Celebrating the Businesses of Freedom 1880 – 1920
Celebrating 50 Years of Freedom Artists 1970 2020

This summer the Freedom Historical Society (FHS) has opened two unique and exciting exhibits for its museum visitors in 2022.  Both these exhibits preserve the past for today’s visitors and for future generations.  

“Celebrating the Businesses of Freedom” highlights the businesses in Freedom Village during the turn of the 20th century, and the people who ran them.  During this time, Freedom, like many rural towns in New England, was slowly undergoing a transformation from an economy based on local, home-grown businesses to one based on tourism.  This special exhibit in the Works Barn, located at 28 Old Portland Road in Freedom, provides visitors an historical look back at various businesses including 6 general mercantile stores, a savings bank, a tannery, a grist mill, blacksmiths, a cobbler, a creamery, harness shops, a funeral service, inns, and boarding houses. Visitors will have the unique opportunity to explore and experience what it was like to work and shop in Freedom Village between 1880 and 1920.  In addition, we have created a tour map of Freedom Village that provides our visitors with a very informative walk around the village. On this tour, visitors will discover where these businesses were located and what they looked like through historic images from that time. The exhibit provides a fascinating step back in time and an excellent educational experience. It reflects the local impact of changes in our nation’s socio-economic landscape. The exhibit coordinators are Brandy Buttrick and Noel Quinton.

“Celebrating 50 years of Freedom Painters from 1970 to 2020” is the second exhibit, and it is located in the Allard House Music Room.  The Freedom painters include Peg Scully, Terri Brooks, Elizabeth Acton, Barbara McEvoy, Nancy Essex, Laura Thomson, Gary Hecktner, Ian Marshall, Alice Macy Miller, and Sarah Tabor.  The exhibit includes a bio sketch and photo of each artist and two paintings on display reflecting the artist’s typical style. The goal is not only to educate today’s visitors about Freedom’s painters over the last 50 years, but to make sure that 100 years from now residents will know who they were and what their artistry looked like.  The exhibit coordinator is John Shipman.


MRS. J.C. FERREN’S MILLINERY, DRY AND FANCY GOODS SHOP ….. **Video tour now available**

Between 1884 and 1908, Mary Marston (Mrs. J. C. ) Ferren owned the millinery and dressmaking shop on the second floor of the old Federal House in the center of Freedom. You can now experience the Freedom Historical Society’s reimagined Mrs. Ferren’s millinery shop as it was in the early 20th century. Click here to tour this historical store with Brandy Buttrick, the Coordinator of the 2021 Exhibit on Clothing & Textiles. Enjoy!

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FREEDOM’S OWN JOHN HOLMGREN ….. **Video tour now available**

The Freedom Historical Society is currently showcasing the artwork and illustrations of renowned artist and Freedom summer resident John Holmgren. The exhibition, Freedom’s Own John Holmgren, features 11 artworks from the Museum’s collection and on loan from Holmgren’s family. Holmgren’s depictions of the people and places of Freedom celebrate his love for his seasonal home. Holmgren, from New York City, lived for 50 years in Freedom with his family during summers in the big house on Elm Street next to the town hall that used to be the Elm Hotel. Click here to take a virtual tour of this fascinating exhibit!

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From WWI uniforms, to badges, mess kits and 1860s-era military accessories, the exhibition Defenders of Freedom showcased the stories and history of Freedom’s military veterans through objects, clothing, photographs, postcards, and other documents.