Maine Historical Society

MAINE HISTORICAL SOCIETY

PRESERVING HISTORY
ENGAGING MINDS
CONNECTING MAINE

Upcoming Programs & Events

Events on this page: April | May | June | July | 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 of the month at noon (with a few exceptions). See below for next scheduled tour.

April Programs

Friday, April 27, 4:30 – 6:30 pm

Book Launch: I Am Birch with author/artist Scott Kelley

Book Launch: I Am Birch with author/artist Scott Kelley

Join artist Scott Kelley to celebrate the launch of his new picture book, I Am Birch, on Friday, April 27, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. The event will include a reading of the book, a question and answer period, book sales and signing, and light refreshments. The event is free and open to the public.

The fine art painter has centered his first children’s book, I Am Birch, around an unlikely protagonist—the stump of a birch tree. The story begins with rumors of cold and darkness spreading through the woods. A widespread panic ensues among the animals, and they forage and stockpile, leaving their forest home in ruins. The birch stays rooted in its cause: to show kindness, humor, and wisdom to the animals and, ultimately, to alleviate their fears and bring growth and harmony to the woods.

Free and open to the public.

May Programs

Wednesday, May 2, 12:00 pm

Behind-the-Scenes Library Tour

Behind-the-Scenes 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.

Friday, May 11 – Saturday, May 12, 2018

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

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


Join us for our fourth annual exploration of fascinating historic sites in Portland that you've never seen – and maybe didn’t even know existed! The Magical History Tour is your key to unlocking fascinating historical places around 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 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—or join us for the grand reveal at Mr. Longfellow’s Cocktail Party at
O'Maine Studios on Friday night. Mr. Longfellow’s Cocktail Party also features an energetic and fun live and silent auction, often featuring opportunities you can’t find anywhere else.

+ Longfellow's Cocktail Party: Friday, May 11, 5:30-8:30pm at O'Maine Studios.
+ Magical History Tour: Saturday, May 12, 10am-4pm at secret sites around Portland.

Buy tickets today!

Tuesday, May 15, 4:30 – 6:30 pm

Beer in the Garden: Crime and Punishment

Beer in the Garden: Crime and Punishment

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 The Maine Brew Bus.

See a full list of all Beer in the Garden programs.

June Programs

Wednesday, June 6, 12:00 pm

Behind-the-Scenes Library Tour

Behind-the-Scenes 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.

Thursday, June 14, 07:30 am – 7:00 pm

Boston Bus Trip 2018

Boston Bus Trip 2018

Join Maine Historical Society & Greater Portland Chapter of Maine Genealogical Society on Thursday, June 14 for a trip to Boston! There are two options for the trip: New England Historic and Genealogical Society or the Adams National Historical Park in Quincy, MA.

7:30am - Bus Departs Portland: Park & Ride on Marginal Way (across from World Gym and Port City Flooring). Bus returns at approximately 7:00pm.

Option 1: The New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS)
NEHGS provides access to 200,000 genealogical and historical volumes, over one million manuscripts, census records, vital records, deeds, probate and military records—plus the latest digital and print resources. The bus will drop-off at the door of the Society. The Boston Public Library, Trinity Church, Newbury Street, the Hancock Building and shops and T stops are all within easy walking distance.

+ Arrive NEHGS: 10:00am (drop-off at door)
+ Lunch: On your own at one of the many fine eateries near Copley Square, or bring your own and eat in the NEHGS lunchroom.
+ Depart NEHGS: 4:30pm (From Copley Square, near Trinity Church)

Option 2: Adams National Historical Park
Visit the THREE historic homes of Revolutionary Celebrity John Adams and family. First, enjoy guided tours of his boyhood home and a neighboring house where he and Abigail raised a family during the tumultuous years of the Revolution. Next, visit Peacefield, the stately mansion the Adams purchased later in life and home to four generations of the family. In addition to the mansion, marvel at the impressive stone library and stroll through the heirloom garden and orchard. Don’t miss the chance to delve into the personal stories of this historic family!

+ Arrive at Adams NHP: 11:00am (The bus will drop-off at each property.)
+ Lunch/Visitor Center: 1:00pm. At the visitor center, you can view a film, visit the gift shop and walk to the burial location of John and Abigail. There are eateries near the visitor center for lunch, or you can bring your own.
***Please note this is a late lunch, so you may want to bring a snack for the bus.***
+ Depart Adams NHP: 3:00pm. (Front of Adams NHP Visitor Center)

Option 3: Purchase a Bus Ticket to Enjoy a Day On Your Own in Boston! Drop-Off and Pick-Up are the same as for the New England Historic Genealogical Society. **You are responsible for being at Trinity Church at 4:30pm.**

Register Here!

Wednesday, June 27

History Adventures Day Camp: Foods of Our Forefathers

History Adventures Day Camp: Foods of Our Forefathers

presented by Maine Historical Society & Victoria Mansion
History has never tasted so good! Learn about delicious dishes from the past and how to prepare them with this hands-on historic cooking experience! Campers will learn about traditional foods and historic recipes, serving up a delectable 19th century inspired lunch. Each camper will also go home with their own copy of a cookbook of our favorite Foods of Our Forefathers recipes.

