Maine Historical Society

MAINE HISTORICAL SOCIETY

PRESERVING HISTORY
ENGAGING MINDS
CONNECTING MAINE

Upcoming Programs & Events

Events on this page: October | November | January | February | March | Online Programs | Ongoing Programs | Group Trips | Exhibitions | Online Exhibitions | Regional Genealogy Events

Maine at 200 graphic

MHS has launched our Bicentennial public programming with MAINE at 200, an exciting virtual (Zoom) series! In live conversations, notable presenters explore how Maine became a State in 1820, what that has meant to Maine people, and how 13,000 years of history has shaped the complex issues that matter to Mainers today. Visit this page often for "Maine at 200 series" program updates. Register early! Most programs in the series are free and open to the public (unless noted as MHS Members Exclusive.)

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Past Programs - Videos and Podcasts

VIDEOS: Watch topical dialogues, lessons & demonstrations related to Maine history.
PODCASTS: Hear audio recordings of MHS public lectures, stories, and events.

October Programs

Thursday, October 8, 6:00 – 7:00 pm

MHS MEMBERS EXCLUSIVE! Maine at 200 Series: Lecture & Conversation with Alan Taylor
Liberty Men, Great Proprietors, and Maine Today

Alan Taylor

Alan Taylor

SPECIAL ACCESS FOR MHS MEMBERS!

In the years leading up to Maine Statehood, the political culture in the District of Maine was remarkably like it is today: fraught with conflict, resentment, political theater, and the pursuit of opportunity. Join noted American historian and Pulitzer prize winner Alan Taylor to learn about settlers trying to build lives on the Maine frontier, wealthy landowners seeking to monetize vast tracts of land they had been granted, and for conversation about how the story of "liberty men" and "great proprietors" might help us understand Maine today.

About the speaker: Born in Portland, Maine, Alan Taylor is the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation Professor of History at the University of Virginia. He is a graduate of Colby College and earned his Ph.D. from Brandeis University. Taylor is the author of a number of books including Liberty Men and Great Proprietors: the Revolutionary Settlement on the Maine Frontier 1760-1820; American Colonies: The settlement of North America to 1800; William Cooper's Town: Power and Persuasion on the Frontier of the Early American Republic (Bancroft Prize, Beveridge Award, Pulitzer Prize); The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia: 1772-1832 (Pulitzer Prize); and Thomas Jefferson's Education. In 2020, he was elected to the American Philosophical Society.

Cost: Free & open to MHS MEMBERS only. Registration required. NOT A MEMBER? IT'S EASY TO JOIN!

Location: online via Zoom. Limited to 500 attendees.

Register Here!

Tuesday, October 13, 6:00 – 7:00 pm

Maine at 200 Series: A Talk with Leland J. Hanchett, Jr
Connecting Maine’s Capitals by Stagecoach

Rockland Stage, ca. 1890, MHS / MMN #6356

Rockland Stage, ca. 1890, MHS / MMN #6356

By 1692, the District of Maine was incorporated with Massachusetts. Maine's capital was Boston, where it would remain for the next 128 years. Representatives from Maine who attended government sessions there, as well as businessmen and the general public, would need to travel many miles to reach the Boston capital and commerce center.

Maine became a state in 1820 and moved the capital to Portland. In 1827, Augusta was designated as Maine’s new capital city. As Maine’s seat of government made plans to move, travel between Portland and Augusta became essential and stagecoaches provided a crude but acceptable means.

Leland J. Hanchett, Jr. is the author of Connecting Maine’s Capitals by Stagecoach. He will lead an intriguing talk on the building of roads, stage line formation, and network of taverns and stage stops during Maine’s earliest years of statehood. Learn about the people and ideas that helped make the state of Maine what it is today.

Cost: Free and open to the public. Registration is required.

