Maine Historical Society

MAINE HISTORICAL SOCIETY

PRESERVING HISTORY
ENGAGING MINDS
CONNECTING MAINE

Upcoming Programs & Events

Events on this page: February | March | April | May | June | 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 of the month at noon (with a few exceptions). See below for next scheduled tour.

February Programs

Wednesday, February 7, 12:00 pm

Behind-the-Scenes Library Tour

Behind-the-Scenes 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.

Wednesday, February 7, 7:00 – 8:30 pm

“A Sufficient Number”: The African American Historic Community of Peterborough in Warren, Maine

“A Sufficient Number”: The African American Historic Community of Peterborough in Warren, Maine

Dr. Kate McMahon
Dr. McMahon examines the free black community of Peterborough in Midcoast Maine, which was founded by a mixed-race African American and Wampanoag Native American Revolutionary War veteran named Amos Peters and his wife, Sara. Their descendants would go on to become one of Maine’s largest black communities in the state’s history.

Dr. Kate McMahon attended the University of Southern Maine for her BA in Art History and MA in American and New England Studies, and recently completed her doctorate at Howard University in Washington, D.C. She currently serves as an adjunct professor of History at Howard University and as a Museum Content Coordinator at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture.

Free to MHS and Abyssinian Meeting House members. $5 general admission charge.

**Ticket link coming soon***

Thursday, February 8 – Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Love in the Longfellow House Tours

Love in the Longfellow House Tours


Love is a many-splendored thing, and what could make it more splendid than a night of poetry, bubbly refreshments, and strict Victorian courtship rituals? Make this year’s Valentine’s Day one for the history books and bring your special someone to a love-themed tour of the Wadsworth-Longfellow House! This special stroll through the historic home of Portland’s favorite poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow will be illuminated with tales of the dating customs of yesteryear (ever hear of a bundling board?) and of the many loves, romances, and even heartbreaks of the Wadsworth and Longfellow families. When did two Wadsworth sisters fall in love with the same man, whom did he choose? How did Henry win over the love of his love of his life after a series of rejected proposals? And did the poet really spend his honeymoon at his parent’s house?! Learn all the delectable details on this night of fun, fancy, and of course, love!

Prior to the tour guests will enjoy a glass of champagne or sparkling cider and will leave with a reproduction print of a lovely vintage valentine from our collection, as well as a rose from Harmon’s Floral Company.

Tour Dates & Times:

+ Click to Purchase Tickets for Thursday, February 8, 6:00-7:30pm

+ Click to Purchase Tickets for Friday, February 9, 6:00-7:30pm

+ Click to Purchase Tickets for Saturday, February 10, at 6:00-7:30pm

+ Click to Purchase Tickets for Tuesday, February 13 at 4:00-5:30pm

+ Click to Purchase Tickets for Tuesday, February 13 at 6:00-7:30pm

+ Click to Purchase Tickets for Wednesday, February 14 at 4:00-5:30pm

+ Click to Purchase Tickets for Wednesday, February 14 at 6:00-7:30pm

Ticket Price: $30 per couple for MHS members; $45 per couple for general admission. Reservations are required and tickets can be purchased online. All tickets are sold in pairs (1 purchase = 2 tickets) and each tour is limited in number. All tickets are sold for specific tour dates and times. Tours begin at the MHS Museum Store at 489 Congress Street. For more information or for assistance purchasing tickets, contact Kate Raymond 207-774-1822, ext. 216.

Saturday, February 10, 1:00 – 2:30 pm

Lives of Consequence with Patricia Wall

Lives of Consequence with Patricia Wall

Patricia Q. Wall
Through her new book, Lives of Consequence: Blacks in Early Kittery & Berwick in the Massachusetts Province of Maine, author Patricia Q. Wall reveals new startling information about the era of slavery in Maine’s earliest settled region. Based on six years of intense research, Mrs. Wall’s wealth of findings not only banish the old myth of slavery’s scarcity in Maine, they clearly point to significant impact of the labor, skills, and knowledge of hundreds of enslaved Blacks (i.e. Africans, Native Americans and people of mixed African, white and/or Native American heritage) on slave-owning families and on early economic development of communities and towns.

Free to MHS and Abyssinian Meeting House members. $5 general admission charge.

