Maine Historical Society

MAINE HISTORICAL SOCIETY

PRESERVING HISTORY
ENGAGING MINDS
CONNECTING MAINE

Upcoming Programs & Events at the Maine Historical Society

Events on this page: October | November | December | Ongoing & Family Programs | Annual Trip | Exhibitions | Registration | Podcasts

As of May 1, most public programs will carry a ticket price for non-MHS members. MHS members receive free or discounted admission. Fees are listed in the program description. Programs take place at our facilities at 489 Congress Street in Portland, unless otherwise noted.

If you have questions about any of the programs listed below, please contact Larissa Vigue Picard, Director of Education & Interpretation, at (207) 774-1822 x215.

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October Programs

Thursday, October 2, 7:00 pm

An Empire on the Edge: How Britain Came to Fight America

An Empire on the Edge: How Britain Came to Fight America

Speaker: Nicholas Bunker

Written from a strikingly fresh perspective, this new account of the Boston Tea Party and the origins of the American Revolution shows how a lethal blend of politics, personalities, and economics led to a war that few people welcomed but nobody could prevent. Publishers Weekly says, “A nuanced global analysis of Britain’s failure to hold onto its American colonies. . . riveting. . . With a sharp eye for economic realities, Bunker persuasively demonstrates why the American Revolution had to happen.”

Nick Bunker is the author of Making Haste from Babylon. He was a journalist for the Liverpool Echo and the Financial Times, and then an investment banker. He now lives in Lincolnshire, England. Cost: Free for MHS members; $8 for non-members.

Friday, October 3, 12:30 – 5:00 pm

POSTPONED Historian's Forum on Architectural Collections

<b>POSTPONED</b> Historian's Forum on Architectural Collections

Speakers: Earle G. Shettleworth, Jr. and Scott Hanson

THIS EVENT IS POSTPONED. STAY TUNED FOR THE NEW DATE. CONTACT MHS WITH ANY QUESTIONS


This year’s forum focuses on architectural collections as a key part of the historical record. Attendees will view selections from the Society’s extensive collection of Maine architecture, learn more from scholars working closely with the collections, and discuss collecting and cultivating architectural drawings as primary resource documents.

Presentations:

Researching the Historic and Architectural Significance of the Portland Company Complex at Maine Historical Society by Scott Hanson, Architectural Historian at Sutherland Conservation & Consulting

A Prolific Pencil: The Architectural Drawings of John Calvin Stevens by Earle G. Shettleworth, Jr., Director of the Maine Historic Preservation Commission

New Exhibition & Reception:

Wholesome Habitations: Architectural Collections of the Maine Historical Society, showcasing fine examples from the Brown Library’s vast architectural holdings.

A reception in conjunction with Portland’s First Friday Art Walk will follow.

Friday, October 3, 5:00 – 8:00 pm

First Friday Art Walk: Wholesome Habitations: Architectural Collections of the Maine Historical Society

First Friday Art Walk: <i>Wholesome Habitations: Architectural Collections of the Maine Historical Society</i>

Wholesome Habitation showcases the architectural collections of the Brown Library at Maine Historical Society. The selection includes a sampling from various architectural collections including John Calvin Stevens, the Coombs Bros., Gibbs & Pulsifer, Eaton Tarbell, John Thomas, and Frederick Tompson. On display are various forms of architectural drawings and supplemental items, such as presentation drawings, elevations, floor plans, decorative elements, and photographs.

Our museum exhibition Home: The Longfellow House & the Emergence of Portland, will also be open to visitors at no charge. Come see how the Wadsworth-Longfellow House has experienced Portland's growth and change for more than 230 years.

During the Art Walk, the Museum Store will be open late!

