Maine State House as it looked in 1820, Portland, 1832

Contributed by Maine Historical Society and Maine State Museum


Anna M. Bucknam painted this watercolor of the Maine State House, seen to the right, as it looked in 1820. She made the painting in about 1832.

When Maine achieved statehood in 1820, residents no longer qualified for membership in the Massachusetts Historical Society. From March 15, 1820 to the founding of the Maine Historical Society on February 5, 1822, Maine residents were without a repository for their history. Forty-nine men passed the "Act to Incorporate the Maine Historical Society" with twenty-four more members joining in the first year. The White, affluent founders lived in communities from York to Lubec.

The Senate Chamber of the original Maine State House in Portland served as Maine Historical Society's first location from February to December of 1822.

Also in the painting at right are the Cumberland County Court House, built in 1816, and the spire of the old First Parish Church. At left is the Portland Academy. The Great Fire of 1866 destroyed the old State House, but Maine’s governmental meetings had previously moved to Augusta, named the new state capital in 1827.

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About This Item

  • Title: Maine State House as it looked in 1820, Portland, 1832
  • Creator: Anna M. Bucknam
  • Creation Date: circa 1832
  • Subject Date: 1820
  • Location: Portland, Cumberland County, ME
  • Media: Watercolor
  • Local Code: 1998.30.1
  • Object Type: Image

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For more information about this item, contact:

Maine Historical Society and Maine State Museum
489 Congress St., Portland, ME 04101
207-774-1822 x230

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