Maine Historical Society

MAINE HISTORICAL SOCIETY

PRESERVING HISTORY
ENGAGING MINDS
CONNECTING MAINE

Upcoming Programs & Events

Events on this page: February | March | April | May | June | July | 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 - Daily, June - Columbus Day weekend. See details.

Library Tours - First Wednesday of the month at noon (with a few exceptions). See below for next scheduled tour.

February Programs

Saturday, February 24, 1:00 – 2:30 pm

Malaga Island, Fragmented Lives

Malaga Island, Fragmented Lives

Kate McBrien
LOCATION: Abyssinian Meeting House, 75 Newbury Street, Portland

In 1912, the State of Maine evicted a multi-racial community who had set up home on Malaga Island, a small island off the coast of Phippsburg. Families scattered along the Maine coast, setting up homes where they could, while eight members of the small island group were institutionalized in the Maine School for the Feebleminded. Join us to hear Kate McBrien, Chief Curator of the Maine Historical Society, and curator of the award-winning exhibit “Malaga Island: Fragmented Lives”, describe the remarkable people who created this unique island home and the political and economic events that led to their demise.

Advanced registration required.

Click here to register.

March Programs

Tuesday, March 20, 4:30 – 6:30 pm

Beer in the Garden: Riveting Relics

Beer in the Garden: Riveting Relics

Join us for beer and snacks, a rare opportunity to enjoy our historic garden in the evening (or if it's too cold, our lovely library), 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.

For a full list of all Beer in the Garden programs, click here.

April Programs

Wednesday, April 4, 12:00 pm

Behind-the-Scenes Library Tour

Behind-the-Scenes 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 nnoyes@mainehistory.org or calling 774-1822 x207.

Tuesday, April 10, 7:00 – 9:00 pm

"Building Bridges: Connections Between Maine's Governor Joseph Brennan and Senator George Mitchell" Film and Discussion

Joseph Brennan c. 1982 from the Collections of Maine Historical Society. Item #11237

Joseph Brennan c. 1982 from the Collections of Maine Historical Society. Item #11237

With Michael Connelly
The Good Friday Agreement was a major political development in the Northern Ireland peace process of the 1990s, and Mainers played a pivotal role in making it happen. On the 20th anniversary of this important moment in Irish, British, and American history, join Maine Historical Society for the screening of a new documentary about the Maine events that led to this historic agreement.

After the film, join the filmmaker Michael Connelly of St. Joseph’s College, and possibly also Governor Joseph Brennan for an insightful discussion on the film and those events which it covers.

Free to MHS members. $5 general admission. Advance registration suggested.

Click here to register

Tuesday, April 17, 4:30 – 6:30 pm

Beer in the Garden: For the Love of the Game: The History of Baseball in Maine

Beer in the Garden: For the Love of the Game: The History of Baseball in Maine

Join us for beer and snacks, a rare opportunity to enjoy our historic garden in the evening (or if it's too cold, our lovely library), 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.

For a full list of all Beer in the Garden programs, click here.

May Programs

Wednesday, May 2, 12:00 pm

Behind-the-Scenes Library Tour

Behind-the-Scenes 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 nnoyes@mainehistory.org or calling 774-1822 x207.

Friday, May 11 – Saturday, May 12, 2018

The Magical History Tour & Mr. Longfellow's Cocktail Party

The Magical History Tour & Mr. Longfellow's Cocktail Party


Join us for our fourth annual exploration of fascinating historic sites in Portland that you've never seen – and maybe didn’t even know existed! The Magical History Tour is your key to unlocking fascinating historical places in Portland that are not usually open to the public.

It’s a self-guided tour guaranteed to amaze and amuse both adults and children. Equipped with a map, and at your own pace, you will be greeted by guides at each location ready to share the history of the tour stop.

You’ll find out where the tour will take you when you get your map on Saturday—or join us for the grand reveal at Mr. Longfellow’s Cocktail Party at
O'Maine Studios on Friday night. Mr. Longfellow’s Cocktail Party also features an energetic and fun live and silent auction, often featuring opportunities you can’t find anywhere else.