WHEN: Wednesday, June 27, 9am-2pm; campers will serve a small lunch at 1pm for their invited guests.

WHERE: Maine Historical Society, 489 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101

WHO: Students in 3rd-6th grades

COST: $50 MHS and Victoria Mansion members, $65 general admission

To request more information, or to register offline, contact Kathleen Neumann, MHS Manager of Education & Interpretive Programs, kneumann@mainehistory.org, 207-774-1822, ext. 214 or Stacia Hanscom, Victoria Mansion Director of Education, shanscom@victoriamansion.org, 207-772-4841, ext. 104.

Register Here!

July Programs

Monday, July 23 – Friday, July 27, 2018

Junior Docent Camp 2018

Junior Docent Camp 2018

at Maine Historical Society and the Wadsworth Longfellow House
Ever wonder what life was like before video games? Looking for a chance to step back in time? Want to be a history detective?

Participants in the Junior Docent Camp will explore life in 18th and 19th century Portland and go behind the scenes of Maine’s oldest historic house museum. The camp is based at the Wadsworth-Longfellow House, boyhood home of poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The mix of indoor and outdoor activities will include 18th and 19th century games, crafts, cooking, and storytelling. We will learn how Henry and his siblings played, dined, studied, cleaned up, and even how they got into trouble!

Participants will have the opportunity to meet and work with library and museum staff. At the end of the week, all participants will be fully trained and prepared to give a tour of the house to family members and guests. After the tour, families and campers are encouraged to join us in the Longfellow Garden for a brown bag lunch and Henry’s favorite treat!

WHEN: Monday, July 23 - Friday, July 27, 9:00am - 1:00pm daily

WHERE: Maine Historical Society, 489 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101

WHO: Students entering 3rd - 5th Grades

COST: $150 for MHS members, $200 general admission

To request more information, or to register offline, contact the Manager of Education and Interpretive Programs at (207) 774-1822 ext. 214 or kneumann@mainehistory.org.

Register Here!

Monday, July 30 – Friday, August 3, 2018

Adventures in History Camp 2018

Adventures in History Camp 2018

at Maine Historical Society and Victoria Mansion
Ever wish you had a chance to explore the history of a whole city? Want to see and learn about amazing things that few people get to see? Looking for a chance to step back in time?

Participants in the Adventures in History Camp will have the chance to go behind the scenes at not one but two of Portland’s premier historic sites; Maine Historical Society and Victoria Mansion! Campers will learn about material culture and life in the Victorian era through an exciting mix of indoor and outdoor activities, special field trips, and hands-on instruction from experts in historic preservation and traditional arts. We will get a glimpse of life in the past by exploring photography, cooking, arts and crafts, and even spooky cemetery symbolism!

Participants will meet and work with a variety of museum staff and volunteers including curators, historians, educators, docents, and artists. At the end of the week, all participants will gather at Maine Historical Society to share their newfound knowledge and skills in a historian’s showcase for family members and guests. After the presentation, families, and campers are encouraged to join us in the Longfellow Garden for a brown bag lunch and celebration!

WHEN: Monday, July 30 - Friday, August 3, 9:00am-3:00pm daily.

WHERE: Maine Historical Society, 489 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101 and Victoria Mansion 109 Danforth Street, Portland, ME 04101

WHO: Students entering 6th-8th grades or Junior Docent Camp graduates

COST: $150 MHS and Victoria Mansion members, $200 general admission

To request more information, or to register offline, contact Kathleen Neumann, MHS Manager of Education & Interpretive Programs, kneumann@mainehistory.org, 207-774-1822, ext. 214 or Stacia Hanscom, Victoria Mansion Director of Education, shanscom@victoriamansion.org, 207-772-4841, ext. 104.

Register Here!

Program Podcasts

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Group Trips

Vietnam & Cambodia: The Charms of the Mekong
October 13-28, 2018 - From $4,979 per person

Join MHS as we cruise along the Mekong River, visiting rural villages, historic pagodas, local markets and a Buddhist monastery, where we'll be treated to a special blessing by monks. Our inner adventurer spirit will be indulged in Seam Reap, exploring grand temples of Angkor Archeological Park—and we'll be treated to an overnight sojourn on board an elegantly appointed ship in Ha Long Bay. Get Trip Details.

Exhibitions

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Maine Eats: The Food Revolution Starts Here
March 2, 2018 through February 9, 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

 

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Eye in the Sky 
April 11 through September 30, 2018
Earle G. Shettleworth, Jr. Lecture Hall

Featuring aerial photographs from MHS' Portland Press Herald glass negative collection, the exhibition provides a glimpse into the 1920s and 30s, through one of Maine's most significant media influences. Read More

 

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 www.mainememory.net.

 

Regional Genealogy Programs, Events, and Conferences

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