TakeMe2 Camden Maine
Matthews Museum of Maine Heritage

Matthews Museum of Maine Heritage

Matthews Museum of Maine Heritage

Matthews Museum of Maine Heritage
Fairgrounds Lane
Union, ME 04862
Phone: 207-542-2379
Email: Click here


14 miles from Camden

Find Matthews Museum of Maine Heritage

Click map image to open a Google Location Map for Matthews Museum of Maine Heritage.

Google Map


Matthews Museum of Maine Heritage - an agricultural museum, with more than 10,000 artifacts, including agricultural tools, carriages, musical instruments, books and vintage photo prints

Matthews Museum of Maine HeritageThe Matthews Museum of Maine Heritage is located on Fairgrounds Lane in the Union Fairgrounds in Union, Maine, close to the seacoast villages of Rockport and Camden.

Referred to as "the area's best-kept secret", the Matthews Museum of Maine Heritage has been acclaimed as one of New England's finest museums. This excellent museum has something for people of all ages; to wonder and learn about lifestyles from the 18th to 19th centuries. It is an Agricultural museum, with more than 10,000 artifacts, including agricultural tools and equipment, carriages, musical instruments, books, a collection of photo prints and a research library.

The original 900-piece collection that was the basis for the museum was purchased from Union native, Edwards A. Matthews in the early 1960s. It included antique tools, vehicles and kitchen utensils dating back more than 100 years. Included is a Cameragraph, a 35 mm silent motion picture film projector which was first operated at the old Union Town Hall. Included are many more innovative, homemade inventions which lend credence to the term "Yankee ingenuity". Since the inception of the Museum, additional items have been loaned or donated, creating a well-rounded collection of over 10,000 artifacts relevant to colonial Maine.

Matthews Museum of Maine HeritageInterior space is sectioned into booths displaying artifacts having similar uses. Accented by background of weathered-board walls, an 18th century blacksmith shop, Cooper shop, cobbler shop, Country Kitchen, and library are displayed as they may have been 100 years ago. Spinning wheels, a Weaving Loom, a folding, tin bath tub (complete with heater unit), cradles, sleighs, sleds (a twelve-foot long sled used at Union in winter taking six or more riders down the hill across the common to Depot Street and on to the cemetary), carts, wagons. carriages, a horse-drawn hearse, clothes, film-making equipment, rope beds, stoves, an organ (played regularly during Union Fair and on special occasions), jewelry, and dolls are only a few items that take the viewer back in time.

One special section holds Moxie memorabilia honoring the Union man, Dr. Augustin Thompson, who, in 1876, invented the one-time patent medicine, Moxie Nerve Food, which is now sold as a soft drink.

With farm wagons, sleds and a variety of horse-drawn vehicles, the carriage barn features the "one-horse shay", one of only two in existence - the second being displayed at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington. DC. Both carriages, stenciled by a native Union man, were built in 1850 by Collins, Wingate, Little & Co. The firm later became known as Wingate & Simmons Carriage Shop, Union, Maine.

Adjacent to the Museum is the Hodge School, a one- room schoolhouse in its original structure and interior decor. The school operated from 1864 to 1954.


TakeMe2 Communications | 2 Main Street | Building 17 - Suite 301H | Biddeford, ME 04005 | 207-712-8595