Maine Historical Society

MAINE HISTORICAL SOCIETY

PRESERVING HISTORY
ENGAGING MINDS
CONNECTING MAINE

Visiting the Maine Historical Society

On this page:   Location & Contact Info  | Campus Map  | Museum/Gallery & MHS Store  | Library  | Longfellow House & Garden  | Walking Tour  | Directions  | Parking

Welcome to Maine Historical Society! We look forward to hosting your visit—whether in Wadsworth-Longfellow House, our exhibition gallery, store, research in the library, or just to sit in the garden for a relaxing lunch.

While we want to make your time with us as enjoyable, informative, and memorable as possible, we have instituted new policies and procedures to try and keep keep people and the collections safe during the coronavirus era. This page provides a variety of information related to planning your visit and what to expect when visiting our campus in downtown Portland.

MHS is open, but with reduced capacity and on a limited basis. Please see the sections below for information about specific areas of our organization. Our programmatic offerings continue online, and of course we encourage everyone to visit our many online resources mainememory.net, mainehistory.org, hwlongfellow.org, mainehistorystore.com and vintagemaineimages.com.

What's new and different in response to COVID-19?

MHS takes the safety of our staff, patrons and collections seriously. We are requiring face masks (even as vaccines become available), encouraging hand washing and social distancing, and instituting cleaning protocols with both people and collections in mind. In accordance with state guidelines a limited number of patrons are permitted in the building at one time. Please plan accordingly. See our Coronavirus Update page for more details.

Location & Contact Information

Exterior of MHS store
Entrance to MHS gallery and store

We are located on busy Congress Street in downtown Portland, an historic and arts district that serves as the city's main thoroughfare. Congress is within short walking distance of the Old Port and waterfront.

Physical & Mailing Address: 489 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101
Map it. Written directions. Parking Information.

Phone: 207-774-1822 Look up staff extensions.

All of our facilities are fully accessible, with the exception of the second floor of the Wadsworth-Longfellow House; a full video tour of the second floor is available upon request during the House's open season.

See Campus Map

Wadsworth-Longfellow House & Garden

Longfellow House
The Parlor

The boyhood home of poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is on the National Register of Historic places. Typically, visitors are invited to tour the house from May–October. However, out of an abundance of caution, the house is currently closed.

TRY OUR MOBILE APP
Download the Wadsworth Longfellow House App to enhance your self-guided visit (during the open season) or for a remote experience when the House is closed.

Hours

The Wadsworth-Longfellow House and Longfellow Garden are currently closed for the season, with plans to re-open for the 2021 summer season. Please check back for up to date information.

Museum Galleries & MHS Store / Ticket Purchases

Store interior
MHS store interior

The MHS Museum galleries re-open May 27, 2021. MHS Museum gallery visitation is by timed (appointment) admission. To support social distancing and adhere to state guidelines, a limited number of patrons are permitted in the space at one time. Guests are asked to purchase tickets in advance through the online ticketing process. Walk-in ticket purchases are subject to availability, and space is limited.

While access to the gallery is free for MHS members, all members must still register for a ticket to ensure admission upon arrival.

Visit our Exhibitions & Museum page for a full list ongoing exhibitions and updated gallery protocol.

Our MHS store is open, or you can visit our online store to shop for popular and hard-to-find history books, unique gifts, and Maine-made items.

Hours

Buy Tickets link

The galleries are closed or with reduced hours on select holidays.

Admission to gallery:

*Please note, members and children 5 and under must still secure a timed admission ticket through the online ticket portal or by phone. This helps us manage the number of people in the galleries at one time. Access for patrons who arrive without a ticket is subject to availability and space is limited.

Brown Research Library

library books
Photo: Brian Vanden Brink

Whether you are conducting personal, educational, or professional research, our reference librarians are ready to assist you with accessing our expansive collections.

Updated library guidelines and polices are in place. Please consult the Brown Research Library's home page to plan your visit.

Hours

Portland History Walking Tours

The self-guided Portland Freedom Trail walking tour is available for download. All other Portland history walking tours are suspended due to COVID-19. To download the Portland Freedom Trail or learn more about past walking tours please visit our Historic Walking Tours page.

Directions

Children's Gate
The Children's Gate

Link to Google Maps

From the North

Take Route 95 south (Maine Turnpike) to Route 295 in Gardner (exit 51). From I–295 in Portland, take exit 7, Franklin Street. Travel up Franklin Street to the fourth light and turn right onto Congress Street.

Take Congress Street past 5 blocks to the Portland Public Library on your right, and then past Preble Street. The Maine Historical Society is on the right, at 489 Congress Street, on the corner of Congress and Brown Streets. You will see the brick Wadsworth–Longfellow House on your right.

From the South

Take Route 95 (Maine Turnpike) to I–295, exit 44. Take I–295 to exit 7, Franklin Street. Go up Franklin Street to the fourth light, then turn right onto Congress Street.

Take Congress Street past 5 blocks to the Portland Public Library on your right, and then past Preble Street. The Maine Historical Society is on the right, at 489 Congress Street, on the corner of Congress and Brown Streets. You will see the brick Wadsworth–Longfellow House on your right.

Parking

Subject to availability, there are pay-to-park spaces offered on evenings and weekends only in the Maine Historical Society lot located on Brown Street behind Maine Historical Society's 489 Congress Street location. Parking is not available during weekdays between 6am and 5pm, as spaces are reserved. Several parking garages ae available within walking distance, as well as metered on-street parking.

Coaches may discharge passengers at the bus stop on Congress Street past Brown Street where they will be met by MHS staff. Vans needing wheelchair access may discharge passengers at the Brown Street sidewalk ramp (at the corner of Congress and Brown).

For city bus schedules, visit Greater Portland Metro. Many of the routes drop passengers off directly across the street from the Maine Historical Society/Wadsworth-Longfellow House.

Campus Map

Campus Map

Campus Map