Museums of the Bethel Historical Society

Upcoming Programs & Events

Valentines Celebration

Saturday, February 10, 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Mason House and Robinson House

Create a handmade Valentine, pick up an "I Love You" box of Haven's Chocolates, visit the Museum Shop and enjoy our collection of historic Valentines. Our friends at the Maine Valentine Project will be using the Mason House on this day to pack up bags full of love (and other necessities) to people experiencing homelessness. Stop by and lend a hand!

Sugaring Off at MBHS

Saturday, March 23, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Join us at MBHS to kick off maple syrup season on Saturday, March 23! We will have tree-tapping and sap-boiling demonstrations, an old-fashioned "sugaring off" party (sugar-on-snow making), maple-themed bake sale, children's story at 11:00 a.m., and slideshow presentation on the importance of maple sugaring throughout Bethel's history at 1:00 p.m.

Goose Eye No. 4 Launch Party

Thursday, April 18, 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., at the Gem Theater

Help us celebrate the launch of the fourth issue of our annual history journal, Goose Eye with a party at the Gem Theater in collaboration with our friends at Bethel Area Arts and Music. Doors will open at 5:00 p.m., and you'll have the opportunity to avail yourself of delicious Gem pizza, meet Goose Eye contributors, and pick up your copy of the new issue. At 6:00 p.m., MBHS Executive Director and Goose Eye editor William F. Chapman will present a program on Bethel in the mid-nineteenth century, featuring 3D stereoview images from the 1874 centennial parade.

Goose Eye No. 4 is entitled "The Coming Woman" and is inspired by the surprising inclusion of a woman’s suffrage-themed float of the same title in the 1874 centennial parade. The featured articles in this issue explore the social changes which were underway, particularly with respect to women’s rights and education, around the time of this celebration.

Legacy in Action: Historical Assets Serving Community Needs

Saturday, May 4, 10:00 a.m.

Please join us for a free walking conversation hosted by the Museums of the Bethel Historical Society and the Northern Forest Center, together with more than a half dozen other community partners. We will begin at 10:00 a.m. at Gould Academy and end at about 11:30 at the Gehring House.

Stops along the way will include: Gould Academy (Bingham, Hanscom, and Gehring halls), West Parish Congregational Church, Hastings Block (Maine Adaptive offices), Wiley Block (Inland Woods + Trails offices), Odd Fellows Hall (Maine Mineral and Gem Museum), Cole Block (Town of Bethel), Bethel Library Association, Robinson and Mason Houses (Museums of the Bethel Historical Society), Hastings Homestead, and Gehring House. Each stop on our walk will feature historical notes followed by informal discussion led by local nonprofit leaders.

This event is part of Jane's Walk, a global festival of free, volunteer-led walking conversations inspired by community activist Jane Jacobs. Find out more about Jane's Walk events in Maine and around the globe.

Opening Reception, "The Life and Work of Socklexes Newell"

Friday, June 28, 6:00 p.m., at the Mason House

Join us for the opening of our new exhibit commemorating the life and legacy of local Penobscot craftsman and dance teacher, Socklexes Newell on the 150th anniversary of his birth in 1874. The exhibit will feature examples of "Sock"'s rustic twig furniture, birdhouse and other creations, interviews with family members, photographs, and contextual information.

Fourth of July Picnic and Concert

Thursday, July 4, 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., on the grounds

Bring a picnic lunch and join us on the grounds of the Dr. Moses Mason House for this popular annual event featuring a guest speaker and a concert of patriotic music by the Portland Brass Quintet. Desserts will be offered for sale from our circa 1922 Mt. Zircon bottle lunch stand.

Yankee Brass Band Concert

Saturday, July 27, 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., on the grounds

We are very pleased this year to welcome back the Yankee Brass Band for their first concert in Bethel since 2017! Since 1987, the Yankee Brass Band has entertained audiences with "historically informed performances" of 19th Century American Brass Band Music. Using rare and authentic period instruments, the Yankee Brass Band presents the music of the "Golden Age of Bands" played in much the same manner as in the mid to late 19th century.

Mornings at the Museum

Thursdays, July 11, 18, & 25, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., on the grounds

Fun and educational activities for children ages 5-10. For information on attendance and activities, please contact Rosemary Laban at 850-766-1241, or the Museums of the Bethel Historical Society at 207-824-2908.

Summerfest at MBHS

Saturday, July 20, 10:00 to 3:00 pm

Come visit us during Bethel’s Summerfest celebration for exhibits, tours of both houses, and special events on the grounds.

Mill Brook Craft Series

Thursdays in August (August 1, 8, 22, and 29), 1:00 p.m. Twitchell Education Center

Please join us Thursday afternoons in August for our popular "Mill Brook Craft Series." Every week a local artist or artisan will demonstrate and discuss their chosen craft or trade. This years presenters will be announced in July.

BAAM Art Summer Camp

Monday, August 12 to Friday, August 16, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Bethel Area Arts and Music will be hosting an Art Summer Camp on the Museums of the Bethel Historical Society grounds the week of August 12 to 16. For more information and to register your child please contact BAAM.

Annual Meeting

Thursday, September 5, 5:30 to 7:30 pm, at the Mason House

All members are invited to join us for our annual meeting. We will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Dr. Moses and Agnes Straw Mason House as a historic house museum. Details of the program will be announced closer to the date.

Harvestfest at MBHS

Saturday, September 21, 10:00 to 3:00 pm

Come visit us during Bethel’s Harvestfest celebration for our traditional cider pressing demonstration, exhibits and tours of both houses, and special events on the grounds.

Trick-or-Treat Broad Street

Thursday, October 31, 5:00 to 7:00 p. m.

Please stop by on Halloween for the Bethel Library and the Museums of the Bethel Historical Society's third annual Trick-or-Treat Broad Street. We will be distributing candy to trick-or-treaters at the Bethel Library, Robinson House, and Mason House. Stay tuned for announcements about other possible Halloween programming for kids and adults.

Christmas at the Mason House

Saturday, December 7

Dr. Moses Mason House

Please join us again for one of our most popular annual events, “Christmas at the Mason House." Celebrate the season while enjoying traditional holiday refreshments, music, and decorations in the first floor period rooms in the 1813 Mason House. Timing and details of this year's event to be announced.