Friday, October 3, 7:00 – 9:00 pm

Presented in partnership with Maine Audubon
An Evening at Maine Audubon with Pomologist John Bunker

An Evening at Maine Audubon with Pomologist John Bunker

Speaker: John Bunker

Location: Maine Audubon, Gilsland Farm, Falmouth

As part of Maine Audubon's annual Apple Day celebration, pomologist John Bunker, author of Not so Far from the Tree: A Brief History of the Apples and the Orchards of Palermo, Maine, shares a history of apple trees in Maine, how orchards help bees and other pollinators, and how you can plant a successful apple tree in your yard. Heirloom apples will be served, as well as hard cider and fruit wines from Kennebec Cider, Maine Mead Works, and Urban Farm Fermentory. Limited to ages 21+. Please bring ID. Cost: $10 Audubon and MHS members; $15, non-members. For more information: maineaudubon.org/events/an-evening-with-john-bunker/.

Tuesday, October 14, 12:00 pm

Harvest Maine: Autumn Traditions and Fall Flavors

Harvest Maine: Autumn Traditions and Fall Flavors

Speaker: Crystal Ward Kent

Autumn traditions and flavors come alive in this nostalgic journey through New England's favorite season. Ward Kent shares a bounty of Maine harvest-time traditions including old-time fairs and festivals, handcrafts, and classic recipes—one or two of which will be served! Maine native Ward Kent also wrote Mainely Kids: A Guide to Family Fun in Southern Maine and Tugboat River Rescue, a children's book. Her second children's book, The Bad Cats of Biddeford, will be out in 2014. Cost: Free for MHS members; $5 for non-members.

Tuesday, October 14, 3:30 – 4:30 pm

The Children's Hour: Weekly Story & Craft Activity for Kids

The Children's Hour: Weekly Story & Craft Activity for Kids

Facilitator: Kathleen Neumann, Manager of School and Interpretative Programs

Between the dark and the daylight, / When the night is beginning to lower, / Comes a pause in the day's occupations, / That is known as the Children's Hour… -- from "The Children’s Hour" Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1863

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was often called “the children’s poet” and his love of children is still well remembered. Beginning this October, Maine Historical Society invites children ages 4-9 to celebrate reading and literature at Longfellow’s childhood home with an hour-long program called The Children’s Hour. The program begins with a read-aloud of a favorite children’s book in or around the Wadsworth-Longfellow House, followed by a fun craft-making activity inspired by the story.

October Schedule:

Tuesday, October 14, 3:30pm – The Ox-Cart Man by Donald Hall, illustrated by Barbara Cooney
Tuesday, October 21, 3:30pm – Pumpkin Moonshine by Tasha Tudor
Tuesday, October 28, 3:30pm – Funnybones by Janet and Allan Ahlberg

The program is free and refreshments will be served. Participating children must be accompanied by a parent or caregiver; check-in at the Museum Store. Space is limited. Please call or email the Manager of School and Interpretative Programs the Friday before the program to reserve a spot: 207-774-1822, x214, kneumann@mainehistory.org.

Wednesday, October 15, 12:00 pm

Researching in the Museum Collections: Political Ephemera

Lyndon B. Johnson doll, 1964

Lyndon B. Johnson doll, 1964

Facilitator: Holly Hurd-Forsyth, MHS Collections Manager

Go behind the scenes with the MHS Collections Manager. In this hour-long program, Holly Hurd-Forsyth takes you into several of the museum storage rooms (normally off-limits to the public), and discusses how the MHS museum collection can be a valuable source of information in your research project. Learn how to use the web-based museum catalog, PastPerfect Online, along with other object-specific research tools. This month: Just in time for Election Day, see highlights from the museum’s Political Ephemera Collection, including campaign pins from 1860 onward, bumper stickers, and some truly odd political souvenirs--Lyndon B. Johnson bobble head doll, anyone?

"Researching in the Museum Collections" occurs on the third Wednesdays of Jan, Apr, July, and Oct, at 12PM, in the MHS lecture hall. Each month features highlights from a different collection. Free, but limited to 8. Pre-registration is required. Sign up in advance by sending an email to hhurd@mainehistory.org.

