Here at The Dunes, history is near and dear to our hearts. After all, the history of The Dunes on the Waterfront goes back to the summer of 1936, when we welcomed our first guests. And Ogunquit’s history runs even deeper, stretching back to 1641 when it was first settled. Many of our visitors want to experience some of that rich history themselves — so we’ve compiled a list of the best Ogunquit history museums and historical sites for exploring the rich heritage of our town. Whether you’re a New England history buff or simply want something fun to do on the weekend, we know you’ll enjoy these historical museums, houses, and other locations.
1. The Ogunquit Heritage Museum
Located in the Captain James Winn House, a historical home built in 1780 in the traditional Maine Cape style, you’ll find the Ogunquit Heritage Museum. The Museum is broken into four main focuses: the art colony, maritime history, Ogunquit history, and Ogunquit’s architecture. And it’s packed with educational exhibits of Ogunquit history and culture, including pieces on fishing, farming, ship building, and sea travel and command. If you’re interested in learning about the town of Ogunquit and the things that make it so special, good luck finding a better place.
2. The Historical Society of Wells & Ogunquit
For the truly devoted learner, the Historical Society of Wells & Ogunquit is a great resource for information about the region and experiencing its history. The historical society manages a comprehensive research library for scholars, genealogists, and other curious folk, as well as the Meetinghouse Museum, a collection of galleries detailing life and events in Ogunquit and Wells, Maine through pictures, artifacts, and records. A truly remarkable resource for historical education, the historical society should not be missed.
3. The 19th Century Willowbrook Village
A few miles away from Ogunquit, the Willowbrook Village is a historian’s paradise. You’ll feel like you stepped back in time when you tour this restored historic Maine village. With a whole range of period-accurate homes, businesses, and technologies, you’ll learn more in one day about life in the mid-1800’s than you ever knew you could.
4. The Maine Historical Society
The Maine Historical Society, located in the city of Portland, is one of the finest educational destinations anywhere in the state. The society’s museum alone contains more than 15,000 artifacts from the history of the state, encompassing every period from ancient times through the Native American period and up to the present. The society also organizes a number of special events throughout the year such as art walks, speakers, book signings, and walking tours of the city. The Maine Historical Society has enough inside it to keep you occupied for the entire weekend, maybe longer, so make sure you leave lots of time to see it all!
After experiencing so much Ogunquit history, you’ll probably want to take a break and enjoy the present a little, too. Luckily, you can do just that in your private coastal Maine cottage. Contact us today to make your reservation, and make a fabulous Ogunquit vacation a part of your history.