Here’s what our visitors say:

“A tour of this museum gives the visitor a good look at so much: the life of Peaks Island, the history of the Civil War and its people, battles and artifacts, interesting late 19th century architecture, and a lovely garden.”

“We loved this museum. It's a must see on the island.”
Season 2021 update

Dear Friends of the Fifth Maine Museum,

Spring has sprung here on Peaks Island! Besides sunny skies, warm temperatures, and flowers in bloom, we have something else to celebrate. The Fifth Maine Museum will open for the season on Friday, May 28th.

We will be open from 11am-4pm on:
May 28-June 30: Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays
July 1-August 31: Everyday
September 1-October 11: Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays
(Please note that we will be closed all day on Saturday, July 10, 2021)

We are eager to welcome everyone back to the museum after an eventful off-season that has included painting the tower, refurbishing the kitchen, and launching a second floor window restoration project. Keeping a 133-year-old architectural treasure in good shape is a full time job. Let’s just say, our building committee is never bored.

Our curator, Holly Hurd-Forsyth, has been busy too! She’s created a new temporary exhibit, slated to open on July 7, 2021. Entitled “Weathering the Storm: Five Centuries of Resilience on Peaks Island,” the exhibit starts at the point of European contact with the indigenous Wabanaki people in the early 1600s and explores a defining hardship for each of the next five centuries, asking the question “Is resilience and community more meaningful here on Peaks Island, where outside assistance is not always accessible?”

2021 will have its own challenges. We are eager to bring back our events, fundraisers, and facility rentals but are determined to keep everyone safe. So things may look a little different.

Now is a great time to become a member! Just go to the SUPPORT tab on our website. Members receive our newsletter and free admission (including a guest). With your support we can create a lasting legacy so that future generations will commemorate and honor Peaks Island history and the Fifth Maine Regiment as much as you do.

There’s no predicting the future. We don’t know how circumstances will change as the season progresses. So, as always, I encourage you to sign up for our Facebook and Instagram pages, or check our website for updates.

Feel free to call us directly at 207-766-3330 with any questions or concerns.

Stay safe and be well,
Susan Hanley
President, Board of Directors

Peaks Island’s History Museum

 

New for Spring 2021:

Weathering the Storm:
Five Centuries of Resilience on Peaks Island

We are pleased to announce a new temporary exhibition that explores how adversity has effected the island, slated to open in June 2021.

Entitled “Weathering the Storm: Five Centuries of Resilience on Peaks Island,” the exhibit starts at the point of European contact with the indigenous Wabanaki people in the early 1600s and explores a defining hardship for each of the next five centuries, asking the question “Is resilience and community more meaningful here on Peaks Island, where outside assistance is not always accessible?”

It’s impossible to present a grand summary of every event that ever happened on Peaks Island during the last five centuries, and wisely, the exhibit doesn’t take that approach. Instead, it focuses on smaller, more personal stories that help the visitor appreciate the islanders’ tenacity and the complexity of island history through the eyes of the people who lived it. Visitors will leave the exhibit contemplating how events have shaped, and continue to shape, our community.

Weathering the Storm is curated by Holly Hurd-Forsyth and runs through October 2022.


Terrible Swift Sword: Civil War Weapons and Ordnance

Our newest permanent exhibition showcases some of the most significant Civil War-era weapons and armaments in the Fifth Maine Museum collection, entitled Terrible Swift Sword: Civil War Weapons and Ordnance.

The culmination of several year’s work, the exhibit features weapons carried or collected by the soldiers of the Fifth Maine Regiment, one of the Union Army’s most celebrated fighting regiments.  The objects include muskets and a pistol, a Navy carbine, a bayonet, swords, shells, and projectiles. They represent both the Confederate and Union armies. The purpose-built case will ensure the newly cleaned weapons are properly preserved for generations to come.

The Fifth Maine veterans kept these remarkable artifacts in their reunion hall on Peaks Island, built in 1888 and used by the men and their families as a summer retreat until the 1940s.

The exhibit is guest curated by Eric Champigny, a Civil War researcher, collector, and author.