A Brief History of the Androscoggin Historical Society
We trace the roots of today’s Androscoggin Historical Society to an outing held at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Bryant in Webster on 10 June 1922 by the Mary Dillingham Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. The attendees admired the many historical articles in the home. After the picnic, talk turned to the preservation of such historical treasures. In particular, Mrs. Helen Frye White and Mrs. Alice Frye Briggs expressed anxiety about what might happen to the things that had belonged to their father, the late Senator William P. Frye. They had the idea of establishing a permanent society with a museum.
At the next meeting of the DAR, they voted to establish such a Society. All DAR members were to be affiliated automatically. The Society was incorporated on 20 November 1923. The Articles of Incorporation for the Androscoggin Historical and Antiquarian Society state the following: The purposes of said corporation are for promoting the study of the history of Androscoggin County and its citizens and preserving in its archives, records, relics and mementoes of that history, and increasing the interest of the citizens of Androscoggin County in the history of that County.
The name was changed 24 April 1951 to Androscoggin Historical Society. On 12 April 1979, we became a public corporation. Moving from private to non-profit status enabled the Society to participate in grants under state and federal programs. In 1979, we obtained a tax-exempt number as a non-profit corporation under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
Initially, all members of the Mary Dillingham Chapter became voting members of the Society, with no fee. For all others, there was an initial membership fee of one dollar. Only later did we adopt annual dues. We still have a DAR representative on the Board, as required by the by-laws.