Maine Historical Society



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Magical History Tour & Mr. Longfellow's Cocktail Party 2019

March 27, 2019

Magical History Tour & Mr. Longfellow's Cocktail Party 2019

Maine Historical Society’s MAGICAL HISTORY TOUR Unlocks Greater Portland’s Intriguing Past, on May 11; Pre-Tour MR. LONGFELLOW’S COCKTAIL PARTY Features Exclusive Wabanaki-Inspired Fashion Show, Live Auction and Reveals Locations of Secret Tour Sites, on May 10

PORTLAND, MAINE: Maine Historical Society (MHS) is gearing up for its fifth annual MAGICAL HISTORY TOUR on Saturday, May 11, 2019, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. A popular experience attracting hundreds of participants, this year’s discovery tour is expected to draw up to 1,000 people of all ages.

The Magical History Tour (MHT) is a fun and engaging, self-guided exploration that unlocks access to captivating Greater Portland historic sites that are usually closed to public view. Exploring locales at their own pace with a special map, Magical History Tour-goers are greeted by docents at each destination who share the history of the sites through vivid and factual storytelling.

Each year, MHS researches and offers all new locations, along with the winner of the People's Choice site as voted by prior participants. Examples of past tours include the Eastern Cemetery “dead house”; a candlepin bowling alley in the Woodfords Club basement; the Victoria Mansion tower; and a 1913 Rolls Royce tourer.

Participants not only support the mission of Maine Historical in the nonprofit’s biggest fundraiser of the year, but also enjoy sleuthing Greater Portland’s historic sites, many of which are being repurposed or moved.

“Portland is changing and some of the sites our Committee have selected this year are in the process of significant transformation,” affirms Christina Traister, MHS Director of Institutional Advancement. “The Magical History Tour is really fun for individuals and families with children and is an opportunity for people to learn about Maine history, up close and personal. Participants get to see, hear, smell and touch original architectural and land sites, and discover who inhabited them before they are irrevocably changed – or perhaps even before they disappear.”


MR. LONGFELLOW’S COCKTAIL PARTY will be held Friday, May 10 at Portland’s Masonic Hall from 5:30 to 8:30 pm. The Party offers guests artful hors d’oeuvres, a complimentary cocktail, cash bar, bidding on a fast-paced auction by entertaining auctioneer Elizabeth Ross Holmstrom, and a sneak-peek of Magical History Tour sites, which are kept hidden until then.

PLUS – the major NEW attraction of this year’s Party will be an exclusive, live fashion show by Penobscot design team Decontie & Brown. In their only Maine show this year, Jason Brown and Donna Decontie-Brown will display haute couture fashion and luxury jewelry, inspired by their Penobscot heritage. Reflecting the authentic brand of the designers, all fashion models are Wabanaki.

What & When: MR. LONGFELLOW’S COCKTAIL PARTY | Friday, May 10, 2019, 5:30 - 8:30 pm Where: The Portland Masonic, 415 Congress Street, Portland

What & When: MAGICAL HISTORY TOUR | Saturday, May 11, 2019, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm Where: Check-in at MHS Brown Library, 485 Congress Street, Portland

Cost (per person): Party & Tour Combo $75/$85; Party only $60; Tour only $25/$35/$5 (child); Patron (Party & Tour) $175 (Recognized in printed program).

Tickets:; 207-774-1822 x216; or MHS Store (489 Congress Street, Portland.) Due to high interest, people are urged to get tickets as soon as possible.

Proceeds from this fundraiser benefit Maine Historical Society.

L. L. Bean and Maine Magazine are premiere sponsors of the 2019 Magical History Tour and Mr. Longfellow’s Cocktail Party.

MHS is also hosting Holding Up the Sky, a major exhibition from April 12, 2019 to February 1, 2020. The exhibition explores the experiences of the First People of Maine, the Wabanaki, encompassing the Abenaki, Maliseet, Micmac, Passamaquoddy, and Penobscot people.

For more information:

Maine Historical Society
489 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101

Maine Historical Society preserves and shares Maine's story to enrich life in contemporary Maine.