Maine Historical Society

MAINE HISTORICAL SOCIETY

PRESERVING HISTORY
ENGAGING MINDS
CONNECTING MAINE

Upcoming Programs & Events

Events on this page: August | September | October | November | December | January | Ongoing Programs | Podcasts | Group Trips | Exhibitions | Online 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.

August Programs

Friday, August 30, 6:00 – 7:00 pm

With Julien Icher
Lafayette in Maine: America's favorite fighting Frenchman

Lafayette in Maine: America's favorite fighting Frenchman

Between July 1824 and September 1825, the Marquis de Lafayette - the last surviving French general of the American Revolutionary War – toured the United States at the invitation of President James Monroe to help mark the fledgling nation’s 50th anniversary. Lafayette’s tour encompassed several stops in Maine, including a visit to Portland, where he was greeted by Stephen Longfellow, who was Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s father.

The Lafayette Trail, Inc. is a nonprofit Franco-American effort to document, map and mark the footsteps of Lafayette during his 1824-1825 visit. Julien Icher, President of The Lafayette Trail, visited Maine Historical Society to research and identify locations in Maine associated with Lafayette’s visit. Join us as Mr. Icher returns to MHS to share his findings, and learn more about “America’s favorite fighting Frenchman” in Maine!

https://www.thelafayettetrail.com/

Location: MHS Lecture Hall, 489 Congress Street, Portland
Cost: Free, open to the public

September Programs

Tuesday, September 17, 5:00 – 7:00 pm

Beer in the Garden

Beer in the Garden

Mr. Longfellow in the Longfellow House
Join us on the 3rd Tuesday of the month from May-October 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!

See full schedule.

Free for MHS Members; $5 general admission. Must be 21+. RSVP not required – drop in any time!

If you're not a member, remember you can apply your program fee to MHS membership!


Beer in the Garden is sponsored by The Maine Brew Bus.

Wednesday, September 18, 3:00 pm

Presented in partnership with Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary
Expedition to the Wreck of the Steamship Portland: Live Feed Broadcast

Expedition to the Wreck of the Steamship Portland: Live Feed Broadcast

Join us for a special LIVE FEED BROADCAST from the Wreck of the Steamship Portland using state-of-the-art imaging technology, including 360-degree cameras for virtual reality filming! Researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary -- using the Research Vessel Connecticut and linking through URI's Inner Space Center -- will document the wreck, often labeled "the Titanic of New England."

Built in 1890 in Bath, Maine, the passenger steamer Portland was one of the premier side-wheelers of the Eastern Steamship Company. After her construction was completed, she was towed to Portland, where The Portland Company installed all her equipment and paddle wheels. She was fitted with twin 40-ton boilers and had a walking beam engine with a 62-inch-diameter cylinder and a 12-foot-stroke, producing 2,000 horsepower. 280 feet long, she impressively plied the New England coastal waters.

On November 27, 1898, the steamer departed Boston for her scheduled run to Portland, Maine. She was never seen again. That evening, a storm arose in the waters off New England. Hundreds of vessels and shore properties were damaged. The Portland was lost with no survivors, and that storm has come to be known as "The Portland Gale." To this day, it is not known exactly how many passengers were aboard or who they all were, but it is estimated that 190 died that evening, passengers and crew. The only passenger list was aboard the vessel. As a result of this tragedy, ships would thereafter leave a passenger manifest ashore.

In 2002, she was found upright and intact in the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary off the coast of Massachusetts. This interactive program will explore history, biology, underwater technology, and maritime archaeology, and will include the opportunity to ask questions of the research team.

Location: Maine Historical Society, 489 Congress Street, Portland
Cost: Free and open to the public.


FMI: Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary projects.

Saturday, September 21, 09:00 am – 3:00 pm

In partnership with the Portland Public Library
Maine Historical Society Book Sale

Maine Historical Society Book Sale

MHS is excited to partner with the Portland Public Library (PPL) for their annual book sale. MHS will host our book sale at 1000 Riverside Street in Portland.

