The Museum in the Streetstm
Hallowell, Maine

City of Hallowell Seal

A Walking Tour of Historic Hallowell

A printed copy of this tour guide is available at the Hallowell City Hall, Hubbard Free Library,

by writingHistoric Hallowell, PO Box 246, Hallowell, ME 04347 or email info@historichallowell.org

Head of Tide


The story of Hallowell is the story of America, with science and industry--and not infrequently the weather--dictating the pace of growth, the accumulation of great wealth, and the loss of vast fortunes. The city is named for Benjamin Hallowell, a Boston merchant and one of the Kennebec Proprietors, holders of land originally granted to the Plymouth Company by the British monarchy in the 1620s. First to settle here was Deacon Pease Clark, who emigrated with his wife and son Peter from Attleborough, Mass., in the spring of 1762. On a riverfront lot measuring 50 rods (about 275 yards), the Clark familyraised corn, rye and other crops; land on which the fire department now stands was first to be cleared.

Water Street

Water Street (Hubbard Free Library Collection)

Today, the city's population is only slightly smaller than it was in 1820, the year Maine seceded from Massachusetts and became a state in its own right. Hallowell's inhabitants enjoyed the services of 71 stores along Water Street (by contrast, Augusta had a population of 1,000 and just 20 merchants). Thriving industries included ship building, trading, publishing and logging. Two gristmills, five sawmills and two slaughterhouses served the needs of residents near and far.

 

Granite Quary

(Hubbard Free Library Collection)

In 1815 the first granite quarried near the Manchester town line signaled the birth of an industry that would support Hallowell until 1908, when cement displaced stone as the construction material of choice.

 

Oil Cloth Business

Oil Cloth Factory (Hubbard Free Library Collection)

In 1826 the ice business began in earnest, employing thousands over the next 75 years; frozen blocks loaded onto Hallowell schooners traveled as far as Cuba and the West Indies. Other local products exported via the Kennebec (and, after the 1850's, by train) from Hallowell included sandpaper, textiles, rope, linseed oil, oilcloth, wire, books and shoes.

 

Travelers by train

The Dummy, the train from Gardiner to Augusta. (Hubbard Free Library Collection)

While the Kennebec River sustained the city from its inception, this mighty freeway also inspired fear. Spring floods terrorized shopkeepers and sometimes brought commerce to a standstill.

 

Floods

Water Street in a flood. (Hubbard Free Library Collection)

Through good times and bad, however, Hallowell remained a center of learning and intellectual accomplishment. Private academies and music conservatories attracted students from across the state, and publishers eager to join the city's lucrative book trade migrated here, as did chemists, physicians, politicians, artists and inventors.

 

Students at private academy

Page Street School students. (Hubbard Free Library Collection)

Maine's first automobile came from Hallowell, as did the first practical threshing machine.

 

trolley

Trolley in south Hallowell (Hubbard Free Library Collection)

In the 1960's an urban renewal proposal and a highway construction plan threatened to demolish many historic buildings in the downtown area. The City then applied to the National Park Service for recognition of a 205 acre parcel as a National Historic District. The application was accepted, the buildings were saved, and the Hallowell National Historic District was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 28, 1970.

Today a walk along Hallowell's mansion-studded streets, through the vibrant business district and along the restored waterfront provides clues to America's past, and to a world all but vanished.

 

Bodwell Mansion

The Bodwell Mansion (Hubbard Free Library Collection)

 

 

Walking Tour Directory


View The Museum In The Streets Hallowell Maine in a larger map 


Head of Tide - Transportation Link for Central Maine

1 - Head of Tide - Transportation Link for Central Maine

 

Ingraham's Store - First Library and Fire Station
2 -  Ingraham's Store - First Library and Fire Station

 

City Hall
3 - City Hall - Major Contribution by a Generous Citizen



Dr. Benjamin Page House - Fighting Disease in Hallowell
4 - Dr. Benjamin Page House - Fighting Disease in Hallowell

 

Deacon Ebenezer Dole House - Freedom For All
5 - Deacon Ebenezer Dole House - Freedom For All

 

Hallowell House - A Wram Welcome for Weary Travelors
6 - Hallowell House - A Wram Welcome for Weary Travelors

 

Row House - Living space for Hallowell Workers
7 - Row House - Living space for Hallowell Workers

 

Dr. Hubbard’s Office - Early Hallowell Medical Center
8 - Dr. Hubbard’s Office - Early Hallowell Medical Center

 

Hallowell Granite Works - Our Contribution to Building America
9 - Hallowell Granite Works - Our Contribution to Building America 

 

Hubbard Free Library - Maine's First Library Building
10 - Hubbard Free Library - Maine's First Library Building

 

Town House - Gathering Place for Government
11 - Town House - Gathering Place for Government

 

Old South Church - Rebirth of Worship Center
12 - Old South Church - Rebirth of Worship Center

 

Seaport - Worldwide Shipping Center
13 - Seaport - Worldwide Shipping Center

 

Cotton Mill - Major Manufacturing in Hallowell
14 - Cotton Mill - Major Manufacturing in Hallowell

 

Heart Cures - Patent Medicine Empire 
15 - Heart Cures - Patent Medicine Empire 

 

Life Long Learning - Education for Leaders
16 - Life Long Learning - Education for Leaders

 

Wilson Hall - Entertainment Center for the Community
17 - Wilson Hall - Entertainment Center for the Community

 

Fit to Print - Publishing For Learning
18 - Fit to Print - Publishing For Learning

 

Sheppard’s Point - Manufacturing Facility Gone By
19 - Sheppard’s Point - Manufacturing Facility Gone By

 

Hallowell’s Museum In The Streets was made possible by the generous support of Museum Patrons
Gardiner Savings Bank of Maine
Mattson Development, LLC., and The Wolfington Group

Underwriters
Century 21 Alliance Realty
Harriet and David Schmidt ~ Hatties's Seafood Restaurant
Eric & Pamela Perry & the Perry family
Vallee Real Estate
Vaughan Homestead Foundation
Hallowell Area Board of Trade

Sign Sponsors
Brahms/Mount Textiles
Cotton Mill Associates
Friends of Hubbard Free Library
Granite Hill Estates
Hallowell Firemen’s Association
Hannah Young Perry
Kennebec Valley Art Association
MaxMedia
Matthew Race Perry
Pine State Trading Company
Rebecca Jane Perry
Quality Copy
Quirk Ford
Row House, Inc.
The Liberal Cup

French Translation Team - HallDale High School
Chris Poulin - Teacher
Andrew Bergeron, Liz Cloutier, Molly Cyr, Wade Davis, Allison Godbout, Ariel Howes, Austin Langsdorf, Natasha Langsdorf, Brad Longfellow, Dario Meinecke, Jessica Sanborn, Michael Shepherd, Caitlin Shorette, Lisa Sterling, Linda Valsdottir, Snaedis Valsdottir, Nickole Wheeler, and Kristi Woods. Proofreading assistance provided by Claire Federow, Amity intern.  Final translation review and invaluable support by Sylvie Charron.


A project of

Row House Hallowell, Maine
ROW HOUSE, INC.
Post Office Box 3 ~ Hallowell, ME 04347
Hallowell Area Board of Trade logo
Post Office Box 246 ~ Hallowell, ME 04347
info@hallowell.org ~ www.hallowell.org

 

More information about Hallowell is available online at www.historichallowell.org
Historic Hallowell ~ PO Box 246 ~ Hallowell, ME 04347