Oral Histories of Mount Desert Island

The 2017 installation of Somesville: A Sense of Place in the Selectmen’s Building was made possible through a grant from the Lynam Foundation and support from the Town of Mt. Desert. The exhibit includes a touchscreen display that allows visitors to select between six short films.


At the start of the project, Brendan and Eloise conducted interviews with six residents of MDI, ages 11 to 80, about their relationship to the village of Somesville. Through this exhibit, we intended not only to explore the different narratives that create a “sense of place,” but also to contrast and find common ground within their shared placed-ness. As the Historical Society expands its collection of oral histories, we will continue to make these stories accessible through this virtual exhibit.



Below, you can watch a 15-minute film portrait of the town, directed by Brendan O’Keefe with footage by Peter Logue.



The oral history films (coming soon) were curated by our spring Visiting History Scholar, Eloise Schultz.



If you’d like to be involved in the ongoing MDI Oral History project, please contact Eloise at Stay tuned as we present on this project at the Maine Archives & Museums Conference in November 2017!


Many thanks to:

Peter Logue

(Diver) Ed Monat

Meghan Vigeant

Somesville Union Meeting Hall

Somesville Library

Jasmine Smith and The Community School of MDI


And our participants:

Robert and Jean Fernald

Allen C. Fernald

Billy Helprin and the Somes-Meynell Wildlife Sanctuary

Susan Reiff Allen

Noah Keeley