The MHS sale is right next door to the Public Library’s Book Sale and down the street from several of Portland’s best breweries. There is plenty of free parking. Proceeds from the sale directly benefit MHS collections.

For more information, visit Portland Public Library’s website.

PLEASE NOTE: PPL offers a sneak peak on Friday, September 20. The MHS sale is SATURDAY ONLY.

Saturday, September 21, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Free Admission to MHS Galleries
Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day

Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day

Maine Historical Society Museum Galleries will be open at NO CHARGE for Museum Day, an annual celebration of boundless curiosity hosted by Smithsonian Magazine. Participating museums and cultural institutions across the country provide free entry to anyone presenting a Museum Day ticket. The Museum Day ticket provides free admission for two people to MHS Galleries on Saturday, September 21, 2019.

Download your ticket
here and present it to MHS Museum Store staff on September 21.

MHS Museum Galleries feature changing exhibitions spanning more than 12 centuries of Maine life. Current exhibitions include the landmark HOLDING UP THE SKY: WABANAKI PEOPLE, CULTURE, HISTORY & ART. Drawing from our extensive collections, original exhibits feature art, artifacts, stories, and documents that vividly bring Maine history to life. All exhibitions are located at 489 Congress Street in Portland.

Pease note that the Museum Day ticket will be accepted for general admission to the MHS Museum Galleries only; the offer does not include services provided by the MHS Research Library, nor does it include the Wadsworth-Longfellow House which is a special exhibit that requires a separate and timed entry ticket purchase.

Wednesday, September 25, 12:00 – 1:00 pm

With Tilly Laskey
Special Curator Tour: HOLDING UP THE SKY

Special Curator Tour: HOLDING UP THE SKY

Join Tilly Laskey, MHS Outreach Curator and curator for HOLDING UP THE SKY for a special guided tour of the exhibit. HOLDING UP THE SKY explores Wabanaki philosophies of leadership and obligation relating to humans and non-humans by highlighting 13,000 years of Wabanaki residence in what is now known as Maine.

This is a unique opportunity to experience a deep dive into this major exhibition with the curator. We have created a series of 1-hour, monthly tour dates on Wednesdays from June 2019 to January 2020 to accommodate as many groups as possible within the curator's schedule. Tours are limited to 15 guests.

Location: Maine Historical Society Gallery, 489 Congress Street, Portland
Cost: Regular museum admission rates apply Click here ; Free for MHS members. Please register in the Museum Store when purchasing your ticket.

Thursday, September 26, 6:00 – 8:00 pm

Film Screening/Discussion with Filmmaker Huey (James Coleman)
Wilderness and Spirit, A Mountain Called Katahdin

Wilderness and Spirit, A Mountain Called Katahdin captures the spirit of Katahdin and the people who have been drawn to Maine’s “Great Mountain.” This film explores ways of thinking about the wilderness and how people from many walks of life, past to the present, have found spiritual solace and strength in this mountain called Katahdin.

Wilderness and Spirit includes the first recorded footage of the Katahdin 100 Run of the Penobscot people, and the only footage of Earl Shaffer’s historic climb up Katahdin on his 50th anniversary Appalachian Trail (AT) Thru Hike. Shaffer was the first to complete an AT Thru Hike in 1948.

The film brings together: writings of Henry David Thoreau; paintings of Frederic Church and Marsden Hartley; interviews with Baxter State Park staff; Governor Baxter descendants; Donn Fendler, subject of “Lost on a Mountain in Maine;” the stories, dances and music of the Penobscot people; and recollections of Millinocket residents and hikers and climbers of Katahdin.

View the trailer for Wilderness and Spirit .

About the Filmmaker:
Huey has been making films on artists, education, the environment and Maine for over 40 years. His works have been shown at film festivals throughout the US, on PBS, and on European television. His 2002 film Wilderness and Spirit: A Mountain Called Katahdin was selected for screening at the Environmental Film Festival, National Museum of American History, Washington, D.C. Huey is a founder and director of the Maine Student Film and Video Festival, now in its 42nd year, and part of the Maine International Film Festival. He has been an artist-in-residence in animation and video production in over 150 schools in New England and is an adjunct instructor in Communications and New Media at Southern Maine Community College.

