It is the mission of the Parsonsfield-Porter Historical Society to collect and preserve artifacts, photographs, documents and publications of historical significance that relate directory to the history of Parsonsfield, Porter and South Hiram, Maine – including the village of Kezar Falls; to preserve and make available for research the genealogical records of families from the area; to encourage the love and study of local history in the youth of the area; to encourage the preservation of historical sites and structures; and to discover and disseminate local history, legend and lore so that succeeding generations may benefit from a better understanding of their past.
History of PPHS
The first meeting of the Parsonsfield-Porter Historical Society was on August 27, 1946. Early meetings were held in Norton Hall on the Parsonsfield side of the village of Kezar Falls. The original purpose for the formation of the society was to preserve historical data, especially valuable records and relics of the early days of the two towns. The Parsonsfield-Porter Historical Society was incorporated in 1953. Mrs.Ina Emery was the first president and the driving force in the establishment of the
society. She was also instrumental in the purchase of History House in 1955, a house built by her father, Preston J. Stanley in 1888. The house was purchased in 1955 as a meeting place and museum for the Society’s growing collection of records and relics of the early days of the towns of
Parsonsfield, Porter and South Hiram. A new addition was completed late 2006 which added a research room, office, new entrance hall, handicapped accessible entrance ramp, and bathroom, as well as three storage rooms. A furnace was installed to heat the addition and kitchen so the building can be used year round. Parking was also added at the rear of the building. In 2019 a mini-split heat pump was added to extend the season and 2 dehumidfiers were added in 2021 to protect the collection.
In 2010 the whole main house was rewired and modern lighting installed. A fireproof, climate-controlled vault is planned as soon as funds to build it can be raised.
The original building had seven rooms and an attached barn. The barn has been transformed into a meeting room and exhibit area. Since 2000 several of the rooms; the kitchen, a children’s bedroom, the main bedroom, and upstairs anteroom, have been renovated and opened for tours. The front parlor has been established as the “Longfellow Room” since several pieces of furniture from Longfellow’s birthplace on Fore Street in Portland have been donated to the Society. The Longfellow Room also contains an extensive collection of Longfellow’s books and memorabilia and a number of pictures of him and his homes.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow has a connection with the town of Porter through the Wadsworth family.
From May to October, History House normally has had an “open house” once each month with exhibits and artifacts related to the area. A major new exhibit is normally set up each season. Check our current calendar and newsletter for dates the building is open to the public. The Coronavirus pandemic has caused revisions in scheduling and availability.
The research room is not available at this time. Contact us with any questions. Jan Iler 625-7019.
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during summer & fall months for any scheduled events.
Also check our Blog: http://localhistorymatters.blogspot.com/
The Parsonsfield-Porter Historical Society invites you to join PPHS. Your dues help pay for operating expenses and support the maintenance of History House and its collection of artifacts. It also entitles you to receive our newsletter that includes interesting articles about local history and information about upcoming meetings and events. Regular business meetings are held once monthly from April to November and usually precede a special program. Check our blog (http://localhistorymatters.blogspot.com/)for further information about upcoming events. Become a member and you can get email notices of upcoming events if you wish.
Annual dues are $10.00 for individuals, $15.00 for couples, $5.00 for students under 18 years.
Make checks payable to the Parsonsfield-Porter Historical Society and mail to
Treasurer, Parsonsfield-Porter Historical Society, P.O. Box 250
Parsonsfield, Maine 04047