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Bodwell House in Hallowell, Maine Historical Photo

Bodwell House, 15 Middle St., Hallowell, Maine.

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Historical Museum Guide for Maine

A directory of Historical Museums in Maine, categorized by county.

Taking a trip to Maine?  A visit to these Maine history museums and historic sites will allow you to soak up some local history and culture while you are there.  Visit a Maine historical museum and gain insight into the history of your Maine ancestors and the way they lived.

Some history museums have virtual tours, Maine place histories, genealogy research data, and old historic photos to view online, allowing you a cyberspace visit!

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History is a symphony of echoes heard and unheard. It is a poem with events as verses... Charles Angoff

 

 

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Maine History Museums

Maine Statewide 

Portland Head Lighthouse

Covered Bridges in Maine

There are only 8 original bridges left in Maine.

Historic Light Houses of Maine

 

Androscoggin County Washburn - Norlands Living History Center

[Collections]   [Washburn History]

Norlands was once the home of the Israel and Martha Washburn family.  Today it is a museum offering living history of the 18th and 19th centuries on a farm.  290 Norlands Road in Livermore, ME.

 

Aroostook County Acadian Village   [Virtual Tour]

Located in Van Buren, Maine, this is one of the largest historical sites in Maine.  The site includes many historic structures which have been moved to the site.  You will find a railroad station, Our Lady of Assumption Chapel, a blacksmith shop, The Hamlin Schoolhouse,  a country store, The Roy House (an authentic log house), The Morneault House and many more buildings.

Fort Kent State Historic Site   [History]  [Early History and Census]

Construction of the historic fort was completed in 1839.  What remains today is the blockhouse.  Fort Kent was Maine's first state historic site.  Located in the Town of Fort Kent.

Pelletier-Marquis House  [More info]

A historic home which is known as "everyman's home' because of it's humble appearance.  This home is typical of the way the average working man lived in early Maine.  Located on Maine Route 162 in St. Agatha, ME.

 

Cumberland County

Center for Maine History Museum   [Genealogy Research]

The museum is focused on the history of Maine with exhibits of Native American artifacts, paintings, art, clothing, tools and other memorabilia related to Maine history.  The research library offers a large collection of genealogical materials including maps, manuscripts, photographs, databases and indexes.  Located at 489 Congress Street in Portland, ME.

Eighth Maine Regiment Memorial

[Memorial History]

The Eighth Maine Regiment Memorial Lodge was built in 1891.  It's original purpose was to house women and children who were camping in tents during the Eighth Maine Regiment reunions.  Today it is a place to learn about the 8th Maine Regiment, the Civil War, Peaks Island and the island's role in two world wars.  Facilities are available for special event rentals.  Located at 13 Eighth Maine Avenue in Peaks Island, ME.

Fifth Maine Museum

[Fifth Maine Regimental History]

[Peak Island History]

The museum is focused on the history of Peaks Island where pioneers settled as early as the 17th century.  Exhibits include Peaks Island pioneer history, historical regimental artifacts of Maine's Fighting Fifth, exhibits about "The Coney Island of Maine" and Peaks Island Military Reservation which was established during WWII along with others.  A Civil War Encampment is held annually.  Located at 45 Seashore Avenue in Peaks Island, ME.

Gibbs Avenue Museum

Featuring the rich history of Bridgton, Maine, the museum is housed in the 1878 former fire station.  Located in Downtown Bridgton, ME.

Joshua L. Chamberlain House

Once home to the Joshua L. Chamberlain family, Tours of the home offer the history of Chamberlains life and family.  He was once the Governor of Maine and a war hero at Gettysburg.  Address is 226 Maine Street in Brunswick, ME.

Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum

The Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Co. & Museum is a non-profit indoor-outdoor museum celebrating Maine's industrial history and technology primarily through its historic, operating two-foot gauge railroad. Narrow gauge railroads operated in Maine from the 1880s to the 1940s, connecting smaller rural communities with the larger, standard gauge railroads. Enjoy magnificent views of Portland's working waterfront aboard antique rail cars pulled by hard-working steam and diesel locomotives. Located at 58 Fore Street in Portland, ME.

