Junior Docents Delight with Heartfelt House Tours

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At Maine Historical Society, we like to think that every tour of the Wadsworth-Longfellow House is special, and we know that a large part of what makes them special is the dedication and knowledge of our volunteer docents. On July 10, MHS’s newest crop of volunteer docents had the chance to ply their newly acquired tour-guiding skills for the very first time, delighting the visiting public with an open-house style tour of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s childhood home from a perspective the poet would have surely appreciated: a youthful one!

The hosts of the open house that day were fourth and fifth grade Portland-area students who had just completed MHS’s third annual Junior Docent Camp. Campers spent a week learning not only about the Longfellow family, their home, and Henry’s poetry, but also about what life was like for kids in the 19th century, the best practices for leading public tours, and about the work of history museums.

The camp was a unique opportunity for kids to interact with museum staff and collections in ways that are not often available to history buffs who are so young. Collections Manager Holly Hurd-Forsyth showed the campers objects from the collection, explaining how to handle historic artifacts and how they can be read just like books as a way to learn about the past. Director of Library Services Jamie Rice shared documents associated with the Wadsworth and Longfellow families and provided campers with a behind the scenes tour of the Brown Research Library.

Other popular activities included spirited rounds of “games of graces,” making butter, exploring the Portland Farmer’s Market, and even dipping candles. After escorting an impressive 59 visitors through the Wadsworth-Longfellow House in just two hours, the campers and their families celebrated their graduation from the program with a small ceremony in the Longfellow Garden.

For inquiries about the 2015 Junior Docent Camp, contact Kathleen Neumann at 207-774-1822 ext. 214, or kneumann@mainehistory.org.

Highlights From Our 193rd Annual Meeting

MHS 193rd Annual Meeting-34

Ellsworth Brown delivers the keynote at Maine Historical Society’s 193rd Annual Meeting

On Saturday, June 6 we convened in the Brown Library Reading Room for the 193rd Maine Historical Society Annual Meeting.

Ellsworth H. Brown, Ph.D — Director of the Wisconsin Historical Society — delivered an engaging keynote address to our crowd of 80. Brown discussed how history shapes place and region, entertaining the audience with anecdotes and insights. “Stories are how humankind makes sense of itself,” said Brown. “We are society’s memory,” he later noted regarding the role of museums and historical societies. And on the prevalence of digital information today, Brown made a provoking declaration: “The digital world is a real world. It’s not different; it’s real.”

MHS 193rd Annual Meeting-39

Ellsworth Brown & Steve Bromage

Prior to Brown’s speech, MHS Executive Director Steve Bromage bestowed awards upon three prominent individuals in the MHS network:

  • Elizabeth Ring Service Award: Aynne Doil, Events Chair
  • Neal W. Allen, Jr. History Award: Candace Kanes, Curator, Maine Memory Network
  • Trustee Recognition Award: Theodore B. Oldham
MHS 193rd Annual Meeting-10

Steve Bromage & Aynne Doil

MHS 193rd Annual Meeting-14

Steve Bromage & Candace Kanes

MHS 193rd Annual Meeting-17

Theodore B. Oldham & Steve Bromage

Additionally, four new Trustees were welcomed to the Board:

  • Penelope Carson
  • Nancy Cline
  • Jan Eakins
  • Tobey Scott

To round out the day, participants were led on a special tour of our collections storage featuring an up-close look at some of our seldom-seen treasures; and a chance to learn how our new offsite Collections Management Center — developed in partnership with Portland Public Library — is helping to shape MHS’s future.

Maine National History Day Winners Congratulated in Augusta


In early April, student winners of the Maine National History Day competition were celebrated in a ceremony in the cultural building in Augusta, the home of the Maine State Museum, Archives, and Library. MHS Director Steve Bromage, State Historian Earle Shettleworth, Commissioner of Education Tom DesJardins, and University of Maine administrators, among others, were on hand to congratulate students who will go onto the national competition in Maryland in June. MHS is part of a consortium that organizes the competition, which is held at UMaine in Orono in March.


