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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

Colonial Cartography: The Plymouth Company Maps

The Plymouth Company (1749-1816) managed one of the very early land grants in Maine along the Kennebec River. The maps from the Plymouth Company's collection of records constitute some of the earliest cartographic works of colonial America.

Exhibit

Settling along the Androscoggin and Kennebec

The Proprietors of the Township of Brunswick was a land company formed in 1714 and it set out to settle lands along the Androscoggin and Kennebec Rivers in Maine.

Exhibit

The Shape of Maine

The boundaries of Maine are the product of international conflict, economic competition, political fights, and contested development. The boundaries are expressions of human values; people determined the shape of Maine.

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

Gunpowder for the Civil War

The gunpowder mills at Gambo Falls in Windham and Gorham produced about a quarter of the gunpowder used by Union forces during the Civil War. The complex contained as many as 50 buildings.

Exhibit

Northern Threads: Colonial and 19th century fur trade

A vignette in "Northern Threads: Two centuries of dress at Maine Historical Society Part 1," this fur trade mini-exhibition discusses the environmental and economic impact of the fur trade in Maine through the 19th century.

Exhibit

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?

Exhibit

Umbazooksus & Beyond

Visitors to the Maine woods in the early twentieth century often recorded their adventures in private diaries or journals and in photographs. Their remembrances of canoeing, camping, hunting and fishing helped equate Maine with wilderness.

Exhibit

Maine and the Space Age

The small town of Andover landed on the international map in 1962 when the Earth Station that had been built there successfully communicated with Telstar, the first telecommunications satellite.

Exhibit

Pigeon's Mainer Project: who decides who belongs?

Street artist Pigeon's artwork tackles the multifaceted topic of immigration. He portrays Maine residents, some who are asylum seekers, refugees, and immigrants—people who are often marginalized through state and federal policies—to ask questions about the dynamics of power in society, and who gets to call themselves a “Mainer.”

Exhibit

Holding up the Sky: Wabanaki people, culture, history, and art

Learn about Native diplomacy and obligation by exploring 13,000 years of Wabanaki residence in Maine through 17th century treaties, historic items, and contemporary artworks—from ash baskets to high fashion. Wabanaki voices contextualize present-day relevance and repercussions of 400 years of shared histories between Wabanakis and settlers to their region.

Exhibit

Cosmopolitan stylings of Mildred and Madeleine Burrage

Born in Portland, sisters Mildred Giddings Burrage (1890-1983) and Madeleine Burrage (1891-1976) were renowned artists and world travelers. Mildred's experiences studying painting in Paris and Italy, and the sisters' trips to Mexico and Guatemala inspired their artwork and shared passions for cosmopolitan and stylish attire. Housed at Maine Historical Society, The Burrage Papers include selections of original advertising drawings called "line sheets" from Parisian fashion houses dating from 1928 to 1936. Images of Madeleine's gemstone jewelry and Mildred's artwork accompany intimate family photographs of the sisters.

Exhibit

Ice: A Maine Commodity

Maine's frozen rivers and lakes provided an economic opportunity. The state shipped thousands of tons of ice to ports along the East Coast and to the West Indies that workers had cut and packed in sawdust for shipment or later use.

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

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

Northern Threads: Early Republic era Fashion dolls

A themed exhibit vignette within "Northern Threads Part I," featuring Early Repulic-era (ca.1780-1820) fashion dolls.

Exhibit

Drawing Together: Art of the Longfellows

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is best know as a poet, but he also was accomplished in drawing and music. He shared his love of drawing with most of his siblings. They all shared the frequent activity of drawing and painting with their children. The extended family included many professional as well as amateur artists, and several architects.

Exhibit

Hiking, Art and Science: Portland's White Mountain Club

In 1873, a group of men, mostly from Portland, formed the second known hiking club in the U.S., the White Mountain Club of Portland, to carry out their scientific interests, their love of hiking and camaraderie, and their artistic interests in painting and drawing the features of several of the White Mountains.

Exhibit

A Craze for Cycling

Success at riding a bike mirrored success in life. Bicycling could bring families together. Bicycling was good for one's health. Bicycling was fun. Bicycles could go fast. Such were some of the arguments made to induce many thousands of people around Maine and the nation to take up the new pastime at the end of the nineteenth century.

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.

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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.

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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.

Exhibit

Designing Acadia

For one hundred years, Acadia National Park has captured the American imagination and stood as the most recognizable symbol of Maine’s important natural history and identity. This exhibit highlights Maine Memory content relating to Acadia and Mount Desert Island.

Exhibit

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.