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 | January | 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

Thursday, July 25, 6:00 – 7:00 pm

With William Barry, MHS Research Historian
Talk & Pop-Up Exhibition: Capt. George G. Kair and The Scandinavians of Maine

The Bark Alice

The Bark Alice

A recent gift to MHS, donated through the Grime family descendants of Capt. George G. Kair (Kjar) and his wife Rebecca Orde, offers a glimpse of Scandinavian families new to Maine during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The Kair gift includes a sublime painting by Portland artist George M. Hathaway of The Bark Alice, Capt. Kair’s vessel. Created by one of Maine’s foremost marine artists, the painting speaks to both her Danish-born captain and his family life in Portland.

The Kair collection is one of many fine examples of Scandinavian heritage within our collections. This evening’s talk by MHS Research Historian William Barry will feature exhibited highlights within a companion mini-exhibit “Recreating Hygge: Scandinavians in the Pine Tree State."

Location: Shettleworth Lecture Hall; and MHS Showcase Gallery
Cost: Free and open to the public

Saturday, July 27, 1:00 – 2:00 pm

Jeremiah Hacker: Journalist, Anarchist, Abolitionist
Book Talk: Jeremiah Hacker's Portland

Rebecca Pritchard

Rebecca Pritchard

With author Rebecca M. Pritchard
This is a fascinating book about a little known Maine journalist who published The Pleasure Boat, Maine's most controversial and radical newspaper. Jeremiah Hacker worked for many 19th century causes, including women's rights, abolition, land reform, and prison reform. He was inspired by his Quaker background and took a pacifist stance during the Civil War.

About the author:
Rebecca M. Pritchard studied writing at the Salt Institute in Portland, Maine, and American & New England Studies at the University of Southern Maine. She became interested in the stories buried in old newspapers and spent her time in libraries poring over their wrinkled pages. She has worked for the Maine Historical Society, the Abbe Museum, and Acadia National Park. She lives with her husband and daughter in Bar Harbor, Maine where she writes for The Mount Desert Islander. This is her first book.

Location: MHS Shettleworth Lecture Hall
Cost: Free and open to the public

August Programs

Friday, August 2, 5:00 – 8:00 pm

With Kate Beever
First Friday Art Walk: The Power of Women & Music

Kate Beever

Kate Beever

Join us as we celebrate the power of music with Kate Beever, owner of Maine Music & Health(Small Business Administration’s Maine Micro-Enterprise of the Year in 2017) in our Power of Potential exhibition gallery.

Kate is a talented musical therapist who brings comfort and pain relief to patients at Maine Medical Center each week. Please stop by to experience and participate in the incredible healing power of music from Kate while enjoying our Power of Potential, Doing Good: Medical Stories of Maine, and Holding Up the Sky: Wabanaki People, Culture, History & Art exhibitions!

Monday, August 5 – Friday, August 9, 2019

Adventures in History Camp 2019

Adventures in History Camp 2019

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, August 5 - Friday, August 9, 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 non-members

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!

Wednesday, August 7, 12:00 – 12:45 pm

With Nicholas Noyes, Curator of Library Collections
Behind-The-Scenes Library Tour (FREE)

Nick Noyes

Nick Noyes

This engaging 45-minute interactive tour takes you throughout our beautiful Brown Research Library and into the archive (normally closed to the public.) Nicholas Noyes shares his expertise on the building's history, the basics of doing library research and a few treasures from the collection.

Location: MHS Brown Research Library

Free and open to the public. Limited to 10 = Sign up in advance by emailing nnoyes@mainehistory.org or calling 774-1822 x207.

Thursday, August 8, 6:00 – 7:00 pm

With Ian Saxine
Book Talk: Properties of Empire: Indians, Colonists, and Land Speculators

Book Talk: Properties of Empire: Indians, Colonists, and Land Speculators

Author Ian Saxine will discuss the importance of Indian land deeds in the fascinating history of colonial Maine for both Native people and newcomers, while highlighting crucial evidence held in MHS collections.

His book Properties of Empire: Indians, Colonists, and Land Speculators on the New England Frontier shows the dynamic relationship between Native and English systems of property on the turbulent edge of Britain’s empire -- and how so many colonists came to believe their prosperity depended on acknowledging Indigenous land rights.

As absentee land speculators and hardscrabble colonists squabbled over conflicting visions for the frontier, Wabanaki unity allowed them to forcefully project their own interpretations of often poorly remembered old land deeds and treaties. The result was the creation of a system of property in Maine that defied English law, and preserved Native power and territory. However, ordinary colonists, dissident speculators, and grasping officials eventually succeeded in undermining and finally destroying this arrangement, a process that took place in councils and courtrooms, in taverns and treaties, and on battlefields.

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

Tuesday, August 20, 5:00 – 7:00 pm

Beer in the Garden

Beer in the Garden

An Historic Trail Guide: Camping, Hiking, and the Appalachian Trail
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, August 21, 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, August 22, 09:00 am – 3:00 pm

Teacher Workshop: WABANAKI STUDIES (K-12)

Wabanaki Studies for K-12 Maine Teachers

This free workshop will explore contemporary and historical stories of Wabanaki people and non-Native Mainers, and how to approach and teach those stories and histories in the classroom. The session will include a visit to Maine Historical Society’s exhibit Holding Up the Sky as well as training on the Maine-Wabankaki Studies Law (LD 291) and Social Studies standards.

Participants will receive learning resources and orientation in primary and secondary source analysis, gaining valuable insights into tools, lessons, and techniques that can be applied in the classroom.

Presenters include Kathleen Neumann, MHS Manager of Education & Public Programs, and Joe Schmidt, Maine Social Studies Specialist/Western Maine Regional Representative .

Advanced registration required. To register, or for more information email Kathleen Neumann or call (207) 774-1822 ext. 214.
Location: Lecture Hall, Maine Historical Society, 489 Congress Street
Cost: Free, registration is required.

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 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.

October Programs

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.

 

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.