Noah Binette (left), a Maine student who placed first in the 2014 National History Day competition

Books in the Wadsworth-Longfellow House | Part 2: Sitting Room Library

Notes from the Archives by Nancy Noble, MHS Archivist & Cataloger

IMG_7877The sitting room once held Stephen Longfellow’s law office. Stephen (1776-1849), the father of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, used a sideboard-bookcase, which had a center drawer that folded down to form a writing space. It was the books in this bookcase that I cataloged this winter. I assumed they would be dry and dull law books, but to my delight and surprise I found more books associated with the family, which give more insight into the Longfellows.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and family, Italy, 1869. Collections of Maine Historical Society.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and family, Italy, 1869. Collections of Maine Historical Society.

Granted, many of these books did belong to Stephen, and had to do with law, and his work as a legislator. But other Longfellow family members make their appearance, by signing some of the books. These include…

Stephen Longfellow, Portland, ca. 1845. Collections of Maine Historical Society.

Stephen Longfellow, Portland, ca. 1845. Collections of Maine Historical Society.

Henry’s siblings:

-Stephen Longfellow (1805-1850). A teenaged Stephen doodled men’s profiles, ships, and a dog in ink on the endpages of The Elements of Greek Grammar.

-Elizabeth Wadsworth Longfellow (1808-1829). Elizabeth died at the age of 20, so it’s wonderful to have evidence of her life, with some of her textbooks in the house.

-Anne Longfellow Pierce (1810-1901). Although most of Anne’s books are in her bedroom, a few of them are also in this book case. They include poetry, fiction, and devotional writings.

Alexander Longfellow, Portland, 1880

Alexander Longfellow, Portland, 1880

-Alexander Wadsworth Longfellow (1814-1901). Elements of Chemistry by Edward Turner (1830) has an inscription by Alexander, dated 1831, when he was acting as secretary for his uncle Alexander during a tour of duty in the Pacific, off the coast of Chile. He later became a surveyor, and worked for the U.S. Coast Survey.

-Mary Longfellow Greenleaf (1816-1902). Mary signed several of the books, including textbooks, probably used by her at the Portland Female Academy.

-Samuel Longfellow (1819-1892). Samuel gave his sister Mary Yarrow Revisited: And Other Poems (1835) by William Wordsworth.

Henry’s wives:

-Mary Potter Longfellow (1812-1835). One of the most poignant books in the house is Mary Potter’s Bible. It was given to her in 1819 by her cousin George Chase, three days before his death, “as a memento of his affectionate love.” Mary was 7 years old. In between the Old Testament and the New Testament is the Potter family genealogy. Mary’s husband, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, added the dates of their marriage in 1831 and her death in 1835. Mary died in Rotterdam from a miscarriage, when she and Henry were touring Europe.

W-L 365 Mary Potter's Bible

W-L 365 Mary Potter’s Bible

-Fanny Appleton Longfellow (1817-1861). Gems of Sacred Poetry (1841) is inscribed: “Anne L. Pierce 1845, from her sister Fanny, with much love.” Fanny Appleton Longfellow was the second wife of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, therefore, Fanny’s “sister-in-law.”

Other relatives:

-Anne Sophia Longfellow Balkam (born in 1818). Anne Sophia, gave her cousins Mary and Anne Longfellow books as gifts. She was the only child of Captain Samuel Longfellow (1789-1818), Stephen Longfellow’s (1776-1849) younger brother. She inherited part of the estate of her grandfather Stephen Longfellow (1750-1824). Although she lived outside of Portland during most of her girlhood, she corresponded with and visited her Portland cousins. She was a bridesmaid at Mary Longfellow’s wedding to James Greenleaf in 1839.

-Mary King Longfellow (1852-1945). Mary, the daughter of Alexander Wadsworth Longfellow, Henry’s brother, owned The Child’s Matins and Vespers (1853).

-Henry’s great grandfather, Stephen Longfellow (1728-1790). Stephen owned a book called Essays Upon Field-Husbandry in New-England, which is inscribed on the front: “This book belonged to Stephen Longfellow the School Master, see his autograph on outer cover.” Stephen Longfellow was Falmouth’s first schoolmaster and filled many important civic offices.

