Long-Standing Favorites

The Maine State Museum shows the best of Maine – all under one roof. From beautiful nature scenes with live trout, to a dramatic three-story working mill, to objects created by Maine's earliest people, the museum's exhibits offer something for everyone. Rich in detail and appeal about Maine's history, environment, and pre-historic past, these long-standing favorites provide new discoveries with each and every visit.

About Maine's environment…

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  • Back to Nature provides a stunning walk through Maine's seasons and environments, each filled with animals, birds, and plants. Back to Nature concludes with Maine Gems, a look at beautiful mineral specimens such as smoky quartz, tourmaline, rose quartz, and amethyst exhibited in both their original and faceted forms.

  • Cabinet of Curiosities shows that natural science specimens were the first collections exhibited when the Maine State Museum began in the 1830s. Cabinet of Curiosities invites visitors young and old to explore these collections and discover the important data preserved about Maine's past and present plant life, animals, lands, and waters.

About Maine's history and environment…

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  • Maine Bounty: The People and Resources that Shaped Maine greets visitors with the Lion, its signature 1846 steam locomotive. Maine Bounty features tools and equipment, large and small, that harvested, transported, and sold trees, granite, fish, ice, and agricultural products to establish the state's resource-based economy.

About Maine's history…

  • Made in Maine, an award-winning exhibition, features a working three-story water-powered woodworking mill. A long ramp gradually winds around the mill, enabling close-up views of its moving parts. On the ramp's opposite side, historical settings, such as a sewing room, blacksmith shop, wool carding mill, and shops for making furniture, shoes, and fishing rods reveal stories of Maine people at work and the amazing variety of products they created.

  • Struggle for Identity takes visitors back to clashes among French, English, and Native Americans for lands and resources in what is now Maine. As shown in the exhibit's maps, objects, and artwork from the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, and Maine's boundary disputes, conflict defined both the shape and character of Maine from the 1600s through the 1840s.

About Maine's pre-historic past…

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  • 12,000 Years in Maine takes visitors back to the retreat of the last glacier and Clovis or Paleo-Indian culture. At the exhibit's entrance is a stone meat cache, which may be the oldest surviving human-built structure in North America. The extensive and richly-detailed exhibit that follows shows more than 2,000 stone tools and weapons, animal bones, and clay pottery fragments that illuminate what archaeologists have learned about Native American people living in Maine for millennia before Europeans arrived in the 1500s.