Location: online via Zoom. REGISTER HERE

Wednesday, October 14, 6:00 – 7:00 pm

Maine at 200 Series: A Talk with John Bunker
An Apple History of Maine

Normal School students eating apples, Farmington, ca. 1922. Courtesy Mantor Library at UMF. MMN #101185

Normal School students eating apples, Farmington, ca. 1922. Courtesy Mantor Library at UMF. MMN #101185

For 45 years John Bunker has been pulling over by the side of the road to marvel at ancient apple trees, has picked his way through old books and diaries, hung out with old timers, grafted new trees, and made lots of pies, sauce and cider in his quest to re-discover and the identify the forgotten apple varieties of Maine.

As the crisp autumn air beckons the smell of fallen leaves and apple pie, this unique talk will explore the history of apple farming in Maine’s 16 counties from its colonial beginnings to the present.

Cost: Free and open to the public. Registration is required.

Location: online via Zoom. Limited to 500 attendees. REGISTER HERE

Thursday, October 22, 6:00 – 7:00 pm

Maine at 200 Series: A Talk with Liam Riordan
Becoming Maine

Liam Riordan

Liam Riordan

A fascinating look at how Maine became a state. This illustrated presentation explores the long statehood process that culminated in 1820 with Maine's separation from Massachusetts. That struggle engaged a range of challenging public issues that are still recognizable today. Four broad themes that bridge 200 years in telling ways include: the “two Maines” and sharp partisan conflict, the explosive place of slavery vis-a-vis the Maine-Missouri Crisis, Wabanaki sovereignty, the uncertain location and meaning of the international border.

About the speaker: Liam Riordan has done considerable Public History work to commemorate the bicentennial of the state of Maine in 2019-2020 and organized the Maine Bicentennial Conference on the statehood era and its legacy. He received his bachelor’s degree in history at the University of California, Berkeley, and his doctorate at the University of Pennsylvania. He has been a faculty member in the Department of History at the University of Maine since 1997. A specialist on the American Revolution — especially the religious, racial and ethnic diversity in the Philadelphia region from 1770 to 1830 -- Professor Riordan has an ongoing research project about Loyalists who opposed the Revolution.

Cost: Free and open to the public. Registration is required.

Location: online via Zoom. Limited to 500 attendees. REGISTER HERE.

November Programs

Thursday, November 5, 6:00 – 8:00 pm

Maine at 200 Series: Presented by Maine-Wabanaki REACH
Exploring Wabanaki/Maine History: TENTATIVE PENDING PANDEMIC PROTOCOL/PROGRAM CHANGES

Exploring Wabanaki/Maine History: TENTATIVE PENDING PANDEMIC PROTOCOL/PROGRAM CHANGES

TENTATIVE PENDING PANDEMIC PROTOCOL/PROGRAM CHANGES

Maine Historical Society and Maine Wabanaki-REACH invite you to a powerful and unique interactive story-telling and learning experience. We will learn about events in the 450 year colonizing history of Wabanaki people (the Indigenous people of Maine) and Europeans and their descendants. This is a participatory program appropriate for adults and teens. Our goal is to increase public understanding of colonization. Attendance is limited and registration is required.

About Maine-Wabanaki REACH: Maine-Wabanaki REACH is a cross-cultural collaboration that successfully supported the Maine Wabanaki-State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission. REACH is implementing the Commission’s recommendations, focused on Wabanaki health, wellness and self-determination and community building. REACH envisions and prepares for a future where Maine and Wabanaki people join together, acknowledging truth, promoting healing and creating change.


Cost: Free and open to the public. Attendance Limited. REGISTRATION REQUIRED -- DETAILS FORTHCOMING.

Location: To be determined.

Wednesday, November 11, 6:00 – 7:00 pm

Maine at 200 Series: With James E. Francis, Sr (Penobscot)
Pandemics in Wabanaki Communities

James Eric Francis Sr. (Penobscot)

James Eric Francis Sr. (Penobscot)

James Eric Francis, Sr. (Penobscot), Director of Cultural and Historic Preservation, Penobscot Nation talks with Steve Bromage, Executive Director of Maine Historical Society about how pandemics have affected Wabanaki communities since the first Europeans interacted with Wabanaki people on the shores of what is now known as Maine to today’s concerns about COVID-19.