-George Wadsworth. George is the lone “Wadsworth” in this group. He was possibly Henry’s uncle, the brother of Henry’s mother Zilpah. George may have owned a French dictionary in the book case, which was later owned by his brother-in-law Stephen, and niece Mary.


Another Wadsworth, however, can be found in this collection, by association. Abel Bowen’s The Naval Monument (1816) is inscribed: “Reuben Goff, Charlestown, Mass.” Reuben Goff was in the navy yard in Charlestown more than forty years. He made models, including one of the bridge from Charlestown to Boston. He was considered one of the finest workmen in wood, and when he died was at the head in one of the departments in the yard. What’s the connection to the Wadsworth and Longfellow families?

IMG_7868Some of the books have a connection to Henry himself, some from his student days at Portland Academy and Bowdoin College, as well as his professor days at Bowdoin. And not only Henry, but his brothers Stephen and Alexander, who also attended, and his father Stephen, an overseer and trustee of Bowdoin College. Henry used a Latin dictionary at the age of 13 when a student at Portland Academy. Apparently this dictionary was also used by Samuel, his brother.

Most charming is a book written in Spanish and inscribed by Henry to his brother Alexander: “Alex. W. Longfellow, de la hermano, Enrique, Brunswick, Me. 1830.” Alexander attended Bowdoin College in 1829, and for a while stayed with his brother Henry and his first wife Mary Storer Potter. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was a professor of modern languages at Bowdoin – during his years teaching at the college, he translated textbooks in French, Italian and Spanish; his first published book was in 1833, a translation of the poetry of medieval Spanish poet Jorge Manrique. This book, by Garcilasco de la Vega, a Spanish poet, may have been inscribed by Henry (“Enrique”) to his brother Alexander.

W-L 286: Obras de Garcilaso de la Vega cover

W-L 286: Obras de Garcilaso de la Vega cover

W-L 286: Obras de Garcilaso de la Vega title page

W-L 286: Obras de Garcilaso de la Vega title page

Several of the books, including textbooks, were signed by “T. G. Kimball.” Thomas G. Kimball of Monmouth was a student at Bowdoin around 1835, and possibly a student of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

IMG_7876There is also a pamphlet entitled Acts Relative to Bowdoin College and the Standing Rules and Orders of the Overseers of the College, printed in 1826, which is inscribed: “S. Longfellow, 1831.” This may have been Stephen, father of Henry, as he was an overseer of the college from 1811-1817, and a trustee from 1817-1836.

One of the oddest finds is a book printed in 1830, which has the inscription: “Presented to his Majesty Louis Philippe, King of the French, by the Editor.” It is also inscribed, in different and later handwriting: “From the family of A. W. Longfellow.” This may have been Alexander Wadsworth Longfellow, brother of Henry. Louis Philippe (1773-1850) was the French King from 1830 to 1848 as the leader of the Orleanist party. He was sworn in as King Louis-Philippe I on August 9, 1830. The book, The Debates, Resolutions, and Other Proceedings, in Convention, on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution…was collected by Jonathan Elliot. One can only surmise at the connections.



The most exciting find of the project was to come across a “Scherenschnitte,” or scissor-cutting, by Martha Honeywell, lying loosely in Gems of Sacred Literature (1841). The book is inscribed: “Anne L. Pierce from her brother Henry, Jan. 1, 1845.” Martha Ann Honeywell, (about 1787-after 1848), was an itinerant silhouette artist who was born without hands and had only three toes on one foot. She cut paper for her silhouettes and profiles by holding the scissors in her teeth, using her toes for steadiness and guidance. The cutting is signed by Martha Honeywell and may have been collected by Anne from a performance by Honeywell who appeared at one time in Portland and in Boston. The scissor-cutting is now housed in the museum.


To learn more about these books you can search our Minerva catalog (Dewey Call Number Search) for W-L. This will bring up all the books in the Wadsworth Longfellow House, including the books in Anne Longfellow Pierce’s bedroom (see blog Part 1), and the sitting room. It also includes books that originally were in the house but are now located in the Brown Research Library.