Means House

Built by Captain James Means in 1797.  The Federal-style home continued to be a private residence up until 1996 when it was purchased by the Colonial Dames of the State of Maine.  It serves as the offices for the Tate House Museum and features a museum shop and meeting space of the Maine Dames.  The home is available for rental.  Located directly across the street from Tate House at

Narramissic, The Peabody-Fitch Farm

Take a tour of this 1797 farmhouse and discover what life was like during the Civil War era.  Originally built in 1797 by William Peabody, the home is being restored to reflect the style of the mid 19th century.  Open for tours in the summer season.  Be sure to check for times.  Located in Bridgton, ME.

Pejepscot Museum

Home to the Pejepscot Historical Society, the museum preserves and displays the history of Brunswick, Topsham and Harpswell while housing a research library to help visitors discover the history of the area and their own family ancestry.  159 Park Row, Brunswick, ME.

Skolfield Whittier House   [Virtual Tour]

This historic home was completed between 1858 and 1862.  The home is furnished exactly as it was left in 1925, offering visitors a glimpse into the past.  The house has been called home by three generations of a Brunswick family: Alfred Skolfield, Dr. Alice A. S. Whittier and Dr. Frank Whittier.  Located at 161 Park Row, Brunswick, Maine.

Tate House Museum and Gardens  [History]

Erected in 1755 for George Tate and his family, the lovely Georgian townhouse has been restored and is available for tours and rental.  Holding the distinction of being recognized as a National Historic Landmark, the home is exceptional for interpreting the heritage of the United States.  Located at 1270 Westbrook Street in Portland, ME.

Wadsworth - Longfellow House   [Virtual Tour]

Built in 1785 by General Peleg Wadsworth, the house as home to 4 generations of the family of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.  Since 1901 the house has been in the possession of the Maine Historical Society.  Today it is operated as a museum.  Located at 489 Congress Street in Portland, Maine.

 

Hancock County

Abbe Museum

Celebrating Maine's Native American Heritage!

Featuring exhibits about the Wabanaki Indian Tribes of Maine.  There are two locations.  The largest one is located downtown at 26 Mount Desert Street in Bar Harbor.  The other is located inside Acadia National Park at Sieur de Monts Spring off Route 3.

Bar Harbor Historical Museum  [History of Bar Harbor (Eden)

The museum is housed in the old St. Edwards Convent built in 1916.  Preserves and displays the history of Bar Harbor, once known as Eden.  Located at 33 Ledgelawn Avenue, Bar Harbor, ME.

Frenchboro Museum

Explore the heritage of Frenchboro, Long Island, Maine, a historic fishing village.  Get to the island by Island Cruise or by state ferry.

Penobscot Marine Museum

[Glass Plate Image Achive]

[Seacoast Village Virtual Walk]

Known as the oldest maritime museum in Maine, the museum is focused on the industry of Penobscot Bay in the 19th century.  The museum features a fine collection of 19th century marine art by renowned artists such as Thomas and James Buttersworth and Robert Salmon.  The museum is located in a series of historic buildings and includes a lovely and very complete Seacoast Village.  Located at 5 Church Street, Searsport, ME.

Penobscot Nation Museum

Devoted to Maine Native American history and art.  12 Downtown Street, Indian Island, ME.

Woodlawn Park Museum   [History]

Housed in the former home of Colonel John Black, the museum allows the visitor to step back in time to the early days in Ellsworth, Maine.  The historic home was built between 1824 and 1827.  Located on Route 172 (Surry Rd.), Ellsworth, ME.

 

Kennebec County

Fort Halifax State Historic Site   [History]

The fort was built 1754-1755 in order to defend the upper Kennebec River Valley against the French and Indians.  Today, the only surviving building is the Fort Halifax blockhouse and it must be noted that it has been reconstructed due to a flood which destroyed the fort in 1987.  Winslow, Maine.

