Upcoming Programs & 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.
If you have questions about any of the programs listed below, please contact us at (207) 774-1822.
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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.
Saturday, October 1, 12:00 pm
Acadian Deportation and Resettlement Screening
Join us for a special showing of Acadian Deportation and Resettlement, the documentary researched and produced by students at Monmouth Academy that examines the forced removal of the Acadian people from the present day Canadian Maritime provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island by the British in the mid-1700s. This same historical event served as the inspiration of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem, Evangeline, a Tale of Acadie. The short film took second-place in the Senior Division Group Documentary category at the Maine National History Day 2016 competition and was chosen best presentation from Maine by the National Park Service during the National History Day contest in June at the University of Maryland. The student filmmakers will join us to discuss their work and the research behind it.
Free and open to the public.
Tuesday, October 4 – Thursday, October 6, 2016
Senior Arctic Council Officials Meeting
Takes place at various locations around Portland--MHS not included.
During September and early October, 2016, Portland will host nearly 250 ambassadors, scientists, representatives of Indigenous communities from around the Arctic, and other Arctic leaders to various Senior Arctic Council Officials (SAO) meetings and workshops associated with the Arctic Council’s working groups, task forces and expert groups. An international conference hosted by the U.S. State Department will be held October 4-6. This is the only SAO conference in the U.S. held outside of Alaska, and Portland was selected because climate change might render the Northwest Passage more navigable, making Portland a strategic departure point or first point of entry for ships traveling through Canada’s High Arctic islands.
MHS is participating in the SAO events by being listed in Maine’s Arctic Trail map, published by the Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum. MHS is displaying an original plan from Portland Company detailing the boiler they forged for Robert Peary’s ship, the S.S. Roosevelt. The S.S. Roosevelt was built in a Bucksport shipyard in 1905, and was outfitted with masts and the boiler at the Portland Company. Peary, a graduate of Portland High School and Bowdoin College, is credited with being the first white person to reach the North Pole in 1909.
MHS will have a table at a reception at the Portland Company on the evening of October 3.
Visit www.maineandthearctic.com for more information on the Arctic Council.
Wednesday, October 5, 2016 – Wednesday, March 1, 2017
Maine Historical Society Book Group
The Maine Historical Society Book Group is back by popular demand! Join us for five fun evenings of camaraderie and great book discussion. Led by MHS Research Librarian Tiffany Link, the group will read five books, each related to MHS’s Designing Acadia and World War I exhibitions, then gather for discussion. Light refreshments will be served. The group will meet in the MHS Brown Library, 6-8pm on the first Wednesday of each month through March. (There will be no December meeting.)
October 5: A Land Of Discord Always-Acadia From Its Beginnings to the Expulsion of Its People, 1604-1755 by Charles Mahaffie (Camden, ME: Down East Books, 1995). Please Read Chapters : 1- 4- 7- 11- 16- 21- 24- 29- 32 and 33 (or the whole book if you like). Also choose a chapter from Longfellow’s Evangeline to discuss and compare.
November 2: Ghost of Acadia by Marcus LiBrizzi (Rockport, ME: Down East Books, 2011)
January 4: Becoming Teddy Roosevelt by Andrew Vietze (Rockport, ME: Down East Books, 2010)
February 1: Love on the Rocks-Stories of Rusticators and Romance on MDI (Yarmouth, ME: Islandport Press, 2008)
March 1: Bar Harbor in the Roaring Twenties: From Village Life to the High Life on M.D.I. by Luann Yetter (The History Press, 2015)
Program dates: October 5, November 2, January 4, February 1, March 1. For questions, please contact Tiffany Link at email@example.com or 207-774-1822 x 230. A 20% discount on the books read for this group will be offered in the MHS Museum Store.
$20 MHS Members; $30 general admission for all book sessions. Limited to 25 people.
Friday, October 7, 5:00 – 8:00 pm
First Friday Art Walk
This is the last chance to visit the Wadsworth-Longfellow House before it closes for the season! If you’ve never visited before, here's a great opportunity for a sneak peek. Only the first floor rooms in the house will be open for viewing. During your visit, you can learn more about our upcoming Haunted House program, held at the end of the month.
While here at MHS, be sure to see the State of Maine Carousel, a working model carousel containing all Maine animals created by students at the Lyseth Elementary School. The students are studying Maine history and will be creating a guide book and coloring book to go with the carousel. The carousel will be on view for this weekend only.
Free and open to the public.
Tuesday, October 11 – Thursday, November 3, 2016
CANCELED: Genealogy Toolkit: An Intermediate Level Course
Sorry, this event has been canceled. If you have any questions or would like more information on other genealogy services at MHS please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us: (207) 774-1822.
