Patten Museum to resume Bean Hole Dinner

3 years ago

PATTEN, Maine — One of the most popular events of the summer is returning next month as the Patten Lumbermen’s Museum will once again host its bean-hole baked beans dinner.

“The Board of Directors of the Patten Lumbermen’s Museum met recently and voted to resume the annual authentic Bean Hole Dinner,” explained Rhonda Brophy, curator for the museum.

The dinner, which is normally held as part of Patten Pioneer Days, will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 14. While there will be some events in the community, there is no official Patten Pioneer Day event this year.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and concerns for public safety, the event was canceled last summer. With increasing vaccination rates and reduction in COVID-19 cases, the board felt it was safe to resume the annual fundraiser, Brophy explained.

According to the Maine Folklife Center, Native Americans originated bean-hole beans by baking beans with bear grease and maple syrup in clay pots covered with deerskins and buried in coals in the ground. The slow, long cooking makes the beans very digestible, tender and delicious.

Because the beans are served outdoors, and increased seating spacing will be offered, masking will be optional under current public health guidelines, Brophy said. Takeout meals will be available for those who prefer that method.

The menu will consist of the traditional baked-in-the ground bean-hole beans, with a vegetarian version available, coleslaw, biscuits baked on-site in reflector ovens, Maine’s own red hot dogs, gingerbread and coffee or other beverages. 

Authors for book signings, live music, a silent auction/yard sale and other events will also be on site.

The board, under the direction of President Frank Rogers, grandson of founder Lorie Rogers, also voted to allow the Patten Veteran’s Memorial Library to operate out of a Museum building while the current library building is repaired or replaced.

Now open to visitors is the latest addition to the collection, the tugboat Kennebec. This is the last such vessel used to boom logs in the last Maine log drive, in 1976. Other plans include rebuilding the original 1820s camp in celebration of the Museum’s 60th anniversary and resumption of the Fiddlehead and Fiddle festival next spring.

For information, visit the Patten Lumbermen’s Museum website at