Executive Director-Michael Chaney

As OBHS part-time Executive Director, Michael brings his interest in Maine maritime history and the history of the Maine woods to the Pemaquid Mill and OBHS History Center. A native and resident of Alna and a part-year resident of Louds Island for thirty years, he returned home in 2010 to serve as Executive Director of the Yarmouth Historical Society and later the Frances Perkins Homestead National Historic Landmark until 2023.  His research interests include the oral history of woodsmen and river drivers which resulted in the publication of White Pine on the Saco River in 1993, a volume of Northeast Folklore at the University of Maine. He has served as COO of the New Hampshire Historical Society, Associate Director of the New Hampshire Humanities Council, and President of the New Hampshire Political Library.

Collections Manager-Alison Brislin

Alison began working with the OBHS collections in January 2024, shortly after she and her family moved to Maine from New Mexico. A professional archivist, Alison holds an MS in Information Studies with a specialization in Archives and Material Culture from the University of Texas at Austin, as well as an MA in Fine and Decorative Arts from Sotheby’s Institute of Art in London.  Some of her past employers include the Alexander Architectural Archives at UT Austin, the Walt Disney Company in Los Angeles, and Sotheby’s and Christie’s auction houses in New York. Alison enjoys learning about history, antiquing, swimming, reading and spending time with the couple’s young son.

Board of Directors

Mark Ziarnik, President

Mark grew up in New Jersey, England and Belgium. After meeting at college in Pennsylvania, he and his future wife Penny moved to northwestern Connecticut where they raised their two sons.  While residing in Connecticut Mark’s volunteer work included serving as a board member and president of Hartland Land Trust, and he also acted in and produced plays for 20 years with a local community theater group. Mark, an aerospace program manager, retired on Halloween 2016 after a 34-year career with a division of United Technologies Corporation.  Having fallen in love with Maine while vacationing in Pemaquid over the course of 30 years and having made many local friends, Mark and Penny purchased an 18th century house in New Harbor in 2017 and have since made New Harbor their year-round home. Since the summer of 2019 Mark has volunteered as the project coordinator for OBHS’s preservation and rehabilitation of the Mill at Pemaquid Falls.  He is honored to be invited to join the OBHS Board of Directors. Term expires 7/25

Jody Holmes Bachelder, Vice President

Jody grew up in New Harbor and graduated from Bristol Consolidated School and Lincoln Academy. She worked for many summers in the gift shop, kitchen and dining room at what is now the Contented Sole and then at the  Gosnold Arms. Her fondest memories are spending summer days at Pemaquid Beach, visiting her grandfather Lester Russell at the barber shop on New Harbor Hill, and eating her grandmother Wintie Russell’s donuts. Jody holds a B.A. in French from Colby College and worked as a teacher before taking time to raise her family. Later, she returned to graduate school and received her M.S. in Library Science from the University of South Carolina. Before her retirement, she most recently worked as a school librarian at Hall-Dale Middle and High School in Farmingdale Maine. Jody is currently in the process of publishing her first non-fiction book “Samoset, the Wawenock from Pemaquid”, and has plans to turn the story into a graphic novel for middle grade students. She currently resides in Brunswick with her husband Todd. Term expires 7/24

Keith Mestrich, Treasurer

Keith lives in New Harbor and has over thirty years of experience in financial, labor, and non-profit sectors.  He is a founding member of the Aspin Institute’s  Finance Fellowship, was, until recently, CEO and President of Amalgamated Bank, and is founding partner of a venture company designing a financial services platform for low-income individuals.  He is a participant in the Aspen Global Leadership Network. Keith also serves on Board of Directors of the Frances Perkins Center, the CLC YMCA, and the Coastal Maine Botanical Garden and is Treasurer of the Frances Perkins Center and the Seawood Park Home Owners Association. He is also a member of Bristol’s Budget Committee. Term expires 7/26

Belinda Osier, Secretary

Belinda grew up in New Harbor, attended Bristol schools, and is proud to have ancestors among the early settlers of Bristol. She is a graduate of Bates College with a degree in history, holds an MA in Latin from Boston College, and did additional graduate study in the classics and Roman history at the University of North Carolina. For many years she worked as an adjunct professor of Classics, most recently at the University of Southern Maine until the university discontinued that department. Belinda is the former owner of Harborside Cottages, which was built by her parents and operated in New Harbor from 1950-2020. Now retired, she currently resides in New Harbor and Cumberland.  Term expires 7/24