Saturday, October 18, 09:00 am – 3:00 pm

Presented in partnership with Northeast Document Conservation Center and Maine Archives & Museums
Identification and Care of Photographs

Christian Chapel, Portland. ca. 1850. MMN #51265.

Christian Chapel, Portland. ca. 1850. MMN #51265.

Facilitator: Monique Fischer, Senior Photograph Conservator, Northeast Document Conservation Center

This hands-on workshop offers an in-depth introduction to the preservation of photographs, including their identification, deterioration, and care. Participants will learn how to recognize various photographic formats and study the preservation problems associated with each format type. The workshop will also discuss storage concerns and preservation priorities, including environmental guidelines and proper care and handling. Participants are encouraged to bring photographs for examination and discussion.
 
This workshop is designed for local historical societies and small museums and libraries, as well as individuals who are looking to gain knowledge about how to preserve a variety of photographic materials. Morning refreshments will be served. Lunch is on your own.

Registration is limited to 20. Deadline for registering: Tuesday, October 14.
Cost: $100 MHS members; $110 non-members. Reserve your seat online or contact lvpicard@mainehistory.org for a registration form.

Sunday, October 19, 2:00 – 3:30 pm

In partnership with Maine State Library, Moosehead Historical Society, and Shaw Public Library in Greenville
Local History & Maine Memory Network: Moosehead Lake Region

Mt. Kineo House, MMN #80757

Mt. Kineo House, MMN #80757

Speaker: Candace Kanes, Curator, Maine Memory Network

Program Location: Center for Moosehead History, 6 Lakeview Street, Greenville

Maine Historical Society presents a 90-minute program about the Moosehead Lake Region as featured on Maine Memory Network, MHS’s statewide digital museum. Maine Memory Curator Candace Kanes provides an overview of the online museum’s content and search tools, and highlights historical collections and stories on the site related to Greenville, Moosehead Lake, and surrounding areas.

Kanes discusses how individuals can engage with the website and how organizations can get involved. She will be joined by Candy Russell, director of Moosehead Historical Society, which has nearly 50 items on Maine Memory and an online exhibit about the Moosehead Lake steamboat era.

Attendees are welcome to bring a laptop or tablet to follow along online, but no equipment is required. The programs are FREE and open to the public. No advance registration is necessary.

Sunday, October 19, 1:15 pm

Presented in partnership with Bayside Neighborhood Association
Walking Wilmot: The Ghosts of Bayside

Walking Wilmot: The Ghosts of Bayside

Tour Leaders: Steve Hirshon and Deborah Van Hoewyk

This slow-paced walking tour of the multi-ethnic Bayside neighborhood focuses on houses of worship, specifically the now-demolished Anshe Sfard Synagogue. Participants meet at the Armenian Memorial near the northeast corner of Franklin Street and Cumberland Avenue, across the street from the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. The tour ends with refreshments at the Swedish church, now "The Last Church on the Left," at 58 Wilmot Street.

The tour covers the Wilmot/Quincy Street area across from the “ghost” of the Anshe Sfard synagogue – both the synagogue and Quincy Street are now lost; the latter was lost in the creation of Franklin Arterial in the urban renewal effort in the 1960s. Built in 1917, the synagogue closed fifty years later, and was finally demolished in 1983. The tour sets Anshe Sfard in the context of Portland’s Jewish community in the first half of the 20th century, as well as its historical setting in the bayside neighborhood. Bayside was, and is today, a transitional neighborhood for immigrants and people “on the way to elsewhere,” but was also deeply affected by urban renewal.

The hour-long walking tour is free and is approximately a mile long. Rain date: Sunday, October 26, 1:15 pm.

This program is made possible through funding from the Maine Humanities Council. The MHC grant was awarded to the Mt. Carmel Cemetary Association, the Bayside Neighborhood Association, and Maine Historical Society.

