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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


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High Water

Melting snow, ice, warmer temperatures, and rain sometimes bring floods to Maine's many rivers and streams. Floods are most frequent in the spring, but can occur at any season.

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Jay & Livermore Falls, Pioneers in Paper Making

Alvin Record and Hugh J. Chisholm were instrumental in building paper mills in Jay, Livermore, and Livermore Falls. The two industrialists helped make the towns prosperous.

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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.

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Powering Pejepscot Paper Co.

In 1893, F.C. Whitehouse of Topsham, who owned paper mills in Topsham and Lisbon Falls, began construction of a third mill on the eastern banks of the Androscoggin River five miles north of Topsham. First, he had to build a dam to harness the river's power.

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Making Paper, Making Maine

Paper has shaped Maine's economy, molded individual and community identities, and impacted the environment throughout Maine. When Hugh Chisholm opened the Otis Falls Pulp Company in Jay in 1888, the mill was one of the most modern paper-making facilities in the country, and was connected to national and global markets. For the next century, Maine was an international leader in the manufacture of pulp and paper.

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Princeton: Woods and Water Built This Town

Princeton benefited from its location on a river -- the St. Croix -- that was useful for transportation of people and lumber and for powering mills as well as on its proximity to forests.

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Student Exhibit: Logging on Kennebec River

I became interested in the Kennebec River log drive when my grandfather would tell me stories. He remembers watching the logs flow down the river from his home in Fairfield, a small town along the Kennebec River.

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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.

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History in Motion: The Era of the Electric Railways

Street railways, whether horse-drawn or electric, required the building of trestles and tracks. The new form of transportation aided industry, workers, vacationers, and other travelers.

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The Swinging Bridge: Walking Across the Androscoggin

Built in 1892 to entice workers at the Cabot Manufacturing Corporation in Brunswick to move to newly built housing in Topsham, the Androscoggin Pedestrian "Swinging" Bridge or Le Petit Pont quickly became important to many people traveling between the two communities.

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Walter Wyman and River Power

Walter Wyman's vision to capture the power of Maine's rivers to produce electricity led to the formation of Central Maine Power Co. and to a struggle within the state over what should happen to the power produced by the state's natural resources.

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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.

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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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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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Clean Water: Muskie and the Environment

Maine Senator Edmund S. Muskie earned the nickname "Mr. Clean" for his environment efforts during his tenure in Congress from 1959 to 1980. He helped created a political coalition that passed important clean air and clean water legislation, drawing on his roots in Maine.

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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.

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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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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?