Maine Historical Society

MAINE HISTORICAL SOCIETY

PRESERVING HISTORY
ENGAGING MINDS
CONNECTING MAINE

Upcoming Programs & Events

Events on this page: August | September | Ongoing Programs | Podcasts | Annual Trip | 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 Larissa Vigue Picard, Director of Education & Interpretation, at (207) 774-1822 x215.

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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.

August Programs

Wednesday, August 5 – Friday, September 25, 2015

Historic House Tour: Furniture & Furnishings in the Longfellow House

Anne Longfellow Pierce's bedroom

Anne Longfellow Pierce's bedroom

Tour Guide: John Babin, MHS Visitor Services Manager

Tour takes place on Wednesdays and Fridays at 3:30PM, and Thursday evenings at 6PM. Tickets can be purchased online or on-site at the museum store the day of the tour.

Material culture history is an important aspect of the appeal of the Wadsworth-Longfellow House. This tour provides numerous details about the furniture and objects in each room, along with information about the construction of the house. This tour will be of special appeal to those interested in architecture, period furnishings, antiques, home décor, and carpentry. Participants get to visit the rarely-open third floor, see additional pieces not on display to the public, and take home a special souvenir coaster.

Cost: $20 general admission; $15 MHS members, seniors, and students; $10 for children 16 and younger; free for children 5 and younger.

Wednesday, August 5, 10:30 am

Children's Hour, a Story & Craft Activity for Kids: Blueberries for Sal

Children's Hour, a Story & Craft Activity for Kids: Blueberries for Sal

Facilitator: Kathleen Neumann, Manager of School and Interpretative Programs

Between the dark and the daylight, / When the night is beginning to lower, / Comes a pause in the day's occupations, / That is known as the Children's Hour… -- from "The Children’s Hour" Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1863

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was often called “the children’s poet” and his love of children is still well remembered. Monthly, Maine Historical Society invites children ages 4-9 to celebrate reading and literature in an hour-long program called The Children’s Hour. The program begins with a read-aloud of a favorite children’s book, followed by a fun craft-making activity inspired by the story.

For this program, the book is Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey. The accompanying activity is a "blueberry" scavenger hunt and finger painting craft.

The program is free and refreshments will be served. Participating children must be accompanied by a parent or caregiver; check-in at the Museum Store. Space is limited. Advance reservations required: Please call or email the Manager of School and Interpretative Programs the Friday before the program to reserve a spot at 207-774-1822, x214, or kneumann@mainehistory.org.

Wednesday, August 5, 5:30 pm

Lost Skills Workshop: Calligraphy

Lost Skills Workshop: Calligraphy

Facilitator: Abraham Schechter

Location: Shettleworth Lecture Hall

Abraham Schechter, Portland Public Library’s Portland history librarian, also happens to be an expert at the fine art of calligraphy. Take a break from texting and learn how to write your name and more in style. This is the third of four “lost skills” workshops this summer highlighting traditional skills and crafts in a fun, laid back how-to session. Bring a friend and learn something new that’s old. Beer, wine, alternative beverages, and snacks will be served. Supplies provided.

Cost: $10 MHS members; $15 general admission. Limited to 15. Advance registration required. Reserve tickets online.

Saturday, August 8, 5:30 – 8:30 pm

Mystery at the Museum

Mystery at the Museum

Come enjoy the fun, mystery, and mayhem provided by Maine’s own professional troupe, Mystery for Hire, at Maine Historical Society. This special dinner theater performance begins at 5:30pm in the Longfellow Garden. Beer, wine and hors d’oeuvres will be served in the beautifully secluded Colonial Revival garden. From there, expect the unexpected as a crime is likely to take place and you’ll journey from the Garden to the House, and then to the Brown Library where you’ll enjoy an elegant three-course dinner.

Reserve tickets online.
Tickets are $125 per person or $100 for MHS Members.

For more information, contact Elizabeth Nash at enash@mainehistory.org or 207-774-1822 ext. 206.

Wednesday, August 12, 5:30 pm

Lost Skills Workshop: Drying and Using Herbs & Flowers

Lost Skills Workshop: Drying and Using Herbs & Flowers

Facilitator: Kate McCarty

Location: Longfellow Garden

Food blogger and author (Portland Food: The Culinary Capital of Maine) Kate McCarty also teaches food preservation techniques for UMaine’s Extension program. At this workshop, she’ll show us how to make the most of herbs and flowers long after they’re picked. This is the last of four “lost skills” workshops this summer highlighting traditional skills and crafts in a fun, laid back how-to session. Bring a friend and learn something new that’s old. Beer, wine, alternative beverages, and snacks will be served. Supplies provided.

Cost: $10 MHS members; $15 general admission. Limited to 15. Advance registration required. Reserve tickets online.

Friday, August 14, 5:00 pm

Presented in partnership with Maine Humanities Council
Exhibition Opening & Dawnland Voices: Indigenous Writing from New England

Exhibition Opening & Dawnland Voices: Indigenous Writing from New England

Our final major program of the summer celebrates a new, and first-of-its-kind, anthology of native writing from the New England region, and officially opens a new Shettleworth Lecture Hall exhibition, Baskets from the Dawnland: Weaving the Past and Future Together.

Dawnland Voices: Indigenous Writing from New England editor Siobhan Senier, Associate Professor of English and English Graduate Program Director at the University of New Hampshire, speaks about compiling the writings and the importance of the volume to Maine and beyond. Following her talk, six authors and poets who have pieces in the anthology will share some of their work. Readers include Carol Bachofner (Abenaki), Marie Francis (Passamaquoddy), Mihku Paul-Anderson (Maliseet), Cheryl Savageau (Abenaki), Donald Soctomah (Passamaquoddy), Melissa Tantaquidgeon Zobel (Mohegan).

