Maine State Archives Bicentennial Projects

The Maine State Archives is celebrating the State of Maine’s bicentennial in 2020 with two special projects to help the public engage with Maine history. Our archivists have curated this information from our holdings and beyond to provide a glimpse into the people and places that have played an important role in the history of our State, in hopes of inspiring Mainers and admirers of the State to dig deeper in to the Archives holdings and other historical resources to learn more. Content will continue to be added during the commemoration period.


Maine Virtual Reality Experience

The Maine Virtual Reality Experience uses VR technology to put you in some of Maine’s most notable places. Viewers will feel as though they are standing at the site of interest and can activate pop-ups of historical anecdotes about the site simply by directing their gaze. These experiences can be viewed on a desktop computer, but are most effective when using a cell phone in a VR headset, for the full 360-degree immersive view. The Archives has headsets available and welcomes groups to visit and explore Maine through VR. (VRs located on Thinglink.) Interested in having the Archives staff bring our VR kit to your school or community group? Email Heather Moran to set up a visit.

Maine State House
Maine State House, Augusta, Maine
Old Orchard Beach Pier
Old Orchard Beach Pier
Special thanks to: Old Orchard Beach Historical Society, OOB Historian
Dan Blaney and “The Great Steel Pier” by Peter Dow Bachelder
Penobscot Bridge
Penobscot Narrows Bridge & Observatory
Special thanks to the Maine Dept. of Transportation, PNBO/Fort Knox Executive
Director Dean Martin, and Capt. Thomas N. Curtis of Verona Island Charters
Fort Knox
Fort Knox State Historic Site
Special thanks to Fort Knox Executive Director Dean Martin
Downtown Portland
Downtown Portland, Maine

More VR experiences coming soon...

Maine Bicentennial Moments

The Maine Bicentennial Moments are 30-second public service announcements featuring Maine history. Each PSA includes images and documents from the Archives and other sources to highlight a particular person, place or event in Maine history. These PSAs will be aired on broadcast television throughout the State during the bicentennial commemoration period in addition to being posted online. Batches of PSAs will be released seasonally during the bicentennial commemoration period, taking viewers from Maine’s Act of Admission to the Union all the way up to modern times. Each PSA is meant to pique viewers’ interest and encourage further exploration of the topic.

Introductory Video: Welcome to Maine’s Bicentennial Commemoration

Autumn 2019: PSAs #1-15 Autumn 2019 (close list)
  1. John Quincy Adams
    Maine’s Act of Admission to the Union

  2. Gov. William King
    Gov. William King

  3. Fish swimming
    Tribal Fishing Rights

  4. Hodgdon Yacht
    Hodgdon Yachts

  5. Samuel Adams
    Bowdoin College

  6. Maine Tournaline
    Maine Tourmaline

  7. Treat Journal map
    The Treat Journal

  8. Gov. Enoch Lincoln
    Gov. Enoch Lincoln

  9. Abyssinian Church
    The Abyssinian Church

  10. Charles Bullfinch
    Charles Bulfinch and the State Capitol Building

  11. William Henry Harrison
    The Kennebec Arsenal

  12. Martin Van Buren/John Fairfield
    The Aroostook War

  13. Alexander Baring
    Daniel Webster and the Border Treaty

  14. Hiram Ricker
    Hiram Ricker of Poland Spring

  15. Abraham Lincoln/Hannibal Hamlin
    Vice President Hannibal Hamlin
Winter 2020: PSAs #16-30 Winter 2020 (close list)
  1. Adjutant General John Hodsdon
    Adjutant General John Hodsdon

  2. Samuel Cony
    Samuel Cony and the University of Maine System

  3. Atlantic Coastline
    The Atlantic Coast pilot logs

  4. Colby College
    Colby College

  5. L.L. Bean shop
    L.L. Bean

  6. Gen. Joshua Chamberlain
    Gen. Joshua Chamberlain (Civil War)

  7. Charles Tilden
    Charles Tilden and the 16th Maine (Civil War)

  8. Percival Baxter
    Baxter State Park

  9. Road in Acadia
    Acadia – Creation of the national park/ Pres. Woodrow Wilson

  10. Rocks in Acadia
    Acadia – Beatrix Jones Farrand’s landscaping and carriage trails

  11. Sen. Margaret Chase Smith
    Sen. Margaret Chase Smith

  12. Fire tower
    Fire tower maps

  13. Skier on Sugarloaf
    Amos Winter and Sugarloaf Mountain

  14. Myron Avery
    Myron Avery and the Appalachian Trail

  15. Gov. James Longley
    Gov. James Longley
Spring 2020: PSAs #31-45 Spring 2020 (close list)
  1. Soliders passing in review at Togus on Memorial Day
    Horace Beals: Togus Veterans Administration Hospital

  2. Thomas Brackett Reed, US Speaker of the House
    Thomas Brackett Reed: U.S. Speaker of the House

  3. Daniel Chaplin
    Daniel Chaplin: 1st Maine Heavy Artillery (Civil War)

  4. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
    Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

  5. Lakewood Theater (street view)
    Lakewood Theater

  6. Dorothea Dix
    Dorothea Dix

  7. Winslow Homer
    Winslow Homer

  8. Thomas Hyde
    Thomas Hyde (BIW)

  9. Benjamin Bates
    Benjamin Bates (Bates Mill, Bates College)

  10. James G. Blaine
    James G. Blaine

  11. Sarah Orne Jewett
    Sarah Orne Jewett

  12. Pete Newell
    Pete Newell (Liberty Ships)

  13. Walter Wyman
    Walter Wyman (CMP)

  14. Harris Plaisted
    Harris Plaisted (11th Maine, Civil War)

  15. Edmund Muskie
    Edmund Muskie
Summer 2020: PSAs #46-60 Summer 2020 (close list)
  1. Rudy Vallee
    Rudy Vallee (1920s pop star)

  2. Edwin Arlington Robinson
    Edwin Arlington Robinson (poet)

  3. Clyde Sukeforth
    Clyde Sukeforth (baseball player/manager)

  4. John Poor
    John Poor (advocate, Portland Harbor shipping)

  5. William Pitt Fessenden
    William Pitt Fessenden (influential Civil War-era Senator)

  6. Cobwork Bridge
    Llewelyn Edwards (cobwork bridge)

  7. Joseph Sayward
    Joseph Sayward (Maine Turnpike advocate, legislator)

  8. Rachel Carson
    Rachel Carson (environmental advocate)

  9. Atticus
    Atticus (fugitive slave)

  10. Sarah Sampson
    Sarah Sampson (orphanage founder)

  11. Herbert Hildreth
    Herbert Hildreth (Old Orchard Beach Pier founder)

  12. Jasper Wyman
    Jasper Wyman (blueberry business)

  13. Leslie Dyer
    Leslie Dyer (Maine Lobstermen's Association)

  14. Florence Whitehouse
    Florence Whitehouse (suffragette)

  15. Hugh Chisholm
    Hugh Chisholm (International Paper Co.)

More content coming soon...