Maine Military Historical Society Museum

Dedicated to the preservation of the history and tradition of the Maine military.  Located on Winthrop Street, near the front gate of Camp Keyes in Augusta, ME.  Open by appointment only.

Maine State Museum   [Virtual Tour]

The place to learn about the history of the great state of Maine.  Over 12,000 years of Maine history are revealed.  83 State House Station in Augusta, ME.

Old Fort Western   [Virtual Tour]  [History & Photos]

Built in 1754, Fort Western is the oldest surviving wooden fort in America.  Fort Western sits on the bank of the Kennebec River at 16 Cony Street in Augusta, ME.

Readfield, Maine Historical Society & Museum

 

Knox County

Maine Lighthouse Museum

The museum houses the largest collection of lighthouse lenses and lighthouse artifacts in the U.S.  Located at the Maine Discovery Center at One Park Drive in Rockland, ME.

 

Lincoln County

Colonial Pemaquid Museum   [History]

[The Fort]   [The Fort House]   [Graveyard]

The archaeological site of Colonial Pemaquid displays artifacts and exhibits what the 17th century fishing village was like.  Includes items related to the Wawenock Indian tribe.  Special events during the year offer living history demonstrations, and lectures.  The Fort is part of the remains of Fort William Henry.  Located in New Harbor, ME.

Fort Edgecomb State Historic Site   [History]

Tour the remaining structure of this fort, the blockhouse, which was completed in 1809.  Located at 66 Fort Road in Edgecomb, ME.

Monhegan Museum, The

[History]  [Buildings & Bell]

Originally established as a lighthouse in 1822, the light tower was rebuilt in 1852 and continues to serve the coast as a light house.  It has been lovingly restored to the way it was in 1899 and today houses a museum.  The famed bell located on the property was cast in 1855 by Henry N. Hooper & Company and is famed for it's appearance in the Jamie Wyeth painting "Bronze Age".  Buildings on the property include the lighthouse, the original Lighthouse Keeper's House, the "fish house", and a replica of the assistant lighthouse keeper's house.  Located on Lighthouse Hill on Monhegan Island in Maine.

 

Oxford County

Mason House Historic Museum

The historic house was constructed in 1813 and was the home of Dr. Moses Mason and wife, Agnes M. Straw.  Today the period house museum has been restored and is available for public tour.  The Bethel Historical Society is next door in the 1821 O'Neil - Robinson House and the Bethel Historical Society's Research Library is located in the barn of the Mason House.  All are located on Broad Street on the Common at Bethel, Maine.

 

Penobscot County

Bangor Historic Landmarks

This is a great list.  It includes location and photos of the historical sites in Bangor, Maine.

Bangor Museum and Center for History 

The Bangor Historical Society has been collecting and preserving the history of the Penobscot Valley since 1864.  The museum displays the history of the area and offers a large collection of Civil War artifacts.  The society holds over 10,000 photographs and offers research services for research of material contained in their archives.  Tours of other properties include Thomas Hill House and Mt. Hope Cemetery.  Previously located at 6 State Street in Bangor, ME, the museum is being moved and will open in 2008.  The new address is 25 Broad Street in Bangor, Maine.

Cole Land Transportation Museum

Corinth Historical Museum   [Virtual Tour]

Housed in the Old Grange Hall and operated by the Corinth Historical Society, the museum collects, preserves and documents the history of Corinth, Maine.  The museum archives many documents and photographs which are available to researchers.  The society offers some local history and genealogy data online at their web site.

Hudson Museum at the University of Maine

Leonard's Mills Maine Forest and Logging Museum

[Living History Days]

One of Maine's oldest historical sites!  During Living History Days, the village comes alive with folks in period dress, performing daily tasks as if you had dropped into the 1790s.  As you stroll around the site, you will hear bagpipes and smell hot cider among other mouthwatering goodies.  The settlement is halfway between Milford and Brewer just off route 9.