5.7.2015 | Civil War Historian David Blight Wows the Crowd

More than 100 people filled Rines Auditorium at Portland Public Library on May 7 to hear celebrated Civil War historian and Yale professor David Blight speak about the legacy of the Civil War. Blight is the author of numerous books and articles on the war including Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory, which won eight awards. The talk served as the “endnote” to the three-year, NEH-funded Local & Legendary: Maine in the Civil War project that MHS collaborated on with Maine Humanities Council.

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A captivating speaker with a wide-ranging intellect, Blight spoke about the many reasons the Civil War still holds sway in our national memory. These included our many periods of “racial reckoning” in this country (including the one we’re in now), the Civil War as the beginning of the modern era and so-called “big government,” and societal concepts of loss and death.

Local & Legendary team members, including ten students from Spruce Mountain High School in Jay, got the chance to speak to Professor Blight one-on-one prior to the talk.

Books in the Wadsworth-Longfellow House | Part I: Anne Longfellow Pierce’s Library

Notes from the Archives by Nancy Noble, MHS Archivist & Cataloger


Anne Longfellow Pierce’s library in the Wadsworth-Longfellow House.

In the rear second floor bedroom of the Wadsworth-Longfellow House is a small bookshelf filled with books that belonged to Anne Longfellow Pierce, the sister of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Anne grew up in the family home on Congress Street in Portland, and lived there for 87 of her 90 years. Anne eventually became the sole owner of the house, bequeathing it to the Maine Historical Society when she died in 1901.

During the fall of 2014 I catalogued these books, and along the way gleaned a little information about Anne and her family and community. Anne was a devoted member of the First Parish Church (Unitarian) just down the street from her home, and many of these books were given to the church by Anne, only to be returned many years later to the Maine Historical Society. Many contain a bookplate from the “Minister’s Library” at First Parish.

Wadsworth-Longfellow House, Portland, ca. 1880. Anne Longfellow Pierce, the poet's sister, gave the building to the Maine Historical Society in 1901.

Wadsworth-Longfellow House, Portland, ca. 1880. Anne Longfellow Pierce, the poet’s sister, gave the building to the Maine Historical Society in 1901.

Beyond the association with the church are associations with Anne’s family. Many of the books were given to her by her younger brother Samuel Longfellow (1819-1892), a minister and hymn writer. Hymns and Meditations is inscribed: “Anne L. Pierce with love & good wishes from her brother S., Jan. 1st, 1864.” Anne’s sister Mary Longfellow Greenleaf presented to her Seven Voices of Sympathy: From the Writings of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, the work of their famous brother. Lucia Wadsworth, Anne’s aunt, gave her a Bible dated 1833, when Anne was in her early 20s. A five-volume series of The Works by Jeremy Taylor belonged to Anne’s husband George Washington Pierce, a classmate and close friend of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow who studied law in Stephen (Henry and Anne’s father) Longfellow’s office. Sadly George Washington Pierce died a year after inscribing into these volumes: “Geo. W. Pierce, Oct. 1834.”He was 29, having been married to Anne only three years.


Anne Longfellow Pierce’s library in the Wadsworth-Longfellow House.

There are presentation copies from friends, such as Life in the Sick-Room by Harriet Martineau, which is inscribed: “Anne L. Pierce from her friend, P. C. Jones [?], June 6th, 1844.” The may possibly be Paulina Cony Jones (1809-1845), who must have had sympathy for Anne who was caring for her father Stephen, who died in 1849, and her mother Zilpah, who died in 1851.

Anne Longfellow Pierce, Portland, 1830

Anne Longfellow Pierce, Portland, 1830

One book contained newspaper clippings about geraniums and potatoes, and a manuscript envelope with list of countries on it, from which one could glean more insight into the thoughts of Anne Longfellow Pierce.

Apart from Anne’s imprints on these books, many were owned by Nathaniel F. Deering. A few were used in the pews of the First Parish Church, such as A Collection of Psalms and Hymns for Christian Worship which is inscribed at the top of the title page: “John J. Brown [?], Pew 96.”