**Ticket link coming soon***

Tuesday, February 13, 7:00 – 8:30 pm

Forging a Community: Lewiston's Refugees from Slavery

Forging a Community: Lewiston's Refugees from Slavery

Dr. Candace Kanes
LOCATION: Abyssinian Meeting House, 75 Newbury Street, Portland

On April 6, 1866, about a dozen former slaves arrived in Lewiston through the auspices of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, which worked to find permanent employment for those freed from bondage by the Civil War. They were the first black residents of Lewiston and among the 300-400 former slaves who came to Maine in the decade after 1863. While they did not know one another before their trip north, the Lewiston group created a community and a presence in their adopted city. Dr. Candace Kanes has been researching Maine's refugees from slavery for several years. This talk is part of a larger project.

Free to MHS and Abyssinian Meeting House members. $5 general admission charge.

**Ticket link coming soon***

Tuesday, February 20, 4:30 – 6:30 pm

Beer in the Garden: Valentines and Love Letters

Beer in the Garden: Valentines and Love Letters

Join us for beer and snacks, a rare opportunity to enjoy our historic garden in the evening (or if it's too cold, our lovely library), 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 The Maine Brew Bus.

March Programs

Tuesday, March 20, 4:30 – 6:30 pm

Beer in the Garden: Riveting Relics

Beer in the Garden: Riveting Relics

Join us for beer and snacks, a rare opportunity to enjoy our historic garden in the evening (or if it's too cold, our lovely library), 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 The Maine Brew Bus.

April Programs

Wednesday, April 4, 12:00 pm

Behind-the-Scenes Library Tour

Behind-the-Scenes 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, April 17, 4:30 – 6:30 pm

Beer in the Garden: For the Love of the Game: The History of Baseball in Maine

Beer in the Garden: For the Love of the Game: The History of Baseball in Maine

Join us for beer and snacks, a rare opportunity to enjoy our historic garden in the evening (or if it's too cold, our lovely library), 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 The Maine Brew Bus.

May Programs

Wednesday, May 2, 12:00 pm

Behind-the-Scenes Library Tour

Behind-the-Scenes 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.

Friday, May 11 – Saturday, May 12, 2018

The Magical History Tour & Mr. Longfellow's Cocktail Party

The Magical History Tour & Mr. Longfellow's Cocktail Party


Join us for our fourth annual exploration of fascinating historic sites in Portland that you've never seen – and maybe didn’t even know existed! The Magical History Tour is your key to unlocking fascinating historical places in Portland that are not usually open to the public.

It’s a self-guided tour guaranteed to amaze and amuse both adults and children. Equipped with a map, and at your own pace, you will be greeted by guides at each location ready to share the history of the tour stop.

You’ll find out where the tour will take you when you get your map on Saturday—or join us for the grand reveal at Mr. Longfellow’s Cocktail Party at
O'Maine Studios on Friday night. Mr. Longfellow’s Cocktail Party also features an energetic and fun live and silent auction, often featuring opportunities you can’t find anywhere else.

+ Longfellow's Cocktail Party: Friday, May 11, 5:30-8:30pm at O'Maine Studios.
+ Magical History Tour: Saturday, May 12, 10am-4pm at secret sites around Portland.

Buy tickets today!

Tuesday, May 15, 4:30 – 6:30 pm

Beer in the Garden: Crime and Punishment

Beer in the Garden: Crime and Punishment

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 The Maine Brew Bus.

June Programs

Wednesday, June 6, 12:00 pm

Behind-the-Scenes Library Tour

Behind-the-Scenes 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.

Program Podcasts

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Group Trips

Vietnam & Cambodia: The Charms of the Mekong
October 13-28, 2018 - From $4,979 per person

Join MHS as we cruise along the Mekong River, visiting rural villages, historic pagodas, local markets and a Buddhist monastery, where we'll be treated to a special blessing by monks. Our inner adventurer spirit will be indulged in Seam Reap, exploring grand temples of Angkor Archeological Park—and we'll be treated to an overnight sojourn on board an elegantly appointed ship in Ha Long Bay. Get Trip Details.

Exhibitions

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Creative Maine: Trade Banners and the Crafts That Built Maine
June 22 through February 3, 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

Spark! Maine ART Stories
November 3 through March 31, 2018
Earle G. Shettleworth, Jr. Lecture Hall

Maine has always been a home and a haven to artists and creative makers. Spark! Maine ART Stories explores the varied ways Mainers express themselves today, and features sixteen contemporary Maine artists who are diverse in their geography, their artistic mediums, and in what compels them to create. Read More

 

Maine Memory Network homepage

Maine Memory Network - Over 300 Online Exhibitions

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.