History

The History of the Monhegan Museum

In 1822 the U.S. Congress appropriated $3000 to be used in constructing a lighthouse and keeper’s dwelling atop a hill on Monhegan Island. The light, rising 170 feet above the high-tide line, had ten lamps with 16-inch reflectors, a Welsbach mantel fired by sperm oil, and a weight-powered rotary mechanism. Thomas B. Seavey, the first keeper of the light, moved into the keeper’s house with his family on July 2, 1824. read more …

For many years people had dreamed of a Monhegan Museum, and these vacant buildings, themselves historically significant, represented an ideal solution. read more

In 1970 one outbuilding was renovated to display ice cutting equipment and other materials relevant to the history of ice cutting on Monhegan. The following year another outbuilding was converted into a replica of a Monhegan fish house. read more…

 

 

By the early 1990s, the museum’s collections had grown to the point where additional display and storage space was sorely needed. An assistant light keeper’s house and accompanying storage shed had been built on the property in 1858 but were torn down in the 1920s when they were no longer needed. read more …

In 2004, longtime Monhegan summer resident Anne M. Hubert bequeathed to the museum her home and studio on Monhegan. read more…

the Monhegan Museum undertook a complete tower restoration using archival materials in the summer of 2009. In recognition of this, the Monhegan Museum received the 2010 Maine Historic Preservation award. The Tower is now open to the public on some days during the summer months. Further, group tours of the Tower can be arranged by contacting the Monhegan Museum.

 

We are delighted to share that Monhegan Museum of Art & History is Yankee Magazine's 2016 Best of New England Editors' Choice for Best Small Museum!