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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

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.

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Port of Portland's Custom House and Collectors of Customs

The collector of Portland was the key to federal patronage in Maine, though other ports and towns had collectors. Through the 19th century, the revenue was the major source of Federal Government income. As in Colonial times, the person appointed to head the custom House in Casco Bay was almost always a leading community figure, or a well-connected political personage.

Exhibit

Presidents and Campaigns

Several Mainers have run for president or vice president, a number of presidents, past presidents, and future presidents have had ties to the state or visited here, and, during campaign season, many presidential candidates and their family members have brought their campaigns to Maine.

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Prohibition in Maine in the 1920s

Federal Prohibition took hold of America in 1920 with the passing of the Volstead Act that banned the sale and consumption of all alcohol in the US. However, Maine had the Temperance movement long before anyone was prohibited from taking part in one of America's most popular past times. Starting in 1851, the struggles between the "drys" and the "wets" of Maine lasted for 82 years, a period of time that was everything but dry and rife with nothing but illegal activity.

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A Snapshot of Portland, 1924: The Taxman Cometh

In 1924, with Portland was on the verge of profound changes, the Tax Assessors Office undertook a project to document every building in the city -- with photographs and detailed information that provide a unique view into Portland's architecture, neighborhoods, industries, and businesses.

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

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.

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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.

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Luxurious Leisure

From the last decades of the nineteenth century through about the 1920s, vacationers were attracted to large resort hotels that promised a break from the noise, crowds, and pressures of an ever-urbanizing country.

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The Public Face of Christmas

Christmas, a Christian holiday observed by many Mainers, has a very public, seasonal face that makes it visible to those of all beliefs.

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Designing Acadia

For one hundred years, Acadia National Park has captured the American imagination and stood as the most recognizable symbol of Maine’s important natural history and identity. This exhibit highlights Maine Memory content relating to Acadia and Mount Desert Island.

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Evergreens and a Jolly Old Elf

Santa Claus and evergreens have been common December additions to homes, schools, businesses, and other public places to America since the mid nineteenth century. They are two symbols of the Christian holiday of Christmas whose origins are unrelated to the religious meaning of the day.

Exhibit

William King

Maine's first governor, William King, was arguably the most influential figure in Maine's achieving statehood in 1820. Although he served just one year as the Governor of Maine, he was instrumental in establishing the new state's constitution and setting up its governmental infrastructure.

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Women, War, and the Homefront

When America entered the Great War in 1917, the government sent out pleas for help from American women, many of whom responded at the battle front and on the home front.

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Longfellow: The Man Who Invented America

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was a man and a poet of New England conscience. He was influenced by his ancestry and his Portland boyhood home and experience.

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The Advent of Green Acre, A Baha'i Center of Learning

The Green Acre Baha'i School began as Green Acre Conferences, established by Sarah Jane Farmer in Eliot. She later became part of the Baha'i Faith and hosted speakers and programs that promoted peace. In 1912, the leader of the Baha'i Faith, 'Abdu'l-Baha, visited Green Acre, where hundreds saw him speak.

Exhibit

Amazing! Maine Stories

These stories -- that stretch from 1999 back to 1759 -- take you from an amusement park to the halls of Congress. There are inventors, artists, showmen, a railway agent, a man whose civic endeavors helped shape Portland, a man devoted to the pursuit of peace and one known for his military exploits, Maine's first novelist, a woman who recorded everyday life in detail, and an Indian who survived a British attack.

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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.

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Maine Streets: The Postcard View

Photographers from the Eastern Illustrating and Publishing Co. of Belfast traveled throughout the state, especially in small communities, taking images for postcards. Many of these images, taken in the first three decades of the twentieth century, capture Main Streets on the brink of modernity.

Exhibit

Working Women of the Old Port

Women at the turn of the 20th century were increasingly involved in paid work outside the home. For wage-earning women in the Old Port section of Portland, the jobs ranged from canning fish and vegetables to setting type. A study done in 1907 found many women did not earn living wages.

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Samantha Smith's Questions

Samantha Smith, a Manchester schoolgirl, gained international fame in 1983 by asking Soviet leader Yuri Andropov whether he intended to start a nuclear war and then visiting the Soviet Union to be reassured that no one there wanted war.

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Fallen Heroes: Those Who Gave Their Lives: World War II

At least twenty-three Jewish men from Maine died in the military during World War II. Photographs and other memorabilia are available for fewer than half of them. Read more about them.

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Summer Folk: The Postcard View

Vacationers, "rusticators," or tourists began flooding into Maine in the last quarter of the 19th century. Many arrived by train or steamer. Eventually, automobiles expanded and changed the tourist trade, and some vacationers bought their own "cottages."

Exhibit

Bookplates Honor Annie Louise Cary

A summer resident of Wayne collected more than 3,000 bookplates to honor Maine native and noted opera singer Annie Louise Cary and to support the Cary Memorial Library.