New Exhibition Open!

June 27, 2014

HOME: The Longfellow House and the Emergence of Portland opened last night to a crowd of MHS members and friends, all eager to see the much-anticipated new show that explores the evolution of the Longfellow House and our beloved city.

This exhibition uses the House as a prism to explore how Portland has grown and changed over more than 230 years. When Peleg Wadsworth built the House on Back Street in 1785, it was on the rural outskirts of Portland. By the early 1800s, the House was at the center of a bustling, modern New England city. Since then, Portland has boomed, burned, boomed again, busted, and reemerged as a vibrant, forward-looking city. Through it all, the Wadsworth-Longfellow House has been a constant, and witness to the life of an emerging community.

Here are some images from the opening, taken by MHS Creative Manager Dani Fazio:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Learn how you can participate in the display “Your Home, Past & Present” here.

Advertisements

May Basket Full of Treasures in This Month’s e-Connection

May basket made by Sarah Owen of Cape Porpoise, ca. 1980. Owen made these for neighborhood children.

The old-time tradition of leaving treasure-filled baskets on doorknobs or doorsteps on the first of May is the subject of both “Stories from Maine Memory Network” and “From the Collections” in this month’s e-Connection. Among other things, learn how World War I-era Biddeford children earned themselves a party after initially being chased away during their May basket reverie.

Speaking of treasures, the newsletter also announces the first round of Community Mobilization Grants–the new Maine Memory Network (MMN) program made possible by funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Open up e-Connection and discover the nine organizations and communities who made the cut! Then hop on over to our “Living History” blog, which shares MMN project work, and read in detail about their plans.

A lush spot by the Longfellow Garden fountain.

May baskets should include something from the garden, and we’ve got that in spades in this month’s newsletter. On May 19, the annual Olmstead lecture focuses on “The Longfellow Gardens: The Evolution of Two Landmarks.” (Yes, there is another Longfellow Garden, here.)

Plus, the Longfellow House and Garden are now open to the public for the season. (At long last… it seemed like that winter would never end!) Check out the tour details and times and come on in.

We’ve even got a way to get you intimately involved with the Garden–right down into the dirt, in fact. May’s e-Connection features a call for volunteers to weed and prune this spring. Check out the details and the dates, and sign up to become one with the soil.

Rounding out the surprises “in store” for you: A seasonally-apt Portland Sea Dogs book coupon good in the museum shop or online.

So now that we’ve left this virtual basket full goodies on your electronic doorstep… won’t you open it? You’ll be glad you did!

This Week at MHS: Baxter B’Day, First Trans-Pacific Flight, and More

Last month, cake was served up for Longfellow’s 204th and now it’s time to celebrate another of Portland’s finest.

Among the highlights in This Week at MHS, you’ll find all the details on Wednesday’s 180th birthday party for civic father James Phinney Baxter.

Businessman, historian, and philanthropist, Baxter led efforts to create the Boulevard that bears his name, secure public lands, and build the original Baxter Library. He also served MHS as president during a period (1889-1921) of tremendous growth, overseeing the gift of the Longfellow House and the construction of the Library.

Join us from 5-7PM for Maine State historian Earle Shettleworth, Jr.’s illustrated introduction to Baxter’s life and work, followed by a reception featuring–what else–birthday cake!

Crew of Southern Cross, California, 1928

Also featured in this edition of our weekly e-newsletter:

  • An Old Sea Dog Takes to the Air,” a Maine Memory exhibit about Paris Hill resident Henry (Harry) Lyon, Jr., the navigator for the Southern Cross, which flew the first trans-Pacific flight from Oakland, California, to Sydney, Australia, with stops in Hawaii and Fiji, in 1928.
  • Details on the MHS “River Odyssey” trip from Barcelona, Spain, to Lisbon, Portugal in October.
  • April’s upcoming programs.

Enjoy!

Local History Local Schools Celebration

Our Local History Local Schools celebration Tuesday night gave students from Wentworth Intermediate School in Scarborough, Lyseth Elementary in Portland, and Small Elementary in South Portland the opportunity to show off their great work based on our gallery exhibit, “ZOOM IN: New Approaches to Maine History.”

While they all go through a similar learning process, their final projects are entirely custom-designed to the class and the student. As they should be!

Please enjoy these wonderful photos, join us in thanking their inspiring teachers, and come see ALL the fabulous results of their work, which will be up in the hallway off the lecture hall through April.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.