Maine Historical Society



Upcoming Programs & Events

Events on this page: January | February | May | 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 - June - Columbus Day. Tours offered Monday through Friday at 1:30pm, and on select special weekend dates. See details.

Library Tours - First Wednesday of the month at noon (with a few exceptions). See below for next scheduled tour.

January Programs

Monday, January 28, 5:00 – 8:00 pm

Book, Wine & Cheese Wheel Cracking Event

Ari Weinzweig

Ari Weinzweig

With Ari Weinzweig, Food Guru, Author and Co-Founder of Zingerman’s
Don't miss this kickoff of the awesome Chef's Summit with food industry guru Ari Weinzweig, Co-Founder of Zingerman’s and author of "The Art of Business," which calls for a more artistic approach to business.

There'll be a wheel cracking of old Parmigiano Reggiano, wine tasting, book signing, a chunk of Parm to go, viewing the popular MHS exhibit Maine Eats and more!

Co-hosts: MHS, O'Maine Studios and Rogers Collection.
Location: MHS Gallery and Shettleworth Lecture Hall

Tickets: $30. Click Chef Summit for more information and to purchase. SPECIAL DISCOUNT FOR MHS MEMBERS! Get a 20% DISCOUNT on any Chef Summit ticket when you enter code ME1.

February Programs

Friday, February 1, 4:00 – 5:30 pm

Meet John Ford

John Ford MMN Item 5585

John Ford MMN Item 5585

With Michael Connolly, Historian
Kick-Off Event to a Statewide Film Series Celebrating Ford's 125th Birthday

Hear this fascinating talk about famous movie director John Ford, who grew up in the Irish section of Portland, presented by historian Michael Connolly and the Maine Film Center. Did you know that Maine-born Ford was America's most celebrated director who won four Academy Awards?

Cost: Free and open to the public
Location: MHS Shettleworth Lecture Hall
RSVP: 207-774-1822 or

Friday, February 1, 5:45 – 8:00 pm

First Friday Art Walk: Maine Brews Meets Its Makers

Ed Lutjen. Photo by John Benford

Ed Lutjen. Photo by John Benford

Demonstration by Ed Lutjen & Discussion with Oxbow Brewing
For this special closing exhibition event of MAINE BREWS, gallery art walk visitors will enjoy beer-themed swag and snacks while having an opportunity to chat with Oxbow Brewing Company about their aged beer process. Also Ed Lutjen, New England's only cask-maker from Portland Barrel Company will share and demonstrate his fine craft of coopering.

Don’t miss your last chance to explore the history of Maine beer and this booming industry with other beer fans!

Cost: Free and open to the public
Location: MHS Maine Brews Gallery

Wednesday, February 6, 12:00 – 12:45 pm

Behind-The-Scenes Library Tour (FREE)

Nicholas Noyes

Nicholas Noyes

With Nicholas Noyes, Curator of Library Collections
This engaging 45-minute interactive tour takes you throughout our beautiful Brown Research Library and into the archive (normally closed to the public.) Nicholas Noyes shares his expertise on the building's history, the basics of doing library research and a few treasures from the collection.

Location: MHS Brown Research Library

Free and open to the public. Limited to 10 = Sign up in advance by emailing or calling 774-1822 x207.

Saturday, February 9, 1:00 – 3:00 pm

Poetry Workshop in the Wadsworth-Longfellow House

Wadsworth-Longfellow House c.1903  MMN Item#5707

Wadsworth-Longfellow House c.1903 MMN Item#5707

with Dawn Potter

How do I love thee? Let me write the ways!

Learn how to compose a sweet poem for a loved one for Valentine’s Day. You will work under the guidance of a published poet, and in the home that inspired the work of one of America’s most beloved writers, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Come spend an afternoon creatively writing in this historic residence and leave with a thoughtful gift – a poem from your heart and hand - for someone you love!

Instructor Dawn Potter is the author or editor of eight books of prose and poetry, including the forthcoming Chestnut Ridge. Her memoir, Tracing Paradise: Two Years in Harmony with John Milton, won the 2010 Maine Literary Award in Nonfiction. Ms. Potter directs the Frost Place Conference on Poetry and Teaching, held each summer at Robert Frost's home in Franconia, New Hampshire and serves on the faculty of 24PearlStreet, the online writing program of the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts.

$10 for MHS Members, $15 General Admission. Space is limited.
The workshop begins at the MHS Museum Store at 489 Congress Street. For more information or for assistance purchasing tickets, contact us at 207-774-1822.

