Heritage Center - Jonesport Historical Society
The new home of the Jonesport Heritage Center is the main floor of the Sawyer Building at 21 Sawyer Square, donated by John V. Sawyer II to the society in January 2011. It was built in 1896 by John's great grandfather Edward Mansfield Sawyer and his great great uncle Daniel James Sawyer. The building served as a ship's chandlery, general store, Jonesport Branch of the Pittsfield Co. Bank, and U.S. Custom House.
From 2011 through 2013 volunteers worked on the restoration of the Sawyer Building. The front of the building was converted into a museum and heritage center, where visitors can view the numerous artifacts on display, and use the desktop PC that contains 3 tremendous databases. A Genealogy database has information on more than 75,000 people, dating back to ancestors of the first settlers of the Jonesport-Beals area. Information about birth, place of residence, marriage, occupation, death, parents, spouses and children can be found in more than 500,000 lines of text records. A Cemeteries database has information on 4300 graves in the 38 cemeteries of the Jonesport-Beals area, including burial location, date, age at death and veteran status. Photos of 1600 gravestones, 900 obituary columns, 1000 funeral registers and 500 deceased have been inserted so far. An Archives database is a multi-media collection of all the archival material in the society's collection. It currently contains over 10,700 photos, 12,000 pages of newspaper articles, documents and other text, and more than 400 video clips of interviews with long-time residents.
The back of the building was converted into a meeting room that can seat more than 50 people. It has a ceiling-mounted digital projector, a large wall screen, and a 5-speaker Sony sound system.:
Generous member contributions have provided a lot of the funds to accomplish the building restoration so far. Some of the remaining large projects are: refinishing the floor in the JHS office, replacing a few more windows, re-drilliing the well, water-proofing the basement, building more storage shelves, and fixing the entrance steps.
The beautiful village of Jonesport played a major role in the era of early sea-faring, ship building and fishing industry. Please consider making a generous tax deductible donation to accomplish this goal of providing a showplace to fulfill the motto "Preserving Our Heritage". Print the membership form attached on the Historical Society Main Page to submit your tax-deductible donations.