About the speaker: James E. Francis, Sr. is the Penobscot Nation’s Tribal Historian and Director of Cultural and Historic Preservation, for which he studies the relationship between Maine Native Americans and the landscape. Prior to working at the Penobscot Nation, he served with the Wabanaki Studies Commission, helping to implement the new Maine Native American Studies Law into Maine schools, and managed a team of teachers and cultural experts in developing a curriculum. An historical researcher, photographer, filmmaker, and graphic artist, Mr. Francis co-produced a film, Invisible, which examines racism experienced by Native Americans in Maine and the Canadian Maritimes.

Cost: Free and open to the public. Registration required.

Location: online via Zoom, limited to 500 attendees. REGISTER HERE

Monday, November 30, 7:00 pm

Performed by Gerald Dickens
A Christmas Carol

TENTATIVE PENDING PANDEMIC PROTOCOL/PROGRAM CHANGES

Charles Dickens’ literary masterpiece, A Christmas Carol, continues to shape the way we celebrate Christmas over 150 years after the story of Ebenezer Scrooge and the three spirits of Christmas first touched hearts in 1843.

Join us in welcoming the author’s great-great grandson, renowned actor Gerald Dickens, to perform his uniquely powerful one-man stage adaptation of A Christmas Carol. MHS is again proud to host Mr. Dickens as he brings the classic Christmas story to life on stage in a performance that you’ll remember for many Christmases yet to come!

Cost: Ticket prices TBD at www.mainehistory.org when available. DETAILS FORTHCOMING.

Location: To be determined.

January Programs

Thursday, January 7, 6:00 – 7:00 pm

Maine at 200 Series: A Talk with Dr. Richard Kahn
Medicine in Early Maine

Dr. Richard Kahn

Dr. Richard Kahn

You won't want to miss this compelling discussion with Dr. Richard Kahn on the history of medicine and pandemics in Maine, up to the present COVID-19 crisis.

About the speaker: Richard Kahn, MD is an internist and medical historian who grew up in New Jersey and graduated from Rutgers University and Tufts University School of Medicine, where his interest in medical history began. After internship at Maine Medical Center in Portland, he spent two years in the U.S. Public Health Service and then returned to MMC for a residency in Internal Medicine. Practicing in Rockport, Maine, he has had academic teaching appointments at Tufts, Dartmouth, and the University of Vermont medical schools and has always tried to interest his students and residents in medical history. Assisted by his wife Patricia, a medical librarian, Kahn began work on the Jeremiah Barker papers more than 30 years ago with the rediscovery of the Barker Manuscript at the Maine Historical Society Library in Portland, culminating at last in the publication of Diseases in the District of Maine 1772–1820: The Unpublished Work of Jeremiah Barker, a Rural Physician in New England.

Cost: Free and open to the public. Registration required.

Location: online via Zoom. Limited to 500 attendees. REGISTER HERE

Thursday, January 21, 6:00 – 7:00 pm

Maine at 200 Series: A Talk with Lise Pelletier
Acadiens in Maine

Lise Pelletier

Lise Pelletier

Did you know the French established the first permanent European settlement in Maine in 1604? Learn about Acadien history and culture with Lise Pelletier, Director of the Acadian Archives/Archives acadiennes at University of Maine – Fort Kent.

What does " Acadien" mean? Why is the history of this community important, especially considering Maine's Bicentennial? Why were Acadiens forcibly removed from Maine during Le Grand Dérangement? What is the relationship between the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow poem Evangeline and Acadien history and culture? Join us for an in-depth look at this fascinating history and wonderful storytelling!

