President - Gary Dyer - 207.993.2362
Vice-President - Dan Newman
Secretary - Noreen Golden - 207.873.4134
Treasurer - Peter Golden - 207.873.4134
Archivist - Peter Golden - 207.873.4134
Curator - Miriam Keller - 207.993.2455
From the time of early settlement, Palermo residents and their descendants have recognized the importance of preserving and sharing Palermo's heritage.
One of the earliest settlers, John Marden, as an old man in the 1850's, put to paper his memories; and his grandson, Allen Goodwin, published them in the first History of Palermo. Others, including Milton Dowe for Palermo's sesquicentennial and Millard Howard for the United States bicentennial, wrote histories.
But, not until 1994 was an organized society established. In that year a group came together at the initiative of John Potter, Jr. and the Reverend Edward Hatch. It met around Milton and Virginia Dowe's kitchen table and included Millard Howard, Tom Dinsmore, and Carolyn Ballantyne, as well. From this nucleus, the Society began to meet monthly, first at the Palermo Community Center, then at the Palermo School, the Palermo Town Office, the Palermo Christian Church, and presently at the Worthing House. From the beginning it was to include all of Branch Mills village. It received its legal incorporation May 26, 1995. Its mission is to preserve, record and disseminate the community history, enhance the sense of our culture and build on our reputation as a caring, help-thy-neighbor community.
In 1996, the Society applied for and received a grant from the Maine Humanities Council for "Preserving and Presenting Palermo Memories." Over the next year the Palermo Consolidated School eighth graders conducted a video-taped oral history project. The Society solicited material from local organizations and individuals. It developed a "kit" of resource material for the School, and conducted a public display and presentation at the annual Palermo Days celebration of 1997. An archive of pictures, documents and small artifacts was started but limited because of lack of storage and display opportunities.
In late 1997 the Society published Milton Dowe's memoir, Things That I Remember.
Each year the Society has done an evening presentation as a part of Palermo Days. These have included: Palermo's 17 school districts, Palermo in the Civil War, a slide show of pictures of Palermo residents in the mid-twentieth century taken by Milton Dowe, computer generated slides of Palermo post cards, and John Bunker's research on old apple trees in Palermo. In 1999 and 2007, a historical bus tour was offered. As part of the Palermo Bicentennial observance, the Society sponsored a re-enactment of the first Palermo town meeting of January 9, 1805.