Don Means, Director

Although Don’s roots (8 previous generations) are in Maine (mostly in Sedgwick (Sargentville section) in Hancock County), he was born in Boston and raised in Mass., spending summers in Maine.  He is a graduate of the University of Maine with a BS in Education.  He never went into education but instead became a 40 year banker, spending the last 30 years at The First National Bank of Damariscotta (now just First National Bank) from which he retired in 2002.  He has lived in Bristol for 46 years.  He has been Bristol’s Town Meeting moderator for 28 years and is presently Vice Chairman of the Bristol Appeals Board and is also Bristol’s representative to the Board of the Central Lincoln County Ambulance Service.  Past positions in Bristol include the committees of School, Budget and Town Planning.  He is also President of Bristol Village Improvement Society. Term expires 7/24

Robert Ives, Director

Robert Ives roots in Maine go back to 1632.  He attended Bowdoin College and worked in the Bowdoin  Admissions  Office.  He studied theology at  St Andrews University and the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. He was the minister on Monhegan Island, Louds (Muscongus) Island,  and in New Harbor and Round Pond.  For 33 years he was the Director of the Carpenter’s Boat Shop and was also the Director of Religious and Spiritual Life at Bowdoin College. He currently lives in Pemaquid Harbor. Term expires 7/24

Margaret Hayter, Director

Margaret was born in Portland, ME and grew up in MA. She received a BS from Bloomfield College and an MPA from New York University. She is a retired healthcare administrator. She resides in Pemaquid Beach and Nutley, NJ. Term expires 7/24

Phil Averill, Director

After working for Helen Camp in the very early days of her excavations at Colonial Pemaquid, Phil ended up going to Bates as a history major. However, growing up around the fishing industry in New Harbor, he soon changed over to marine biology but keeping history as an avocation. Now, after a career as a fisheries engineer and then a marine educator in schools all over Maine, he has time to enjoy that avocation. He helped start the effort to preserve the Pemaquid Mill so serves as chair of the OBHS Mill Committee. He is also president of the Harrington Cemetery Corporation, active with the Bristol Village Improvement Society and is a trustee at the Bristol Congregational Church. He looks forward to the great things that are about to happen at the Pemaquid Mill. Term expires 7/24

Pat Porter, Director

Pat made her first trip to Maine 50 years ago and knew that she wanted to live here some day.  She and her husband bought their first house here about 40 years ago and purchased their current home 33 years ago. In her previous life her job took her on the road three weeks of the month. Pat retired 14 years ago and has been fulfiling that “someday” dream ever since.  She is President of the Pemaquid Point Association and Vice President of Caring for Kids and was very active in the Save the Mill Campaign. Term expires 7/24

Chuck Farrell, Director

Prior to moving to New Harbor in 2001, Chuck and his family lived in Acton, Massachusetts.  His career focused on marketing and selling high-end high-tech products primarily in international markets.  Since becoming a Bristol resident, Chuck has held board member positions with the Pemaquid Watershed Association (now Coastal Rivers) and the Damariscotta YMCA as well as Clerk and Registered Agent of his home owners association.  He has served on the Bristol Mills Dam Advisory Committee and, more recently, the Town of Bristol Vehicle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee.  He continues to serve the state as a Maine Judiciary Court Mediator. Term expires 7/25

Anne Nord, Director

Anne was born in Pennsylvania but spent most of her childhood in Connecticut. She graduated from Cedar Crest College in Pennsylvania with a BS education, later receiving her MEd in education; later, with a Sixth Year Administration degree she became a Principal. Her connection with Maine came when she and her husband Carl brought their children to Maine for vacations in Round Pond and later Moosehead Lake in Greenville. After retirement, they moved to Damariscotta in 2019. Anne joined Coastal Rivers Conservation Trust (CRCT) and, as a volunteer, recently worked with CRCT to educate Great Salt Bay students about the Wild Seed Project. The seedlings are some of the lovely flowers the Old Bristol Historical Society has in their window boxes. Last year she helped with the creation and distribution of a historical places scavenger hunt in an attempt to keep OBHS in students’ vision during the pandemic. She is also a docent at the Beachcombers Rest Area at Pemaquid Beach. As a Master Gardener she promotes a healthy environment and likes to share knowledge of plants and practices with anyone who will listen. The last three years, she has been involved in exploring the best possibilities for the almost acre of green at OBHS. Term expires 7/25

