Maine Historical Society

MAINE HISTORICAL SOCIETY

PRESERVING HISTORY
ENGAGING MINDS
CONNECTING MAINE

Upcoming Programs & Events

Events on this page: August | September | October | November | Ongoing Programs | Podcasts | Group Trips | Exhibitions | Regional Genealogy Events

Program fees and registration details are listed in the program description. Programs for MHS members are free or discounted. Support MHS by becoming a member today. All programs take place at our facilities at 489 Congress Street in Portland, unless otherwise noted. Click here for Directions or Parking information.

Please review our Refund and Return Policies for tickets and event admissions.

If you have questions about any of the programs listed below, please contact us at (207) 774-1822.

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Ongoing Programs

Wadsworth-Longfellow House Tours - Daily, May - October. See details.

Exhibition Galleries (self-guided) - Changing schedule, year-round. See details.

Historical Walking Tours of Portland - Daily, June - Columbus Day weekend. See details.

Library Tours - First Wednesday at noon in January, March, May, July, September, and November. See below for next scheduled tour.

August Programs

Friday, August 4, 5:00 – 8:00 pm

First Friday Art Walk: Creative Maine

Blacksmith banner by Joseph E. Hodgkins, 1841. Item #36610 on MaineMemory.net.

Blacksmith banner by Joseph E. Hodgkins, 1841. Item #36610 on MaineMemory.net.

Come see our newest exhibition Creative Maine: Trade Banners and the Crafts That Built Maine!

Creative Maine explores the creativity and ingenuity that created the Maine economy as we know it today through the historical parade banners of the Maine Charitable Mechanic Association. In 1841, MCMA members marched through the streets of downtown Portland to demonstrate their skills and support for their individual trades, as well as for craftspeople struggling to earn a supporting wage in the changing economy. The exhibition shares the stories of past individuals who led the MCMA, who were skilled in their trades, and who created successful industries for Maine. Each exquisitely-preserved banner is on display alongside both a historical account of a craftsperson, and a contemporary example of that same trade as it exists today.

PLUS! At 6:30pm in the Longfellow Garden is Portland Magazine’s First Friday Fiction series, a monthly First Friday gathering showcasing an author whose work has previously been published in Portland Magazine.

Free & open to the public 5-8pm during Art Walk.

Wednesday, August 9 – Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Children’s Hour: Story & Craft for Kids

Children’s Hour: Story & Craft for Kids

Children’s Hour is back at Maine Historical Society this summer!

Join us at each program for the reading of a favorite story book followed by crafts and activities for the whole family. This year we’ll explore the fun and wonder of making and inventing things, as well as the different types of jobs people do!

Weather-permitting, all programs will be held in the Longfellow Garden. Light refreshments will be provided. All programs are FREE; registration is recommended. All are welcome; recommended for ages 4-9. All children must be accompanied by a caregiver. To register or request additional information please contact Manager of Education and Interpretive Programs, Kathleen Neumann at 207-774-1822, ext. 214, email kneumann@mainehistory.org.

August 9, 10:30am
Marvelous Mattie: How Margaret E. Knight Became an Inventor by Emily Arnold McCully

August 23, 10:30am
If I Built a House by Chris Van Dusen

Wednesday, August 9, 12:00 – 12:30 pm

Curator Tour: Making Paper, Making Maine

Curator Tour: <i>Making Paper, Making Maine</i>

Join MHS Executive Director Steve Bromage for an insider’s view of the creation of MHS’s exhibit, Making Paper, Making Maine. On view through October 28.

Paper has shaped Maine's economy, molded individual and community identities, and impacted the environment throughout Maine. Making Paper, Making Maine recognizes the historic transition taking place in Maine's paper industry, and asks, what's next for Maine's economy?

Program is free with museum admission (complimentary for MHS Members; $8 general audience).

Register today!

Tuesday, August 15, 4:30 – 6:30 pm

Beer in the Garden: Botanical History

Beer in the Garden: Botanical History

Join us for beer and snacks, a rare opportunity to enjoy our historic garden in the evening, and a chance to see some very special artifacts from our collections!

Free for MHS Members; $5 general admission. Must be 21+. RSVP not required – drop in any time! Apply your program fee to MHS membership!

Beer in the Garden is sponsored by Shipyard Brewing Company.

Thursday, August 24, 6:30 pm

In collaboration with Portland Public Library
Spotlight Lecture Series: Tom Ricks, author of Churchill and Orwell: The Flight for Freedom

Spotlight Lecture Series: Tom Ricks, author of Churchill and Orwell: The Flight for Freedom

Portland Public Library and Longfellow Books in collaboration with the Maine Historical Society will host Tom Ricks at the Spotlight Lecture Series. Ricks will give a lecture on his New York Times bestselling book, Churchill and Orwell: The Fight for Freedom. The talk and book signing will be held on Thursday, August 24th at 6:30pm in the Rines Auditorium at Portland Public Library.