Register here!

Tuesday, February 12 – Friday, February 15, 2019

Love in the Longfellow House Tours 2019

Love in the Longfellow House Tours 2019

Love in the Longfellow House Tours 2019

Love is a many-splendored thing, and what could make it more splendid than a night of poetry, bubbly refreshments, and strict Victorian courtship rituals? Make this year’s Valentine’s Day one for the history books and bring your special someone to a love-themed tour of the Wadsworth-Longfellow House! This special stroll through the historic home of Portland’s favorite poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow will be illuminated with tales of the dating customs of yesteryear (ever hear of a bundling board?) and of the many loves, romances, and even heartbreaks of the Wadsworth and Longfellow families. When two Wadsworth sisters fell in love with the same man, whom did he choose? How did Henry win over the love of his love of his life after a series of rejected proposals? And did the poet really spend his honeymoon at his parent’s house?! Learn all the delectable details on this night of fun, fancy, and of course, love!

Prior to the tour guests will enjoy a glass of champagne or sparkling cider and will leave with a reproduction print of a lovely vintage valentine from our collection, as well as a rose.

Tour Dates & Times:

+ Click to Purchase Tickets for February 12 from 6:00-7:30pm

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

+ Click to Purchase Tickets for February 13 from 6:00-7:30pm

+ Click to Purchase Tickets for February 14 from 4:00-5:30pm

+ Click to Purchase Tickets for February 14 from 6:00-7:30pm

+ Click to Purchase Tickets for February 15 from 6:00-7:30pm

Ticket Price: $30 per couple for MHS members; $45 per couple for general admission.

Reservations are required and can be purchased by clicking the link above. All tickets are sold in pairs (1 purchase = 2 tickets) and each tour is limited in number. All tickets are sold for specific tour dates and times.

Tours begin at the MHS Museum Store at 489 Congress Street. For more information or for assistance purchasing tickets, contact us at 207-774-1822.

May Programs

Friday, May 10 – Saturday, May 11, 2019

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

Our fifth annual exploration of fascinating historic sites in Portland will include places your friends and family have never seen – and maybe didn’t even know existed! The Magical History Tour is their key to unlocking fascinating historical places in Portland that are not usually open to the public.

It's a self-guided tour guaranteed to amaze and amuse both adults and children. Equipped with a map, and at your own pace, you and your friends will be greeted by guides at each location ready to share the history of the tour stop. You’ll find out where the tour will take you when you get your map on Saturday, May 11 - or join us for the grand reveal at Mr. Longfellow’s Cocktail Party Friday, May 10 at Portland's Masonic Hall.

+Mr. Longfellow's Cocktail Party: Friday, May 10 (5:30 - 8:00 pm)
+Magical History Tour: Saturday, May 11 (10:00 am - 4:00 pm)

Ticket prices range from $25/$35 for the Tour ($5 kids) to $75/$85 for Tour and Cocktail Party Combo.

Click here to view all ticket options and to purchase today!

Program Podcasts

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Group Trips

Splendors of the Nile River & Ancient Jordan
September 28 - October 13, 2019. From $6,672 per person

Maine Historical Society is pleased to announce its 2019 trip—The Splendors of the Nile River and Ancient Jordan! We will begin in Egypt for 12 adventure-filled days and experience the Nile's most wondrous sites in style and luxury on an eight-day voyage onboard the all-suite Uniworld River Tosca—a manner once reserved for queens and pharaohs! From Egypt we are on to a 5 day visit to Jordan, a land rich in natural wonders and sites so ancient, that by comparison, the Crusader forts guarding the old trade routes are considered recent additions. Get Trip Details.


exhibit graphic

Maine Eats: The Food Revolution Starts Here
March 2, 2018 through March 2, 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

Maine Brews
October 5, 2018 through February 2, 2019
Earle G. Shettleworth, Jr. Lecture Hall

Maine is experiencing a beer renaissance. Formed in 1986, the Maine Brewers Guild today counts over 120 independent craft breweries who produce a wide range of beers in different styles marketed locally, regionally and internationally. But Maine’s beer scene did not always thrive. Prohibition in Maine lasted much longer than in the rest of the nation. Beer was still made in Maine in limited quantities, but not easily accessed. Today, Maine is making up for the long dry spell with a thriving beer industry. This exhibit explores the history of Maine’s beer and the booming industry in our state today.


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


Regional Genealogy Programs, Events, and Conferences

Find out about regional conferences and other family history instruction and workshops.