Maine Historical Society

MAINE HISTORICAL SOCIETY

PRESERVING HISTORY
ENGAGING MINDS
CONNECTING MAINE

Upcoming Programs & Events

Events on this page: May | June | July | August | September | October | 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.

May Programs

Friday, May 25 – Friday, August 24, 2018

Foodie Fridays at the Wadsworth-Longfellow House

Foodie Fridays at the Wadsworth-Longfellow House


Join MHS on the fourth Friday of the month for Foodie Fridays to explore and experience the foodways of Maine’s past!

Take a delectable food-themed tour of the Wadsworth-Longfellow House and help make and sample a historic dessert. Participants will also take home a copy of a vintage recipe from MHS collections. History never tasted so good!

Tour Dates & Times:

+ Click to Purchase Tickets for May 25th from 5:30-6:30pm

+ Click to Purchase Tickets for June 22nd from 5:30-6:30pm

+ Click to Purchase Tickets for July 27th from 5:30-6:30pm

+ Click to Purchase Tickets for August 24th from 5:30-6:30pm

Tours will begin in the MHS Museum Store at 489 Congress Street. Limited paid parking is available in the MHS lot on Brown Street after 5pm.

Ticket Price: $20 for MHS members, $25 general admission. Tours are limited to 14 guests. For more information or for assistance purchasing tickets, contact us at 207-774-1822.

Wednesday, May 30, 6:00 pm

Keynote Lecture and Reception: Why Preservation Matters

Keynote Lecture and Reception: Why Preservation Matters

Preservation is no longer just about old buildings. Today's movement can be a catalyst to address issues of gentrification, environmental sustainability, and understanding difficult pasts. Max Page, Professor of Architecture and History at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, will draw on his most recent book, Why Preservation Matters and offer a progressive vision for the future of preservation.

MHS is an organizational partner for this exciting event.

Lecture: $15/$5 student
Lecture and reception: $50
Purchase tickets at www.portlandlandmarks.org or by calling 207-774-5561

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.

Thursday, June 14, 07:30 am – 7:00 pm

Boston Bus Trip 2018

Boston Bus Trip 2018

Join Maine Historical Society & Greater Portland Chapter of Maine Genealogical Society on Thursday, June 14 for a trip to Boston! There are two options for the trip: New England Historic and Genealogical Society or the Adams National Historical Park in Quincy, MA.

7:30am - Bus Departs Portland: Park & Ride on Marginal Way (across from World Gym and Port City Flooring). Bus returns at approximately 7:00pm.

Option 1: The New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS)
NEHGS provides access to 200,000 genealogical and historical volumes, over one million manuscripts, census records, vital records, deeds, probate and military records—plus the latest digital and print resources. The bus will drop-off at the door of the Society. The Boston Public Library, Trinity Church, Newbury Street, the Hancock Building and shops and T stops are all within easy walking distance.

+ Arrive NEHGS: 10:00am (drop-off at door)
+ Lunch: On your own at one of the many fine eateries near Copley Square, or bring your own and eat in the NEHGS lunchroom.
+ Depart NEHGS: 4:30pm (From Copley Square, near Trinity Church)

Option 2: Adams National Historical Park
Visit the THREE historic homes of Revolutionary Celebrity John Adams and family. First, enjoy guided tours of his boyhood home and a neighboring house where he and Abigail raised a family during the tumultuous years of the Revolution. Next, visit Peacefield, the stately mansion the Adams purchased later in life and home to four generations of the family. In addition to the mansion, marvel at the impressive stone library and stroll through the heirloom garden and orchard. Don’t miss the chance to delve into the personal stories of this historic family!

+ Arrive at Adams NHP: 11:00am (The bus will drop-off at each property.)
+ Lunch/Visitor Center: 1:00pm. At the visitor center, you can view a film, visit the gift shop and walk to the burial location of John and Abigail. There are eateries near the visitor center for lunch, or you can bring your own.
***Please note this is a late lunch, so you may want to bring a snack for the bus.***
+ Depart Adams NHP: 3:00pm. (Front of Adams NHP Visitor Center)

Option 3: Purchase a Bus Ticket to Enjoy a Day On Your Own in Boston! Drop-Off and Pick-Up are the same as for the New England Historic Genealogical Society. **You are responsible for being at Trinity Church at 4:30pm.**

Register Here!

