Maine Historical Society



Current Exhibitions

Admission to gallery: Adults - $8.00; Students with ID, Seniors & AAA members - $7.00; Children 5–17 - $2.00, under 6 free
Free for MHS members.

Home: The Longfellow House & the Emergence of Portland

June 27, 2014 - May 2015

image of exhibit banner

Home: The Longfellow House & the Emergence of Portland uses the Wadsworth-Longfellow House as a prism to explore how Portland has grown and changed over more than 230 years. When Peleg Wadsworth built the House on Back Street in 1785, it was on the rural outskirts of Portland. By the early 1800s, the House was at the center of a bustling, modern New England city. Since then, Portland has boomed, burned, boomed again, busted, and reemerged as a vibrant, forward-looking city. Through it all, the Wadsworth-Longfellow House has been a constant, and witness to the life of an emerging community.

The exhibition will feature family belongings that tell the personal and yet universal story of how people live in their homes—including ways of heating, cooking, and plumbing—and how those functions evolved within Portland. The stories of the Wadsworth and Longfellow families and an ever-changing cast of neighbors on their block—families, hotels, businesses, tenements, etc.—help explain how Portland has become the beloved, livable city we know today.

With gratitude to our sponsors:

Your Home, Past & Present
Participate in our exhibition and share your images with us!

We are interested in seeing what your home looked like in the past and how it appears today. Submit your images and we'll install them in our exhibition Home: The Longfellow House & the Emergence of Portland and share them online. We welcome images from all towns and all states. Your childhood home, the residences of friends and family members, or intriguing houses in your area are all acceptable.

Details and submission instructions are on on our blog.


Sugar and Spice: Our Vintage Recipes

March 6- May 31, 2015
Opening reception: March 6, 5-8pm during the Art Walk

Medical recipe, late 1700s

From the handwritten to the promotional, this exhibit showcases historic recipes from the collections of the Maine Historical Society. Highlighting Maine's eccentric culinary and homeopathic culture, these recipes date from the 18th century to the 1950s, and include sweet treats, savory snacks, medicinal concoctions, curious libations, and even calf's foot jelly.

This show can be viewed in the Shettleworth Lecture Hall at MHS, and was curated by Jamie Kingman Rice, Director of Library Services.

Sponsored by Rabelais - Fine books on Food & Drink.