Experience

Experience Freeport's History
Whether you're curious about Freeport history, a member of our community, or only in Freeport for a few hours, we encourage you to stop by and enjoy our latest exhibition!

FHS exhibits temporarily closed

While FHS remains closed to the public during the pandemic, we hope you will enjoy a trip down memory lane on some of the most recent FHS exhibits. We look forward to sharing more digital exhibition resources in the months to come.

Past FHS Exhibits

The Mast Landing: Industry, Commerce, and Its People, 1720s-1920

Co-Curated by Holly Hurd and David Coffin

Our most recent exhibit focused on Mast Landing, the area where large pine logs destined to become ship masts were hauled and loaded into the Harraseeket River during the 18th century. Abner and David Dennison moved to town in 1757 and soon after built a sawmill and vessel at the landing. This industrial activity marked the beginning of growth toward a village that would thrive, prosper, and decline as new modes of transportation changed the face of commerce. FHS Trustee David Coffin co-curated the exhibit, which included years of work on the historic Mast Landing village as well as new information about the people who lived and worked there.

Blacksmiths & Storekeepers: Freeport Village Crossroads of Change, 1770-1920

This exhibit highlighted and interpreted changes in Freeport Village over a century-and-a half beginning with the earliest landowners and developers, a blacksmith and store owners, and ending with the multi-store blocks and smithies that dominated the village at the turn of the 20th century.

Stories of Freeport’s Past: Celebrating Our Collections

This exhibit showcased objects that tell an interesting story, for example the top hat of Freeport entrepreneur E.B. Mallet, Jr. who developed Freeport Village in the late 19th century by building a shoe factory, and opening a granite quarry, sawmill, and brickyard to encourage industrial production.

In addition to these strongly “storied” artifacts, we featured some “mystery” objects – items that are intriguing, but come with little or no associated history (except that they are from Freeport) – and objects in our collections not generally seen by the public

Cobblers to Capitalists: Two Centuries of Freeport Shoemaking

While many know that Freeport, Maine is home to L.L. Bean, few are aware that Freeport was once home of a bustling shoemaking industry. The exhibit explored the history of shoemaking in Freeport, from the early itinerant cobblers who constructed custom-made shoes at people’s homesteads in the late 18th century, to the late 19th century assembly-line production characterized by a number of people making different shoe parts, to the final pair of shoes manufactured in town by Eastland Shoe in 2001.

VISIT US

OFFICE HOURS: T-F 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

PETTENGILL FARM: Grounds are open year round, dawn to dusk. House is open by appointment.

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