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Maine Historical Society
Ranked #42 of 164 things to do in Portland
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Attraction details
Owner description: A growing museum, incomparable library and statewide educational resource, we are located in the heart of Portland’s downtown cultural district. Founded in 1822, the Maine Historical Society (MHS) is the third oldest state historical society in the United States! Our one–acre campus is situated in downtown Portland, across from Monument Square. MHS's campus is comprised of the Wadsworth–Longfellow House and Longfellow Garden, the Maine Historical Society Museum and Store, and the MHS Research Library. We also manage Maine's digital museum: Maine Memory Network. Winter Opening Hours (Oct-May) Gallery + Store: Tues-Sat 10am-5pm Longfellow House: Closed until May 1, 2018 Longfellow Garden: Closed until May 1, 2018 Brown Library: Wed-Sat 10am-4pm Administrative Offices: Mon-Fri 9am-5pm
Reviewed 20 April 2018

This is not really a museum sharing the history of Maine it is mostly an excellent research library. There is just a small exhibit which is currently about Maine food - likely better to visit in the summer when you can also tour the Longfellow House. The small gift shop is well stocked and the price is very reasonable.

Thank Ajaxme
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MaineHistoricalSoc, Public Relations Manager at Maine Historical Society, responded to this reviewResponded 5 days ago

Thank you for your visit and your review! It sounds like from your review you were able to visit the library - which is not only lovely but houses collections essential to the study of Maine and New England history. Thanks again for your visit!

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"longfellow house"
in 19 reviews
"research library"
in 4 reviews
"gift shop"
in 7 reviews
"an amazing tour guide"
in 2 reviews
"subject matter"
in 2 reviews
"house tour"
in 2 reviews
"great place to visit"
in 3 reviews
"walking tour"
in 2 reviews
"few hours"
in 2 reviews
"maine"
in 37 reviews
"history"
in 24 reviews
"museum"
in 18 reviews
"henry"
in 3 reviews
"industry"
in 2 reviews
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1 - 5 of 75 reviews

Reviewed 27 March 2018

I had hoped to visit both the museum and the Longfellow House however unfortunately the house was closed. It didn't bother me too much though as really I wanted to learn about Maine's history as a state. The museum only cost $8 and it’s quite small but the thing I really found odd about it is that it didn’t actually have any history in it! I could understand it not being like one of the large museums which cover millions of years of history, but this didn’t even include Maine’s history! The closest thing to anything about the past was the food exhibit which touched upon Maine’s farming and fishing industries. The other two exhibits included artists and comic book artists who were born or who live in Maine and a little bit about how Maine influenced their artwork. The food exhibit was the most interesting and I did learn that farming, particularly potato crops, were a big industry here as well as fishing of course. But honestly, I could have saved myself the $8 and Googled the history - I'm sure I would have found a lot more information. Whilst the museum is nice, it shouldn't be called a history museum!

Thank VikkiBee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MaineHistoricalSoc, Public Relations Manager at Maine Historical Society, responded to this reviewResponded 5 days ago

Hi VikkiBee and thanks so much for your review! We appreciate your thoughtfulness and detail, and we have shared your thoughts among our staff so we are positioning our museum gallery exhibitions appropriately to meet our guests' expectations. Our comic artists exhibition was a direct spinoff of our Creative Maine exhibition - they were a pair - exploring creativity in Maine both in the past and today. Unfortunately, when you visited, Creative Maine had just closed and Maine Eats (our food exhibition) had just opened - we absolutely can see how that would seem incongruous!
As a historical society, we feel history is most impactful when it directly relates to life today. For that reason, you’ll see a lot of history at MHS alongside stories of history being made today, as is the case with our food-related exhibit. But you are absolutely correct, we don't have a static/long-running exhibition telling the story of Maine history, rather we have rotating gallery exhibits featuring themes related to Maine history (food, creativity, military history, etc.) and those exhibits change year-to-year. Thanks again for your feedback - we appreciate it!

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Reviewed 6 March 2018

We stopped in for a visit last Saturday. The exhibit on food and people from Maine was interesting and educational. It was informative to learn about the connection of food and canning industry. A great place to visit for a few hours.

Thank Bob C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MaineHistoricalSoc, Public Relations Manager at Maine Historical Society, responded to this reviewResponded 12 March 2018

Bob - thanks for your visit! We're delighted that you enjoyed the Maine Eats exhibition!

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Reviewed 3 November 2017

Had a great time doing the Longfellow Haunted House tour. James was an amazing tour guide and you can tell he really loves the subject matter. Highly recommend as a Halloween excursion.

Thank Sean M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MaineHistoricalSoc, Public Relations Manager at Maine Historical Society, responded to this reviewResponded 6 November 2017

Thank you for your review, Sean! Glad you enjoyed the Longfellow's Haunted House tour!

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Reviewed 30 October 2017

Very clever folks are working here. The exhibits are brilliant and well presented and enjoyed. The book shop is fascinating and worthy your browsing. The historic Longfellow House just next door. Job well done everyone involved

Thank CS1Portland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MaineHistoricalSoc, Public Relations Manager at Maine Historical Society, responded to this reviewResponded 1 November 2017

Thank you so much for your review! Glad to hear you enjoyed your visit and we are thrilled that you browsed our museum store and saw some great items. We appreciate your feedback!

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