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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

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

Farm-yard Frames

Throughout New England, barns attached to houses are fairly common. Why were the buildings connected? What did farmers or families gain by doing this? The phenomenon was captured in the words of a children's song, "Big house, little house, back house, barn," (Thomas C. Hubka <em>Big House, Little House, Back House, Barn, the Connected Farm Buildings of New England,</em> University Press of New England, 1984.)

Exhibit

Fashionable Maine: early twentieth century clothing

Maine residents kept pace with the dramatic shift in women’s dress that occurred during the short number of years preceding and immediately following World War I. The long restrictive skirts, stiff collars, body molding corsets and formal behavior of earlier decades quickly faded away and the new straight, dropped waist easy-to-wear clothing gave mobility and freedom of movement in tune with the young independent women of the casual, post-war jazz age generation.

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Student Exhibit: The Story of the Heywood Tavern

The story of the Heywood Tavern in Skowhegan.

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In Time and Eternity: Shakers in the Industrial Age

"In Time and Eternity: Maine Shakers in the Industrial Age 1872-1918" is a series of images that depict in detail the Shakers in Maine during a little explored time period of expansion and change.

Exhibit

A Snapshot of Portland, 1924: The Taxman Cometh

In 1924, with Portland was on the verge of profound changes, the Tax Assessors Office undertook a project to document every building in the city -- with photographs and detailed information that provide a unique view into Portland's architecture, neighborhoods, industries, and businesses.

Exhibit

MY ISLAND HOME: Verlie Colby Greenleaf of Westport Island

Verlie Greenleaf (1891-1992) bore witness to over a century of Westport Island's history. Many changes occurred during Verlie's 100-year life. Verlie Greenleaf donated photographs, personal notes, and sat for an interview in 1987, all part of the Westport Island History Committee's collection. Her words frame this exhibition, providing a first-person account of her life.

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Student Exhibit: Historic Buildings on Madison Ave in Skowhegan

Take a tour and see some of the beautiful old buildings that used to be on Madison Avenue, Skowhegan? A few still remain, but most have been torn down.

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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.

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Biddeford, Saco and the Textile Industry

The largest textile factory in the country reached seven stories up on the banks of the Saco River in 1825, ushering in more than a century of making cloth in Biddeford and Saco. Along with the industry came larger populations and commercial, retail, social, and cultural growth.

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

Silk Manufacturing in Westbrook

Cultivation of silkworms and manufacture of silk thread was touted as a new agricultural boon for Maine in the early 19th century. However, only small-scale silk production followed. In 1874, the Haskell Silk Co. of Westbrook changed that, importing raw silk, and producing silk machine twist threat, then fabrics, until its demise in 1930.

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.

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Northern Threads: Outerwear, Militia & Cadet uniforms

A themed vignette within "Northern Threads Part I," featuring 19th century outerwear, bonnets, militia and cadet uniforms.

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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.

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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.

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Bookplates Honor Annie Louise Cary

A summer resident of Wayne collected more than 3,000 bookplates to honor Maine native and noted opera singer Annie Louise Cary and to support the Cary Memorial Library.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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State of Mind: Becoming Maine

The history of the region now known as Maine did not begin at statehood in 1820. What was Maine before it was a state? How did Maine separate from Massachusetts? How has the Maine we experience today been shaped by thousands of years of history?

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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

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

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.