Given the connection to the First Parish Church, most of these books are religious in nature, but occasionally there are a few glimpses of life beyond the spiritual realm. The Golden Chersonese and the Way Thither by Isabella L. Bird is a surprising find. Isabella Lucy Bird was a nineteenth-century English explorer, writer, photographer and naturalist; she was the first woman to be elected Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. The golden Chersonese is about Bird’s travels to Malay and China. There are also a few books of poetry, a book about Lord Lyttleton, and a book about Edward the Sixth.

To learn more about these books you can search our Minerva catalog (Dewey Call Number Search) for W-L 600 through W-L 641.

COMING SOON: Books in the Wadsworth-Longfellow House | Part II: Stephen Longfellow’s Library

Mr. Longfellow’s Cocktail Party Auction Preview


Guests attending Mr. Longfellow’s Cocktail Party on Friday, May 8 can bid on these exciting items in our silent and live auctions. Support Maine Historical Society and the work we do throughout the state by bidding early and often!

Note: This event is sold out, but you can still buy tickets for the Magical History Tour on Saturday, May 9.

Live Auction

1. L.L. Bean Manatee Kayak Package

This bestselling Manatee kayak has features typically seen only on more expensive boats. Measuring 10 feet in length and weighing 42 pounds, the cockpit is roomy and can hold a paddler up to 275 pounds. The sleek hull shape allows the kayak to track more easily than other similar boats without sacrificing stability and speed. Package includes kayak, paddle, cockpit cover, and personal flotation device. L.L. Bean will ship the package directly to the high bidder.

Courtesy of L.L. Bean, Freeport, ME

Value $580

2. Private Cocktail Party

Host a 3-hour cocktail party for ten guests in the privacy of your own home. Let the professional staff of Blue Elephant do the work for you. Package includes two hours of delicious fare including passed and stationary hors d’oeuvres and one hour of dessert and coffee. Collaborate with the caterers to create a menu that reflects your personal style. Beer and wine provided by the Maine Historical Society. Date to be mutually agreed upon; event to be held between January 1-December 1, 2016.

Courtesy of Blue Elephant Catering & Events, Portland, ME

Value $850

3. Lincolnville Cottage Stay

Enjoy three nights at this charming cottage on Norton Pond in Lincolnville, just six miles from Camden. Nestled amongst pines and lakefront on three sides, this cottage offers accommodations for four people, and includes a dock, floats, kayaks, canoes, and fire pit.  Tastefully decorated with antiques, all linens, cutlery, cable TV, and local telephone are also included. No smoking, but a well behaved dog is allowed. Mutually agreed upon date must be secured with owner. Available June 2015.

Courtesy of Elizabeth McLellan, Portland, ME

Value $500

4. The Press Hotel Package

Are you enjoying Mr. Longfellow’s Cocktail Party this evening? Return to the hotel for a luxury weekend package for two at Portland’s only boutique lifestyle hotel. The Press Hotel is centrally located to take in Portland’s vibrant arts and entertainment community, unique shopping, historic city tours and outdoor recreation located on Portland’s waterfront. This all-inclusive package includes a two-night stay for two in one Superior King Room. Dinner and breakfast served in their cornerstone restaurant M.C. UNION inspired by James Beard Award-Winning Chefs Mark Gaier and Clark Frasier. Enjoy early morning French Press coffee or an evening cocktail in the lobby bar, Inkwell. This package includes use of the fitness center, free Wi-Fi and valet parking, and time to enjoy the on-site Gallery of Maine Artists. Does not include alcohol, tax and gratuity. Based on availability, some dates may be blacked out. Expires May 15, 2016.

Courtesy of The Press Hotel, Portland, ME

Value $900

5. Holiday Markets Viking Cruise

Spend the holidays on a Viking River Cruise. Winter is a magical time of year in Europe, with fairytale snow-topped castles and mountains, and a wonderful festive spirit everywhere. In Europe’s Christmas markets the air is filled with the scents of gingerbread and warm, spicy glühwein, and the tunes of traditional carols can be heard around every corner. What better way to experience Christmas traditions – in the lands where they originated? Enjoy a relaxing festive season with no rush, just the wonder of Europe’s most enchanting destinations, and the best-dressed ship in town. Choose your own itinerary for a trip between Thanksgiving and Christmas 2015. Holiday Market Cruises include the Rhine Getaway, the Romantic Danube and the Danube Waltz.

