Maine Historical Society

MAINE HISTORICAL SOCIETY

PRESERVING HISTORY
ENGAGING MINDS
CONNECTING MAINE

Upcoming Programs & Events

Events on this page: December | 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.

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 at noon in January, March, May, July, September, and November. See below for next scheduled tour.

December Programs

Tuesday, December 13, 4:30 – 6:30 pm

Beer in the Garden

Beer in the Garden

Join us for complimentary beer and snacks, a rare opportunity to enjoy our historic garden at night – complete with a fire pit! – and a chance to see some very special artifacts from our collections (inside our historic Brown Library).

Our first Beer in the Garden event is Tuesday, December 13 featuring MHS Archivist Patrick Ford presenting on the history of music in Maine. Did pipe organist Herman Kotzschmar smoke a pipe? Did Eliza Wadsworth love the piano? Did Rudy Vallee encourage alcoholic consumption? All these questions and more will be answered as Patrick unearths and discusses a wealth of music-related treasures. Marvel at arcane record covers, hymnals, patriotic tune books, music society scrapbooks, and 18th-century sheet music as you drift away to the sounds of forgotten Maine-inspired pop hits and unusual made-in-Maine folk songs, all from the MHS collection. And did we mention there will be a fire pit?

Starting in 2017, all events are 4:30-6:30pm every third Tuesday through April:

January 17: Maps of Portland
February 21: Temperance and Prohibition
March 21: Vintage Fashion Accessories
April 18: Historic Foodways

Free for MHS Members; $5 general admission. Apply your program fee to MHS membership! PLUS: enjoy a $5 discount in the MHS Museum Store when you purchase $20 or more.

Beer in the Garden is sponsored by Shipyard Brewing Company.

Wednesday, December 14, 12:00 – 12:30 pm

Curator Tour: Designing Acadia

MHS Chief Curator Kate McBrien

MHS Chief Curator Kate McBrien

Join MHS Chief Curator Kate McBrien for an insider’s view of the creation of MHS’s exhibit, Designing Acadia: Creating Maine's National Park Experience. On view through January 14, 2017.

For 100 years, Acadia National Park has captured the American imagination and stood as the most recognizable symbol of Maine's important natural history and identity. From the breathtaking views, to the roads and trails we use today, each section of the Park was carefully considered to both protect the environment and enhance the visitor experience. Acadia’s story is told here through artifacts including design blueprints, construction photographs, trail signs, period fashion, and even a 1927 Ford Model T Roadster.

Free for MHS Members; $8 general admission.

Register today!

Thursday, December 15, 5:30 pm

An Evening with Longfellow and Dickens

Illustration by Michael Fisher for <i>The Portland Press Herald</i>.

Illustration by Michael Fisher for The Portland Press Herald.

Ever wish you could sit in on an intimate conversation between two literary giants? Now's your chance! Join us for a holiday evening of conversation, poetry, stories, and reminiscences with longtime friends Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Charles Dickens.

From their first meeting in 1842, Longfellow and Dickens were instant friends, and for the rest of their lives they nurtured a lively and supportive relationship through numerous letters and visits on both sides of the Atlantic. How did the friendship begin and grow? What writings might they have shared with one another? What did Dickens think of Maine? And what were the origins of A Christmas Carol? Join MHS to learn the answers to these questions and to see these kindred spirits reunited as actors Daniel Noel and Andrew Harris bring Longfellow and Dickens to vivid life in front of your eyes.

$15 MHS Members; $20 general admission.

Register today!

Friday, December 16 – Friday, December 23, 2016

Holiday Tours of the Wadsworth-Longfellow House

Holiday Tours of the Wadsworth-Longfellow House

This holiday season, MHS explores the friendship between the man who is said to have "invented America" and the man who is said to have "invented Christmas” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Charles Dickens. Longfellow counted many writers among his friends, including Dickens. Soon after they met, Dickens published his most celebrated and recognizable work, A Christmas Carol. Dickens' public readings of his Christmas ghost story were immensely popular – he even played to a packed Portland City Hall in 1868. Guests who tour the Wadsworth-Longfellow House this year will learn about Longfellow and Dickens, and the enduring effects of A Christmas Carol on our modern understanding of the holiday.

Tours available December 16, 17, 20, 21, 22 and 23 at noon, 1:30pm and 3pm.
NEW: Special Twilight Tours (featuring hot cider) offered at 5pm on December 16, 22 & 23!


Free for MHS Members; $15 general admission. Each tour limited to 12 guests. Click here to purchase!

Program Podcasts

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Group Trips

Stay tuned for information on upcoming trips!

Exhibitions

On the Scenic Cadillac Mt. Road, Bar Harbor, ca. 1935

Designing Acadia: Creating Maine's National Park Experience

June 17, 2016 through January 14, 2017
MHS Gallery

For one hundred years, Acadia National Park has captured the American imagination and stood as the most recognizable symbol of Maine's important natural history and identity. Join us during Acadia's centennial anniversary year for an exploration of the landscape design that visitors continue to experience today. Read More.

 

exhibit graphic

Left Undone: Unfinished Work from the Collection
November 4, 2016 through January 7, 2017
Earle G. Shettleworth, Jr. Lecture Hall

Our newest exhibit, Left Undone: Unfinished Work from the Collection, includes objects usually not seen in the MHS collection and invites visitors to join in the curatorial process by making their own guesses as to why these pieces were never "finished." Read More

 

Maine Memory Network

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.