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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

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

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.

Exhibit

Walter Wyman and River Power

Walter Wyman's vision to capture the power of Maine's rivers to produce electricity led to the formation of Central Maine Power Co. and to a struggle within the state over what should happen to the power produced by the state's natural resources.

Exhibit

Extracting Wealth

Maine's natural resources -- granite, limestone and slate in particular -- along with its excellent ports made it a leader in mining and production of the valuable building materials. Stone work also attracted numerous skilled immigrants.

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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.

Exhibit

Gifts From Gluskabe: Maine Indian Artforms

According to legend, the Great Spirit created Gluskabe, who shaped the world of the Native People of Maine, and taught them how to use and respect the land and the resources around them. This exhibit celebrates the gifts of Gluskabe with Maine Indian art works from the early nineteenth to mid twentieth centuries.

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.

Exhibit

Hunting Season

Maine's ample woods historically provided numerous game animals and birds for hunters seeking food, fur, or hides. The promotion of hunting as tourism and concerns about conservation toward the end of the nineteenth century changed the nature of hunting in Maine.

Exhibit

John Dunn, 19th Century Sportsman

John Warner Grigg Dunn was an accomplished amateur photographer, hunter, fisherman and lover of nature. On his trips to Ragged Lake and environs, he became an early innovator among amateur wildlife photographers. His photography left us with a unique record of the Moosehead Lake region in the late nineteenth century.

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

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

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

Indians, Furs, and Economics

When Europeans arrived in North America and disrupted traditional Native American patterns of life, they also offered other opportunities: trade goods for furs. The fur trade had mixed results for the Wabanaki.

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

The Devil and the Wilderness

Anglo-Americans in northern New England sometimes interpreted their own anxieties about the Wilderness, their faith, and their conflicts with Native Americans as signs that the Devil and his handmaidens, witches, were active in their midst.

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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.

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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.

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

"We are growing to be somewhat cosmopolitan..." Waterville, 1911

Between 1870 and 1911, Waterville more than doubled in size, becoming a center of manufacturing, transportation, and the retail trade and offering a variety of entertainments for its residents.

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

From French Canadians to Franco-Americans

French Canadians who emigrated to the Lewiston-Auburn area faced discrimination as children and adults -- such as living in "Little Canada" tenements and being ridiculed for speaking French -- but also adapted to their new lives and sustained many cultural traditions.

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Margaret Chase Smith: A Historic Candidacy

When she announced her candidacy for President in January 1964, three-term Republican Senator Margaret Chase Smith became the first woman to seek the nomination of one of the two major political parties.

Exhibit

Moosehead Steamboats

After the canoe, steamboats became the favored method of transportation on Moosehead Lake. They revolutionized movement of logs and helped promote tourism in the region.

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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.