a posterboard. Add your street address at the bottom of the poster. Complimentary posterboard will be supplied by the Museum in mid-May, and can be picked up at our Front Desk (more information provided when we re-open).
  4. Confirm your participation by entering your address into this Google Registration Form.
  5. Put your sign out by your front sidewalk by 9 AM on Saturday, June 20, 2020 (since this will be on view for a week, remember to take it in during rain/weather)
  6. Remove your sign on Sunday, June 28, 2020.  Recycle the materials!
  7. After taking part, please make sure to send a copy of your research to the Brick Store Museum – building the history of our town, its people and its buildings depends on dedicated history champions like you!

If you already have your home’s history – fantastic! All you need to do is make a poster and register your address (#s 3-6 above)

The goal of If Houses Could Talk: Kennebunk is to…

  • Create a family friendly activity for Kennebunk residents
  • Celebrate the Bicentennial together as a community
  • Make residents and visitors aware of the history all around them
  • Contribute to Kennebunk’s  sense of place

We give thanks and credit to If This House Could Talk in Newburyport for all the groundwork done for their similar, long-running program!

 

Resources and Links to get started:

Program Description (PDF) – perfect for forwarding to neighbors and friends!

House History Research Basics & Resources (PDF)

Check out our Google Earth Map (updated with new stops when you register your house!) – to be used by walking tour participants during June 20-28.

Register your site/house HERE (via Google Docs)

 

Thank you for participating in this grass-roots, fun and fancy-free adventure in history!