Maine Historical Society
In This Issue
Maine Facts & Trivia
Maine Memory Network
New! Richard D'Abate Fund
February Programs
Unique Opportunities
MHS Gala Event
Museum Store

Current Exhibits



Dressing Up, Fitting In, Standing Out: Adornment & Identity in Maine (Through May 27, 2012)


Lecture Hall Gallery 

Take to the Streets! (Through March 31, 2012)


Showcase Gallery

Student art work from our Local History/Local Schools program 

Winter Hours


Museum & Museum Store: Mon-Sat 10am-5pm 


Brown Library: Tues-Sat 10am-4pm


The Wadsworth-Longfellow House is closed for the season. Guided tours resume in May. 

Spotlight On

Nick Noyes

Head of Library Services 

 Nick Noyes


This February marks Nick's 24th year at MHS. He grew up in Portland and attended Portland High School, Hebron Academy, and Dickinson College, and earned his MLS at Columbia University. Nick spent 20 years working in the hotel industry in Kennebunkport before switching gears to the library world.


Library Life

Nick worked at the Columbia Teacher's College Library in New York and at the Goodall Memorial Library in Sanford before coming to MHS. When asked his favorite part of his job, Nick replied "Working in reference and helping people make discoveries in their work." His favorite collection in the MHS library: the John Mead Gould diaries.


Fun Facts

 * Nick is a member of the Society of Colonial Wars, the Mayflower Society, the Sons of the American Revolution, and other heraldry associations.  


 * His personal interest in genealogy has led him to add 60,000 names to his family tree.  


 * Nick resides in Mechanic Falls with his wife, Margaret, and vacations on Monhegan Island.  


 * He has a huge and diverse collection of neckties.  


 * Often heard saying: "There's no such thing as an historical emergency." 

Maine Facts & Trivia


What in the WORLD?


"Like" us on Facebook and tune in each week for What-in-the-World?- Wednesdays when we present mystery artifacts from our collections and you guess what they are! We reveal the answer on our blog. We hope you'll play along! 

Here's a recent What-in-the-World? Wednesday artifact and some of your guesses!

Guesses from Facebook followers:

- Christmas Tree Stand
- A mold for stepping stones/paving bricks
- A form for making a priest's biretta
- A food masher


Stay Connected


Become A Member

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Buy Local

Visit Us Online

Maine Historical Society

Maine Memory Network

Vintage Maine Images

Longfellow Website

Maine History Online

MHS Museum Store

Online Museum Catalog

Digital History from Maine Memory Network

 Historical Photograph:  

Fort Allen Park, Portland, ca. 1890  



MMN Item #13694 


Efforts are underway to restore Fort Allen Park in Portland. The park, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, contains the original earthen berm from Fort Allen, which was established in 1814 to protect the entrance to Portland Harbor. The Park's iconic bandstand, carriage drive, and overlook were built in the 1890s. In 1905, the renowned Olmsted Brothers landscape firm created a master plan for the Eastern Promenade, including Fort Allen Park. The Park's original design exemplifies the ideals of the Olmsteds' signature landscapes.


To learn more about the Fort's restoration and how you can weigh in at upcoming public workshops, visit the Friends of Eastern Promenade.      

MHS News

Maine Historical Society Presents 

The Richard D'Abate Lectures: Conversations About History, Art, and Literature

In May, Richard D'Abate will retire after 16 years as Executive Director of Maine Historical Society. We are pleased to recognize his many contributions to MHS and Maine's cultural life through a special program series that will run from March through May.

The series will explore a topic near to Richard's heart--the connections between literature, art, and history--and one that has helped shape MHS's approach to Maine history during his tenure. It will bring a first-class group of historians, writers, artists, and thinkers to MHS,
and honor the friendships and collaborations that have characterized Richard's career. We hope you can join us.

