Maine Historical Society

MAINE HISTORICAL SOCIETY

PRESERVING HISTORY
ENGAGING MINDS
CONNECTING MAINE

Upcoming Programs & Events

Events on this page: July | August | September | October | November | 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.

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.

July Programs

Tuesday, July 17, 5:00 – 7:00 pm

Beer in the Garden: Longfellow in the Longfellow House

Beer in the Garden: Longfellow in the Longfellow House

NEW TIMES!

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.

Thursday, July 19 – Thursday, October 11, 2018

Find Your Place in History: Discover Your Roots and Take a Peek Behind the Scenes at the Maine Historical Society

Find Your Place in History: Discover Your Roots and Take a Peek Behind the Scenes at the Maine Historical Society


On Thursday afternoons, from June to October, spend a few hours going back in time!

With a small group of like-minded peers, in the beautiful Maine Historical Society’s Brown Research Library, prepare to explore history on all levels: from the history of your own family to artifacts that help tell the story of western civilization.

+ Dig back into your own family story and piece together the people from your past.

+ See some of the most amazing artifacts in the vast collections of the Maine Historical Society.

+ Put on the white gloves and explore our archives—off limits to our regular visitors.

+ Finally, celebrate your accomplishments in the Longfellow garden--smell the flowers and taste a few traditional Maine treats!

This is a guided introduction to genealogical research—not for experienced genealogists. To ensure you have the most fascinating experience, bring the names and birthdates of a few relatives to your session.

Ticket Price: $75 each. There is a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 6 people per tour. The deadline to register for each event is the Monday prior to the event.

All tickets are sold for specific tour dates and times.

Tours begin at the MHS Museum Store at 489 Congress Street.


Event Dates & Times:
(register for each event by clicking the links below)

+ Click to Purchase Tickets for July 19th from 4:00-5:30pm SOLD OUT

+ Click to Purchase Tickets for July 26th from 4:00-5:30pm

+ Click to Purchase Tickets for August 2nd from 4:00-5:30pm SOLD OUT

+ Click to Purchase Tickets for August 9th from 4:00-5:30pm

+ Click to Purchase Tickets for August 16th from 4:00-5:30pm SOLD OUT

+ Click to Purchase Tickets for August 23rd from 4:00-5:30pm

+ Click to Purchase Tickets for August 30th from 4:00-5:30pm

+ Click to Purchase Tickets for September 6th from 4:00-5:30pm

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

+ Click to Purchase Tickets for September 20th from 4:00-5:30pm

+ Click to Purchase Tickets for September 27th from 4:00-5:30pm

+ Click to Purchase Tickets for October 4th from 4:00-5:30pm

+ Click to Purchase Tickets for October 11th from 4:00-5:30pm

For more information or for assistance purchasing tickets, contact us at 207-774-1822.

Friday, July 20, 5:30 – 6:30 pm

Poetry in the Garden

Poetry in the Garden

Poets: Steve Luttrell, Jefferson Navicky, Gary Lawless and Annie Seikona
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was the people’s poet of the 19th century. Today’s poets continue the tradition he popularized, to share great poetry and spark imaginations. Join us for a free community poetry reading. Hear from noted local poets Steve Luttrell, Jefferson Navicky, Annie Seikona, and Gary Lawless. Bring a poem of your own to share as well – either one you have written or a published poem that inspires you.

This program will take place in the Longfellow Garden, located behind the Wadsworth-Longfellow House, weather permitting. In case of poor weather, the program will be held in the Shettleworth Lecture Hall of the Maine Historical Society Museum.

+ A small reception with the poets will begin at 5:30 pm
+ Poetry readings will commence at 6:00 pm

For more information, contact Visitor Services Manager John Babin at 207-774-1822 ext. 212 or jbabin@mainehistory.org.

This event is free and open to the public.

Saturday, July 21, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Farming on the Edge: Past and Present

Farming, Demmark, 1911. Collections of Maine Historical Society. MMN Item# 7618

Farming, Demmark, 1911. Collections of Maine Historical Society. MMN Item# 7618


A wagon ride, history tour, animals, and ice cream!

Created as a pioneering organic farm in the 1950s, Wolfe’s Neck Center on Wolfe’s Neck in Freeport continues to work at the forefront of agricultural practices and research—at the same time preserving its unique historic buildings and landscapes with stunning views of beautiful Casco Bay. Make a Saturday escape to rural Maine just a quick half hour from Portland and immerse yourself in the world of the farm, past and present. In the lively barnyard, staff will introduce you to its new dairy apprentice program, its cutting-edge research in ways farming can combat climate change, and its educational, recreational, and community programming. Then board a farm wagon to see how the farm is preserving and repurposing its historic buildings, including the farmstead of an 18th-century sea caption on a hill overlooking the sea. End your morning with ice cream and snacks at the Farm Café.

