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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

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

Looking Out: Maine's Fire Towers

Maine, the most heavily forested state in the nation, had the first continuously operational fire lookout tower, beginning a system of fire prevention that lasted much of the twentieth century.

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

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

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

Navy Firefighting School, Little Chebeague Island

Little Chebeague Island in Casco Bay was home to recreational facilities and a firefighting school for WWII sailors. The school was part of a Navy effort to have non-firefighting personnel knowledgeable in dealing with shipboard fires.

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

Civil Defense: Fear and Safety

In the 1950s and the 1960s, Maine's Civil Defense effort focused on preparedness for hurricanes, floods and other natural disasters and a more global concern, nuclear war. Civil Defense materials urged awareness, along with measures like storing food and other staple items and preparing underground or other shelters.

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

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

Laboring in Maine

Workers in Maine have labored in factories, on farms, in the woods, on the water, among other locales. Many of Maine's occupations have been determined by the state's climate and geographical features.

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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

Working Women of the Old Port

Women at the turn of the 20th century were increasingly involved in paid work outside the home. For wage-earning women in the Old Port section of Portland, the jobs ranged from canning fish and vegetables to setting type. A study done in 1907 found many women did not earn living wages.

Exhibit

The Establishment of the Troy Town Forest

Seavey Piper, a selectman, farmer, landowner, and leader of the Town of Troy in the 1920s through the early 1950s helped establish a town forest on abandoned farm land in Troy. The exhibit details his work over ten years.

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

Bowdoin College Scientific Expedition to Labrador

"The Bowdoin Boys" -- some students and recent graduates -- traveled to Labrador in 1891 to collect artifacts, specimens, and to try to find Grand Falls, a waterfall deep in Labrador's interior.

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Student Exhibit: Save the Skowhegan Grange & Granges in General

A brief history of the Grange in Skowhegan, its importance to community history, and a plea to save it from destruction.

Exhibit

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

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

A Brief History of Colby College

Colby originated in 1813 as Maine Literary and Theological Institution and is now a small private liberal arts college of about 1,800 students. A timeline of the history and development of Colby College from 1813 until the present.

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

World Alpine Ski Racing in Maine

Sugarloaf -- a small ski area by European standards -- entered ski racing history in 1971 by hosting an event that was part of the World Cup Alpine Ski Championships. The "Tall Timber Classic," as the event was known, had a decidedly Maine flavor.

Exhibit

We Used to be "Normal": A History of F.S.N.S.

Farmington's Normal School -- a teacher-training facility -- opened in 1863 and, over the decades, offered academic programs that included such unique features as domestic and child-care training, and extra-curricular activities from athletics to music and theater.

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.