The exhibition opening begins at 5PM with h'or doeuvres and introductions by the co-curators, basket artist Theresa Secord and MHS Maine Memory Network content assistant Tilly Laskey. Cost: Free to MHS and tribal members; $10 general admission. Advance registrations are recommended. Reserve tickets online.

Saturday, August 15, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

Genealogy 101 Workshop: How to Begin

Genealogy 101 Workshop: How to Begin

Facilitator: Jamie Rice, MHS Library Director

Due to popular demand... we're running a second session of this workshop! Act fast as spaces are limited and it sold out quickly in June.

Have you never really done any formal genealogy but are itching to get started? Are you wondering how to organize your research and what resources exist out there? This three-hour, hands-on workshop is geared toward you--the genealogy novice!

Learn about resources at Maine Historical Society, as well as numerous tips on getting started or diving deeper into current Maine / New England genealogy projects. We'll familiarize you with the wide variety of research options out there. Participants are encouraged to bring current family trees, research notes, and laptops to explore electronic resources including Ancestry.com, Heritage Quest Online, and American Ancestors.

Cost: $35 MHS Members; $45 general admission. Space is limited to 12 participants, so don't delay! Register today. Morning refreshments included.

Note: Intermediate and advanced researchers may wish to take advantage of a "Genealogy 201: Brick Walls & Missing Persons" event coming up on September 26. This day-long event will feature one-on-one appointments with experienced genealogists and librarians who can assist with specific stumbling blocks and individual queries. Stay tuned for more information!

Wednesday, August 19, 10:30 am

Children's Hour, a Story & Craft Activity for Kids: Island Boy

Children's Hour, a Story & Craft Activity for Kids: Island Boy

Facilitator: Kathleen Neumann, Manager of School and Interpretative Programs

Between the dark and the daylight, / When the night is beginning to lower, / Comes a pause in the day's occupations, / That is known as the Children's Hour… -- from "The Children’s Hour" Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1863

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was often called “the children’s poet” and his love of children is still well remembered. Monthly, Maine Historical Society invites children ages 4-9 to celebrate reading and literature in an hour-long program called The Children’s Hour. The program begins with a read-aloud of a favorite children’s book, followed by a fun craft-making activity inspired by the story.

For this program, the book is Island Boy by Barbara Cooney. The accompanying activity is making paper sailboats.

The program is free and refreshments will be served. Participating children must be accompanied by a parent or caregiver; check-in at the Museum Store. Space is limited. Advance reservations required: Please call or email the Manager of School and Interpretative Programs the Friday before the program to reserve a spot at 207-774-1822, x214, or kneumann@mainehistory.org.

September Programs

Wednesday, September 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.

(Monthly on the first Wednesday at 12PM in Jan, March, May, July, Sept, Nov.; free; limited to 10. Sign up in advance by sending an email to nnoyes@mainehistory.org or call 774-1822 x207.)

Saturday, September 26, 09:00 am – 4:00 pm

Brick Walls and Missing Persons: One-on-One Genealogy Assistance

Brick Walls and Missing Persons: One-on-One Genealogy Assistance

Sign up for a 90-minute one-on-one genealogy research session with one of Maine Historical Society's reference librarians and genealogy experts! These sessions are ideal for intermediate-and-beyond genealogists who have been doing research and are familiar with at least basic resources but need some detailed help on challenging ancestry questions.

Twelve slots are available throughout the day. Following your online ticket purchase, an MHS staff member will email you to confirm your slot preference. Times include: 4 slots from 9AM-10:30AM; 2 slots from 10:45AM-12:15PM; 2 slots from 12:30-2PM; and 4 slots from 2-3:30PM. Slots are first come, first served.

Throughout the day, refreshments will be available in the library lobby and the museum store will feature discounts on genealogy books and related material. There will also be a drawing for a year's free MHS membership! Cost: $40 MHS members; $50 general admission. Register online.

Program Podcasts

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Annual Cruise - SOLD OUT - Call for Wait List

CRUISE - Elegant Elbe, River Cruisetour - Berlin to Prague
October 8 - October 21, 2015

Join MHS as we discover the natural beauty of former East Germany's dramatic landscape on a 13-day Elbe River cruise with Maine Historical Society. Start in Berlin and move on to tour the opulent palaces of Saxon monarchs and stroll through beautifully landscaped gardens; sail between the dramatic sandstone cliffs of Germany's "Saxon Switzerland." Get Trip Details.
Find out more about Viking River Cruises.

Exhibitions

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Morton Block and Wadsworth-Longfellow House, ca. 1912

Home: The Longfellow House & the Emergence of Portland
Opens June 27, 2014

Home: The Longfellow House & the Emergence of Portland uses the Wadsworth-Longfellow House as a prism to explore how Portland has grown and changed over more than 230 years. It's a fascinating new way to look at the House, its relationship to the community, and Portland history. Read More.

 

exhibit graphic

Pursuit of Liberty: The Search for Compromise in the Declaration of Independence
June 11 - August 2, 2015

Earle G. Shettleworth, Jr. Lecture Hall

Independence did not happen overnight. The writing and signing of the Declaration of Independence was the result of debate, negotiation, and compromise. Read More

Sponsored by Patriot Insurance.

 

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 www.mainememory.net.

Regional Genealogy Programs, Events, and Conferences

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