Package is an 8-day cruise for two passengers. Regular shore excursions are included as well as meals on board, and beer and wine with lunch and dinner. Your trip can be booked up to 120 days prior to sailing. Airfare, transfers, taxes and optional shore excursions are not included.

Courtesy of Viking River Cruises, Woodland Hills, CA

Value $9,598

6. WoodenBoat Class

Take a course at the world-famous WoodenBoat School in Downeast Maine. Entering its 35th year, WoodenBoat School has become a favorite destination for anyone interested in boats and boating. Choose from a wide variety of course offerings including boat building, seamanship, sailing, and navigation.The extraordinary beauty of the school’s 64-acre campus in Penobscot Bay, the knowledgeable staff, good food, comfortable accommodations, and plenty of like-minded guests will combine to create an experience of a lifetime.

Courtesy of WoodenBoat, Brooklin, ME

Value $750

7. A Day in Prouts Neck

Spend a day in Prouts Neck, a summer enclave for generations of families in Scarborough. Tour the historic studio and home of artist Winslow Homer. Take in the beautiful ocean views on the Cliff Walk, a one-mile rocky walk along the shoreline.  Afterwards, walk down to the Black Point Inn for dinner. Package is for four people; this three-course dinner offer is good from May 11-October 29, 2015, and is subject to availability. Includes tax, excludes alcohol and gratuity. Studio tour date and time based on availability; group leaves from the Portland Museum of Art. Package also includes Winslow Homer notecards and a one-year family membership to the PMA.

Courtesy of Black Point Inn, Scarborough, ME, and the Portland Museum of Art, Portland, ME

Value $750

Silent Auction

1. Longfellow Lilacs

The historic Longfellow Garden was dismantled in 2007 to facilitate the Brown Library renovation. At that time, a lilac tree dating to the time that Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s sister, Anne Longfellow Pierce, lived in the house, was removed and cared for at O’Donal’s Garden Center. That lilac was replanted and carefully cultivated by O’Donal’s. Each year, O’Donal’s makes available bushes that have been grafted from the original tree. Two of these bushes are available for purchase tonight. It’s your turn to take home a piece of Maine history!

Courtesy of the Longfellow Garden Club and O’Donal’s Garden Center,

Gorham, ME

Value $100/ each bush

2. Personal Trainer

Reap the benefits of good health! This package includes a gift certificate for two in-home personal training sessions. No travel or equipment is necessary. Get a head start on your summer fitness plans!

Courtesy of Custom Built, Buxton, ME

Value $120

3. Dinner & Overnight in Deer Isle

Experience the heart of Downeast Maine on Penobscot Bay at the Pilgrim’s Inn. Built in 1793, this post and beam inn is listed on the national Register of Historic Places. Enjoy dinner for two and one night stay at this charming inn. Excludes July and August stays.

Courtesy of The Pilgrim’s Inn, Deer Isle, ME

Value $400

4. Longfellow’s Haunted House Tour

Twelve guests will enjoy a private guided tour of the Longfellow House, based on Longfellow’s 1852 poem Haunted Houses, with the immortal opening line: “All houses wherein men have lived and died are haunted houses.” This special, private tour looks at the Longfellow House through the lives of the people who died there. Offer good one week before and one week after Halloween, at a time to be agreed upon.

Courtesy of James Horrigan, Scarborough, ME

Value $200

5. Vintage Jade & Gold Bracelet

This beautiful vintage nephrite jade and 14 karat gold bead bracelet is a rare find. Dress up a pair of jeans or accent a cocktail dress. This bracelet is an elegant addition to any lady’s wardrobe.

Courtesy of Springer’s Jewelers, Portland, ME

Value $1,400

6. Dahlov Ipcar Lithograph

Dahlov Ipcar’s intricate, distinctive, and whimsical artwork is known worldwide, with pieces of her work in the permanent collections of numerous museums, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art. The Maine artist still lives and paints in the 1860s farmhouse that she shared with her husband for nearly 70 years. Produced in 2011, Two Calicos measures 12” x 16” and is signed and numbered by the artist.

