Maine Historical Society



Upcoming Programs & Events

Events on this page: October | November | 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.

October Programs

Friday, October 21 – Monday, October 31, 2016

Longfellow's Haunted House

Longfellow's Haunted House

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 tours 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 22 and 29 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.

Adult Tour
This 60-minute tour is followed by a variety of beverages, including Halloween Ale generously provided by Gritty's, and snacks in the ell of the house. There are 10 tour evenings: October 21, 22, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, and 31 from 6-7:30pm. Advance reservations are required. Each tour is limited to 12 and appropriate for ages 21+. Cost: $15 MHS Members; $20 general admission.


Wednesday, October 26, 12:00 pm

Creating Acadia National Park: the Biography of George Bucknam Dorr Book Talk

<i>Creating Acadia National Park: the Biography of George Bucknam Dorr</i> Book Talk

The first biography of George B. Dorr ever written, Creating Acadia National Park: the Biography of George Bucknam Dorr is based on painstaking research both in the US and abroad, including federal, state, and private archives. Newly-discovered and uncatalogued sources are supplemented by in-person interviews. Hear from author and historian Dr. Ronald Epp about his important book, documenting Dorr’s pivotal role in the creation of Acadia National Park.

Ronald H. Epp, Ph.D. is a historian and professor of philosophy with a background in scholarly publishing and academic library leadership. His research over the last two decades into the Massachusetts families that influenced the development of conservation philanthropy has resulted in numerous talks and publications for Acadia National Park, Hancock County Trustees of Public Reservations, Mount Desert Island Historical Society, and many other organizations. He served as a consultant for the Ken Burns documentary America’s Best Idea: the National Parks and has uncovered and inventoried hidden collections of documents relating to the history of Acadia National Park.

Free for MHS Members; $10 general admission.

Register today!

Thursday, October 27, 6:00 – 7:30 pm

The Open Door: The Bangor Theological Seminary Collection, 1814-2013

The Open Door: The Bangor Theological Seminary Collection, 1814-2013

Maine Historical Society and The BTS Center invite you to join us in celebrating the newly processed Bangor Theological Seminary Collection, an expansive archive documenting the rich, 200-year history of the seminary. The archive, now accessible for research at MHS, is the culmination of a two year project and represents institutional collaboration and a commitment to preserving the history of one of Maine’s most iconic institutions. The evening will feature highlights from the collection and discussion with the project archivist.

Free for MHS and BTS members; $5 general admission. Event takes place at the MHS Brown Library.

Register today!

November Programs

Wednesday, November 2, 12:00 pm

Intro to MHS: Library Tour

Intro to MHS: 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 or calling 774-1822 x207.

Friday, November 4, 5:00 – 8:00 pm

First Friday Art Walk: Public opening of Left Undone: Unfinished Work from the Collection

Item #5581 on Maine Memory Network. Collections of Maine Historical Society.

Item #5581 on Maine Memory Network. Collections of Maine Historical Society.

Join us for the public opening for our newest exhibit, Left Undone: Unfinished Work from the Collection! We all have creative projects that we’ve started but never finished. This community curated exhibit includes objects usually not seen in the MHS collection and invites visitors to make their own guesses as to why these pieces were left undone. Come write your own exhibit label!

Friday, November 11, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Veterans’ Day: In appreciation of those who served

Item #97336 on Maine Memory Network. Collections of Belfast Historical Society.

Item #97336 on Maine Memory Network. Collections of Belfast Historical Society.

Veterans, and their families, have sacrificed so much for our nation. To say thanks for their service and dedication, MHS is waiving all fees for veterans and their families to the Wadsworth-Longfellow House and museum exhibit galleries on this Veterans’ Day holiday. Just mention you are a veteran of military service to receive this free benefit for you and any member of your family attending MHS with you.

Tuesday, November 15, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Photography Workshop in the Wadsworth-Longfellow House with Brian Vanden Brink

MHS Brown Library (photo by Brian Vanden Brink)

MHS Brown Library (photo by Brian Vanden Brink)

Do you love taking pictures, and have a passion for history and/or architecture? Are you looking to hone your skills as a photographer? Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from expert photographer Brian Vanden Brink how to best photograph special places. This tour of beloved poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s childhood home focuses on the interior of the house and will include basic instruction on how to photograph historic homes and spaces, as well as a presentation of the photographer's portfolio.

$30 MHS Members; $45 general admission. 12 person limit per tour. Participants are required to bring their own camera. Tripods are recommended for the Wadsworth-Longfellow House.

Register today!

Tuesday, November 15, 12:00 – 12:30 pm

Curator Tour: Left Undone

Holly Hurd-Forsyth secures a sundial to a piece of foam core.

Holly Hurd-Forsyth secures a sundial to a piece of foam core.

Join MHS Registrar and Lead Curator of our Left Undone exhibition, Holly Hurd-Forsyth, for an insider’s view of this community-curated show.

Free for MHS Members; $8 general admission.

Register today!

Program Podcasts

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Group Trips

Vancouver and the Canadian Rockies
September 27 - October 6, 2016

Join MHS and the New Hampshire Historical Society as we enjoy all the splendors the Canadian Rockies have to offer. From Vancouver to Banff and Lake Louise and finally Calgary, this ten day trip combines striking natural beauty with intimate views of cosmopolitan Canadian cities and explorations of local culture and history. Get Trip Details.


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.


George Frederick Morse painting of the Portland fire 1866

Images of Destruction: Remembering the Great Portland Fire of 1866

June 30 through October 30, 2016
Earle G. Shettleworth, Jr. Lecture Hall and Showcase Gallery

On July 4, 1866, fireworks caused a fire in a Portland boatyard near the corner of Maple and Commercial Streets that quickly overtook much of the city. Photographs of the fire's aftermath, memorial paintings, maps, and commemorative newspapers shown with objects that survived the fire will bring the visitor back to this pivotal time in Portland's urban history. 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 more than 270 organizations around Maine. New exhibits added regularly. Go to

Regional Genealogy Programs, Events, and Conferences

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