Tuesday, June 19, 5:00 – 7:00 pm

Beer in the Garden: Manuscript Maps

Beer in the Garden: Manuscript Maps

NEW TIMES!

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.

See a full list of all Beer in the Garden programs.

Thursday, June 21 – Thursday, October 11, 2018

Find Your Place in History: Discover Your Roots and Take a Peek Behind the Scenes at the Maine Historical Society

Find Your Place in History: Discover Your Roots and Take a Peek Behind the Scenes at the Maine Historical Society


On Thursday afternoons, from June to October, spend a few hours going back in time!

With a small group of like-minded peers, in the beautiful Maine Historical Society’s Brown Research Library, prepare to explore history on all levels: from the history of your own family to artifacts that help tell the story of western civilization.

+ Dig back into your own family story and piece together the people from your past.

+ See some of the most amazing artifacts in the vast collections of the Maine Historical Society.

+ Put on the white gloves and explore our archives—off limits to our regular visitors.

+ Finally, celebrate your accomplishments in the Longfellow garden--smell the flowers and taste a few traditional Maine treats!

This is a guided introduction to genealogical research—not for experienced genealogists. To ensure you have the most fascinating experience, bring the names and birthdates of a few relatives to your session.

Ticket Price: $75 each. There is a maximum of 6 people per tour. The deadline to register for each event is the Monday prior to the event.

All tickets are sold for specific tour dates and times.

Tours begin at the MHS Museum Store at 489 Congress Street.


Event Dates & Times:
(register for each event by clicking the links below)

+ Click to Purchase Tickets for June 21st from 4:00-5:30pm

+ Click to Purchase Tickets for June 28th from 4:00-5:30pm

+ Click to Purchase Tickets for July 5th from 4:00-5:30pm

+ Click to Purchase Tickets for July 12th from 4:00-5:30pm

+ Click to Purchase Tickets for July 19th from 4:00-5:30pm

+ Click to Purchase Tickets for July 26th from 4:00-5:30pm

+ Click to Purchase Tickets for August 2nd from 4:00-5:30pm SOLD OUT

+ Click to Purchase Tickets for August 9th from 4:00-5:30pm

+ Click to Purchase Tickets for August 16th from 4:00-5:30pm SOLD OUT

+ Click to Purchase Tickets for August 23rd from 4:00-5:30pm

+ Click to Purchase Tickets for August 30th from 4:00-5:30pm

+ Click to Purchase Tickets for September 6th from 4:00-5:30pm

+ Click to Purchase Tickets for September 13th from 4:00-5:30pm

+ Click to Purchase Tickets for September 20th from 4:00-5:30pm

+ Click to Purchase Tickets for September 27th from 4:00-5:30pm

+ Click to Purchase Tickets for October 4th from 4:00-5:30pm

+ Click to Purchase Tickets for October 11th from 4:00-5:30pm

For more information or for assistance purchasing tickets, contact us at 207-774-1822.

Wednesday, June 27

History Adventures Day Camp: Foods of Our Forefathers

History Adventures Day Camp: Foods of Our Forefathers

presented by Maine Historical Society & Victoria Mansion
History has never tasted so good! Learn about delicious dishes from the past and how to prepare them with this hands-on historic cooking experience! Campers will learn about traditional foods and historic recipes, serving up a delectable 19th century inspired lunch. Each camper will also go home with their own copy of a cookbook of our favorite Foods of Our Forefathers recipes.

WHEN: Wednesday, June 27, 9am-2pm; campers will serve a small lunch at 1pm for their invited guests.

