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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

Making Paper, Making Maine

Paper has shaped Maine's economy, molded individual and community identities, and impacted the environment throughout Maine. When Hugh Chisholm opened the Otis Falls Pulp Company in Jay in 1888, the mill was one of the most modern paper-making facilities in the country, and was connected to national and global markets. For the next century, Maine was an international leader in the manufacture of pulp and paper.

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?

Exhibit

Blueberries to Potatoes: Farming in Maine

Not part of the American "farm belt," Maine nonetheless has been known over the years for a few agricultural items, especially blueberries, sweet corn, potatoes, apples, chickens and dairy products.

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Gunpowder for the Civil War

The gunpowder mills at Gambo Falls in Windham and Gorham produced about a quarter of the gunpowder used by Union forces during the Civil War. The complex contained as many as 50 buildings.

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Irish Immigrants in Nineteenth Century Maine

With the popularity of all things Irish in modern America, many people have forgotten the difficulties faced by nineteenth century Irish immigrants.

Exhibit

Away at School: Letters Home

Young men and women in the 19th century often went away from home -- sometimes for a few months, sometimes for longer periods -- to attend academies, seminaries, or schools run by individuals. While there, they wrote letters home, reporting on boarding arrangements and coursework undertaken, and inquired about the family at home.

Exhibit

This Rebellion: Maine and the Civil War

For Mainers like many other people in both the North and the South, the Civil War, which lasted from 1861-1865, had a profound effect on their lives. Letters, artifacts, relics, and other items saved by participants at home and on the battlefield help illuminate the nature of the Civil War experience for Mainers.

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

We Used to be "Normal": A History of F.S.N.S.

Farmington's Normal School -- a teacher-training facility -- opened in 1863 and, over the decades, offered academic programs that included such unique features as domestic and child-care training, and extra-curricular activities from athletics to music and theater.

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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Umbazooksus & Beyond

Visitors to the Maine woods in the early twentieth century often recorded their adventures in private diaries or journals and in photographs. Their remembrances of canoeing, camping, hunting and fishing helped equate Maine with wilderness.

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Samplers: Learning to Sew

Settlers' clothing had to be durable and practical to hold up against hard work and winters. From the 1700s to the mid 1800s, the women of Maine learned to sew by making samplers.

Exhibit

400 years of New Mainers

Immigration is one of the most debated topics in Maine. Controversy aside, immigration is also America's oldest tradition, and along with religious tolerance, what our nation was built upon. Since the first people--the Wabanaki--permitted Europeans to settle in the land now known as Maine, we have been a state of immigrants.

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For the Union: Civil War Deaths

More than 9,000 Maine soldiers and sailors died during the Civil War while serving with Union forces. This exhibit tells the stories of a few of those men.

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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.

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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

Farm-yard Frames

Throughout New England, barns attached to houses are fairly common. Why were the buildings connected? What did farmers or families gain by doing this? The phenomenon was captured in the words of a children's song, "Big house, little house, back house, barn," (Thomas C. Hubka <em>Big House, Little House, Back House, Barn, the Connected Farm Buildings of New England,</em> University Press of New England, 1984.)

Exhibit

The Irish on the Docks of Portland

Many of the dockworkers -- longshoremen -- in Portland were Irish or of Irish descent. The Irish language was spoken on the docks and Irish traditions followed, including that of giving nicknames to the workers, many of whose given names were similar.

Exhibit

A Focus on Trees

Maine has some 17 million acres of forest land. But even on a smaller, more local scale, trees have been an important part of the landscape. In many communities, tree-lined commercial and residential streets are a dominant feature of photographs of the communities.

Exhibit

Independence and Challenges: The Life of Hannah Pierce

Hannah Pierce (1788-1873) of West Baldwin, who remained single, was the educated daughter of a moderately wealthy landowner and businessman. She stayed at the family farm throughout her life, operating the farm and her various investments -- always in close touch with her siblings.

Exhibit

Student Exhibit: The Great By-Pass

The debate over a proposed bridge and bypass in Skowhegan in 2005.

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Patriotic Imagery: 1861-1880

Imagery on letterhead soldiers used, on soldiers' memorials produced after the war, and on many other items captured the themes of the American Civil War: union, liberty, and freedom.

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.

Exhibit

Home Ties: Sebago During the Civil War

Letters to and from Sebago soldiers who served in the Civil War show concern on both sides about farms and other issues at home as well as concern from the home front about soldiers' well-being.