Are you ready to take your genealogy research to the next level? This course is designed for students who are looking for more in-depth instruction to enhance their genealogical skills. During eight 2-hour sessions, Genealogy Toolkit students will learn to evaluate and cite genealogical evidence from a variety of record types both online and off, including primary and secondary resources, vital records, census, as well as probate and land records. Space is limited, so sign up early!
A genealogist in Portland, Maine, Susan M. Hawes has extensive genealogy training, including the Boston University Certificate in Genealogical Research. Sue holds a Bachelor of Arts from University of Colorado at Boulder, serves as Vice President of Greater Portland Chapter of Maine Genealogical Society, and teaches local adult education classes.
The course will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays over four weeks, starting at 10:30am (ending 12:30pm). Students are encouraged to purchase the textbook Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy by Val Greenwood, available in the Maine Historical Society museum store.
Tuesday, October 11 – Evidence and Ethics
Thursday, October 13 – Genealogy Research Today
Tuesday, October 18 – Context & Literature Survey
Thursday, October 20 – Home & Manuscript Sources
Tuesday, October 25 – Vital Records
Thursday, October 27 – Census Records
Tuesday, November 1 – Probate Records
Thursday, November 3 – Land Records
Location: MHS Brown Research Library
Cost: $150 per student / $125 MHS Members
Class size limit: 10 people
*Limited on-site parking is available. A parking fee is required.
Wednesday, October 12, 12:00 – 12:30 pm
Curator Tour: Designing Acadia
Join MHS Chief Curator Kate McBrien for an insider’s view of the creation of MHS’s exhibit, Designing Acadia: Creating Maine's National Park Experience. On view through January 14, 2017.
For 100 years, Acadia National Park has captured the American imagination and stood as the most recognizable symbol of Maine's important natural history and identity. 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 enhance the visitor experience. Acadia’s story is told here through artifacts including design blueprints, construction photographs, trail signs, period fashion, and even a 1927 Ford Model T Roadster.
Free for MHS Members; $8 general admission.
Saturday, October 15, 10:00 – 11:30 am
Photography Walking Tour of Portland with Dan D’Ippolito
Do you love taking pictures, and have a passion for history and/or architecture? Are you looking to hone your skills as a photographer? Don’t miss this opportunity to take a walk and get some tips on how to best photograph special places.
This photography walking tour is curated and led by Portland photojournalist Dan D'Ippolito (see his work online at www.dandippolito.com) and includes basic instruction on photographing historical places with a focus on composition and perspective. The tour will highlight some of Portland’s most historic buildings and spaces, featuring the photographer's personal favorites and reflecting his unique style.
Dan has used a camera professionally to document and publicize events since 2010. He photographs programs, performances and celebrations for various local nonprofits, and is a regular contributor of news and community events to The Forecaster. His images have appeared in multiple online and print publications, and have been featured across the communications channels of many organizations.
$30 MHS Members; $45 general admission. Limited to 12 people per tour – reserve your ticket today! Participants are required to bring their own camera. For inquiries, email Dan at email@example.com.
Wednesday, October 19, 5:30 pm
Maine History Maker Award Honoring Mary Bonauto
Celebrating 40 Years of LGBTQ Community Struggle, Empowerment, and Progress
Each year, MHS recognizes contemporary citizens who are shaping life in Maine today through the Maine History Maker Award. This year, we're thrilled to honor Mary Bonauto, Civil Rights Attorney, who successfully argued for marriage equality in front of the Supreme Court.
The 2015 marriage equality victory in which Bonauto played an instrumental role reflects a change in attitudes that would have been almost unimaginable even a decade ago. An integral part of our work is to recognize and honor the experiences of diverse individuals and communities, and to help a broad public understand how we all contribute and connect to Maine's special sense of place. MHS will take this opportunity to launch an expanded effort to capture the history of Maine's LGBTQ community on Maine Memory Network (www.MaineMemory.net).
The program features:
+ A presentation from Nancy Cott, Professor of American History at Harvard University, describing historians’ contributions and their effectiveness in the legal struggle for equal marriage rights from 1999 to 2015.
+ A panel discussion featuring Bonauto and Gia Drew, president of MaineTransNet; Matt Moonen, Maine State Rep. and interim director of EqualityMaine; and Pat Peard, chair of law firm Bernstein Shur’s Education Practice Group and a distinguished volunteer with the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine.
+ An award ceremony led by Steve Bromage, MHS Executive Director.
+ A special performance from the Maine Gay Men's Chorus.
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
5:30pm: Program at First Parish Church (425 Congress St, Portland)
7:00pm: Reception at Maine Historical Society (485 Congress St, Portland) with locally catered hors d'oeuvres and complimentary wine and beer
Click below to become a Patron of this event, or to purchase your ticket to join us on October 19.
