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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
Land Claims, Economic Opportunities?
The landmark 1980 Maine Indian Land Claims Settlement Act provided $81.6 million to Maine Indians for economic development, land purchase and other purposes. The money and increased land holdings, however, have not solved economic and employment issues for Maine Indians.
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.
Maine is home to dozens of summer-long youth camps and untold numbers of day camps that take advantage of water, woods, and fresh air. While the children, counselors, and other staff come to Maine in the summer, the camps live on throughout the year and throughout the lives of many of the campers.
Wired! How Electricity Came to Maine
As early as 1633, entrepreneurs along the Piscataqua River in southern Maine utilized the force of the river to power a sawmill, recognizing the potential of the area's natural power sources, but it was not until the 1890s that technology made widespread electricity a reality -- and even then, consumers had to be urged to use it.
Great Cranberry Island's Preble House
The Preble House, built in 1827 on a hilltop over Preble Cove on Great Cranberry Island, was the home to several generations of Hadlock, Preble, and Spurling family members -- and featured in several books.
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.
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.
Northern Threads: Colonial and 19th century fur trade
A vignette in "Northern Threads: Two centuries of dress at Maine Historical Society Part 1," this fur trade mini-exhibition discusses the environmental and economic impact of the fur trade in Maine through the 19th century.
A Soldier's Declaration of Independence
William Bayley of Falmouth (Portland) was a soldier in the Continental Army, seeing service at Ticonderoga, Valley Forge, Monmouth Court House, and Saratoga, among other locations. His letters home to his mother reveal much about the economic hardships experienced by both soldiers and those at home.
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."
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.
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.
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.
Northern Threads: Two centuries of dress at Maine Historical
Organized by themed vignettes, Northern Threads shares stories about Maine people, while exploring how the clothing they wore reveals social, economic, and environmental histories. This re-examination of Maine Historical Society's permanent collection is an opportunity to consider the relevance of historic clothing in museums, the ebb and flow of fashion styles, and the complexities of diverse representation spanning 200 years of collecting.
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.
This collection of images portrays many buildings in Sanford and Springvale. The images were taken around the turn of the twentieth century.
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.
Field & Homefront: Bethel during the Civil War
Like many towns, Bethel responded to the Civil War by sending many soldiers and those at the homefront sent aid and supported families. The town grew during the war, but suffered after its end.
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.
Northern Threads: Silhouettes in Sequence, ca. 1780-1889
A themed exhibit vignette within "Northern Threads Part I," featuring a timeline of silhouettes from about 1775 through 1889.
Since the establishment of the area's first licensed hotel in 1681, Portland has had a dramatic, grand and boisterous hotel tradition. The Portland hotel industry has in many ways reflected the growth and development of the city itself. As Portland grew with greater numbers of people moving through the city or calling it home, the hotel business expanded to fit the increasing demand.
Maine Eats: the food revolution starts here
From Maine's iconic lobsters, blueberries, potatoes, apples, and maple syrup, to local favorites like poutine, baked beans, red hot dogs, Italian sandwiches, and Whoopie Pies, Maine's identity and economy are inextricably linked to food. Sourcing food, preparing food, and eating food are all part of the heartbeat of Maine's culture and economy. Now, a food revolution is taking us back to our roots in Maine: to the traditional sources, preparation, and pleasures of eating food that have sustained Mainers for millennia.
Fashion for the People: Maine's Graphic Tees
From their humble beginnings as undergarments to today’s fashion runways, t-shirts have evolved into universally worn wardrobe staples. Named because the silhouette resembles the capital letter "T," the t-shirt—also called a "tee"—is usually a short-sleeved, collarless shirt made of cotton. Original graphic t-shirts, graphic t-shirt quilts, and photographs trace the 102-year history of the garment, demonstrating how, through the act of wearing graphic tees, people own a part of history relating to politics, social justice, economics, and commemorative events in Maine.
Maine's frozen rivers and lakes provided an economic opportunity. The state shipped thousands of tons of ice to ports along the East Coast and to the West Indies that workers had cut and packed in sawdust for shipment or later use.