Skip to main content

A look at the Maine Military Museum

The Maine Military Museum features thoughtful displays from all eras.
It’s not all about swabbing the deck, as some sailors have mending to do in this creative exhibit.

It’s not all about swabbing the deck, as some sailors have mending to do in this creative exhibit.

Since the Revolutionary war, despite not being among the original “13 colonies” as Maine was actually part of Massachusetts, the state has had a strong military heritage. That helps explain why the state’s motto is “Dirigo,” or Latin for “I lead.” It is also why the Maine Military Museum, a privately run 501 C 3 non-profit installation in South Portland, represents soldiers and their service in every conflict from the Revolutionary war to the Gulf War, and even beyond to current day actions.

“Maine proportionately sent more off to war than any other state,” says museum founder, director and curator Lee Humiston.

The majority of pieces in the museum are authentic, often donated by veterans, families and others who came into possession of uniforms, headgear, armaments and other items. Due to the rarity, not to mention the costs, some of the Civil War and Revolutionary War uniforms are re-enactor reproductions.

Humiston, who said that he has a special interest in POW items, didn’t want to just focus on displays of the “shiny” items, and wanted to show visitors moments that some would like to forget. He went so far as to build a replica of a prison cell from Vietnam-era Hanoi with exact measurements, and even later added rats after a veteran made a comment.

Exhibits are thoughtfully assembled to represent soldiers of the day.

Exhibits are thoughtfully assembled to represent soldiers of the day.

The museum currently houses a great deal of historical military artifacts in a small space, with displays thoughtfully constructed. Humiston and a group of hand-selected volunteers are on hand to walk visitors through the museum to provide history to just about any item or mannequin dressed in gear.

Every piece of history from a field dug cannon ball to flight suit and a U.S. flag that flew on D-Day is astounding in itself. However reading the accompanying plaques or hearing about the history from the museum’s crew makes each piece significant.

While not every piece in the museum and learning center has a connection to Maine, the collection is representative of U.S. and state history that makes a visit to the museum in the historic state of Maine a destination worth your time.

The Gulf War is well represented at the Maine Military Museum in South Portland.

The Gulf War is well represented at the Maine Military Museum in South Portland.

The Revolutionary War uniform is a reproduction; however the display is quite authentic with ephemera of the day plus artwork rendering the scenes.

The Revolutionary War uniform is a reproduction; however the display is quite authentic with ephemera of the day plus artwork rendering the scenes.

Civil War soldier stands next to a display of weapons, equipment and models from the era.

Civil War soldier stands next to a display of weapons, equipment and models from the era.

A diverse representation of headgear shows all branches and units from pilots to sailors to infantry.

A diverse representation of headgear shows all branches and units from pilots to sailors to infantry.

This exhibit represents a Hanoi prison cell occupied by POWs, with accuracy to size and detail down to the millimeter.

This exhibit represents a Hanoi prison cell occupied by POWs, with accuracy to size and detail down to the millimeter.

The four men in this exhibit represent the same pilot, dressed in his service uniform, POW prison clothes, release outfit, and the uniform the airman wore when he returned to service.

The four men in this exhibit represent the same pilot, dressed in his service uniform, POW prison clothes, release outfit, and the uniform the airman wore when he returned to service.

Uniforms, many donated by veterans and families, represent a cross section of eras and history in America’s military.

Uniforms, many donated by veterans and families, represent a cross section of eras and history in America’s military.

A WWII soldier stands in the setting he would have seen during the war.

A WWII soldier stands in the setting he would have seen during the war.

WWI Headgear is arranged among art and magazine covers of the day.

WWI Headgear is arranged among art and magazine covers of the day.

The soldier is the center point of this World War I display that shoes the uniforms and artwork that bring the scene to attention.

The soldier is the center point of this World War I display that shoes the uniforms and artwork that bring the scene to attention.

Military Page Divider

*As an Amazon Associate, Military Trader / Military Vehicles earns from qualifying purchases.

Frontline Feature

Military-Connection-LLC-logo

Military Connection L.L.C. - War Relics Shop & Museum

We Buy, Sell and Trade military war relics from all countries and all periods.  It is an honor and privilege to bring the history of past and present wars to you from our online store and our shop located in South Milwaukee, WI