Top 15 Historical Sites in Maine!

Even though Maine became a state in 1820, it was first settled along the coast during the early 1600s. And the Native Americans had been living in the area for centuries before that. Maine has a long and interesting past, which can be seen today in its many historical sites across the state. Here are the top 15. 

1. Fort Williams, Cape Elizabeth, ME

Fort Williams, most known for its lighthouse, is a former United States Army fort in Cape Elizabeth. It operated from 1872 to 1964 as part of the Coast Defenses of Portland and is now a public park. The fort contains three batteries where guns were once housed for war defense. Today you can see the ruins of the former batteries.

2. Old Port, Portland, ME

The city of Portland was founded in 1633. One of the oldest parts of Portland is the Old Port. During the Revolutionary War, the city became a major shipping center. The city was destroyed by fire from a British raid in October 1775 and once again burned in the 1866 fire. The city had to rebuild again and much of the original architecture after the 1866 fire can be seen in the distract today.

3. Acadia National Park, Mt. Desert, ME

Acadia National Park is the oldest national park east of the Mississippi. This 47,000-acre part first opened in 1916. Much of the park was developed through funding from wealthy donors like George B. Dorr, Charles W. Eliot, and John D. Rockefeller Jr. Throughout the park and the island you can see the historic carriage trails and hiking paths and the mansions of the rich and famous. 

4. Victoria Mansion, Portland, ME

The Victoria Mansion was constructed between 1858 and 1860. The mansion served as a summer home for Ruggles Sylvester More, a Maine native who amassed wealth through luxury hotels in New Orleans. The inside of the mansion was extravagant, with high-end furniture and artwork. Now serving as a museum to the public, come take in the stunning sites of this immaculate home. 

5. Palace Playland, Old Orchard Beach, ME

Palace Playland is a seasonal amusement park located near the pier in Old Orchard Beach. While it may not seem like your typical historic site, Palace Playland first opened its gates in 1902. You won’t see any antique rides here, but you can enjoy the fun and laughter that has been here for over 100 years.

6. Fort Knox, Prospect, ME

Fort Knox was built in 1844 to protect the Penobscot River region from possible British attacks after the American Revolution and the War of 1812. The large stone fort was named after America’s first Secretary of War, Major General Henry Knox, who retired to Thomaston, Maine in 1796. The fort never saw military action and is in pristine condition for visitors during the warmer months.

7. Wadsworth-Longfellow House & Garden, Portland, ME

Henry Wadsworth-Longfellow, one of the best poets and writers in the United States, grew up in this small house on Congress Street. The house was built in 1785 by General Peleg Wadsworth where he and his wife raised 10 children. Henry’s youngest sister, Anne Longfellow Pierce, lived in the house up until her death in 1901 where she passed the house to the Maine Historical Society. All the household items and artifacts are original to the Wadsworth and Longfellow families. 

8. Penobscot Marine Museum, Searsport, ME

The Penobscot Marine Museum is Maine’s oldest maritime museum designed to preserve Maine’s rich maritime and shipbuilding history. The museum is only open during the summer months.

9. Quoddy Head State Park, Lubec, ME

Quoddy Head State Park is the easternmost point of the continental United States. This 541-acre state park is home to the West Quoddy Head Light, which was built in 1808 to warn mariners of the dangerous cliffs and rocky ledges nearby. Quoddy Head State Park is the closest geographic point in the United States to Africa. 

10. Baxter House, Gorham, ME

The Baxter House is a small, historic home that now serves as a museum. Built in 1797, the house was the birthplace of former mayor of Portland, James Phinney Baxter. Percival, Baxter’s son, later became a two-term governer of the state and donated the land for Baxter State Park. 

11. Harriet Beecher Stow House, Brunswick, ME

The historic Harriet Beecher Stowe House in Brunswick Maine, was rented to the Stowe family from 1850 to 1852. The home is now owned by Bowdoin College, but during her time there, Stowe wrote “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” 

12. Seashore Trolley Museum, Kennebunkport, ME

Founded in 1939, the Seashore Trolley Museum is the biggest electric railway museum on the planet. The museum houses trolleys and streetcars from across major U.S. cities and even different countries. Tours take visitors through the grounds where these historic cars are stored, taking you to a different time. 