About the speaker: Lise Pelletier is the Director of the Acadian Archives at the University of Maine – Fort Kent. She holds a M.A. in French from the University of Maine and a B.A. in French and English from the Université de Moncton, campus d'Edmundston. She has taught French and Acadian history, participated in the writing and publication of Acadian Roots - Images of the St. John Valley, and participated in three documentaries about Acadia of the Lands and Forests.

Cost: Free and open to the public. Registration required.

Location: online via Zoom, limited to 500 attendees. REGISTER HERE

February Programs

Thursday, February 25, 6:00 – 7:00 pm

Maine at 200 Series: A Talk with Earle G. Shettleworth, Jr., State Historian
The Maine Art Collection at MHS

Earle G. Shettleworth, Jr.

Earle G. Shettleworth, Jr.

Join us as Earle G. Shettleworth, Jr. discusses portraits and landscape paintings from Maine Historical Society’s collection.

About the speaker: At the age of thirteen, Earle Shettleworth became interested in historic preservation through the destruction of Portland’s Union Station in 1961. A year later, he joined the Sills Committee which eventually founded Greater Portland Landmarks in 1964. In 1971, he was appointed by Governor Curtis to serve on the first board of the Maine Historic Preservation Commission, for which he became architectural historian in 1973 and director in 1976. He retired as director of the Commission in 2015. Governor John E. Baldacci appointed him as State Historian for two successive terms in 2004 and 2008; and Governor LePage appointed him to a third in 2014. Mr. Shettleworth received a B.A. in Art History from Colby College in 1970, an M.A. in Architectural History from Boston University in 1979, an L.H.D. from Bowdoin College in 2008, and an L.H.D. from the Maine College of Art in 2012.

Cost: Free and open to the public, registration required.

Location: online via Zoom, limited to 500 attendees. REGISTER HERE.

March Programs

Thursday, March 11, 6:00 – 7:00 pm

MHS MEMBERS EXCLUSIVE! Maine at 200 Series: A Conversation with Colin Woodard
Maine’s Bicentennial: Looking Backward and Forward

Colin Woodard

Colin Woodard

SPECIAL ACCESS FOR MHS MEMBERS!

Join us for a conversation between award-winning author and journalist Colin Woodard and our Executive Director Steve Bromage as they look back on Maine’s commemoration of the Bicentennial and the profound ways in which history shapes the state and its people today.

About the speaker: Colin Woodard is currently the State and National Affairs Writer for the Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram, where he was a 2016 Pulitzer Prize finalist and received a 2012 George Polk Award for his investigative reporting. He is also a contributing editor at Politico and reviews books for The Washington Post. He is author of The Lobster Coast: Rebels, Rusticators, and the Struggle for a Forgotten Frontier (Viking Press, 2004); American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America (Viking, 2011); American Character: A History of the Epic Struggle Between Individual Liberty and the Common Good (Viking, 2016); and Union: The Struggle to Forge the Story of United States Nationhood (Viking, 2020.) He lives in midcoast Maine.

Cost: MHS Members Only - Registration is required. NOT A MEMBER? IT'S EASY TO JOIN!

Location: online via Zoom. Limited to 500 attendees.

Register Here!

Ongoing Programs

Wadsworth-Longfellow House Tours - Closed until further notice. See details.

Exhibition Galleries (self-guided) - See details.

Historical Walking Tours of Portland - See details.

Current Exhibitions

State of Mind exhibit logo

State of Mind: Becoming Maine
on exhibit through January 30, 2021

Purchase Tickets

Redact exhibit logo

REDACT: Obscuring the Maine Constitution
Opens September 23. Limited Engagement

Purchase Tickets

Convenient Soldier exhibit logo

A Convenient Soldier:
The Black Guards of Maine

Opens September 23. Limited Engagement

Purchase Tickets

Maine Memory Network exhibit logo

Over 300 online exhibitions
on Maine Memory Network

 

Group Trips

Stay tuned for information on upcoming trips!

Regional Genealogy Programs, Events, and Conferences

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