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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

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

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

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

A Focus on Trees

Maine has some 17 million acres of forest land. But even on a smaller, more local scale, trees have been an important part of the landscape. In many communities, tree-lined commercial and residential streets are a dominant feature of photographs of the communities.

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

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

Student Exhibit: The Story of the Heywood Tavern

The story of the Heywood Tavern in Skowhegan.

Exhibit

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

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

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

Reading, Writing and 'Rithmetic: Brooklin Schools

When Brooklin, located on the Blue Hill Peninsula, was incorporated in 1849, there were ten school districts and nine one-room school houses. As the years went by, population changes affected the location and number of schools in the area. State requirements began to determine ways that student's education would be handled. Regardless, education of the Brooklin students always remained a high priority for the town.

Exhibit

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.

Exhibit

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

Luxurious Leisure

From the last decades of the nineteenth century through about the 1920s, vacationers were attracted to large resort hotels that promised a break from the noise, crowds, and pressures of an ever-urbanizing country.

Exhibit

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.

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

Lincoln County through the Eastern Eye

The Penobscot Marine Museum’s photography collections include nearly 50,000 glass plate negatives of images for "real photo" postcards produced by the Eastern Illustrating and Publishing Company of Belfast. This exhibit features postcards from Lincoln County.

Exhibit

Sagadahoc County through the Eastern Eye

The Eastern Illustrating and Publishing Company of Belfast, Maine. employed photographers who traveled by company vehicle through New England each summer, taking pictures of towns and cities, vacation spots and tourist attractions, working waterfronts and local industries, and other subjects postcard recipients might enjoy. The cards were printed by the millions in Belfast into the 1940s.

Exhibit

Good Will-Hinckley: Building a Landscape

The landscape at the Good Will-Hinckley campus in Fairfield was designed to help educate and influence the orphans and other needy children at the school and home.

Exhibit

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.

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.