For Immediate Release

Contact: LA Arts

(207) 782-7228

L/A Arts Gallery, 221 Lisbon Street, Lewiston, Maine

Sunday, February 3rd, 2-4pm

(Gallery Hours 12-4 Tuesdays-Fridays and 11-3 Saturdays)

The Stanton Bird Club and L/A Arts have joined together to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Bird Club.  On Sunday, February 3rd from 2pm-4pm there will be an open house at the L/A Arts gallery at 221 Lisbon Street with music, food and an opportunity to enjoy the exhibition of paintings, drawings, and prints, Dan Cake: A Tribute to the Artist in the Year of the Bird. The public is invited to attend.

The Stanton Bird Club began in 1919 when a New England naturalist came to Lewiston-Auburn as part of a Chautauqua community lecture and challenged the community to start a bird club.  In fact, he would not get off the stage until the audience agreed to start a club and elect officers that evening.

This was at a time when there was a national concern with the declining population of birds due to the commercial trade in birds and bird feathers.  The year 1918 saw the passage by Congress of the International Migratory Bird Treaty Act to protect birds which made it illegal to kill migratory birds or collect any parts of these birds including feathers and nests.

The focus of the Club from the beginning was to increase the protection of wild birds and stimulate an interest in bird life.  The founders also had a dream of creating a model bird sanctuary and a desire to perpetuate the memory of Bates professor, Jonathan Stanton who was well known throughout New England for his knowledge of birds and the natural world. His bird collection, which is now housed at the Maine State Museum, was one of the finest in the northeast.

During its early years, the Club established its tradition of holding both evening meetings with speakers on the wonders of the natural world and field trips. At that time, field trip destinations were limited by the available transportation, with members often taking street cars to get to good birding spots. Speakers have included well known ornithologists Roger Tory Peterson and Owen Sewell Pettingill.

Perhaps the largest undertaking by the Club was the establishment of Thorncrag Bird Sanctuary in 1921 as a result of the original gift of 45 acres of land by Bates College Professor Alfred Anthony. The Sanctuary, in Lewiston, has been open free of charge to the public since it was first created and now encompasses 450 acres.  The Bird Club also stewards over 850 acres of land including its ownership of Woodbury Nature Sanctuary, located on the Monmouth/Litchfield town line.  For the last thirty years the Club has been known for its educational activities at Thorncrag involving both school-age and college students in the community.

The public is welcome to attend this celebration.  Please call 524-2060 to register or email the Club at

The exhibition, Dan Cake: A Tribute to the Artist in the Year of the Bird, will be open through Saturday, February 23rd at the L/A Arts Gallery, 21 Lisbon Street, in Lewiston. Since 1973, L/A Arts, the arts agency for the cities of Lewiston and Auburn, has pursued a mission to engage and inspire a vibrant community through arts and culture. The agency organizes arts programs and initiatives, supports the work of local artists and art organizations, and highlights the essential role the arts play in shaping an economically vital, socially integrated, and forward-looking future for its community. Learn more at