Free and open to the public. For more information please visit PPL's Facebook event page here.

September Programs

Friday, September 1, 5:00 – 8:00 pm

First Friday Art Walk: Creative Maine

Blacksmith banner by Joseph E. Hodgkins, 1841. Item #36610 on MaineMemory.net.

Blacksmith banner by Joseph E. Hodgkins, 1841. Item #36610 on MaineMemory.net.

Come see our newest exhibition Creative Maine: Trade Banners and the Crafts That Built Maine!

Creative Maine explores the creativity and ingenuity that created the Maine economy as we know it today through the historical parade banners of the Maine Charitable Mechanic Association. In 1841, MCMA members marched through the streets of downtown Portland to demonstrate their skills and support for their individual trades, as well as for craftspeople struggling to earn a supporting wage in the changing economy. The exhibition shares the stories of past individuals who led the MCMA, who were skilled in their trades, and who created successful industries for Maine. Each exquisitely-preserved banner is on display alongside both a historical account of a craftsperson, and a contemporary example of that same trade as it exists today.

PLUS! At 6:30pm in the Longfellow Garden is Portland Magazine’s First Friday Fiction series, a monthly First Friday gathering showcasing an author whose work has previously been published in Portland Magazine.

Free & open to the public 5-8pm during Art Walk.

Wednesday, September 6, 12:00 pm

Intro to MHS: Library Tour

Intro to MHS: Library Tour

Tour Guide: Nicholas Noyes, Curator of Library Collections

This 45-minute tour of the Brown Library, fully renovated in 2009, takes participants throughout the library's reading rooms and behind-the-scenes into the archive, normally closed to the public. Nicholas Noyes covers the history of the building, architectural details, the basics of doing research in the library, and even shares a few treasures from the collection.

Free and open to the public. Limited to 10; sign up in advance by sending an email to nnoyes@mainehistory.org or calling 774-1822 x207.

Sunday, September 10, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Take Your Grandparent to the Museum Day

Silhouette of Peleg Wadsworth, grandfather to poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Item #136 on Maine Memory Network.

Silhouette of Peleg Wadsworth, grandfather to poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Item #136 on Maine Memory Network.

Grandparents are often our first, and closest, link to history. In honor of National Grandparents Day, a special family admission price of $15 will be offered to all families who visit MHS with a grandparent. In addition, grandparents who purchase an MHS family membership on this day will receive $5 off the family membership price.








Wednesday, September 13, 12:00 – 12:30 pm

Curator Tour: Creative Maine

Curator Tour: <i>Creative Maine</i>

Join MHS Chief Curator Kate McBrien for an insider’s view of the creation of MHS’s exhibit, Creative Maine: Trade Banners and the Crafts That Built Maine.

Creative Maine explores the creativity and ingenuity that created the Maine economy through the historical parade banners of the Maine Charitable Mechanic Association and examples from some of the most innovative businesses in Maine today.

Program is free with museum admission (complimentary for MHS Members; $8 general audience).

Register today!

Tuesday, September 19, 4:30 – 6:30 pm

Beer in the Garden: Historic Firearms

Beer in the Garden: Historic Firearms

Join us for beer and snacks, a rare opportunity to enjoy our historic garden in the evening, and a chance to see some very special artifacts from our collections!

Free for MHS Members; $5 general admission. Must be 21+. RSVP not required – drop in any time! Apply your program fee to MHS membership!

Beer in the Garden is sponsored by Shipyard Brewing Company.

October Programs

Friday, October 6, 5:00 – 8:00 pm

First Friday Art Walk

First Friday Art Walk

Swing by MHS during First Friday Art Walk to enjoy a free open house of the storied Wadsworth-Longfellow House!

Within its walls lived three generations of one remarkable family that made significant contributions to the political, literary, and cultural life of New England and the United States. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882), grew up in the house and went on to become one of the most famous men of his time. Virtually all of the household items and artifacts are original to the Wadsworth and Longfellow families.

Free & open to the public 5-8pm during Art Walk.

Wednesday, October 11, 12:00 – 12:30 pm

Curator Tour: Creative Maine

Curator Tour: <i>Creative Maine</i>

Join MHS Chief Curator Kate McBrien for an insider’s view of the creation of MHS’s exhibit, Creative Maine: Trade Banners and the Crafts That Built Maine.

Creative Maine explores the creativity and ingenuity that created the Maine economy through the historical parade banners of the Maine Charitable Mechanic Association and examples from some of the most innovative businesses in Maine today.

Program is free with museum admission (complimentary for MHS Members; $8 general audience).

Register today!

