Amazing! Maine Stories

Text by Candace Kanes and Steve Bromage
Curator, John Mayer

Images from Maine Historical Society and William Fogg Library

People make history. Things tell tales.

These stories -- that stretch from 1999 back to 1759 -- take you from an amusement park to the halls of Congress. There are inventors, artists, showmen, a railway agent, a man whose civic endeavors helped shape Portland, a man devoted to the pursuit of peace and one known for his military exploits, Maine's first novelist, a woman who recorded everyday life in detail, and an Indian who survived a British attack.

Some are people with a sense of family, some with a sense of history.

Items they and their relatives left to the Maine Historical Society provide the material for these Amazing! stories. Written in tabloid newspaper form, the stories remind us that history is created by all sorts of people, doing things from the ordinary to the extraordinary.

What people save can help determine what stories history has to tell. Objects and documents from the Maine Historical Society collections relate some amazing tales of Mainers -- those who are well known and those who are more obscure.

This two-part exhibit is based on a gallery exhibit that was on view at Maine Historical Society from June to December 2004. That exhibit was sponsored by Diversified Communications, Peoples Heritage Bank, and the Edward H. Daveis Benevolent Fund.

Click on the links below the images to view Part I: 1999-1879; and Part II: 1866-1759.