Newport Cultural Center

Housing both the Public Library and the Newport Historical Society and Museum, visitors will find a vault for public records, a genealogy room and a museum for historical artifacts.  Located at 154 Main Street in Newport, ME.

Old Town Museum

Housed in the former Saint Mary's Catholic Church, the museum is focused on Old Town's heritage and the lumbering industry in this area.  Located at 353 Main Street, Old Town, ME.

Page Farm and Home Museum  [Virtual Tour]

Visitors learn what life was like on a farm in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  Historic buildings at the site are an 1833 White farm barn, a one-room schoolhouse from Holden, ME, the Winston E. Pullen Carriage House and some reproductions of buildings.  The museum is focused on rural farm life in Maine.  Located on the campus of the University of Maine in Orono, ME.

Stewart M. Lord Memorial Historical Society Museum

Dedicated to the preservation of The Old Tavern of Burlington and the preservation of history and artifacts of Burlington, the museum is housed in five buildings along Burlington's Main Road.  Historic buildings include Ye Old Tavern, the Lord Building, the Shorey Building and the Willing Workers Comfort Lodge.

 

Piscataquis County

Blacksmith Shop Museum

Originally buiilt in 1863 by Nicholas A. Chandler, the blacksmith shop has been restored and maintains much of the original blacksmith equipment including the forge, ox-lifter, anvil and tools.  Located at 100 Dawes Road in Dover-Foxcroft, ME.

Dover - Foxcroft - Observer Building Museum

Erected in 1854 as a tenement building, it later served as home to The Observer (Pisctaquis County's oldest weekly newspaper).  Today it is home to the Dover-Foxcroft Historical Society and features a history museum with exhibits devoted to the early history of the Dover-Foxcroft area along with exhibits about The Observer.  Located in downtown Dover-Foxcroft, ME.

 

Somerset County

Jackman Moose River Historical Museum

 

Waldo County

Belfast Historical Society & Museum

Featured as The Museum In The Streets, this is basically a self guided walking tour with panels, photos and plaques to lead you and provide historical information concerning the historic buildings and sites in the town.  Located at 10 Market Street in Belfast, ME.

Davistown Museum

Fort Knox State Historic Site   [History

Fort Knox is the largest historic fort in Maine.  Built between 1844 and 1864 using large quantities of granite.  Located on Route 174 west of the Waldo Hancock Bridge.

Lincolnville Historical Society School House Museum

Housed inside the 1892 Beach School building, the museum features historical artifacts, documents and photographs related to the history of Lincolnville and the surrounding area.  Located at 33 Beach Road in Lincolnville, ME.

 

Washington County

Milbridge Historical Museum

The museum features history of the shipbuilding era in Milbridge and displays artifacts and exhibits related to the history of the area.  Located on Main Street in Milbridge, ME.

 

York County

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seashore Trolley Museum

Saco Museum

Known as the third oldest museum in Maine, it was founded in 1866.  The museum houses a large collection of early paintings including artists: John Brewster Jr., Gideon Elden Bradbury and Charles Henry Granger.  Also offered are some national rare treasures.  At the same location, is the Dyer Library, housing archived materials including over 10,000 manuscripts, photographs and maps of York County and the Saco area.  Located at 371 Main Street, Saco, ME.

The Seashore Trolley Museum

Tour the Maine countryside in an early 1900s electric streetcar and learn about the history of the trolley system in early Maine.  Located at 195 Log Cabin Road in Kennebunkport, ME.

Willowbrook Village

[History of Willowbrook]

19th Century Willowbrook Village is a place where visitors can experience an earlier and simpler time and learn the story of life in the mid to late 1800s in rural Maine.  Willowbrook Village is a picturesque created village of historical buildings, artifacts and items from the Victorian era.  Located at 70 Elm Street in Newfield, Maine.

 

 

Museum Index for Other States

Maine Census Records

 

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Maine Historical Museums Guide is a tool designed to help you find Maine history museums and ME historic sites.  

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