Museums & History
Eastport invites you to discover our
rich history and culture
Eastport is home to the Tides Institute and Museum of Art. One the area's keystone organizations, promoting area artists and craftspeople while supporting the genuine preservation of both the art and history of coastal Maine and the Maritime Provinces of Canada. The Institute's campus includes several historic churches, a Civil War GAR Hall, the Studio Works building housing their Artist-in-Residence Program, an in-progress restoration of the historic Masonic Block and their headquarters, including a museum and gallery housed in a restored 1880’s bank building.
Historic Raye’s Mustard Mill in Eastport is the last remaining traditional stone ground mustard mill in North America. At the turn of the last century Raye’s supplied mustard to the two dozen or so sardine canneries in Eastport and all along the coast of Maine. Founded in 1900 by J. Wesley Raye, the Mill moved to its current location in 1903. Fourth generation Raye family members continue to expand their line of nationally known gourmet mustards and today the Mill is undergoing a restoration and will in future reopen the museum and resume tours of the mustard making process. Their downtown pantry store is open on Water Street.
Hillside Cemetery in Eastport has many stories to tell of the sea captains, British soldiers, patriots, Irish and Scottish settlers and more who once inhabited the United States' easternmost city. The Friends of the Eastport Cemetery are working restore this important part of history to it's former glory and offer tours to the public as an insight into our storied past.
Years after the American Revolution there was still a significant English presence in Downeast Maine and nearby Canada. In 1809, Fort Sullivan was erected in Eastport atop a village hill. During the War of 1812, England claimed that Eastport was on the British side of the international border; the town was captured and Fort Sullivan occupied by a British fleet. Eastport was returned to United States' control in 1818. Although Fort Sullivan is long gone the location is still maintained as well as many artifacts preserved by The Eastport Border Historical Society. The Society maintains the Quoddy Crafts Shop in downtown Eastport; local crafts and antiques are available, along with a working model of the Quoddy Dam Project.
Long before Europeans arrived in what we now call Way Down East, the Passamaquoddy Tribe called this area home. In fact, archeologists estimate the ancestors of the Passamaquoddy People have lived, hunted and fished here for over 10,000 years. Visit the ("People of the First Light") Sipayak Museum in Pleasant Point and the Wabanaki Culture Center and Museum in Calais, homes to artifacts, historical displays and works of art, as well as information about the area tribes.
In nearby Lubec, the FDR Memorial Bridge connects Lubec in the United States with Campobello Island in the Canadian province of New Brunswick. Roosevelt Campobello International Park is jointly administered, staffed, and funded by the peoples of Canada and the United States. Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt’s magnificent summer home is preserved here in a combination indoor museum and outdoor nature park. Look for special events like “Tea with Eleanor” during the summer.
Also in Lubec is historic McCurdy's Herring Smokehouse. The buildings stand on tall log pilings in the swift tidal currents of the Lubec Narrows where the Bay of Fundy tides can range as high as 20 feet twice daily. This was all part the vast local sardine industry, active during the early 1900’s.
History surrounds you Way Down East. Visit, explore, and join a conversation across time and place!