What to do when you get here — An insider’s guide to interests and attractions in the area surrounding The Cliff House Resort & Spa.
Historical Society of Wells & Ogunquit
So many times driving through Ogunquit on my way to The Cliff House I have seen this sign. Today, I said to myself, is the day to stop in. The first church was built during the Revolutionary War. The second one and present edifice was built in 1862 during the Civil War. In 1870 a church bell was purchased from the Paul Revere Foundry and when it was placed in the steeple, nearly a thousand people were in attendance. And there I was standing on the very spot!
I hurried inside and began to read about the early settlers to Wells beginning in 1602. I entered a small room and saw a white dress of delicate design and next to it, a watercolor of the old Meeting House. There are cases of artifacts, beautifully displayed, intricate quilts and children’s clothing.
But, the primary reason people come to this Historical Society is there on the second floor, where people come to research their genealogy. When you stop in perhaps you will be greeted by Jane Edgecomb, executive director. She and staff member, Lisa, are quick to help people, and are assisted by docents. Want to learn about local history? Check that family member who was born in Wells in 1875? This little gem of a research library is for you. While I was there a couple from Massachusetts came for just that reason.
But the greatest treasure from the past is the Meeting House. Its scale is dramatic; it pulses with history and belies the busy road beyond the doors. I sat there in the quiet, imagining Paul’s bell summoning people for an important community meeting. Today this beautiful space is available for weddings and special events.
The Meeting House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is a repository of the past, a place offering insight on the present and a prism through which to view the future. There is no admission fee, but donations are most welcome. Check out their Web site for membership information and hours when you can visit. www.historicalsocietyofwellsandogunquit.org
Next stop, York Historical Society. www.oldyork.org