• Museums of the Bethel Historical Society

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    10 Broad Street
    Bethel, ME 04217
    (207) 824-2908
    (800) 824-2910
    Memorial Day to 3rd Fri. in Oct., Tues. - Fri., 10 am to 4 pm; also Sat., 1 to 4 pm, July & Aug.

    About Us

    Founded in 1966 at Bethel, Maine (established in 1768 and incorporated in 1796), the Museums of the Bethel Historical Society collect, preserve, display, and share the history of western Maine and the read more
    • About

      Founded in 1966 at Bethel, Maine (established in 1768 and incorporated in 1796), the Museums of the Bethel Historical Society collect, preserve, display, and share the history of western Maine and the White Mountain Region of New Hampshire and Maine through exhibits, lectures, events, and publications.

      The Museums of the Bethel Historical Society feature over a dozen exhibit galleries and period rooms spread throughout two buildingsā€”the 1821 O'Neil Robinson House and the 1813 Dr. Moses Mason House. MBHS also maintains an extensive library and archival collection of books, manuscripts and photographs, plus thousands of historic objects that tell the story of the town of Bethel and surrounding region. Throughout the year, the Museums of the Bethel Historical Society provide a full schedule of high quality events for people of all ages. We invite you to support our work by making a donation or becoming a member!

      Group Tours available.

      Situated off Route 2, on Broad Street in Bethel, Maine, the Museums of the Bethel Historical Society are located twelve miles east of the Maine/New Hampshire border. Bethel lies at the junction of Routes 2 and 26; the latter provides easy access from the Portland area via Exit 63 of the Maine Turnpike. Bethel also can be reached on Routes 5 and 35.

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      Member Events

      Thursday Jul 4, 2019
      The 27th Annual 4th of July Community Picnic & Concert will take place on the side lawn of the Dr. Moses Mason House (14 Broad St.), starting at 11:15 am. During Dr. Mason?s day, it was the custom to gather in his ?Grove? on the 4th of July to celebrate our great national holiday with patriotic orations and band music. The Museums of the Bethel Historical Society are honored to carry on this tradition today. (Please note the earlier starting time this year.) Once again, the Portland Brass Quintet will perform a selection of music chosen especially to make the nation's anniversary. Following remarks on the day by a guest speaker, the presentation of the colors by the Mundt-Allen Post #81 of the American Legion will occur, followed by the playing of the National Anthem by the Portland Brass Quintet, emceed by Mark Manduca. A special feature of this year's event will be an open house, before and after the concert, at MBHS's newly completed ''Twitchell Education Center'' -- a replica of Dr. Moses Mason's 19th century private library that will serve as a venue for children's programs, demonstrations, and craft workshops. ...read more
      Friday Jul 5, 2019
      One of the finest Federal style residences in its region, the Dr. Moses Mason House was begun in 1813 on a spacious lot facing onto the common at Bethel Hill village. According to Dr. Nathaniel Tuckerman True, Bethel?s eminent nineteenth century historian, the Mason house was the first on the common to be painted white, the first on a high foundation of granite slabs, and the first to make use of exterior shutters. The house and grounds were renovated and restored in 1972-73 by the Bingham Trust, which presented the property to the Bethel Historical Society in 1974 in memory of William Bingham 2nd, the town?s great twentieth century philanthropist. Nine rooms in the Mason House have been arranged to depict the residence as it appeared from 1813 to 1869 during the occupancy of Dr. Mason (1789-1866) and his wife, Agnes M. Straw (1793-1869). On view are a wide variety of eighteenth and nineteenth century examples of the decorative arts?many original to the house and all part of the permanent collection. ...read more
      Friday Jul 5, 2019
      Join us for a special preview of this summer's major exhibit at Museums of the Bethel Historical Society: ''ART AS ANTIDOTE: White Mountain Landscapes'' Visual art encourages us to reflect, to consider, to wonder, to imagine, to ponder, and to remember. In this exhibition of more than 50 White Mountain landscapes?the most extensive public display of its kind in Maine in 2019?visitors are invited to break from the distractions of modern technology, to challenge the pessimism of a restless world, to breathe deep, and to experience fully the ?Alps of New England? as portrayed by 19th and 20th century artists, as well as those dedicated to traditional representation today. In times of social uncertainty and disorder, visual art can re-ignite one?s inner optimism, excite one?s imagination, and stimulate one?s sense of creativity. Visual art, then, is especially worthy of our attention at this moment. More than ever, it is an antidote for our times. Refreshments will be served. ...read more
    • Directions

      Off Routes 2, 26, 5 and 35, our campus is situated on the east side of the Bethel Hill village common, diagonally across from the Bethel Inn. We are located 12 miles east of the Maine/NH border.

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