--Rain date is August 4th--

This tour is recommended for guests aged 12 and older.

Ticket Price: $15 for MHS members, $25 general admission. For more information or for assistance purchasing tickets, contact us at 207-774-1822.

Register Here!

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!

Friday, July 27 – Friday, August 24, 2018

Foodie Fridays at the Wadsworth-Longfellow House

Foodie Fridays at the Wadsworth-Longfellow House


Join MHS on the fourth Friday of the month for Foodie Fridays to explore and experience the foodways of Maine’s past!

Take a delectable food-themed tour of the Wadsworth-Longfellow House and help make and sample a historic dessert. Participants will also take home a copy of a vintage recipe from MHS collections. History never tasted so good!

Tour Dates & Times:

+ Click to Purchase Tickets for July 27th from 5:30-6:30pm

+ Click to Purchase Tickets for August 24th from 5:30-6:30pm

Tours will begin in the MHS Museum Store at 489 Congress Street. Limited paid parking is available in the MHS lot on Brown Street after 5pm.

Ticket Price: $20 for MHS members, $25 general admission. Tours are limited to 14 guests. For more information or for assistance purchasing tickets, contact us at 207-774-1822.

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!

August Programs

Wednesday, August 8, 10:30 am

The Children's Hour: Two Old Potatoes and Me

The Children's Hour: Two Old Potatoes and Me


Join us for the reading Two Old Potatoes and Me by John Coy (author) and Carolyn Fisher (illustrator) followed by crafts and activities for the whole family. Learn all about growing and harvesting potatoes in Maine.

Featuring special guest reader Sada Stavrum, Portland Food Co-op Wellness Buyer.

All are welcome, recommended for ages 4-9. All children must be accompanied by a caregiver.

The program will be held in Longfellow Garden (weather permitting) and is free to the public. Registration is appreciated. Light refreshments will be provided.

To register or request information on this or other programs in this series please contact Manager of Education and Interpretive Programs, Kathleen Neumann at 207-774-1822, ext. 214, email kneumann@mainehistory.org.


The Children's Hour Summer Schedule:
+August 8: Two Old Potatoes and Me , by John Coy and Carolyn Fisher. Guest reader: Sada Stavrum of Portland Food Co-op.

+August 22: Before We Eat: From Farm to Table, by Pat Brisson and Mary Azarian. Guest reader: Mary Ellen Chad of Green Spark Farm.

Tuesday, August 21, 5:00 – 7:00 pm

Beer in the Garden: Highlights from the Costume Collection

Beer in the Garden: Highlights from the Costume Collection

NEW TIMES!

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.

Wednesday, August 22, 10:30 am

The Children's Hour: Before We Eat

The Children's Hour: Before We Eat


Join us for the reading Before We Eat: From Farm to Table by Pat Brisson (author) and Mary Azarian (illustrator) followed by crafts and activities for the whole family. Learn all about farming and harvesting food in Maine.

Featuring special guest reader Mary Ellen Chad, of Green Spark Farm.

All are welcome, recommended for ages 4-9. All children must be accompanied by a caregiver.

The program will be held in Longfellow Garden (weather permitting) and is free to the public. Registration is appreciated. Light refreshments will be provided.

To register or request information on this or other programs in this series please contact Manager of Education and Interpretive Programs, Kathleen Neumann at 207-774-1822, ext. 214, email kneumann@mainehistory.org.

The Children's Hour Summer Schedule:
+August 8: Two Old Potatoes and Me , by John Coy and Carolyn Fisher. Guest reader: Sada Stavrum of Portland Food Co-op.

+August 22: Before We Eat: From Farm to Table, by Pat Brisson and Mary Azarian. Guest reader: Mary Ellen Chad of Green Spark Farm.

September Programs

Saturday, September 8, 10:30 am

Lobster Adventure at Maine Historical Society

Lobster Adventure at Maine Historical Society


Join us for the reading of Dahlov Ipcar’s Lobsterman and ocean-inspired crafts and activities for the whole family. Learn all about lobstering in Maine and meet some creatures from the sea!

Featuring special guest reader and speaker Rachel Fecteau, of Lucky Catch Cruises.

All are welcome, recommended for ages 4-9. All children must be accompanied by a caregiver.

The program will be held in Longfellow Garden (weather permitting) and is free to the public. Registration is appreciated. Light refreshments will be provided.