Friday, October 13, 6:00 pm

Book Talk: Portland's Historic Eastern Cemetery

Book Talk: <i>Portland's Historic Eastern Cemetery</i>

by Author, Ron Romano
Eastern Cemetery holds more than 350 years of Portland’s rich history. In his new book, Portland’s Historic Eastern Cemetery, author and cemetery guide Ron Romano tells the fascinating tale of this historic landscape, illuminating centuries of Portland’s history through the stories of those laid to rest. Join us for a discussion of this deep history, followed by a book signing. Books will be available for purchase in the MHS Museum Store.

Free & open to the public!

Tuesday, October 17, 4:30 – 6:30 pm

Beer in the Garden: Past Medicinal Practices

Beer in the Garden: Past Medicinal Practices

Join us for beer and snacks, a rare opportunity to enjoy our historic garden in the evening, and a chance to see some very special artifacts from our collections!

Free for MHS Members; $5 general admission. Must be 21+. RSVP not required – drop in any time! Apply your program fee to MHS membership!

Beer in the Garden is sponsored by Shipyard Brewing Company.

Wednesday, October 25 – Monday, October 30, 2017

Longfellow's Haunted House

Longfellow's Haunted House

Don't miss our annual evening tour of the Longfellow House in the week leading up to Halloween! Based on Longfellow's poem, "Haunted Houses" ("All houses wherein men have lived and died / Are haunted houses") the tour is written and led by seasoned guide James Horrigan. It evokes the various family members that died in the Wadsworth-Longfellow House over its long history. Two tour types will be offered this year; one for families and one for adults.

Family Tour
This 30-minute tour is followed by cookies and cider in the ell of the house. Offered on October 27 and 28 only, at 5pm. Each tour is limited to 15 people. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Advance registration is required. Cost: $10 MHS Members; $15 general admission.

+ Friday, October 27, 5:00pm - Register Here

+ Saturday, October 28, 5:00pm - Register Here

Adult Tour
This 60-minute tour is followed by a variety of beverages – including beer and cider – and snacks in the ell of the house. There are 5 tour evenings: October 25-28, and 30 from 6-7:30pm. Advance reservations are required. Each tour is limited to 12 and appropriate for ages 21+. Cost: $15 MHS Members; $20 general admission

+ Wednesday, October 25, 6:00pm - Register Here

+ Thursday, October 26, 6:00pm - Register Here

+ Friday, October 27, 6:00pm - Register Here

+ Saturday, October 28, 6:00pm - Register Here

+ Monday, October 30, 6:00pm - Register Here

November Programs

Wednesday, November 1, 12:00 pm

Intro to MHS: Library Tour

Intro to MHS: Library Tour

Tour Guide: Nicholas Noyes, Curator of Library Collections

This 45-minute tour of the Brown Library, fully renovated in 2009, takes participants throughout the library's reading rooms and behind-the-scenes into the archive, normally closed to the public. Nicholas Noyes covers the history of the building, architectural details, the basics of doing research in the library, and even shares a few treasures from the collection.

Free and open to the public. Limited to 10; sign up in advance by sending an email to nnoyes@mainehistory.org or calling 774-1822 x207.

Tuesday, November 21, 4:30 – 6:30 pm

Beer in the Garden: Traditional Toys & Games

Beer in the Garden: Traditional Toys & Games

Join us for beer and snacks, a rare opportunity to enjoy our historic garden in the evening, and a chance to see some very special artifacts from our collections!

Free for MHS Members; $5 general admission. Must be 21+. RSVP not required – drop in any time! Apply your program fee to MHS membership!

Beer in the Garden is sponsored by Shipyard Brewing Company.

Program Podcasts

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Group Trips

Stay tuned for information on upcoming trips!

Exhibitions

exhibit graphic

Creative Maine: Trade Banners and the Crafts That Built Maine
June 22 through January 13, 2018
Museum Gallery

Creative Maine explores the creativity and ingenuity that created the Maine economy as we know it today through the historical parade banners of the Maine Charitable Mechanic Association and examples from some of the most innovative businesses in Maine today. Read More

 

exhibit graphic

Making Paper, Making Maine
Exhibition on view June 2 through October 28, 2017
Earle G. Shettleworth, Jr. Lecture Hall

Paper has shaped Maine's economy, molded individual and community identities, and impacted the environment throughout Maine. Making Paper, Making Maine recognizes the historic transition taking place in Maine's paper industry, and asks, what's next for Maine's economy? Read More

 

Maine Memory Network homepage

Maine Memory Network

Offers online access to numerous Web–based exhibits and a constantly growing collection of nearly 45,000 historical documents, images, and objects contributed by as many as 270 organizations around Maine. New exhibits added regularly. Go to www.mainememory.net.

 

Regional Genealogy Programs, Events, and Conferences

Find out about regional conferences and other family history instruction and workshops.