The Archaeology of Fort Richmond

Dr. Leith Smith

Historic Archaeologist, Maine Historic Preservation Commission

Wednesday, March 13, 2013
7:00 p.m. Curtis Memorial Library, Brunswick

Join Friends of Merrymeeting Bay (FOMB) on Wednesday, March 13 at 7pm for the 6th presentation of their 16th annual Winter Speaker Series. This program, “Archaeology of Ft. Richmond”, features Maine Historic Preservation Commission Historic Archaeologist, Dr. Leith Smith.

The Maine Department of Transportation is replacing the Richmond-Dresden Bridge over the Kennebec River. The new bridge approach road will pass through the site of Fort Richmond, the first of the Kennebec River forts, constructed in 1721 and decommissioned in 1755. Also impacted is the site of the Parks family homestead that was present between ca. 1775 and 1830. Archaeological work in 2012 revealed intact structure foundations, palisade trenches and fort period artifacts, as well as refuse deposits from the Parks occupation. Unfortunately further excavations by the Maine Historic Preservation Commission and local volunteers will only be allowed until July of 2013, not enough time for this complex and historic site in the way of "progress."

Leith Smith received his doctorate from Syracuse U. with a dissertation entitled: Archaeological Survey of Settlement Patterns in the Banda Region, West-central Ghana: Exploring external influences and internal responses in the West African frontier from 1400 to 1935. Smith's archaeology interests include: African American archaeology, West African Iron Age and Late Stone Age archaeology, Culture change among African Diaspora populations, Eastern North American colonial history and archaeology, Industrial archaeology, Landscape archaeology, Ceramic use-wear analysis, Public archaeology and compliance legislation. Besides extensive work in West Africa, Smith has worked on the third Harbor Tunnel Project in Boston and in some of the fact-filled privies of MA.

The FOMB Winter Speaker Series takes place monthly from October-May on the second Wednesday. The series, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by Friends of Merrymeeting Bay with support and valuable door prizes from Patagonia Outlet in Freeport. The next FOMB presentation on April 10th at the Curtis Memorial Library, Brunswick is entitled Beauty & Tradition of the Birchbark Canoe and features Steve Cayard, Canoe Builder.

To receive more information on FOMB’s programs call Ed Friedman, Chair, Friends of Merrymeeting Bay, at 666-3372 or Full speaker schedule and speaker biographies are available .


Watercolors by
Sarah Stapler