Research centered on Malaga Island, in coastal Maine, in order to better understand the regional potential for assessment of the African-American experience in this portion of Casco Bay and Southwestern Maine. Given the shallow soils, dominant softwood forest and irregular rocky topography, much of the Northeast bay held little value for settlement. However, a small community of African-American and mixed ancestry eked out a marine-oriented living from the mid 19th century until 1912 when the governor of Maine ordered the eviction of all islanders, placing some of them in the “Maine School for the Feeble-Minded.” The abrupt departure and the rugged rural maritime conditions have preserved the island landscape.
This site represents the implementation of a public archaeology approach by Nathan Hamilton and myself. Archaeology is the use of physical science methods to address social science issues–what really happened and what is the evidence for that.