Maine Historical Society

MAINE HISTORICAL SOCIETY

PRESERVING HISTORY
ENGAGING MINDS
CONNECTING MAINE

Upcoming Programs & Events

Events on this page: 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.

September Programs

Wednesday, September 20, 6:00 pm

Hats and Headwear: the Fashionable, the Functional and the Frivolous

Hats and Headwear: the Fashionable, the Functional and the Frivolous

Join Jacqueline Field, textile and dress historian and author for her colorful illustrated talk on hats, fashion, and social custom. This talk is presented in conjunction with the current Longfellow House hat installation Hats About the House: Victorian Bonnets, Top Hats, 1950s Fascinators and More selections from the Maine Historical Society Historic Costume Collection which is on view at the Longfellow House until October 22.

Jacqueline's talk will be free for members and $5 general admission. Registration required.

Register today!

October Programs

Monday, October 2, 2:00 pm

The Architecture Around Us Walking Tour

The Architecture Around Us Walking Tour

In partnership with Victoria Mansion
Explore some of Portland's most intriguing architecture with Maine Historical Society and Victoria Mansion on this architecture walking tour! Participants will learn about architectural styles and elements, study historical maps and blue prints, and explore some of Portland’s most intriguing architecture. This program will begin at Victoria Mansion and end at Maine Historical Society. Rain date is Wednesday, October 4. For more information contact Kathleen Neumann, 207-774-1822 ext. 214.

Tickets are $20 per person.

Register Here

Tuesday, October 3, 3:30 – 5:00 pm

After-school Teacher Professional Development Workshop given by The Upstander Project

After-school Teacher Professional Development Workshop given by The Upstander Project

Teachers and educational professionals are invited to us for a workshop given by The Upstander Project featuring their film First Light, a groundbreaking documentary about Wabanaki cultural survival and stolen children that takes a look inside the first truth and reconciliation commission for Native Americans. Participants will receive valuable training in leading conversations about unexamined events in social history, as well as materials to teach students to source and contextualize information while exploring the meaning and merit of forgiveness, reconciliation, and upstanding (speaking out in defense of those who are targeted for harm or injustice).

Registration required. For more information call 207-774-1822, ext. 214.

Register Here

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 and see our Hats About the House exhibit!

Visit the Wadsworth-Longfellow House for free to see a selection of beautiful, fashionable, and sometimes awkward hats from our collection. A hat makes a statement about a person—how a hat is worn, its color, and style communicated the societal standing of its wearer as well as their economic ability to purchase such an accessory. At one time, it was expected that every man and woman should wear some sort of hat when out and about. That fashion faded for a time, but hats are making a comeback. Our Hats About the House exhibit was curated by MHS' Adjunct Curator of Historic Costumes, Jacqueline Field, a textile and dress historian and author.

And Portland Monthly’s final First Friday Fiction of the year will feature Maine author Mira Ptacin, author of the award-winning memoir "Poor Your Soul." Mira will be reading a section from her upcoming book, “The In-Betweens” at 6:30 pm. Publisher’s Weekly declares The In-Betweens "a cultural, anthropological, and historical look at Spiritualism in America centered around the peculiar and haunting community of Camp Etna, Maine." Refreshments provided by Rosemont Market.

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!

Saturday, October 14, 1:30 pm

Post Mortem Mourning Practices in 18th and 19th Century New England

Post Mortem Mourning Practices in 18th and 19th Century New England

Libby Bischof, Associate Professor of History at the University of Southern Maine
Join us for a fascinating lecture on "Post Mortem Mourning Practices in 18th and 19th Century New England", presented by Libby Bischof, Associate Professor of History at the University of Southern Maine. Prof. Bischof will explore by-gone cultural practices of demonstrating grief at the passing of a loved one, which included women wearing only black clothing for a year, or the creation of mourning relics from photographs or human hair.

This lecture will be accompanied by selections of the Maine Historical Society’s mourning artifacts and memento mori collections.

This event is co-hosted by Spirits Alive.

Register now

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.

Thursday, October 19, 6:30 pm

Annual MHS Olmsted Lecture 2017

Annual MHS Olmsted Lecture 2017

Addy Smith-Reiman, newly appointed incoming Executive Director of Portland Society for Architecture and Board member for the National Association of Olmsted Parks, will deliver MHS’s annual Olmsted Lecture on the topic of Legacy in the Landscape of Change.

The environmental, economic, and equitable considerations that challenged Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr. nearly two centuries ago confront contemporary practitioners in the planning, design, and stewardship of our public open spaces today. Parks, roads, civic squares, campuses, and communities are the literal common ground reflecting societal values and needs. As these needs and values change, some see progress, while others see threats. Is there a balance? Join in the discussion on the evolution of place, politics, and planning for these cultural and ecological systems – learning from our past to plan for our future.

$10 MHS Members; $10 Portland Society for Architecture Members; $20 general admission.

Register today!

Tuesday, October 24, 5:00 pm

Maine History Maker Award Honoring the Cianchette Family

Maine History Maker Award Honoring the Cianchette Family

Maine Historical Society’s annual celebration Maine History Maker Award honoring the Cianchette Family

Each year Maine Historical Society recognizes traditions of innovation, leadership, and commitment to community that have defined Maine throughout its history. This year, Maine Historical Society has selected the Cianchette family as its 2017 Maine History Maker. The award honors the direct descendants of Ralph and Edna Cianchette—their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. 100 years of Cianchette family history reflects essential aspects of the Maine experience—Ralph’s immigration to Maine, his sons’ service during World War II, and the brothers’ hustle and acumen in building Cianbro, Maine Line Fence and other businesses. Now, in this century, we see the many ways in which their children and grandchildren continue to lead in diverse endeavors. Cianchette leadership—past, present, and future—is what we honor.

The program features:
• Presentation of the Maine History Maker Award to Ken Cianchette by MHS executive director Steve Bromage.
• Remarks by Mac Cianchette, “Cianbro: A Family Perspective”
• Panel discussion on visions for the state’s future with Andrea Cianchette Maker, an attorney at Pierce Atwood whose practice supports Maine businesses and whose civic leadership focuses on ensuring that Maine's economy will thrive in the future; Jason Cianchette, founder of Liquid Wireless and Huzzap, and focused on growing the digital economy here in Maine, and Michael Cianchette, business executive, former Chief Legal Counsel and Senior Advisor to Gov. Paul LePage, and Maine Turnpike Authority Member.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017
5:00 pm Reception: Wine, Beer, and Light Fare
6:00 pm Maine History Award Ceremony
Location: Hannaford Hall at the University of Southern Maine 88 Bedford Street, Portland (free parking in USM garage)

Purchase Your Ticket or Become a Patron Here

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
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

 

exhibit graphic

Hats About the House: Victorian Bonnets, Top Hats, 1950s Fascinators and More
September 1 through October 22, 2017
Wadsworth-Longfellow House

Visit the Wadsworth-Longfellow House this fall to see a selection of the beautiful, fashionable, and sometimes awkward hats from the Maine Historical Society collection. 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.