THOMASTON – Historic Watts Hall in downtown Thomaston is the site of Irene Drago author’s remarks and book launch, Saturday, Oct. 22 at 2 p.m. Drago, a Bath resident and author of three Maine books, centered her latest story, Lavinia Wren and the Sailboatsat Thomaston during her shipbuilding period between 1865 and 1924.
This maritime history is inspired by and based on the letters and papers of the Elliott/Dunn families of sailmakers and leaders at Thomaston’s heyday of sailing. Although a work of historical fiction, the book is based on extensive research using the letters and papers of two of Thomaston’s leading sail and shipbuilding families, the Elliotts and the Dunns, provided by Elliott’s descendant, Ida Elliott Clark, as well as documents from the Thomaston Historical Society. Peggy McCrea, the Thomaston town historian, also provided materials and her expertise to ensure that the names, places, and events in the fictional setting are historically accurate.
Although many books use Maine as the setting for stories, Thomaston and nearby communities are featured in Lavinia Wren and the Sailmakers. Readers can locate homes and streets from the book that are easily spotted while driving or walking through historic Thomaston. Drago also advances the story to the 20th century to share the continued impact of the Elliott/Dunn clan. The United States Navy has one active ship, the USS Elliotnamed in honor of an Elliott WW I war hero.
“Through these generational ties, Drago continues to remind us that history ‘is, was not’ and that we are all surrounded by the efforts and dream keepers of those who came before us,” reads a press release. .
Before moving to Maine, Drago worked for the Department of Defense as a Russian analyst, earned a Master of Arts degree in Spanish language and literature, and taught high school and college. His previous books are Long Range Girls and The tip of Maine. Drago is the recipient of a Next Generation Indie Book Award and a Spirit of Bath Award.
Author’s remarks begin at 2 p.m., followed by refreshments and a book signing.
This is a free event sponsored by Charlie and Susan Grover and hosted by the Cushing Public Library, members of the Elliott Family, General Henry Knox Museum, Thomaston Historical Society, Thomaston Public Library, Watts Hall Community Arts and Watts Hall. Community actors.