Kennebec Historical Society to Host Conference on Historic Maine Taverns and Tea Rooms


Local authors and company presenters Kathy and Bill Kenny will give a talk on Maine’s historic taverns and teahouses on November 10 at Hope Baptist Church in Manchester. The presentation is organized by the Société historique de Kennebec. Illustration provided

The Kennebec Historical Society is planning its November presentation, “Historic Taverns and Tea Rooms of Maine,” at 6:30 pm Wednesday, November 10 at Hope Baptist Church, 726 Western Ave., Manchester.

Local authors and company presenters Kathy and Bill Kenny will unveil the stories, characters and history of these establishments over the past four centuries.

Holding a full place in the Maine community, the story of its early taverns and tea rooms is an important narrative of commerce and political and social life, covering famous incidents from the War of Independence to the generals of the civil war, stagecoaches and the history of rum. The teahouses of the early 1900s played an important role in the national tea movement, temperance and suffragette movements, and the promotion of women’s independence, and they also symbolized Maine culture and sophistication.

Kathy Kenny is a retired librarian whose love of books, history and antique quilts has led her to a second career as a historian, educator and speaker. Her extensive collection of antique quilts allows her to enhance different periods of American history for her audiences and give them a closer and more hands-on approach to learning about various events in the history of the nation. , such as the history of tea and tea houses during the years of the women’s suffrage movement.

She has been featured in several magazines and a guest speaker for a number of historical societies and women’s groups from Maine to Colorado. Presenting a bit of history from a woman’s perspective in this first book reflects her many years of collecting stories of historical interest.

Bill Kenny is a former US Air Force Logistics War Planner, Joint Special Operations Commander, Intelligence Officer, Gulf War Veteran, and retired Assistant University Professor. He has taught international economics, public affairs, organizational leadership, and other undergraduate and graduate courses, and has always had a keen interest in history, particularly Maine history.

This is his second book; its first, published by The History Press in June 2020, was “A History of Maine Railroads”. He has traveled across the state and via Zoom to speak about this important period in Maine history. To learn more, visit

The presentation of the company in November is free to the public. Donations are welcome. If COVID-19 cases continue to rise, the presentation will take place on Facebook Live.

For more information about the program, call Scott Wood, Managing Director, at 207-622-7718.

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