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Online Exhibits

Your results include these online exhibits. You also can view all of the site's exhibits, view a timeline of selected events in Maine History, and learn how to create your own exhibit. See featured exhibits or create your own exhibit


Exhibit

Anshe Sfard, Portland's Early Chassidic Congregation

Chassidic Jews who came to Portland from Eastern Europe formed a congregation in the late 19th century and, in 1917, built a synagogue -- Anshe Sfard -- on Cumberland Avenue in Portland. By the early 1960s, the congregation was largely gone. The building was demolished in 1983.

Exhibit

Home: The Longfellow House & the Emergence of Portland

The Wadsworth-Longfellow house is the oldest building on the Portland peninsula, the first historic site in Maine, a National Historic Landmark, home to three generations of Wadsworth and Longfellow family members -- including the boyhood home of the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The history of the house and its inhabitants provide a unique view of the growth and changes of Portland -- as well as of the immediate surroundings of the home.

Exhibit

A City Awakes: Arts and Artisans of Early 19th Century Portland

Portland's growth from 1786 to 1860 spawned a unique social and cultural environment and fostered artistic opportunity and creative expression in a broad range of the arts, which flowered with the increasing wealth and opportunity in the city.

Exhibit

Big Timber: the Mast Trade

Britain was especially interested in occupying Maine during the Colonial era to take advantage of the timber resources. The tall, straight, old growth white pines were perfect for ships' masts to help supply the growing Royal Navy.

Exhibit

A Riot of Words: Ballads, Posters, Proclamations and Broadsides

Imagine a day 150 years ago. Looking down a side street, you see the buildings are covered with posters and signs.

Exhibit

John Y. Merrill: Leeds Farmer, Entrepreneur, & More

John Y. Merrill of Leeds (1823-1898) made terse entries in diaries he kept for 11 years. His few words still provide a glimpse into the life of a mid 18th century farmer, who also made shoes, quarried stone, moved barns, made healing salves -- and was active in civic affairs.

Exhibit

In Time and Eternity: Shakers in the Industrial Age

"In Time and Eternity: Maine Shakers in the Industrial Age 1872-1918" is a series of images that depict in detail the Shakers in Maine during a little explored time period of expansion and change.

Exhibit

The Life and Legacy of the George Tate Family

Captain George Tate, mast agent for the King of England from 1751 to the Revolutionary War, and his descendants helped shape the development of Portland (first known as Falmouth) through activities such as commerce, shipping, and real estate.

Exhibit

Holding up the Sky: Wabanaki people, culture, history, and art

Learn about Native diplomacy and obligation by exploring 13,000 years of Wabanaki residence in Maine through 17th century treaties, historic items, and contemporary artworks—from ash baskets to high fashion. Wabanaki voices contextualize present-day relevance and repercussions of 400 years of shared histories between Wabanakis and settlers to their region.

Exhibit

The Sanitary Commission: Meeting Needs of Soldiers, Families

The Sanitary Commission, formed soon after the Civil War began in the spring of 1861, dealt with the health, relief needs, and morale of soldiers and their families. The Maine Agency helped families and soldiers with everything from furloughs to getting new socks.

Exhibit

John Hancock's Relation to Maine

The president of the Continental Congress and the Declaration's most notable signatory, John Hancock, has ties to Maine through politics, and commercial businesses, substantial property, vacations, and family.

Exhibit

Maine Sweets: Confections and Confectioners

From chocolate to taffy, Mainers are inventive with our sweet treats. In addition to feeding our sweet tooth, it's also an economic driver for the state.

Exhibit

Popham Colony

George Popham and a group of fellow Englishmen arrived at the mouth of the Kennebec River, hoping to trade with Native Americans, find gold and other valuable minerals, and discover a Northwest passage. In 18 months, the fledgling colony was gone.

Exhibit

Art of the People: Folk Art in Maine

For many different reasons people saved and carefully preserved the objects in this exhibit. Eventually, along with the memories they hold, the objects were passed to the Maine Historical Society. Object and memory, serve as a powerful way to explore history and to connect to the lives of people in the past.

Exhibit

Eye in the Sky

In 1921, Guy Gannett purchased two competing Portland newspapers, merging them under the Portland Press Herald title. He followed in 1925 with the purchase the Portland Evening Express, which allowed him to combine two passions: photography and aviation.

Exhibit

The Mainspring of Fashion

The mainspring of fashion is the process whereby members of one class imitate the styles of another, who in turn are driven to ever new expedients of fashionable change.

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The Shape of Maine

The boundaries of Maine are the product of international conflict, economic competition, political fights, and contested development. The boundaries are expressions of human values; people determined the shape of Maine.

Exhibit

World War I and the Maine Experience

With a long history of patriotism and service, Maine experienced the war in a truly distinct way. Its individual experiences tell the story of not only what it means to be an American, but what it means to be from Maine during the war to end all wars.

Exhibit

Dressing Up, Standing Out, Fitting In

Adorning oneself to look one's "best" has varied over time, gender, economic class, and by event. Adornments suggest one's sense of identity and one's intent to stand out or fit in.

Exhibit

Begin Again: reckoning with intolerance in Maine

BEGIN AGAIN explores Maine's historic role, going back 528 years, in crisis that brought about the pandemic, social and economic inequities, and the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020.

Exhibit

State of Mind: Becoming Maine

The history of the region now known as Maine did not begin at statehood in 1820. What was Maine before it was a state? How did Maine separate from Massachusetts? How has the Maine we experience today been shaped by thousands of years of history?