+ Longfellow's Cocktail Party: Friday, May 11, 5:30-8:30pm at O'Maine Studios.
+ Magical History Tour: Saturday, May 12, 10am-4pm at secret sites around Portland.

Buy tickets today!

Tuesday, May 15, 4:30 – 6:30 pm

Beer in the Garden: Crime and Punishment

Beer in the Garden: Crime and Punishment

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.

For a full list of all Beer in the Garden programs, click here.

June Programs

Wednesday, June 6, 12:00 pm

Behind-the-Scenes Library Tour

Behind-the-Scenes 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 nnoyes@mainehistory.org or calling 774-1822 x207.

Thursday, June 14, 07:30 am – 7:00 pm

Boston Bus Trip 2018

Boston Bus Trip 2018

Join Maine Historical Society & Greater Portland Chapter of Maine Genealogical Society on Thursday, June 14 for a trip to Boston! There are two options for the trip: New England Historic and Genealogical Society or the Adams National Historical Park in Quincy, MA.

7:30am - Bus Departs Portland: Park & Ride on Marginal Way (across from World Gym and Port City Flooring). Bus returns at approximately 7:00pm.

Option 1: The New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS)
NEHGS provides access to 200,000 genealogical and historical volumes, over one million manuscripts, census records, vital records, deeds, probate and military records—plus the latest digital and print resources. The bus will drop-off at the door of the Society. The Boston Public Library, Trinity Church, Newbury Street, the Hancock Building and shops and T stops are all within easy walking distance.

+ Arrive NEHGS: 10:00am (drop-off at door)
+ Lunch: On your own at one of the many fine eateries near Copley Square, or bring your own and eat in the NEHGS lunchroom.
+ Depart NEHGS: 4:30pm (From Copley Square, near Trinity Church)

Option 2: Adams National Historical Park
Visit the THREE historic homes of Revolutionary Celebrity John Adams and family. First, enjoy guided tours of his boyhood home and a neighboring house where he and Abigail raised a family during the tumultuous years of the Revolution. Next, visit Peacefield, the stately mansion the Adams purchased later in life and home to four generations of the family. In addition to the mansion, marvel at the impressive stone library and stroll through the heirloom garden and orchard. Don’t miss the chance to delve into the personal stories of this historic family!

+ Arrive at Adams NHP: 11:00am (The bus will drop-off at each property.)
+ Lunch/Visitor Center: 1:00pm. At the visitor center, you can view a film, visit the gift shop and walk to the burial location of John and Abigail. There are eateries near the visitor center for lunch, or you can bring your own.
***Please note this is a late lunch, so you may want to bring a snack for the bus.***
+ Depart Adams NHP: 3:00pm. (Front of Adams NHP Visitor Center)

Option 3: Purchase a Bus Ticket to Enjoy a Day On Your Own in Boston! Drop-Off and Pick-Up are the same as for the New England Historic Genealogical Society. **You are responsible for being at Trinity Church at 4:30pm.**

Register Here!

July Programs

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

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

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

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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

 

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Spark! Maine ART Stories
November 3 through March 31, 2018
Earle G. Shettleworth, Jr. Lecture Hall

Maine has always been a home and a haven to artists and creative makers. Spark! Maine ART Stories explores the varied ways Mainers express themselves today, and features sixteen contemporary Maine artists who are diverse in their geography, their artistic mediums, and in what compels them to create. Read More

 

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KAPOW! Maine Comic Artists
February 2 through March 31, 2018
Showcase Gallery

Comic art tells stories in diverse ways. It can critique the world in which we live, poke fun at the absurd, or transport us to a fantastical realm. Historical examples of comic art include political satire and caricatures of the nineteenth century, and superhero stories, noir comics, cartoons, and Sunday funnies of the twentieth century. KAPOW! Maine Comic Artists features comic-inspired artists currently working in and drawing inspiration from the state of Maine. 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.