To register or request information on this or other programs in this series please contact Manager of Education and Interpretive Programs, Kathleen Neumann at 207-774-1822, ext. 214, email kneumann@mainehistory.org.

Tuesday, September 18, 5:00 – 7:00 pm

Beer in the Garden: School Days

Beer in the Garden: School Days

NEW TIMES!

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.

October Programs

Thursday, October 11, 6:00 pm

Maine Seafood: The Strength of Our Past and the Promise of Our Future

Barton Seaver. Photo credit: Michael Piazza.

Barton Seaver. Photo credit: Michael Piazza.



Seafood has been a strong natural resource and a focus of Maine’s economy from the very beginning. Maine’s fisheries continue to hold a strong market internationally, but what is its future? How has Maine seafood changed over time? What are its threats and what are the possibilities for an even stronger future? Join prominent Maine chef and author Barton Seaver in a discussion about the state of Maine’s seafood with representatives from the Maine Coast Fisherman’s Association and the Gulf of Maine Research Institute. Samples of Maine seafood will be provided after the program.

Ticket Price: $10 for MHS members, $15 general admission. For more information or for assistance purchasing tickets, contact us at 207-774-1822.

Register Here!

Tuesday, October 16, 5:00 – 7:00 pm

Beer in the Garden: Mourning Rituals

Beer in the Garden: Mourning Rituals

NEW TIMES!

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.

This is the final Beer in the Garden of the season. We'll see you again in May!

Wednesday, October 24 – Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Longfellow's Haunted House 2018

Longfellow's Haunted House 2018


Don't miss our annual evening tour of the Longfellow House in the week leading up to Halloween! Based on Longfellow's poem, "Haunted Houses"
("All houses wherein men have lived and died / Are haunted houses")
the tour is written and led by seasoned guide James Horrigan. It evokes the various family members that died in the Wadsworth-Longfellow House over its long history. Two tour types will be offered this year; one for families and one for adults.

Family Tour
This 30-minute tour is followed by cookies and cider in the ell of the house. Offered on October 26 and 27 only, at 5pm. Each tour is limited to 15 people. All children must be accompanied by an adult.
Advance registration is required. Cost: $10 MHS Members; $15 general admission.

+ October 26, 5:00pm

+ October 27, 5:00pm

Adult Tour
This 60-minute tour is followed by a variety of beverages – including beer and cider – and snacks in the ell of the house. There are 5 tour evenings: October 24-27, and 30 from 6-7:30pm.
Advance reservations are required. Each tour is limited to 12 and appropriate for ages 21+. Cost: $18 MHS Members; $25 general admission.

+ October 24, 6:00pm

+ October 25, 6:00pm

+ October 26, 6:00pm

+ October 27, 6:00pm

+ October 30, 6:00pm

November Programs

Monday, November 26, 7:00 pm

Gerald Dickens Performs "A Christmas Carol

Gerald Dickens.

Gerald Dickens.


For the second year, Maine Historical Society is pleased to offer a special performance of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, performed by Dickens’ great-great-grandson, Gerald Dickens.

This one-man show is inspired by the 1860s performances by Charles Dickens. Offered in the historic First Parish Church, this is a rare opportunity to see this historic work of literature this holiday season. Gerald Dickens has worked as an actor, director, and producer for many years and has appeared at several arts and literary festivals in the United Kingdom.

For tickets, click below or call 207-774-1822. For more information on the event visit www.byerschoice.com.

*Note: photography or audio/video recording during the performance is prohibited.

Performance venue: First Parish Church, 425 Congress St, Portland

Ticket price: $25 MHS members / $35 general admission / $15 for age 18 and under.

Register Here!

December Programs

Wednesday, December 12, 7:00 pm

Christmas Bells: A Holiday Handbell Concert

Christmas Bells: A Holiday Handbell Concert

In partnership with The Pine Tree Academy Bell Ringers

Join MHS and The Pine Tree Academy Bell Ringers for a program of seasonal music, including arrangements set to the words of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem, Christmas Bells (I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day).

The Pine Tree Academy Bell Ringers play five octaves (61 bells) of English handbells and five octaves of choir chimes. The group consists of young musicians in grades 9 through 12. The Bell Ringers have performed throughout New England, Europe, and South America.

Performance venue: First Parish Church, 425 Congress Street, Portland, ME

For more information on The Pine Tree Academy Bell Ringers visit www.pinetreeacademy.org.

Ticket Price: $10 for MHS, $15 general admission

Register today!

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

exhibit graphic

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

 

exhibit graphic

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.