13. Winslow Homer Studio, Scarborough, ME

Owned by the Portland Museum of Art, the Winslow Homer Studio is located on Prouts Neck in Scarborough. Homer lived and painted many of his greatest masterpieces in this studio from 1884 until his death in 1910. Tours are available for the public from the spring through the fall.  

14. Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village, New Gloucester, ME

Established in 1783 in New Gloucester, the Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village is home to the only active Shaker Community in the world today. The village is situated on 1,800 acres and contains 17 historic buildings. There is a museum and workshop on site. 

15. Fort Kent Blockhouse, Fort Kent, ME

The Fort Kent Blockhouse is located where the Fish and St. John Rovers meet in Fort Kent. The Fort Kent blockhouse is actually the only from the Artstook War of 1838, considered a “bloodless” war. The “war” was just a border quarrel between Great Britain and the U.S., but it was later resolved by the Webster-Ashburton Treaty of 1842. The small museum is now free and open to the public. 

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Find Historical Societies, Sites & Museums Near You
223 Union Street Unit 747, Rockport, ME
The Camden- Rockport Historical Society is located near the town line of Rockport and Camden, Maine, and maintains the Conway Homestead and grounds... Read More
9400 College Station, Brunswick, ME
History: The original collection of European paintings, Old Master drawings, and family portraits given by James Bowdoin III and his family in 1811... Read More
121 Main Street, Bridgton, ME
Mission: The Rufus Porter Museum celebrates the life and times of a remarkably creative American genius who worked throughout Maine, New England, a... Read More
3 Lindsay Road, York, ME
About Us: The Old York Historical Society, doing business as the Museums of Old York, was founded more than one hundred years ago to preserve the h... Read More
117 Main Street, Kennebunk, ME
Mission:The mission of the Brick Store Museum is to ignite personal connections to local history, art, and culture through exhibitions, education, ... Read More
751 Main Street, Monmouth, ME
Located at the southern end of Kennebec County in lush agricultural land that has become noted for the production of high quality apples, the town ... Read More
327 Main Street, East Vassalboro, ME
The Vassalboro Historical Society Museum is maintained year-round in the former East Vassalboro Grammar School located on State Route 32, just nort... Read More
30 High Street, Thomaston, ME
Mission Statement:The General Henry Knox Museum (dba Knox Museum) serves to honor the life and times of General Henry Knox and the heritage of Mont... Read More
117 Museum Street, Owls Head, ME
Mission: The Owls Head Transportation Museum is a non-profit educational organization. Its Mission is to collect, preserve, exhibit and demonstrat... Read More
PO Box 293, Jay, ME
Our Mission: To create an exciting interactive museum where visitors can experience life in a paper-making community. The museum will encourage t... Read More
40 School Street, Kingfield, ME
The Mission of the Stanley Museum: The Stanley Museum keeps and shares the traditions of Yankee Ingenuity and creativity as exemplified by the Sta... Read More
5 Church Street, Searsport, ME
The mission of the Penobscot Marine Museum is to preserve, interpret, and celebrate the maritime culture of the Penobscot Bay region and beyond thr... Read More
Main (Rte 4) and Liberty Streets, South Berwick, ME
Home to some of the most interesting artifacts and documentation that still survives to chronicle the history of the coastal areas of New Hampshire... Read More
97 Cross Road, Alna, ME
Mission Statement: The Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway Museum, Inc., is a non-profit organization established in 1989 to acquire, pr... Read More
72 Oak Street, Boothbay Harbor, ME
History: During the early and mid-1600s, English fishermen and farmers settled in the Boothbay region. When Pilgrims were low on food, in 1622, a f... Read More
243 Washington Street, Bath, ME
Mission: Maine Maritime Museum celebrates Maine's maritime heritage and culture in order to educate the community and a worldwide audience about th... Read More
58 Main Street, Liberty, ME
The Davistown museum has many bibliographies as listed below. To the right of each bibliography is the number of the volume in which the bibliograp... Read More
P.O Box 6, Edgecomb, ME
History: Edgecomb, in the southern part of Lincoln County, is situated upon the peninsula formed by the Sheepscot and Damariscotta Rivers, having N... Read More
290 Norlands Road, Livermore, ME
Our Mission : Our mission is to preserve the heritage and traditions of rural life in Maine's past, to celebrate the achievements of Livermore's W... Read More
19 Black House Drive, Ellsworth, ME
Vision:The Hancock County Trustees of Public Reservations envisions Hancock County as a unique and special place endowed with a vibrant quality of ... Read More
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