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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

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.

Exhibit

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.

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

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.

Exhibit

Most Inconvenient Storm

A Portland newspaper wrote about an ice storm of January 28, 1886 saying, "The city of Portland was visited yesterday by the most inconvenient storm of the season."

Exhibit

A Convenient Soldier: The Black Guards of Maine

The Black Guards were African American Army soldiers, members of the segregated Second Battalion of the 366th Infantry sent to guard the railways of Maine during World War II, from 1941 to 1945. The purpose of the Black Guards' deployment to Maine was to prevent terrorist attacks along the railways, and to keep Maine citizens safe during the war.

Exhibit

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

Portland Hotels

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.

Exhibit

Maine Medical Center, Bramhall Campus

Maine Medical Center, founded as Maine General Hospital, has dominated Portland’s West End since its construction in 1871 on Bramhall Hill. As the medical field grew in both technological and social practice, the facility of the hospital also changed. This exhibit tracks the expansion and additions to that original building as the hospital adapted to its patients’ needs.

Exhibit

Northern Threads: Civil War-era clothing

An exhibit vignette within "Northern Threads, Part 1," featuring American Civil War civilian and military clothing, 1860 to 1869.

Exhibit

Sagadahoc County through the Eastern Eye

The Eastern Illustrating and Publishing Company of Belfast, Maine. employed photographers who traveled by company vehicle through New England each summer, taking pictures of towns and cities, vacation spots and tourist attractions, working waterfronts and local industries, and other subjects postcard recipients might enjoy. The cards were printed by the millions in Belfast into the 1940s.

Exhibit

Washington County Through Eastern's Eye

Images taken by itinerant photographers for Eastern Illustrating and Publishing Company, a real photo postcard company, provide a unique look at industry, commerce, recreation, tourism, and the communities of Washington County in the early decades of the twentieth century.

Exhibit

Le Théâtre

Lewiston, Maine's second largest city, was long looked upon by many as a mill town with grimy smoke stacks, crowded tenements, low-paying jobs, sleazy clubs and little by way of refinement, except for Bates College. Yet, a noted Québec historian, Robert Rumilly, described it as "the French Athens of New England."

Exhibit

Waldoboro Fire Department's 175 Years

While the town of Waldoboro was chartered in 1773, it began organized fire protection in 1838 with a volunteer fire department and a hand pump fire engine, the Water Witch.

Exhibit

Father John Bapst: Catholicism's Defender and Promoter

Father John Bapst, a Jesuit, knew little of America or Maine when he arrived in Old Town in 1853 from Switzerland. He built churches and defended Roman Catholics against Know-Nothing activists, who tarred and feathered the priest in Ellsworth in 1854.

Exhibit

Lincoln County through the Eastern Eye

The Penobscot Marine Museum’s photography collections include nearly 50,000 glass plate negatives of images for "real photo" postcards produced by the Eastern Illustrating and Publishing Company of Belfast. This exhibit features postcards from Lincoln County.

Exhibit

The Trolley Parks of Maine

At the heyday of trolleys in Maine, many of the trolley companies developed recreational facilities along or at the end of trolley lines as one further way to encourage ridership. The parks often had walking paths, dance pavilions, and various other entertainments. Cutting-edge technology came together with a thirst for adventure and forever changed social dynamics in the process.

Exhibit

Lt. Charles Bridges: Getting Ahead in the Army

Sgt. Charles Bridges of Co. B of the 2nd Maine Infantry was close to the end of his two years' enlistment in early 1863 when he took advantage of an opportunity for advancement by seeking and getting a commission as an officer in the 3rd Regiment U.S. Volunteers.

Exhibit

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.

Exhibit

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

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

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.

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One Hundred Years of Caring -- EMMC

In 1892 five physicians -- William H. Simmons, William C. Mason, Walter H. Hunt, Everett T. Nealey, and William E. Baxter -- realized the need for a hospital in the city of Bangor had become urgent and they set about providing one.

Exhibit

Among the Lungers: Treating TB

Tuberculosis -- or consumption as it often was called -- claimed so many lives and so threatened the health of communities that private organizations and, by 1915, the state, got involved in TB treatment. The state's first tuberculosis sanatorium was built on Greenwood Mountain in Hebron and introduced a new philosophy of treatment.