Celebrate the anniversary of American Independence in the center of Bethel’s National Historic District by bringing a picnic lunch and enjoying a concert by the Portland Brass Quintet on the grounds of the 1813 Dr. Moses Mason House (14 Broad Street, Bethel).
The Maine Country Music Hall of Fame, founded in 1978 and now located at the Silver Spur in Mechanic Falls, showcases thousands of pieces of historic memorabilia accumulated over several decades, much of it donated by Maine Country Music Hall of Fame inductees and their heirs. This exhibit will tell the history of Maine country music and bring to life the memory and musical contributions of some of the finest country musicians in the U.S. The exhibit opening will be on Saturday, July 3, from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., and the exhibit will be open during regular hours for the Robinson House.
Open in July and August; Thursday through Saturday, 10:00 to 1:00 PM; other times by appointment
One of the finest Federal style residences in its region, the Dr. Moses Mason House was constructed 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, this 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 memory of William Bingham 2nd, the town’s great twentieth century philanthropist.
Nine rooms in the Mason House now appear much as they did during the occupancy of Dr. Moses Mason (1789-1866) and his wife, Agnes M. Straw (1793-1869). These rooms contain a wide variety of eighteenth and nineteenth century examples of the decorative arts, many of which are original to the house. Other furnishings from the Society’s permanent collection are also on display throughout the various rooms. The most captivating feature of the Mason House is located in the front hallway, which contains Rufus Porter School wall murals—on the upper and lower floors—painted during the mid-1830s and attributed to Jonathan D. Poor, a nephew of Rufus Porter. Depicting distant seascapes and colorful landscapes with lush foliage, these intriguing examples of American folk art have been painstakingly cleaned so that modern-day visitors can view them much as they looked during the Masons’ era.
On view through Spring 2021 in the “Western Mountains Gallery,” this colorful exhibit provided by the Ski Museum of Maine traces the roots of alpine and Nordic skiing and ski manufacturing at sites located within or near the borders of Oxford County. Through images, artifacts, and vintage film, the display presents the fascinating story of skiing history in the highlands of western Maine.