Location: Maine Historical Society, 489 Congress Street, Portland
Cost: Free and open to the public.



October Programs

Tuesday, October 1, 09:00 – 11:00 am

A Longfellow Garden Club Event
Photography in the Longfellow Garden

Photography in the Longfellow Garden

featuring Maine nature Photographer Donald Verger
Rain Date: October 3

Engage your senses, discover hidden talents, and explore a more personal relationship with plants and the environment!

This October, photographers of all skill levels have the opportunity to learn from critically-acclaimed Maine nature photographer Donald Verger who will demonstrate contemporary photography techniques and secrets that will make your photos sing! Bring your camera or smartphone to the Longfellow Garden on October 1st for a morning of discovery.

About the Photographer: Donald Verger is recognized worldwide for his stunning landscape photography, reminiscent of the legendary work of Ansel Adams. He is the Founder and President Emeritus of the Discovery Museums in Acton, MA, and his visionary work has been featured on PBS. Acknowledged for their spiritual and healing qualities, Verger’s images grace the walls of hospitals across the country, including Northern Light Mercy Hospital and the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital. His “Faces of the Camino” has been on display at the Glickman Library at USM.

Registration required; class size is limited.
Tickets: $10 Longfellow Garden Club & MHS Members; $15 General Admission.

Register Here!

Tuesday, October 15, 5:00 – 7:00 pm

Beer in the Garden

Beer in the Garden

"Whose Distant Footsteps Echo:" Historic Footwear
Join us on the 3rd Tuesday of the month from May-October 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!

See full schedule.

Free for MHS Members; $5 general admission. Must be 21+. RSVP not required – drop in any time!

If you're not a member, remember you can apply your program fee to MHS membership!


Beer in the Garden is sponsored by The Maine Brew Bus.

Wednesday, October 16, 12:00 – 1:00 pm

With Tilly Laskey
Special Curator Tour: HOLDING UP THE SKY

Special Curator Tour: HOLDING UP THE SKY

Join Tilly Laskey, MHS Outreach Curator and curator for HOLDING UP THE SKY for a special guided tour of the exhibit. HOLDING UP THE SKY explores Wabanaki philosophies of leadership and obligation relating to humans and non-humans by highlighting 13,000 years of Wabanaki residence in what is now known as Maine.

This is a unique opportunity to experience a deep dive into this major exhibition with the curator. We have created a series of 1-hour, monthly tour dates on Wednesdays from June 2019 to January 2020 to accommodate as many groups as possible within the curator's schedule. Tours are limited to 15 guests.

Location: Maine Historical Society Gallery, 489 Congress Street, Portland
Cost: Regular museum admission rates apply Click here ; Free for MHS members. Please register in the Museum Store when purchasing your ticket.

November Programs

Wednesday, November 20, 12:00 – 1:00 pm

With Tilly Laskey
Special Curator Tour: HOLDING UP THE SKY

Special Curator Tour: HOLDING UP THE SKY

Join Tilly Laskey, MHS Outreach Curator and curator for HOLDING UP THE SKY for a special guided tour of the exhibit. HOLDING UP THE SKY explores Wabanaki philosophies of leadership and obligation relating to humans and non-humans by highlighting 13,000 years of Wabanaki residence in what is now known as Maine.

This is a unique opportunity to experience a deep dive into this major exhibition with the curator. We have created a series of 1-hour, monthly tour dates on Wednesdays from June 2019 to January 2020 to accommodate as many groups as possible within the curator's schedule. Tours are limited to 15 guests.

Location: Maine Historical Society Gallery, 489 Congress Street, Portland
Cost: Regular museum admission rates apply Click here ; Free for MHS members. Please register in the Museum Store when purchasing your ticket.

