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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

Chinese in Maine

In 1857, when Daniel Cough left Amoy Island, China, as a stowaway on a sailing ship from Mt. Desert Island he was on his way into history as the first Chinese person to make his home in Maine. He was soon followed by a cigar maker and a tea merchant who settled in Portland and then by many more Chinese men who spread all over Maine working mostly as laundrymen.

Exhibit

A City Awakes: Arts and Artisans of Early 19th Century Portland

Portland's growth from 1786 to 1860 spawned a unique social and cultural environment and fostered artistic opportunity and creative expression in a broad range of the arts, which flowered with the increasing wealth and opportunity in the city.

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

Strike Up the Band

Before the era of recorded music and radio, nearly every community had a band that played at parades and other civic events. Fire departments had bands, military units had bands, theaters had bands. Band music was everywhere.

Exhibit

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

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.

Exhibit

Unlocking the Declaration's Secrets

Fewer than 30 copies of the first printing of the Declaration of Independence are known to exist. John Dunlap hurriedly printed copies for distribution to assemblies, conventions, committees and military officers. Authenticating authenticity of the document requires examination of numerous details of the broadside.

Exhibit

John Bapst High School

John Bapst High School was dedicated in September 1928 to meet the expanding needs of Roman Catholic education in the Bangor area. The co-educational school operated until 1980, when the diocese closed it due to decreasing enrollment. Since then, it has been a private school known as John Bapst Memorial High School.

Exhibit

Promoting Rockland Through a Stereopticon, 1875

Frank Crockett and photographer J.P. Armbrust took stereo views of Rockland's downtown, industry, and notable homes in the 1870s as a way to promote tourism to the town.

Exhibit

Civil War Soldiers Impact Pittsfield

Although not everyone in town supported the war effort, more than 200 Pittsfield men served in Civil War regiments. Several reminders of their service remain in the town.

Exhibit

The Swinging Bridge: Walking Across the Androscoggin

Built in 1892 to entice workers at the Cabot Manufacturing Corporation in Brunswick to move to newly built housing in Topsham, the Androscoggin Pedestrian "Swinging" Bridge or Le Petit Pont quickly became important to many people traveling between the two communities.

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

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

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

The Schooner Bowdoin: Ninety Years of Seagoing History

After traveling to the Arctic with Robert E. Peary, Donald B. MacMillan (1874-1970), an explorer, researcher, and lecturer, helped design his own vessel for Arctic exploration, the schooner <em>Bowdoin,</em> which he named after his alma mater. The schooner remains on the seas.

Exhibit

Hannibal Hamlin of Paris Hill

2009 marked the bicentennials of the births of Abraham Lincoln and his first vice president, Hannibal Hamlin of Maine. To observe the anniversary, Paris Hill, where Hamlin was born and raised, honored the native statesman and recalled both his early life in the community and the mark he made on Maine and the nation.

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.

Exhibit

Popham Colony

George Popham and a group of fellow Englishmen arrived at the mouth of the Kennebec River, hoping to trade with Native Americans, find gold and other valuable minerals, and discover a Northwest passage. In 18 months, the fledgling colony was gone.

Exhibit

Jameson & Wotton Wharf, Friendship

Since 1897, the Jameson & Wotton Wharf in Friendship has been an important addition to the community on Muscongus Bay. The wharf, which is accessible at all tides, was a steamboat stop for many years, as well as important to the lobster business.

Exhibit

George W. Hinckley and Needy Boys and Girls

George W. Hinckley wanted to help needy boys. The farm, school and home he ran for nearly sixty nears near Fairfield stressed home, religion, education, discipline, industry, and recreation.

Exhibit

The Kotzschmar Memorial Organ

A fire and two men whose lives were entwined for more than 50 years resulted in what is now considered to be "the Jewel of Portland" -- the Austin organ that was given to the city of Portland in 1912.

Exhibit

MHS in Pictures: exploring our first 200 years

Two years after separating from Massachusetts, Maine leaders—many who were part of the push for statehood—also separated from Massachusetts Historical Society, creating the Maine Historical Society in 1822. The legislation signed on February 5, 1822 positioned MHS as the third-oldest state dedicated historical organization in the nation. The exhibition features MHS's five locations over the institution's two centuries, alongside images of leaders who have steered the organization through pivotal times.

Exhibit

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

Elise Fellows White: Music, Writing, and Family

From a violin prodigy in her early years to an older woman -- mother of two -- struggling financially, Skowhegan native Mary Elise Fellows White remained committed to music, writing, poetry, her extended family -- and living a life that would matter and be remembered.