Holiday Message from the Director

Season’s Greetings!

This will be a busy, wonderful month at MHS. There are many ways to enjoy and experience the holidays–from family programs and special house tours, to music in the house and caroling in the library, to shopping for great Maine products at our store and holiday bazaar.

As we approach the end of 2011, we are also looking back at the year’s many accomplishments, and ahead to the work of 2012. We hope you will consider making a gift to the MHS Annual Fund this month. The Annual Fund supports all that we do to make history meaningful, accessible, and enjoyable. You can help!

Finally, individual and family memberships make a great holiday gift! There are many benefits–free admission to the House, museum, and library; a subscription to the journal Maine History, and discounts on merchandise, trips, and programs–but there’s also the good feeling that comes with knowing your gift will help preserve history throughout the state.

As always, thanks for your friendship, support, and interest. With best wishes for the holidays,

Richard D’Abate, MHS Executive Director


Bringing it Home: The 2011 Annual Fund

This week marks the final push to bring the MHS Annual Fund home. Can we count on you to help us meet our goal by Friday, September 30th?

In 1953, Margaret Chase Smith supported the Jimmy Fund through a donation to her Skowhegan neighbor Colin Quinn.

Mainers, including former Maine Senator Margaret Chase Smith, have a long tradition of supporting community needs and causes near to their hearts.

In 1948, the Jimmy Fund was created following a visit by members of the Boston Braves baseball team to a young Maine cancer patient named Einar Gustafson. The Jimmy Fund is now closely identified with the Boston Red Sox. (Come on, Red Sox, hold on!) In the case of the Jimmy Fund, contributing included financial donations, volunteering, and helping raise awareness.

Those are the dynamics that help MHS thrive, too. This week our focus is on the financial piece. The Annual Fund provides essential support for all MHS activities.

Please consider making a gift online to the MHS Annual Fund.

Maine Historical Society depends on the generosity of its members and friends to help support the important work of collecting, preserving and sharing Maine’s cultural heritage. By supporting the Annual Fund, you’ll be helping to preserve Maine history and sustain the team of librarians, museum curators, and educators who are dedicated to bringing Maine history to life, making it meaningful, relevant, and accessible.

The Maine Historical Society is a private, not for profit organization. Your gift is tax deductible. For more information, please contact the Development Office at (207) 774-1822, ext. 231 or email

Additional stories from our THIS WEEK AT MHS e-newsletter can be viewed here.

We Value–and Need–Your Support

House wrights' banner, Portland, 1841

We hope the news, stories, and exhibits you receive through our various communication tools provides you with a window into all that MHS does–preserving valuable historic treasures like the Maine Charitable Mechanics banners, helping communities use Maine Memory Network to share their local history, providing thousands of elementary school students with a unique museum experience, maintaining the Longfellow House and Garden, documenting the contributions of interesting Maine citizens like Dave Astor, and much more.

Despite challenging economic times, MHS has remained strong, thanks to generous friends who value and support the work we do. The Annual Fund is an essential part of this support–it provides approximately 20% of the MHS budget and supports core activities across the organization.

Instrument Makers' banner, Portland, 1841

Our Annual Fund goal for this fiscal year is $260,000–a 15% increase over last year.  Ambitious, but also critical to maintaining our programs and ensuring they reach and serve as wide an audience as possible. Our fiscal year ends September 30 and we need your participation.

Robert Penn Warren said, “History cannot give us a program for the future, but it can give us a fuller understanding of ourselves, and of our common humanity, so that we can better face the future.”

Won’t you help MHS remain strong far into the future by joining with us to preserve, celebrate, and study Maine’s dynamic past? It’s a great gift to our common humanity.