11 Things to Do This Summer-2018

History lovers don't often get enough credit for enjoying time in the outdoors. To prove the skeptics wrong here is a list of 11 things to do this summer. They all have a history focus and most have an outdoor element! 

1)Learn about the Environmental History of the Presumpscot River

Thursday, July 19, 2018, 6:30 pm, Falmouth Congregational Church, 267 Falmouth Road, Falmouth. 

Conserving historic landscapes is historic preservation too!  This lecture is part of the "Changing Landscapes, Shifting Tides Event Series which is exploring the interactions between humans and the landscape over Falmouth’s 300 year history."

2) Enjoy Historic Eastern Promenade and a Historic Community Band 

Thursday, July 26, 2018, 6:30 pm, Fort Allen Bandstand, Eastern Prom., Portland.

The Friends of the Eastern Promenade are hosting their 8th annual community concert series in this historic park. While you are there take in the new historic markers and reader rails to get acquainted with Fort Allen's history. On July 26th the concert will be given by Chandler's Band. According to the band's website, "it was organized in 1833, and is believed to be the nation’s second oldest professional band in continuous service." If you can't attend this concert attend any of the other 7 concerts for good community, history, music, and hopefully a treat from a food truck! 

3)Take a bite of Maine Food History at the Wadsworth-Longfellow House

Friday, July 27, 2018 5:30 pm at the Wadsworth-Longfellow House, 489 Congress St. Portland

"T ake a delectable food-themed tour of the Wadsworth-Longfellow House and help make and sample a historic dessert. Participants will also take home a copy of a vintage recipe from MHS collections. History never tasted so good!" This program will repeat on Friday, August 24, 2018

4) Eat Pancakes in a Historic Building on Peaks Island

July 29, 2018, 8:00 Am - 11:00 Am 5th Maine Museum, 45 Seashore Avenue, Peaks Island, Portland

Need I say more? The 5th Maine Museum is a civil war memorial and cultural center on Peaks Island. Originally it was the headquarters of the fifth regiment Maine Volunteer infantry. No better place to share pancakes with your community than in a hall built to celebrate camaraderie and service. 

5) Learn about the Deering Neighborhood with the Friends of Evergreen

Sunday, Aug 5, 2018 at 2pm, Evergreen Cemetery,  672 Stevens Avenue, Portland

"The tour covers the history of the immediate Steven Plains and Deering Center neighborhood, from Woodfords Corner to Morrill’s Corner, as reflected by former residents who are interred at Evergreen...It also includes information about the neighborhood’s tinsmithing, comb-making, tannery, and canning industries plus brief histories of Deering High, Hoegg Hall, and harness racing at Presumpscot Park."


6) Celebrate the 350th anniversary of the Eastern Cemetery with Spirits Alive and pay respect to Lemuel Moody, founder of the Portland Observatory

Sunday, August 12, 2018, 3:00 pm to 7:00pm, Eastern Cemetery, 224 Congress Street, Portland. 

 On the anniversary of Captain Lemuel Moody’s 1846 burial at Eastern Cemetery, Spirits Alive is partnering with us, Greater Portland Landmarks, for a special tour of the Observatory at 5:30pm followed by a reading of Moody’s obituary at his Eastern Cemetery tomb at 6:30pm. 

7) Learn about Bunglers, Blusterers, and Boneheads: The Less than Heroic History of the American Revolution in Maine

Thursday, August 23, 2018, 6:30 pm, Tate House, 1267 Westbrook St., Portland.

This lecture by Jim Nelson is sure to be an entertaining look at the untold histories of the American Revolution. Part of a monthly lecture series from the Tate House, they have many more interesting speakers planned! 

8) Get to Know Portland's Deering Highlands Neighborhood

August 28, 2018, 6pm, Woodfords Club, 179 Woodford St., Portland. 

Landmarks has been surveying the history of Portland's off-peninsula, Deering Highlands Neighborhood. We gave a lecture on the first part of our research in summer of 2017. This summer we finished the research and on August 28, 2018, our own Julie Ann Larry will share our discoveries from this summer's surveys. The event is free but registration is required. Sign-up on our website. 

9)Look at a Snapshot of Yarmouth's History

On view until September 8, 2018 at Merrill Memorial Library, 215 Main St. Yarmouth.   

Yarmouth Historical Society and Merrill Memorial Library are pleased to present an exhibit of historic photographs, which will be on view in the library beginning on July 3, 2018.  The photos, all reprinted from original photos in the collection of Yarmouth Historical Society, offer glimpses of 19th-century and early 20th-century life in Yarmouth. They illustrate the streetscapes of the village, highlight island life, and illuminate the mill and shipbuilding industries. All pieces will be available for sale through Yarmouth Historical Society.

10)Tour the India Street Neighborhood and the Abyssinian, The State Street Neighborhood, or the US Custom House. 

Ongoing through out the summer, tickets available online or at the Portland Observatory. 

  • Homes of Portland's Golden Age: Elegant Federal mansions, Greek Revival residences, and high style Italianate houses grace this tour of the Spring Street Historic District. Tours offered Tuesdays and Fridays at 10:00 am.
  • U.S. Custom House: With its magnificent architecture in the heart of a bustling seaport, The Custom House was recently restored to its 1872 glory. Tours offered Wednesdays & Thursdays at 10:00 am & 11:00 am.
  • Portland's India Street: The Grand Trunk to the Abyssinian: The India street neighborhood has been a crossroad for Portland's workers, residents, and travelers through the centuries. Walk back in time from the 21st to the 19th century exploring the oldest street in Portland and its newest historic district. The walk will end with an exclusive tour inside the Abyssinian Meeting House, America's 3rd oldest African-American Meeting House. This tour is offered in partnership with the Abyssinian Restoration Project.

11) Take a Walking Tour on Your Own Time at Your Own Pace! 

  • Pick up one of our Family Walking Guides: 4 Walks through Portland and head out into the city either at our office, the Portland Observatory, or online. All walks happen to pass by stops for cool refreshment.    
  • Westbrook Historical Society has put together a couple different walking tours of their city. See Westbrook through Rudy Vallee's eyes or the eyes of a company mill worker. 
  • This spring we have several in-depth walking tours of Munjoy Hill and now they are all online and free!