BRIDGTON, Maine — Tom Kelleher, historian and curator of Mechanical Arts at Old Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge, Mass., will present an illustrated program on how water power worked and its importance to early America today at 7 p.m. in the Temperance Barn at Narramissic in Bridgton, Maine.

No town is a better example of water power’s importance than Bridgton. The Perry Turbine, a technological innovation that greatly improved water power’s efficiency, was produced here, and Bridgton was a bustling industrial center for many years. Patterns for the sand castings that were used to produce the turbines are on display in the barn.

Many will remember Kelleher’s two previous visits, when his dynamic presentations re-created a 19the century peddler and a fervent fire and brimstone religious revival service.

In over 30 years at Old Sturbridge, he has worked as a costumed historical interpreter, trainer for the cooper shop, supervisor of the mills, coordinator of historic trades, research historian, program coordinator and managed staff training.

Kelleher has researched and developed dozens of historic characters and programs, which he has presented at scores of museums, schools and historical societies around the country. He has also taught a variety of craft skills and historical subjects to museum staffs as well as the general public and at teacher workshops throughout the United States and Canada.

Public admission is $10 or $8 for members of Bridgton Historical Society. This is the first of two programs on the theme “Natural Resource or Natural Wonder? Bridgton’s Landscape in the 19th Century.”

The second will be a presentation by State Historian Earle Shettleworth on Sunday, Aug. 18, “To Work and to Paint: The Art of Charles Lewis Fox and Curtis Appleton Perry,” which will be held at Walker Memorial Hall on Highland Road in Bridgton, not far from where the artists lived and worked.

For more information, contact the Bridgton Historical Society at (207) 647-3699, email, or go to or their Facebook page.

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