THE HISTORICAL SOCIETY
OF WELLS AND OGUNQUIT
PRESERVING THE PAST FOR TWO MAINE TOWNS
Welcome to the Meetinghouse Museum
Each of our museum's eight galleries is filled with interactive and fun exhibits for visitors of all ages to enjoy. Oversized magnifying glasses help one closely examine the historic maps on display. A write-your-own-postcard activity engages young children. Poetic quotes from our region help to express our shared history. Our display cases have been lowered to be accessible to all visitors.
Check our Plan Your Visit page for information about museum hours and guided tours.
Click on a box to find out more about each gallery!
MEETINGHOUSE MUSEUM RENEW
Our Meetinghouse Museum first opened for tours in the summer of 1980. From a modest start, our collections have become substantial, with many items safely stored to be brought to life again in future exhibits. The museum was completely redesigned and refurbished in the spring and summer of 2005, with most of the hard work completed by Town Historian Hope Shelley, Tom Johnson (former curator of the Old York Historical Society), Lisa Canino, Jane Edgecomb, and Diane Ouellette.
In 2018, another look at the galleries resulted in Meetinghouse Museum Renew, a project funded with a grant from the Morton-Kelly Charitable Trust. Coinciding with the celebration of the Society’s 65th anniversary, the Museum Renew project started with the organization of an Advisory Committee of museum professionals, town historians, and students selected by the history teacher of Wells-Ogunquit school system. The committee included Marcia Beal Brazer (Charles H. Woodbury Studio in Ogunquit), Matthew Chase and Timothy Martell (Wells High School students), Joseph Hardy (regional historian and Historical Society board member), Nina Maurer (curator, Counting House Museum, South Berwick), Lynn Mercier (librarian, Wells Junior High School), Hope M. Shelley (Wells Town Historian), Ryan Liberty (Wells Harbor Committee), Linda Littlefield Grenfell (environmental educator, Wells Reserve at Laudholm), Robert Rasche (artist and painter of marine and historical scenes), Jessica Routhier (Association of Historians of American Art), and Cynthia Walker (Director, Brick Store Museum, Kennebunk).
The exhibition, installation, and planning was assisted by the expertise of Elizabeth Bennett Design, Houseworks, and Infinite Imaging. We benefited from community service learning from Wells High School with the football team, STEM education class, Jake DuBois, and Grant Soper all contributing hours. Gallery themes are inspired by My Name Is Wells, I Am The Town, by Hope Moody Shelley, published in 2002. Native stories were shared by the Ranco family: June Rain Ranco, Barbara Giammarino, and Dr. Jus Crea Giammarino. Special thanks are due to the Historical Society’s Board of Directors: Irene Crocker, Chair; Suellen Goodman, Treasurer; and Directors Crystal DuBois, Joseph Hardy, Lynwood ‘Sonny’ Perkins, Heidi Soper, Marilyn Stanley, and Cheryl Walker.