Thatchers are Adding a Roof to a Historic Replica Building at Colonial Pemaquid

June 21, 2013

For more information, contact: Barry Masterson at 207-677-2423

Bristol, Maine -- It is nearly a lost art. Colonial fishermen and early settlers to this region wove marsh grasses and native reeds into surprisingly sturdy and durable roofs to protect their homes from the sometimes harsh Maine coastal weather.

For the next week or so, this craft will again be plied at Colonial Pemaquid State Historic Site as professional roof thatcher Colin McGhee installs a thatched roof on the top of a replica of a 1600s dwelling at the site.

The dwelling project has so far been a two year project of the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry’s Bureau of Parks and Lands and their partners, the Friends of Colonial Pemaquid. The structure is made of a timber frame with walls made of a mud and stick material known as “wattle and daub.” The exterior of the building is clad with rough clapboards and the new thatched roof will literally top it all off.

The thatching is done by hand by Scotland native Colin McGhee whose work can be seen at his Web site:

Colonial Pemaquid is situated at the mouth of the Pemaquid River in Bristol. Members of the media are invited to see the work in progress and discuss the art of thatching with McGhee at the historic site on Sunday and Monday, June 23-24, 2013.

For more information, contact Barry Masterson, park manager, at: (207) 677-2423 (park telephone).

For more information about Maine state parks and historic sites, go to:

For more information about the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, go to: