Culture & Heritage: a celebration of Maine’s Storied Past maine

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Media Contact: Charlene Williams

Publicist for the Maine Office of Tourism

Culture & Heritage: A Celebration of Maine’s Storied Past
MAINE (2009) - From the Native Americans whose woven baskets have transcended from function to fine art to the rugged shipbuilders that put Maine on the maritime map, many cultures have contributed to the unique spirit of Maine. Their stories, legends and triumphs are proudly preserved and shared through the heritage sites, colorful festivals, and interpretive museums that attract many thousands of visitors annually.

  • The Maine Lighthouse Museum in Rockland houses the country’s largest collection of lighthouse equipment and memorabilia.

  • The Maine Maritime Museum in Bath features a large collection of maritime-related art and artifacts, an original 19th century shipyard, and regularly scheduled hands-on activities.

  • The Penobscot Marine Museum in Searsport is a complete historical village where visitors can learn about the sea captains that helmed Maine’s most storied ships.

  • Visitors can see what life aboard a tall ship was really like by taking a sail on one of the historic vessels that comprise the Maine Windjammer Association fleet based in Rockland and Camden.

Logging and Lumbering
  • The Maine Forest and Logging Museum at Leonard’s Mills Historic Settlement in Bradley is an interactive living history site that transports visitors to a 1790s logging and milling community.

  • The Patten Lumbermen’s Museum displays a large collection of logging artifacts including a vintage Lombard Steam hauler, antique chainsaws, logging sleds, Holt tractors, logging tools, and many photographs documenting the visual history of Maine logging.

  • The Rangeley Lakes Region Logging Museum exhibits hundreds of artifacts and memorabilia including a collection of Alden Grant oil paintings that document life in early 20th century lumber camps.

Native American Traditions

  • The Abbe Museum in downtown Bar Harbor possesses more than 50,000 Native American artifacts spanning 10,000 years including a swan bone flute that is estimated to be 2,000 years old.

  • The Maine State Museum in Augusta tells the story of the Red Paint People, Native Americans that lived in Maine more than 4,000 years ago.

  • The Wabanaki Arts Center Gallery in Old Town displays and sells traditional baskets and jewelry made by members of four Maine Indian tribes.

  • Each July, Bar Harbor is the site of the three-day Native American Festival featuring the basketry, dance and food of the Penobscot, Maliseet, Micmac and Passamaquoddy tribes.

The French Connection
  • The Acadian Village in Van Buren is a cluster of 12 historic and replica structures that preserve the history and ways of Maine’s Acadian population, French immigrants that settled in Nova Scotia in the 16th and 17th centuries and were then deported in 1755 because they would not strengthen their pledge of allegiance to the British Crown.

  • The Acadian Festival, held every June in Madawaska, is the state’s largest cultural festival. It includes a re-enactment of the first Acadian landing in northern Maine, a traditional Acadian supper, barge rides, and a festival parade.

  • The Ploye Festival in Fort Kent, held every August, honors the French Acadian pancake with a Ploye eating contest and a Ploye cooking contest. The event also features Acadian food, a street bazaar, and the world’s largest Ploye – 12 feet and four inches in diameter.

  • Museum L-A in Lewiston tells the story of the men and women (including many French Canadians) who helped the shoe, textile and brick mills of Lewiston and Auburn thrive in the early 1900s.

  • The Franco-American Heritage Center in Lewiston is a combination museum, cultural center and performance hall that pays homage to the area’s French-speaking Canadian roots.

For more information or additional culture and heritage story ideas, please contact Charlene Williams, or 207.623.4177.


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