The main campus, located at 444 Pritham Avenue, features a grand residence, carriage house, barn and extensive gardens, the cornerstone of which is the Eveleth-Crafts-Sheridan House.
Once a part of the storied Moosehead Inn property, this 1890s Victorian-era mansion was generously donated to the Historical Society by distinguished local entrepreneurs, Julia and Philip Sheridan. The house, open for guided tours Wednesday through Friday, between mid June and early October, from 1:00 to 4:00 PM, offers a wide variety of permanent and annually changing exhibits affording a fascinating glimpse into Victorian daily life in this once remote, yet economically significant, area of Maine.
Visitors approach the mansion via the large wraparound veranda and enter, as any important visitors would, via the front door where they are greeted in the foyer and introduced to both the home and the residents for whom the house is named.
Interpreters in period costume guide visitors on their journey back in time through the classic Victorian-era parlor, grand formal dining room, butler’s pantry, and large kitchen describing and explaining the many curious and often unfamiliar objects on display, while offering insight into the history of its residents, guests, and influential local families.
Ascending to the second floor visitors will find four bedrooms and two baths, furnished and decorated in period style, and complimented by displays depicting a variety of vintage clothing, activities and leisure pastimes.
Among the most popular is the “Be Our Guest” bedroom featuring artifacts and memorabilia from families whose forebears have been residents of the area for generations. Equally popular is “Oliver’s Room,” once the private domain of Oliver Crafts who tragically died at a young age, which now offers exhibits and displays of a masculine nature including wartime service, “sporting” activities such as hunting and fishing, and typical area employment endeavors from years gone by.
Among the most appreciated favorable comments received is that, unlike so many historic homes, the entire Eveleth-Crafts-Sheridan house is open to view. Even the attic, which once served as servant quarters and now functions as a storage facility for textiles, hats, and foot wear is open to view should visitors express an interest.
In addition to the mansion, we proudly offer other permanent and changing exhibits, one of which includes The 1880’s Kitchen. The 1880’s Kitchen offers a wonderful collection of old-time kitchen utensils, appliances, and furnishings. Step into this replica of the past and you can almost smell the beans, biscuits, and pies baking in the 1875 wood-burning cook stove.
The Carriage House
The three story building which was once the estate’s carriage house now contains administrative offices, library, extensive files and photographs, paintings, and additional displays including an extraordinary collection of models of many of the steam vessels, both private and commercial, that once plied the waters of Moosehead Lake. It also serves as the home of the Lumberman’s Museum featuring an extensive array of tools and equipment, vintage logging photographs, and a 30 foot Kennebec bateau all of which are described, along with the history of the golden age of logging in the region, by the museum’s resident story teller.
The Lumberman’s Museum showcases the history of timber harvesting in the Moosehead region from tools – axes, crosscut saws, pike poles, and Peaveys – to life in camp, to the highly dangerous river drives. The vintage artifacts and photos on display depict the character of the industry over a period of more than one hundred years. Located on the lower level of the Carriage House, the centerpiece of the Lumberman’s Museum is the aforementioned 30-foot Kennebec bateau which once plied the waters of the Roach River during the late days of the Moosehead Lake -Kennebec River log drives.
The remaining building on the main campus, the barn, now houses vintage recreation displays and a one room schoolhouse exhibit providing a wonderful insight into early educational endeavors and leisure activities of long ago.
The one-room schoolhouse exhibit containing many artifacts from a number of local schools; among them, the Greenville, Rockwood, Shirley, and Masterman Farm schools. Our vintage recreation exhibit depicts how people enjoyed their leisure time in bygone days.
Gardens and Grounds
Volunteers have done an exceptional job of restoring the gardens. From June to October, the gardens attract a number of visitors and we often see them sitting with their lunch in the “Sunken Garden” or strolling the grounds admiring the flowers and garden art.