The General Henry Knox Museum, the Maine Military Historical Society, and Owls Head Transportation Museum will co-host World War One History Day on Saturday, September 23rd from 10 a.m to 3 p.m. at Montpelier, the big white house at the Route 131 turn to St. George in Thomaston. Reenactors depicting soldiers from the 103rd Regiment will be on the grounds engaging in musters and showing their gear, and inside Montpelier there will be special displays of period weapons, photographs, newspapers, and other objects from the Great War.
Admission: General admission to both the encampment and Montpelier is $8 for adults and $4 for children aged 5 – 13, and will be collected at the entrance to the grounds. Children under 5 will be admitted for free.
History: The 103rd Regiment was an infantry regiment of the United States Army that served in combat in the American Civil War, World War I, and World War II. It was an Army National Guard regiment from the states making up New England, but most of its soldiers came from Maine.
In the fall of 1917, the newly formed 26th Division – with its thousands of Maine men along with it, as the Maine 2nd was re-designated as the 103rd U.S. Infantry Regiment – slipped away in the night and boarded transports headed for France. Beginning in February of 1918, the Yankee Division would enter the front lines and – with the exception of two weeks in August – would remain in combat sectors until the Armistice on November 11. These men – and the thousands of Mainers serving in other units across the Western Front – endured some of the harshest fighting of the war. Despite artillery bombardment, poison gas barrages, machine gun and sniper fire, influenza, and the ever-present mud, Maine’s service members pushed on to ultimate victory.
Maine Military Historical Society will display a cache of authentic WWI weapons, and Owls Head Transportation Museum will display aeronautical artifacts from the Great War inside Montpelier.
Montpelier is an historical building that is not handicapped-accessible. For more information call Collections Manager Matthew Hansbury at (207) 354-0885.