WHERE: Maine Historical Society, 489 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101

WHO: Students in 3rd-6th grades

COST: $50 MHS and Victoria Mansion members, $65 general admission

To request more information, or to register offline, contact Kathleen Neumann, MHS Manager of Education & Interpretive Programs, kneumann@mainehistory.org, 207-774-1822, ext. 214 or Stacia Hanscom, Victoria Mansion Director of Education, shanscom@victoriamansion.org, 207-772-4841, ext. 104.

Register Here!

July Programs

Thursday, July 12, 6:00 – 8:00 pm

Book Talk: Maine Roads to Gettysburg

Book Talk: Maine Roads to Gettysburg

The story of Colonel Joshua Chamberlain and the 20th Maine Volunteer Infantry on Little Round Top during the Battle of Gettysburg has entered into legend. But there’s much more to Maine at Gettysburg than that one regiment. The state’s soldiers made their presence felt all over the Pennsylvania battlefield during three days of fighting in July 1863—and during the two years of war before that. In a talk about his new book, Maine Roads to Gettysburg, author Tom Huntington tells stories about soldiers from the Pine Tree State who made their presence felt during the Civil War’s biggest battle.

About the author:

Maine native Tom Huntington is the author of Searching for George Gordon Meade: The Forgotten Victor of Gettysburg, as well as Guide to Gettysburg Battlefield Monuments, Pennsylvania Civil War Trails, and Ben Franklin’s Philadelphia. His latest book is Maine Roads to Gettysburg (Stackpole Books, 2018). He is also the former editor of American History and Historic Traveler magazines, and his writing has appeared in many publications, including Smithsonian, Air & Space, American Heritage, Invention & Technology, British Heritage, and Yankee. Although born and bred in Augusta, he now lives in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, not far from Gettysburg.

Free for MHS Members; $5 general admission

Tuesday, July 17, 5:00 – 7:00 pm

Beer in the Garden: Longfellow in the Longfellow House

Beer in the Garden: Longfellow in the Longfellow House

NEW TIMES!

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.

See a full list of all Beer in the Garden programs.

Saturday, July 21, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Farming on the Edge: Past and Present

Farming, Demmark, 1911. Collections of Maine Historical Society. MMN Item# 7618

Farming, Demmark, 1911. Collections of Maine Historical Society. MMN Item# 7618


A wagon ride, history tour, animals, and ice cream!

Created as a pioneering organic farm in the 1950s, Wolfe’s Neck Center on Wolfe’s Neck in Freeport continues to work at the forefront of agricultural practices and research—at the same time preserving its unique historic buildings and landscapes with stunning views of beautiful Casco Bay. Make a Saturday escape to rural Maine just a quick half hour from Portland and immerse yourself in the world of the farm, past and present. In the lively barnyard, staff will introduce you to its new dairy apprentice program, its cutting-edge research in ways farming can combat climate change, and its educational, recreational, and community programming. Then board a farm wagon to see how the farm is preserving and repurposing its historic buildings, including the farmstead of an 18th-century sea caption on a hill overlooking the sea. End your morning with ice cream and snacks at the Farm Café.

--Rain date is August 4th--

This tour is recommended for guests aged 12 and older.

Ticket Price: $15 for MHS members, $25 general admission. For more information or for assistance purchasing tickets, contact us at 207-774-1822.

Register Here!

Monday, July 23 – Friday, July 27, 2018

Junior Docent Camp 2018

Junior Docent Camp 2018

at Maine Historical Society and the Wadsworth Longfellow House
Ever wonder what life was like before video games? Looking for a chance to step back in time? Want to be a history detective?

Participants in the Junior Docent Camp will explore life in 18th and 19th century Portland and go behind the scenes of Maine’s oldest historic house museum. The camp is based at the Wadsworth-Longfellow House, boyhood home of poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The mix of indoor and outdoor activities will include 18th and 19th century games, crafts, cooking, and storytelling. We will learn how Henry and his siblings played, dined, studied, cleaned up, and even how they got into trouble!