RD montage
Programs and Dates 

Tuesday, March 6, 12pm

Longfellow's Shadow: A reading of poems by Wesley McNair and Betsy Sholl


Thursday, March 15, 7pm

Hold On: The Privilege of Keeping Old Things Safe with Nicholson Baker, Author


Tuesday, April 3, 12pm

Perspectives on Maine History: Maine at Work, 1860-1900 with Earle G. Shettleworth, Jr., Maine State Historian; and William Bunting, Historian, Author, and Master Storyteller


Thursday, April 5, 7pm

The Nature of Lost Things with Rosamond Purcell, Photographer


Thursday, April 19, 7pm

The Civil War of 1812 with Dr. Alan Taylor, Professor of History, University of California, Davis


Thursday, May 10, 7pm

Saving Second Nature: The Environmental Movement in New England with Dr. Richard W. Judd, Professor of History, University of Maine, Orono


Thursday, May 24, 7pm

The Mysterious Penobscot Belle: Early Photography & a Forgotten Wabanaki Encampment in Portland in the mid-1800s with Harald E.L. Prins and Bunny McBride, Kansas State University


Click on the bold program titles for more information on our website.   


This program series is supported by the Maine Humanities Council and the Margaret E. Burnham Charitable Trust.  

Maine Humanities Council  Burnham logo

MHS Announces  

The Richard D'Abate Fund   


The Trustees of MHS have announced the creation of the Richard D'Abate Endowment Fund for Scholarship and Special Programs. This endowed fund will provide support for visiting scholars, scholars-in-residence, special lectures, exhibits, and other events. Until now, MHS has not had a dedicated fund specifically to advance scholarly activity and programs. Please join us in recognizing Richard by supporting this important fund. You can do so today using our secure online donation form. Thank you!

For more information, please contact the Development Office at (207) 774-1822, ext. 231 or by email

February Programs  


Saturday, February 11, 1pm

In Partnership with Portland Ovations  

Documentary Screening: Old Maine's Swedish Farms 


This 30-minute documentary chronicles Maine's unique Swedish history through interviews with six residents of Maine's Swedish Colony. The film, which will be looped throughout the afternoon, is being screened in partnership with Portland Ovations in advance of the upcoming February 16 performance by Vasen, a trio of Sweden's best musicians.  Included with MHS museum admission. Free for Ovations & MHS members.    


Tuesday, February 21, 7pm

Public Parks: Care and Cultivation of Fort Williams Park, Cape Elizabeth

Women's Army Auxiliary Corps, Fort Williams, 1942. #17243
This is the first in a 4-part series that explores the landscape of Greater Portland. This panel and discussion, presented in partnership with Greater Portland Landmarks, will explore current initiatives to develop sustainable funding models for the park, preserve historic features, create an arboretum, and provide appropriate visitor amenities. Suggested donation: $10 ($5 for MHS/GPL members)


Saturday, February 25

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1868. #4111 
Join us for a family party to celebrate Longfellow's 205th birthday! The party will include readings of Longfellow poems by MPBN's Irwin Gratz, Herb Adams' reading of The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere, crafts, and cake! 


1pm: Longfellow and Bull: The Poet and the Virtuoso 

With speaker Charles Kaufmann, Artistic Director, The Longfellow Chorus
Ole Bull
Ole Bull. Courtesy Boston Athenaeum

Join us to learn about Longfellow's friendship with violinist Ole Bull (1810-1880). Bull performed for kings, queens, and presidents, and his colorful temperament inspired artists, writers, and poets around the world.

MHS Programs Sponsor
Burnham logo  

Last Chance to Sign Up    

MHS Annual Gala


The Mad Hatter Affair 

Hats off to Richard!  

The Mad Hatter Affair  

Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Woodlands, Falmouth   


Join us for our annual Mad Hatter Affair on Saturday, May 5th. The evening, one of MHS's most important fundraisers, includes a reception and dinner, hat parade, live and silent auctions, a live broadcast of the Kentucky Derby, and music and dancing with the Tony Boffa Band! The evening will also include a special tribute to Richard D'Abate. Join the fun and support MHS!  


For tickets, corporate sponsorships, or to advertise in our program book, contact Elizabeth Nash, or download the flyer.  

Media Sponsor Maine Home and Design  

Museum Store

Commemorative Spoons 

Commemorative Spoon  


Sterling Silver commemorative spoons of the Wadsworth-Longfellow House. 5 �" long. Gift boxed. A limited number are available, so when they are gone...they're gone!

$29.95 each. Purchase online or at our store.  


Visit us at 489 Congress Street in Portland. Museum store winter hours are Monday through Saturday 10am-5pm.

Maine Historical Society  489 Congress Street  Portland, ME 04101 (207) 774-1822

MHS e-Connection is your online source for news and events at MHS, e-mailed monthly.