Maine Historical Society



Current Exhibitions

Admission to gallery: Adults - $8.00; Students with ID, Seniors & AAA members - $7.00; Children 6-17: $3; 5 and under, free
Free for MHS members.

Designing Acadia: Creating Maine's National Park Experience

Exhibition on view June 17, 2016 through January 14, 2017
MHS Gallery

On the Scenic Cadillac Mt. Road, Bar Harbor, ca. 1935

For one hundred years, Acadia National Park has captured the American imagination and stood as the most recognizable symbol of Maine's important natural history and identity. Tourists traveled to Mount Desert Island for decades before the creation of our national park system to experience and enjoy nature. But most do not realize that experience has been purposefully designed. The design of the park as a public space sought to create vistas, sight lines, and diverse opportunities for visitors to experience Mt. Desert Island's special and varied landscape. From the breathtaking views, to the roads and trails we use today, each section of the Park was carefully considered to both protect the environment and to enhance the visitor experience. Join us during Acadia's centennial anniversary year for an exploration of the landscape design that visitors continue to experience today.

See related online exhibition.


Images of Destruction: Remembering the Great Portland Fire of 1866

Exhibition on view June 30 through October 30, 2016
Earle G. Shettleworth, Jr. Lecture Hall and Showcase Gallery

George Frederick Morse painting of the Portland fire 1866

On July 4, 1866, fireworks caused a fire in a Portland boatyard near the corner of Maple and Commercial Streets that quickly overtook much of the city. The fire spread from Fore Street to the slopes of Munjoy Hill, leaving 10,000 people homeless, destroying 1,800 buildings, causing 12 million dollars in damage, and claiming four lives. Through the poignant imagery of the fire's destruction, this exhibit will show the dramatic impact of the fire on the development of the city. Photographs of the fire's aftermath, memorial paintings, maps, and commemorative newspapers shown with objects that survived the fire will bring the visitor back to this pivotal time in Portland's urban history. State Historian Earle G. Shettleworth, Jr .curated the exhibit on this sesquicentennial anniversary of the great event.