Courtesy of Dahlov Ipcar, Georgetown, ME

Value $300

7. Private Wine Tasting

Private wine tasting for six people is a sure way to entertain your friends. Ellie Chatto, Level One Sommelier, will provide two white wines and two red wines, each paired with a light bite to eat. Ellie will share her expertise and discuss each wine, appropriate food pairings, and also how to evaluate each type of wine. To be held at the Chatto condo, situated on Portland harbor and offering spectacular views of the water, or in the privacy of your own home. Great fun, with a touch of education.

Courtesy of Ellie Chatto, South Portland, ME

Value $200

8. John Calvin Stevens Package

Get an insider’s look into Maine’s most notable architect, John Calvin Stevens (1855-1940). Great-grandson Paul Stevens, architect at SMRT, Inc. will provide an introductory lecture at Maine Historical Society followed by a walking tour of Portland’s downtown buildings designed by JCS.  The tour will return to the Brown Library at MHS to view JCS drawings with Nick Noyes, Curator of Library Collections. Package is for up to 12 people, and date and time is to be mutually agreed upon in advance.

Courtesy of Paul Stevens and Nick Noyes, Portland, ME

Value $1,000

9. Explore Fort Gorges with Portland Paddle

Portland Paddle gives you and a friend a chance to tour historic Fort Gorges—accessible only by water—via kayak. The 3-hour – paddling trip begins on East End Beach and heads into the Portland Harbor to Fort Gorges, a Civil War-era fort in Casco Bay. Your Maine Guide will allow you plenty of time to explore Fort Gorges and tell you about the Fort’s storied history before you paddle home. For two people, 9:30-12:30 on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, or Sundays. Equipment will be provided.

Courtesy of Portland Paddle, Portland, ME

Value $96

10. Overnight Stay at the Westin Portland Harborview Hotel

Luxuriate at one of Portland’s oldest hotels. Recently remodeled, The Westin Portland Harborview, is known for its stunning views of Portland, the harbor, and the mountains from its fabled Top of the East restaurant. Package includes a one-night stay in a traditional room with complimentary breakfast for two people.

Courtesy of The Westin Portland Harborview Hotel, Portland, ME

Value $359

11. Maine Red Claws Basketball

Take home a piece of Portland history for that sports enthusiast in your family with a Maine Red Claws team-signed basketball! A member of the NBA Development League since 2009, and affiliated with the Boston Celtics, the Maine Red Claws is committed to the greater Portland community and supports many non-profit organizations.

Courtesy of the Maine Red Claws, Portland, ME

Value $50

12. Hidden Gardens of Munjoy Hill

Take part in the 9th annual Hidden Gardens of Munjoy Hill Tour on Sunday, July 12, 10am – 4pm. Get a sneak peek into some of the most beautiful and charming gardens on the Portland peninsula. This self-guided tour begins at the Munjoy Hill Neighborhood Organization building at 92 Congress Street. Package is for four people.

Courtesy of Aynne Doil, Portland, ME

Value $60

13. Plan of Portland, 1856

This framed reproduction map depicts the Portland peninsula and surrounding area in the mid-19th century showing Fore Street as the city’s sea wall. Commercial Street served as a bridge spanning the wharves and thereby connected shipping to the Atlantic and St. Lawrence Rail Road. Engraved as a directory and published by S. N. Colesworthy in 1856. Hand colored by John R. Barrows.

Courtesy of Sally Barrows, Galeyrie Maps & Custom Framing, Falmouth, ME

Value $350

14. Maine Historical Society Research Services

The Brown Research Library at Maine Historical Society offers a variety of research services, including family history, Maine local and early New England history, house research, and much more. Areas of specialty include New England genealogy, Portland-based research, 18th and 19th century Maine, and colonial land records.

Library staff to offer outright research services or a personal consultation on how to begin or proceed on your own, including suggestions for further sources outside of the collections at MHS. This package includes five hours of research and/or consultation time. The date and time of the initial consultation to be mutually agreed upon in advance.

Courtesy of Jamie Rice, Portland, ME

Value $250