This picture-postcard village has charmed visitors for over 100 years. Originally founded in the late 17th century, the town features many 18th and 19th century homes and shops. The ambiance is that of a traditional New England town, so much so that Bethel has even been featured on Hallmark card.
In 1796, Daniel Marrett moved to Standish, Maine, with his wife to assume the post of town minister. He purchased the most imposing house in town to reflect his status as the community’s leading citizen. Each room showcases treasured possessions, including pewter, ceramics, and textiles from the 18th and 19th centuries. The Marrett House is a classic example of the “big house, little house, back house, barn” configuration. A 20th-century perennial garden is located beside the house.
Hours: June 1 – October 15, first and third Saturdays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tours on the hour.
Admission: $5; seniors, $4; students and children, $2.50
Dr. Moses Mason House
Broad and MasonBethel, ME, 04217Phone: 207-824-2908
Built in 1813, this home is now a museum featuring changing and permanent exhibits, as well as a theater. Historic films and lectures are scheduled there year-round. The museum also houses historic archives and is home to the Bethel Historical Society.
Hours: Guided tours, July 1- Labor Day, Tuesday- Sunday, 1-4 p.m.; September- June, by appointment
Admission: Adults, $3; children age 6-12, $1.50
The Norlands Living History Center helps rural 19th century New England come to life. The center has six buildings depicting a crossroads community. There is a one-room schoolhouse, stone library, church and grand mansion built in 1867. Toys, clothing and personal items appear to tell the story of every day life in the Washburn Mansion. Norlands was the family home of the Washburns, one of the great American political dynasties. The 445-acre site, with five historic buildings, offers hands-on living history experiences in 19th century rural life for all ages. Please check website for season & hours, tour information & admission.
Wilton Farm and Home Museum
10 Canal StreetWilton, MEPhone: 207-645-2901
Built in the 1860s, the building was used from 1910 to 1945 as a boarding house for G.H. Bass employees employed at the shoe factory on Wilton Stream since 1904. After the boarding house closed, the Bass Company used this building for sewing, offices, and storage. This structure now houses excellent collections of Maine farm tools; Maine bottles; and memorabilia of Sylvia Hardy, Maine giantess; artist Joe Knowles; and G.H. Bass, originator of the Bass Weejun.
Hours: The Museum is open for tours by appointment. To schedule a tour call 207-645-2091 or 207-645-4578.Summer Hours: July and August, Saturdays, 1-4 p.m.; Blueberry Festival Friday & Saturday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
The Shaker Museum is located in the Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village, the last active Shaker community. The museum offers exhibits, tours, workshops, crafts demonstrations, and special events.
Hours: Memorial Day-Columbus Day, Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; closed Sundays.
Admission: Free. Tour fees are adults, $7; children age 6-12, $2.
70 Elm StreetNewfield, ME, 04056Phone: 207-793-2784
Two historic houses and their barns, a reproduction schoolhouse and bandstand, and a millpond grace this restored country village. Exhibits include horse-drawn sleighs and carriages, an 1849 Concord stagecoach, a 1894 carousel, gas engines, and various trades shops — blacksmith, broom maker, canoe builder, cooper, cobbler, harness maker, printer, wheelwright, woodworker. Plan to spend about three hours. Picnicking welcome.
Hours: Thursday through Monday, Memorial Day weekend through October, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Admission: Adults, $9; seniors age 65 and older, $7.50; students age 6-18, $4.