This weekend thousands of men, women and children will flock to the grounds of Colonial Pemaquid for the Olde Bristol Days celebration. There will be face painting and food serving, vendors vending, children playing and music in the air.

It may be hard to visualize it now, but ask any one of the historians who have dedicated their lives to uncovering the rich history of the area; 400 some odd years ago, Colonial Pemaquid was little more than a fishing outpost at the edge of the world.

Ask historical re-enactor Gus Konitzky the right question and he might tell you about the rows and rows of salt cod that once covered the fairgrounds, all split open, laid out on racks, drying in the sun.

It was a rugged life. Think about how poor William Furber must have felt, not even off the boat for 24 hours before a hurricane rolled through and sank his ship, the Angel Gabriel. If anything, his second night in North America must have been even longer than his first.

Olde Bristol Days has come to be a celebration of the current town of Bristol, but we think of our European forebears every time we set foot on that hallowed ground. We think about the ruggedness and tenacity of the people who sailed away from home and country to make their fortune, never knowing if they would see hearth and home again.

Before them, for thousands of years Native Americans trod the same ground. The same things that make Pemaquid a great place to live today, made it a great place to live then.

If you want your taste of community spirit on a smaller but no less charming scale, head inland a little ways for North Nobleboro Days, another celebration of community, also held on land carved out of a wilderness, and this one featuring some of the best barbecued chicken you can find.

This weekend while we celebrate the communities we have become, let's not forget the people who created the communities here before us.