Founded in 1864, the Bangor Historical Society (d.b.a. Bangor Museum and History Center) has been collecting, preserving, and interpreting the history of the Penobscot Valley for 149 years.
You are the key
Please give today.
VISIT THE BMHC
Find us in the historic
Thomas A. Hill House
159 Union Street
Bangor, Maine 04401
The Thomas A. Hill House is on the corner of Union and High Streets
To engage the community in stories of our region that enrich our lives, inspire our children and strengthen our future.
The Bangor Historical Society was established in 1864 by a group of 22 men, led by Judge John Godfrey, who were interested in collecting, preserving and interpreting local history for the public. It is the second-oldest historical society in the state, the oldest being the Maine Historical Society in Portland. The Bangor Historical Society and the Bangor Public Library in the past shared storage and meeting space. Before the Great Fire of 1911, both organizations occupied a floor in a building on State Street, which is now the Bangor Savings Bank. Everything was destroyed during the Great Fire of 1911. A year after the fire, the Society opened in the new Bangor Public Library on Harlow Street. Residents began to donate their treasurers to the Society again, and by the 1950s the Society needed to move to a location that provided more space for the expanding collection. The Sons of Union Veterans, the caretakers of the GAR Memorial Home, the Thomas A. Hill House, agreed to let the Society use this house; the Society opened its new home to the public during the summer of 1953.
As we look to the future, we envision a Bangor Museum and History Center that tells, and listens to, the stories of Bangor yesterday and today. We want to tell authentic stories of Bangor's people and transport those who experience these stories to another time. We will engage members of the community through their own memories, histories and objects to tell the stories of families, neighborhoods and the broader community. Bangor's history is rooted in our natural settings and diverse cultures, beginning with indigenous people and expanding through communities across the region. We will acquire, interpret, preserve and display relevant objects that deepen our understanding of that history and bring our stories to life within the broader context of the region, state, nation and the world. In these ways, we can foster appreciation and understanding of the past and help deepen pride in the present and outlook for the future.
Board of Directors
Michael Aube - President
Melissa Gerety - Vice President
Mike Pullen - Secretary