Ed Kitson, Director

Ed first worked as a professional archaeologist, then spent 10 years running and growing an upscale resale operation for a mid-sized non-profit organization. There he was responsible for founding multiple retail outlets, a world-wide online business and a well-read material culture information and sales blog. He then transitioned into the private sector, running high-end estate sales and conducting appraisals for customers and clients in the Pacific Northwest centered around Portland, Oregon. While maintaining consulting appraisal contacts in the Northwest, Edward returned to the Northeast in 2019. He is the founder of Aves Appraisal, Valuation and Estate Services which works throughout all of New England, eastern New York and other locations as needed. Term expires 7/25

Bob McLaughlin, Director

Bob and his wife Roberta have been residents of the Pemaquid peninsula for more than 40 years, first at their Pemaquid Harbor vacation cottage, and before that at a rental cottage in Boothbay Harbor. He and Roberta moved full-time to their first year-round property in Bristol in 1988. For the past 16 years, they have lived at the former “Holly Morgan Horse Farm” on the Harrington Road in Walpole. Bob is a retired trial lawyer with a lifelong interest in land conservation, protection and planning. In 1985 he co-founded the DYNAWAVE company, a Haverhill, MA based manufacturer of precision components and cables for advanced microwave systems and served as their president and CEO from 2012-2020. Bob is one of the original members of the Old Bristol Historical Society and formerly served on its Board of Directors from 2003-2013. He is also a past president of the Board of Directors of the former Damariscotta River Association and served as a board member of the Boothbay Region Land Trust. Bob is a graduate of Saint Peter’s University, of the U.S. Coast Guard’s Officer Candidate School in Yorktown, Virginia, and of Boston College Law School. Term expires 7/25

Dan Lemieux, Director

Dan Lemieux was born in Farmington Maine and grew up living in Auburn, Northeast Harbor, and East Millinocket as a young child. He spent his childhood school years in Rockland, Maine and then attended the University of Southern Maine where he met his future wife. After graduation, Dan became a technology education teacher in Jay, Maine, and spent 37 years teaching woodworking and metal working, and also coached a robotics team that competed throughout New England. Dan has spent most of his life building and remodeling houses and working on various construction projects. Although Dan moved to Bristol within the past few years, his mother’s family was from the Pemaquid and Damariscotta area, as well as his wife’s. Since moving to Bristol, Dan has been an active volunteer at the OBHS and at the Carpenter’s Boatshop. Dan has two sons and a daughter, two of whom live in Maine. One of his sons lives in Sweden with Dan’s two grandchildren. Term expires 7/26

Jody McKenzie Harris, Director

Jody grew up on the coast of Massachusetts but moved to the foothills of the Berkshires as a young adult, where she raised her family and a flock of sheep.  She had an opportunity to move to Maine in 2007, quickly took it and has not looked back. She met her husband, Bob Harris, after arriving in Maine and they now live in Round Pond. Jody graduated from Smith College with a degree in anthropology as well as art history, with a concentration in museum studies. While residing in western Massachusetts she worked at Historic Deerfield and Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, both history museums located in Deerfield. She most recently worked at Pemaquid Watershed Association and at Coastal Rivers Conservation Trust after the organization’s merger.  She is now retired and spends more time in her gardens and her fiber art studio. Jody also serves on the Board of Helping Hands of Round Pond as vice president. Term expires 7/26

Chris Hall, Director

Originally from England, Chris Hall has lived in Bristol Mills for 35 years, during which time he has taken time out to serve overseas as a college President in Kosovo and Dubai, and was for ten years a Monday-to-Friday commuter as a steel industry executive in New York City. He has represented the Bristol area in Augusta both in the House and Senate. Chris earned his doctorate at Oxford in the history of arms control, and has published on that topic and on the US steel industry as well as writing a historical guide to the countries of the Balkans. On retiring from academia, he took the position of Bristol’s Town Administrator for six years, holding that position during the ‘interesting times’ of Covid before retiring for good – perhaps – at the end of 2022. Term expires 7/24