December Programs

Wednesday, December 18, 12:00 – 1:00 pm

With Tilly Laskey
Special Curator Tour: HOLDING UP THE SKY

Special Curator Tour: HOLDING UP THE SKY

Join Tilly Laskey, MHS Outreach Curator and curator for HOLDING UP THE SKY for a special guided tour of the exhibit. HOLDING UP THE SKY explores Wabanaki philosophies of leadership and obligation relating to humans and non-humans by highlighting 13,000 years of Wabanaki residence in what is now known as Maine.

This is a unique opportunity to experience a deep dive into this major exhibition with the curator. We have created a series of 1-hour, monthly tour dates on Wednesdays from June 2019 to January 2020 to accommodate as many groups as possible within the curator's schedule. Tours are limited to 15 guests.

Location: Maine Historical Society Gallery, 489 Congress Street, Portland
Cost: Regular museum admission rates apply Click here ; Free for MHS members. Please register in the Museum Store when purchasing your ticket.

January Programs

Wednesday, January 15, 12:00 – 1:00 pm

With Tilly Laskey
Special Curator Tour: HOLDING UP THE SKY

Special Curator Tour: HOLDING UP THE SKY

Join Tilly Laskey, MHS Outreach Curator and curator for HOLDING UP THE SKY for a special guided tour of the exhibit. HOLDING UP THE SKY explores Wabanaki philosophies of leadership and obligation relating to humans and non-humans by highlighting 13,000 years of Wabanaki residence in what is now known as Maine.

This is a unique opportunity to experience a deep dive into this major exhibition with the curator. We have created a series of 1-hour, monthly tour dates on Wednesdays from June 2019 to January 2020 to accommodate as many groups as possible within the curator's schedule. Tours are limited to 15 guests.

Location: Maine Historical Society Gallery, 489 Congress Street, Portland
Cost: Regular museum admission rates apply Click here ; Free for MHS members. Please register in the Museum Store when purchasing your ticket.


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.

Exhibitions

Holding Up the Sky exhibit graphic

Holding Up the Sky: Wabanaki People, Culture, History & Art
April 12, 2019 through February 1, 2020

MHS Gallery, 489 Congress Street, Portland

Explore Wabanaki philosophies of leadership and obligation relating to humans and non-humans over 13,000 years in what is now known as Maine. Wabanaki voices contextualize present-day relevance of 400 years of shared histories between Wabanaki people and immigrants to their region through 17th century colonial treaties, photographs, and contemporary artworks—everything from ash baskets to haute couture fashion.Read More

 

Power of Potential exhibit

Power of Potential: Photographs of the 1925 National Business and Professional Women’s Convention
May 3 through August 25, 2019

Earle G. Shettleworth, Jr. Lecture Hall at Maine Historical Society

The National Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs (NFBPWC) held their seventh annual convention in Portland during July 12 to July 18, 1925. Throughout the week, the Portland Evening Express documented the convention, highlighting activities through articles and featured photographs. This exhibition features images from Evening Express’ coverage, which are part of the Portland Press Herald glass negative collection at Maine Historical Society. Read more.

 

Power of Potential exhibit

Detail of The Bark Alice, painting by George M. Hathaway, ca. 1890

Recreating Hygge: Scandinavians in the Pine Tree State
July 25 through November 2, 2019

Showcase Gallery at Maine Historical Society

MHS' pop-up exhibition, "Recreating Hygee" highlights specific examples of how Danish, Norwegian and Swedish families created comfortable homes and content lives, or "hygge" in Maine. Scandinavian-American communities flourished in Maine during the 19th and early 20th centuries, a period of increased immigration to the United States from Europe. Read More

 

UPCOMING: State of Mind: Becoming Maine
March 13, 2020-January 30, 2021

Maine Historical Society

State of Mind: Becoming Maine will analyze Maine as the homeland of the Wabanaki people, as a European province, as part of the District of Massachusetts, and the State of Maine. Read More

 

Online Exhibitions

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 over 46,000 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.