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.”
COVID-19 update

Dear Friends of the Fifth Maine Museum,

Like everyone, the Fifth Maine Museum is in a state of suspended animation right now. In abidance with Governor Mills’ Stay Safer at Home order, and to protect the safety of our staff and members, we’ve hit the “PAUSE” button and put our exciting plans for the 2020 season on hold.

We are hopeful that we will be able to open for some portion of the 2020 season, in some capacity. I’m sure it won’t be business as usual, but we’re committed to engaging members with fascinating insights into the history of Peaks Island and Fifth Maine Regiment. And, if we are able, we’d like to provide our island community with access to the exhibits and views of the Fifth Maine building. Exactly what that looks like, remains to be seen.

Behind the scenes we are still hard at work adding recently-donated items to our collection, doing building repairs, installing new exhibits, and developing content --- all the while, maintaining compliance with COVID-19 protocol. I’m so proud of our board, staff, and volunteers who are rallying around the Fifth Maine. They’re busy finding the “silver linings” in these circumstances – spearheading low-cost but time-consuming DIY projects, creating new interactive elements for our museum and website, and re-addressing our 2020 budget to pinpoint pandemic-specific savings opportunities.

Now, more than ever before, membership matters. With our facility rentals and fundraising events in jeopardy, our entire 2020 revenue stream is in peril. We appreciate that members are also facing uncertainty, but we ask you to embrace the spirit of the “Fighting Fifth” and rise to the challenge of these times. It’s your support that will sustain us during the coming year.

As the summer approaches, we’ll re-evaluate our ability to open. We’ll keep you informed via e-mail, the island list serves, our website, and our Facebook and Instagram pages. Be sure to sign up for our e-newsletter to get the latest information, on the “SUPPORT” page of our website. Or you can 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 2020:

Terrible Swift Sword:
Civil War Weapons and Ordnance

We are pleased to announce a new permanent exhibition showcasing 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.


Peaks Island in the 1970s: Building a Community

The 1970s were a tumultuous time, but it was a watershed decade in the history of Peaks Island, when many of the essential organizations islanders depend on today were formed.

This temporary exhibit features over 50 never before exhibited photographs, publications, scrap books, posters, and maps depicting life on the island in this “lost” decade. This is the final year of the exhibit, which will be dismounted when the museum closes this year on October 12, 2020.