Participants will have the opportunity to meet and work with library and museum staff. At the end of the week, all participants will be fully trained and prepared to give a tour of the house to family members and guests. After the tour, families and campers are encouraged to join us in the Longfellow Garden for a brown bag lunch and Henry’s favorite treat!

WHEN: Monday, July 23 - Friday, July 27, 9:00am - 1:00pm daily

WHERE: Maine Historical Society, 489 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101

WHO: Students entering 3rd - 5th Grades

COST: $150 for MHS members, $200 general admission

To request more information, or to register offline, contact the Manager of Education and Interpretive Programs at (207) 774-1822 ext. 214 or kneumann@mainehistory.org.

Register Here!

Monday, July 30 – Friday, August 3, 2018

Adventures in History Camp 2018

Adventures in History Camp 2018

at Maine Historical Society and Victoria Mansion
Ever wish you had a chance to explore the history of a whole city? Want to see and learn about amazing things that few people get to see? Looking for a chance to step back in time?

Participants in the Adventures in History Camp will have the chance to go behind the scenes at not one but two of Portland’s premier historic sites; Maine Historical Society and Victoria Mansion! Campers will learn about material culture and life in the Victorian era through an exciting mix of indoor and outdoor activities, special field trips, and hands-on instruction from experts in historic preservation and traditional arts. We will get a glimpse of life in the past by exploring photography, cooking, arts and crafts, and even spooky cemetery symbolism!

Participants will meet and work with a variety of museum staff and volunteers including curators, historians, educators, docents, and artists. At the end of the week, all participants will gather at Maine Historical Society to share their newfound knowledge and skills in a historian’s showcase for family members and guests. After the presentation, families, and campers are encouraged to join us in the Longfellow Garden for a brown bag lunch and celebration!

WHEN: Monday, July 30 - Friday, August 3, 9:00am-3:00pm daily.

WHERE: Maine Historical Society, 489 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101 and Victoria Mansion 109 Danforth Street, Portland, ME 04101

WHO: Students entering 6th-8th grades or Junior Docent Camp graduates

COST: $150 MHS and Victoria Mansion members, $200 general admission

To request more information, or to register offline, contact Kathleen Neumann, MHS Manager of Education & Interpretive Programs, kneumann@mainehistory.org, 207-774-1822, ext. 214 or Stacia Hanscom, Victoria Mansion Director of Education, shanscom@victoriamansion.org, 207-772-4841, ext. 104.

Register Here!

August Programs

Tuesday, August 21, 5:00 – 7:00 pm

Beer in the Garden: Highlights from the Costume Collection

Beer in the Garden: Highlights from the Costume Collection

NEW TIMES!

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.

See a full list of all Beer in the Garden programs.

September Programs

Tuesday, September 18, 5:00 – 7:00 pm

Beer in the Garden: School Days

Beer in the Garden: School Days

NEW TIMES!

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.

See a full list of all Beer in the Garden programs.

October Programs

Tuesday, October 16, 5:00 – 7:00 pm

Beer in the Garden: Mourning Rituals

Beer in the Garden: Mourning Rituals

NEW TIMES!

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.

See a full list of all Beer in the Garden programs.

This is the final Beer in the Garden of the season. We'll see you again in May!

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

exhibit graphic

Maine Eats: The Food Revolution Starts Here
March 2, 2018 through February 9, 2019
MHS Gallery

Food is a universal building block of life—if we don't eat, we will die. But food has a power that goes far beyond biology. The food we eat shapes our lives and our memories. Sourcing food, preparing food, and eating food are all part of the heartbeat of Maine's culture and economy. Maine Eats: The Food Revolution Starts Here explores Maine's relationship with food and innovative food solutions to challenges through diverse stories from around the state. Read More

 

exhibit graphic

Eye in the Sky 
April 11 through September 30, 2018
Earle G. Shettleworth, Jr. Lecture Hall

Featuring aerial photographs from MHS' Portland Press Herald glass negative collection, the exhibition provides a glimpse into the 1920s and 30s, through one of Maine's most significant media influences. 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.