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2019 MHS Maine History Maker Award Will Honor The Hildreth Family

October 15, 2019

Horace & Charles Hildreth in their Bowdoin football days (Class of 1925)

Horace & Charles Hildreth in their Bowdoin football days (Class of 1925)

Portland ME: Maine Historical Society (MHS) will honor members of The Hildreth Family with its 2019 Maine History Maker Award. This prestigious annual award recognizes an individual or family in Maine who has made significant contributions to the community through traditions of innovation and leadership that have defined Maine throughout its history.

The Hildreth Family – descendants of twins Horace and Charles Hildreth (pictured here) – carry forward a tradition of contributions to the life, well-being, and vitality of Maine. Family members reflect core Maine values and have helped to shape modern Maine generations through leadership in politics, business, environmental conservation, and the arts.

The evening’s festivities will begin with a reception, followed by a welcome by MHS Trustee Meredith Strang Burgess.

Senator Angus King will deliver the keynote address on what the Hildreth Family’s leadership means to Maine, sharing his stories, experiences, and observations.

MHS Executive Director Steve Bromage will present the Maine History Maker Award to the Family.

About The Hildreth Family: (see more

• Born in Gardiner in 1902, twin brothers Horace and Charles Hildreth attended Bowdoin College and Harvard Law School. Each married and returned to Maine to build their families and careers.

Horace Hildreth was elected to the Maine House in 1940, the Maine Senate in 1942, and the Governorship in 1944 and 1946. Although he lost the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate to Margaret Chase Smith, Governor Hildreth was a central figure in Maine's transition to the post-War era. He envisioned an economy focused on investing from within and recognizing Maine people and values. He created the family's broadcasting business, investing in future technologies – including television – and built the foundation for one of Maine's most important modern companies, Diversified Communications.

Charles L. Hildreth purchased hardware wholesaler Emery-Waterhouse in 1937. His leadership saved and modernized a Maine business that was nearly a century old. His son, Charles Hildreth, Jr. adapted and grew the company in a rapidly changing industry. Ace Hardware bought Emery-Waterhouse in 2014.

Horace "Hoddy" Hildreth Jr. (Horace Sr.’s son), has made profound contributions to Maine's environment by recognizing that landscapes are essential to the state's well-being, identity, and economy. A legislative leader in Maine's environmental movement in the 1960s-70s, he has strongly supported many conservation organizations. He became CEO of Diversified Communications and now serves on its board.

Josephine "Dodie" Detmer (Horace Sr.'s daughter), a beloved teacher at Waynflete, was the catalyst behind the modernization of MHS in the 1990s-2000s, setting MHS on the path to become the vibrant organization it is today. Her dedication drove successful campaigns to purchase our museum building, restore the Wadsworth-Longfellow House, and renovate the Brown Research Library. She serves on Diversified's board.

Daniel Hildreth (son of Hoddy and his wife Wooly), is active in Maine's environmental community and carries on the family's legacy as board chair of Diversified Communications, a global media company that connects business communities through market-leading events, digital products, and publications.

What: Maine Historical Society Annual Maine History Maker Award

Who: Honoring The Hildreth Family Keynote Speaker Senator Angus King

When: Friday, November 1, 2019, from 5:00 – 7:30 pm. Reception with Light Fare and Cash Bar followed by Maine History Maker Award Ceremony and Panel Discussion.

Where: Hannaford Hall, University of Southern Maine, 88 Bedford Street, Portland Maine

Tickets: $55 per person. Purchase online or call 207-774-1822.

Proceeds support Maine Historical Society's statewide celebration of Maine's Bicentennial.

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.