Thursday, October 23, 7:00 pm

Bayside: The Culture and Context Surrounding Anshe Sfard

Bayside: The Culture and Context Surrounding Anshe Sfard

Panel Moderator: Steve Hirshon

The evening starts with a slide presentation depicting people and places in Bayside that demonstrate the diversity and transience of the neighborhood between 1915 and 1925. Panel moderator Steve Hirshon, whose family lived and worked in Bayside in the 1920s, will guide the conversation among the panelists: Gerry Cope, Andy Mezoian, and Joseph Gray. A small exhibition of artifacts from Anshe Sfard will be on display during the presentation. Free.

Cope is a retired attorney who grew up on Franklin Street and attended Anshe Sfard Synagogue. His extended family owned several buildings in the area. He and his cousin Arthur Cope, a retired real estate developer, are currently the trustees of the Mt. Carmel Cemetery. Andy Mezoian also grew up in Bayside and was part of the Armenian community there. His book, The Armenian People of Portland, Maine, is available in the Maine Historical Society Brown Library. Mezoian and Cope knew each other as boys in the neighborhood. Joseph Gray was a young urban planner working for the City of Portland during the 1960s and 1970s when urban renewal, including the construction of Franklin Arterial, was at its peak.

This program is made possible through funding from the Maine Humanities Council. The MHC grant was awarded to the Mt. Carmel Cemetary Association, the Bayside Neighborhood Association, and Maine Historical Society.

Friday, October 24 – Thursday, October 30, 2014

Longfellow's "Haunted House"

Longfellow's

Don't miss this unique 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 90-minute tour will be led by seasoned guide James Horrigan. It will bring to life the various family members that died in the Wadsworth-Longfellow over its long history.

There are only six tour evenings: October 24, 25, 27, 28, 29, and 30, from 6-7:30 PM. RSVPs are required and each tour is limited to 12. Admission fee of $10 pp is payable at the door. All tours sold out quickly last year so don't delay! To reserve a spot, call John Babin, Visitor Services Manager, at 207-774-1822 ext. 212.

November Programs

Friday, November 14, 7:00 pm

Free and Responsible Government: The Long Shadow of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address

Free and Responsible Government: The Long Shadow of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address

Speaker: Jared Peatman

Historian Jared Peatman, author of The Long Shadow of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address (2013), reveals the interconnected history between the United States Constitution, the Gettysburg Address, and constitutional theory around the world. In 1863, Abraham Lincoln used the Gettysburg Address as a tool to encourage a new philosophy of government, one that strayed from the Constitution of 1787. Ironically, over the years the Gettysburg Address has become, in Eisenhower's words, "the inspiration for movements toward free and responsible government" the world over, particularly in China and France. This talk begins with early responses to and interpretations of Lincoln’s greatest speech, then moves through the ensuing hundred years to chart the evolving ways audiences around the world interpreted and invoked the Address.

A Maine native, Jared Peatman is a graduate of Gettysburg College with a master’s degree from Virginia Tech and a Ph.D. from Texas A&M. He was awarded the 2009 Organization of American Historians/Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission Doctoral Fellow and 2012 Hay-Nicolay Dissertation Prize for The Long Shadow of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. He is also the co-author, with Steven B. Wiley, of A Transformational Journey: Leadership Lessons from Gettysburg. Since 2009 Jared has offered leadership development events using historic metaphors in places ranging from Jamestown to the Alamo to Waterloo.

December Programs

Tuesday, December 9, 12:00 – 1:30 pm

Presented in partnership with University of Maine's Canadian-American Center, History Department, and Humanities Center
Reflections on Editing the Historical Atlas of Maine: A Scholarly Epic

Dr. Richard Judd

Dr. Richard Judd

Speaker: Richard Judd, Professor of History, University of Maine

Just in time for holiday gift-buying, Dr. Richard Judd joins us to talk about co-editing a brand new visual extravaganza of Maine history. After more than a decade of extensive research, the Historical Atlas of Maine presents in cartographic form--maps, paintings, graphs, and text--the historical geography of Maine from the end of the last ice age to the year 2000. Organized in four chronological sections, the Atlas tells the principal stories of the many people who have lived in Maine over the past 13,000 years. A reception and book-signing follows the presentation.

