History and Heritage Museums

Maine has thousands of years of history and, unsurprisingly, many excellent museums and historical homes to explain and celebrate it.

Major historical exhibits can be found at the Maine State Museum in Augusta and the Center for Maine History at the Maine Historical Society in Portland.

Information on Maine’s interwoven cultures are found throughout the state. Native American history is celebrated at the Abbe Museum in Bar Harbor. The Acadian Village explains the culture of the Acadians, the French people of Nova Scotia exiled in the 18th century to northern Maine and beyond. The Maine Jewish Museum in Portland is built within a downtown synagogue.

Interested in Colonial life and architecture? The Lincoln County Historical Association Museums and the Museums of Old York in York offer you the chance to see some of the homes and civic buildings of Maine’s earliest European settlers.

Maine hosts a number of house museums and restored historic homes, some of them large and stately like Victoria Mansion in Portland and the Woodlawn Museum in Ellsworth. Other celebrate the lives of specific Mainers, such as the homes of author Sarah Orne Jewett in South Berwick and Civil War hero Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain in Brunswick.

If you’d like to relive history as well as learn from it, visit Washburn-Norlands Living History Center in Livermore. The 445-acre center recreates life on a 19th-century New England farm.

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