Thursday, October 20, 6:00 pm
Early Gravestones in Southern Maine Book Talk
Join us for a riveting discussion by local author Ron Romano about his recent book, Early Gravestones in Southern Maine: the Genius of Bartlett Adams. Ron’s book explores the life and work of stone-cutter Bartlett Adams (1776 - 1828), whose shop produced nearly 2,000 gravestones found today in 135 ancient cemeteries across southern Maine. This well-illustrated book includes many examples of Adams’s artistic flair, and highlights the other skilled carvers who worked in his Portland shop. Discover the grief that Adams poured into the stone markers for his own children, read the heart-wrenching story of the 16 souls lost on the wreck of the schooner Charles, and learn about the national recognition Bartlett achieved for his work on the memorial for a hero of the War of 1812.
Free for MHS Members; $5 general admission.
Friday, October 21 – Monday, October 31, 2016
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 tours will be offered this year; one for families and one for adults.
This 30-minute tour is followed by cookies and cider in the ell of the house. Offered on October 22 and 29 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.
This 60-minute tour is followed by a variety of beverages (including beer and hard cider) and snacks in the ell of the house. There are 10 tour evenings: October 21, 22, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, and 31 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.
Registration info coming soon!
Wednesday, October 26, 12:00 pm
Creating Acadia National Park: the Biography of George Bucknam Dorr Book Talk
The first biography of George B. Dorr ever written, Creating Acadia National Park: the Biography of George Bucknam Dorr is based on painstaking research both in the US and abroad, including federal, state, and private archives. Newly-discovered and uncatalogued sources are supplemented by in-person interviews. Hear from author and historian Dr. Ronald Epp about his important book, documenting Dorr’s pivotal role in the creation of Acadia National Park.
Ronald H. Epp, Ph.D. is a historian and professor of philosophy with a background in scholarly publishing and academic library leadership. His research over the last two decades into the Massachusetts families that influenced the development of conservation philanthropy has resulted in numerous talks and publications for Acadia National Park, Hancock County Trustees of Public Reservations, Mount Desert Island Historical Society, and many other organizations. He served as a consultant for the Ken Burns documentary America’s Best Idea: the National Parks and has uncovered and inventoried hidden collections of documents relating to the history of Acadia National Park.
Free for MHS Members; $10 general admission.
Wednesday, November 2, 12:00 pm
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 774-1822 x207.
Friday, November 4, 5:00 – 8:00 pm
First Friday Art Walk: Public opening of Left Undone: Unfinished Work from the Collection
Join us for the public opening for our newest exhibit, Left Undone: Unfinished Work from the Collection! We all have creative projects that we’ve started but never finished. This community curated exhibit includes objects usually not seen in the MHS collection and invites visitors to make their own guesses as to why these pieces were left undone. Come write your own exhibit label!
Friday, November 11, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Veterans’ Day: In appreciation of those who served
Veterans, and their families, have sacrificed so much for our nation. To say thanks for their service and dedication, MHS is waiving all fees for veterans and their families to the Wadsworth-Longfellow House and museum exhibit galleries on this Veterans’ Day holiday. Just mention you are a veteran of military service to receive this free benefit for you and any member of your family attending MHS with you.
Tuesday, November 15, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Photography Workshop in the Wadsworth-Longfellow House with Brian Vanden Brink
Do you love taking pictures, and have a passion for history and/or architecture? Are you looking to hone your skills as a photographer? Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from expert photographer Brian Vanden Brink how to best photograph special places. This tour of beloved poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s childhood home focuses on the interior of the house and will include basic instruction on how to photograph historic homes and spaces, as well as a presentation of the photographer's portfolio.
$30 MHS Members; $45 general admission. 12 person limit per tour. Participants are required to bring their own camera. Tripods are recommended for the Wadsworth-Longfellow House.
Tuesday, November 15, 12:00 – 12:30 pm
Curator Tour: Left Undone
Join MHS Registrar and Lead Curator of our Left Undone exhibition, Holly Hurd-Forsyth, for an insider’s view of this community-curated show.
Free for MHS Members; $8 general admission.
Vancouver and the Canadian Rockies
September 27 - October 6, 2016
Join MHS and the New Hampshire Historical Society as we enjoy all the splendors the Canadian Rockies have to offer. From Vancouver to Banff and Lake Louise and finally Calgary, this ten day trip combines striking natural beauty with intimate views of cosmopolitan Canadian cities and explorations of local culture and history. Get Trip Details.
Designing Acadia: Creating Maine's National Park Experience
June 17, 2016 through January 14, 2017
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. Join us during Acadia's centennial anniversary year for an exploration of the landscape design that visitors continue to experience today. Read More.
Images of Destruction: Remembering the Great Portland Fire of 1866
June 30 through October 30, 2016
Earle G. Shettleworth, Jr. Lecture Hall and Showcase Gallery
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. 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. Read More
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 more than 270 organizations around Maine. New exhibits added regularly. Go to www.mainememory.net.
Regional Genealogy Programs, Events, and Conferences