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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

A Celebration of Skilled Artisans

The Maine Charitable Mechanic Association, an organization formed to promote and support skilled craftsmen, celebrated civic pride and members' trades with a parade through Portland on Oct. 8, 1841 at which they displayed 17 painted linen banners with graphic and textual representations of the artisans' skills.

Exhibit

La St-Jean in Lewiston-Auburn

St-Jean-Baptiste Day -- June 24th -- in Lewiston-Auburn was a very public display of ethnic pride for nearly a century. Since about 1830, French Canadians had used St. John the Baptist's birthdate as a demonstration of French-Canadian nationalism.

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

Remembering Mellie Dunham: Snowshoe Maker and Fiddler

Alanson Mellen "Mellie" Dunham and his wife Emma "Gram" Dunham were well-known musicians throughout Maine and the nation in the early decades of the 20th century. Mellie Dunham also received fame as a snowshoe maker.

Exhibit

Shaarey Tphiloh, Portland's Orthodox Synagogue

Shaarey Tphiloh was founded in 1904 by immigrants from Eastern Europe. While accommodating to American society, the Orthodox synagogue also has retained many of its traditions.

Exhibit

The World's Largest Oxen

Named for the two largest things in Maine at the turn of the 20th century, Mt. Katahdin and Granger of Stetson, were known as the Largest Oxen in the World. Unable to do farm work because of their size, they visited fairs and agricultural events around the Northeast.

Exhibit

Giving Thanks

Cultures from the ancient Greeks and Chinese to contemporary societies have set aside time to give thanks, especially for the harvest. In 1941, the United States set a permanent date for the observance.

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

How Sweet It Is

Desserts have always been a special treat. For centuries, Mainers have enjoyed something sweet as a nice conclusion to a meal or celebrate a special occasion. But many things have changed over the years: how cooks learn to make desserts, what foods and tools were available, what was important to people.

Exhibit

San Life: the Western Maine Sanatorium, 1928-1929

Merle Wadleigh of Portland, who was in his mid 20s, took and saved photographs that provide a glimpse into the life of a tuberculosis patient at the Western Maine Sanatorium in Hebron in 1928-1929.

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

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

A Riot of Words: Ballads, Posters, Proclamations and Broadsides

Imagine a day 150 years ago. Looking down a side street, you see the buildings are covered with posters and signs.

Exhibit

Indians at the Centennial

Passamaquoddy Indians from Washington County traveled to Portland in 1920 to take part in the Maine Centennial Exposition. They set up an "Indian Village" at Deering Oaks Park.

Exhibit

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.

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

Debates Over Suffrage

While numerous Mainers worked for and against woman suffrage in the state in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, some also worked on the national level, seeking a federal amendment to allow women the right to vote

Exhibit

Fashion for the People: Maine's Graphic Tees

From their humble beginnings as undergarments to today‚Äôs 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.

Exhibit

We Saw Lindbergh!

Following his historic flight across the Atlantic in May 1927, aviator Charles Lindbergh commenced a tour across America, greeted by cheering crowds at every stop. He was a day late for his speaking engagement in Portland, due to foggy conditions. Elise Fellows White wrote in her diary about seeing Lindbergh and his plane.

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

Fair Season: Crops, Livestock, and Entertainment

Agricultural fairs, intended to promote new techniques and better farming methods, have been held since the early 19th century. Before long, entertainments were added to the educational focus of the early fairs.

Exhibit

The Waldo-Hancock Bridge

The Waldo-Hancock Bridge is in the process of being dismantled after over 70 years of service. The Maine State Archives has a number of records related to the history of this famous bridge that are presented in this exhibition.

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

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.