Renowned character reenactor Jessa Piaia to portray Amelia Earhart in free talk at the Owls Head Transportation Museum Saturday, March 8

Come celebrate International Women’s Day at the Owls Head Transportation Museum on Saturday, March 8 at 1 pm with historical character reenactor Jessa Piaia. Piaia will present a one-person interpretation of pioneer aviatrix Amelia Earhart, one of the world’s most famous aviators and greatest mysteries as part of the museum’s 2014 Winter Education Series, the talk is free to the public.

Born in Atchison, Kansas, Amelia Earhart (1897 – 1937), relocated many times during her early years. She had a variety of jobs and interests, becoming a teacher and social worker at Denison House in Boston, and later a guidance counselor at Purdue University.

In 1928, Amelia Earhart was the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean in the Friendship flight, and in 1932, she became the first woman to fly solo on a similar route across the Atlantic. Author of two books, one published after each flight, she was founder and first president of The Ninety-Nines; Amelia also went on the speaking circuit across the country. Her Lockheed plane was lost at sea during a nearly successful attempt to fly around the world in 1937.

Jessa Piaia’s character portrayals celebrate women of the past whose diverse lives span three centuries including Susanna Rowson, Susan B. Anthony, Isabella Stuart Gardner and Clara Barton. In her poignant and inspiring dramatic vignettes, Jessa reveals the accomplishments, struggles and contributions of these women to American history. Jessa depicts each woman’s life set against the historic events and issues of the day.

Jessa Piaia studied performance at London’s Oval House Theatre and graduated from the University of Massachusetts in Boston. Her first dramatic portrayal—of Amelia Earhart—was staged at the International Women’s Day Festival in Milwaukee in 1978.

Jessa currently works at Harvard University. She conducts most of her historical research at the Schlesinger Library at Radcliffe Institute, which specializes in the history of women in America.

Next up in the 2014 Winter Education Series is a presentation by Russ Barber titled “21st Century Steam & High Speed Rail in China Today.” As part of the Maine Rail Group’s first Maine Rail Conference and Fair Barber will present an illustrated talk on the state of Steam Train technology in China. The all-day rail conference is open to the public and will feature a variety of rail interests, from operational to historical. The conference and fair runs from 10 am until 4 pm in the Museum’s State of Maine Wing, Barber’s program will commence at 1 pm.

All presentations in the Winter Education Series are free to the public. Standard admission for visitors wishing to explore the Museum is $12 ($10 for seniors over 65) and free to children and youth under age 18. Active duty and retired military personnel are admitted free of charge.

For more information about the Winter Education Series or any upcoming museum activity please contact Owls Head Transportation Museum Public Relations Director Jenna Lookner at 594-4418 or by email at

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