Dr. Richard Judd is editor of Maine Historical Society's Maine History journal and Professor of History at the University of Maine. In addition to the Atlas, his book publications include the forthcoming Second Nature: An Environmental History of New England; A History of New England Landscapes (2011); The Untilled Garden: Natural History and the Origins of American Conservation, 1730-1850 (2009); Natural States: The Environmental Imagination in Maine, Oregon, and the Nation (2003); Common Lands, Common People: The Origins of Conservation in Northern New England (1997); Maine: The Pine Tree State from Prehistory to the Present (1995), and Aroostook: A Century of Logging in Northern Maine, 1831-1931 (1989).

Ongoing & Family Programs

Historical Walking Tours of Portland

Join MHS for a guided tour to the waterfront highlighting Portland's history, maritime heritage, and authentic character. The tour highlights famous city residents, industries, architecture, historic landmarks, social history, and the Great Fire of 1866. Daily, June 1st—Oct 30th at 1:30pm, weather permitting. Tour size limited: first-come, first-served. Tickets: $10 (children under 6, free; recommended for ages 12 and older); $15 for combo Longfellow House ticket. Call for group bookings.

Library Tours

This 45-minute tour of the Brown Research Library, fully renovated in 2009, takes participants throughout the first floor reading room and behind-the-scenes into the archive, normally closed to the public. Nicholas Noyes, Curator of Library Collections, 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. (First Wednesdays in Jan, March, May, July, Sept, Nov, at 12PM. Sign up in advance by sending an email to nnoyes@mainehistory.org or call 774-1822 x207.)

Maine Memory Network Demonstration

A Maine Memory Network staff member provides an in-depth review of content and search functions on Maine's premier statewide digital museum. Bring a laptop or tablet (optional) and search as you go. (Third Wednesdays in February and August, at 12PM. Sign up in advance by sending an email to kamoroso@mainehistory.org.)

Museum Collections: Researching in the Museum Collections

Go behind the scenes with the MHS Collections Manager. In this hour-long program, Holly Hurd-Forsyth takes you into several of the museum storage rooms (normally off-limits to the public), and discusses how the MHS museum collection can be a valuable source of information in your research project. Learn how to use the web-based museum catalog, PastPerfect Online, along with other object-specific research tools. (Third Wednesdays in Jan, Apr, July, and Oct at 12PM; Limited to 12. Sign up in advance by sending an email to hhurd@mainehistory.org.)

Regional Genealogy Programs, Events, and Conferences

Annual Cruise

CRUISE - The Magic of the Loire Valley and Bordeaux's Chateaux and Vineyards
October 29 - November 9, 2014

Join MHS as we sail three rivers on this journey—the Garonne, the Dordogne, and the Gironde—and savor the unique gastronomical heritage of southwest France. You'll be treated to a sumptuous display of culinary magic throughout your journey.
Get Details.

Exhibits

exhibit graphic
Morton Block and Wadsworth-Longfellow House, ca. 1912

Home: The Longfellow House & the Emergence of Portland
Opens June 27, 2014

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. It's a fascinating new way to look at the House, its relationship to the community, and Portland history. Read More.

 

exhibition logo

Wholesome Habitations: Architectural Collections of the Maine Historical Society
Opens October 3, 2014

Wholesome Habitations showcases the architectural collections of the Brown Library at Maine Historical Society. On display are various forms of architectural drawings and supplemental items, such as presentation drawings, elevations, floor plans, decorative elements, and photographs. 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.

Registration

All events, unless otherwise noted, are held at the Maine Historical Society. Click here for Directions or Parking.

For more information or to sign up for any of the events listed below, call (207) 774–1822 or email info@mainehistory.org. Support our efforts and become a member today.

Program Podcasts

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