The Baxter House Museum is open June-August
Tuesdays & Thursdays
or by special appointment
The building that is now the Baxter House Museum was first built in 1797 by the carpenter Isaac Gilkey, and passed through several hands before being purchased by Dr. Elihu Baxter in 1812. Dr. Baxter’s family later moved to China, Maine, eventually to Portland.
Dr. Baxter’s youngest son, James Phinney Baxter, was born in the Baxter House in 1831. The youngest son of Dr. Baxter, he went on to become a successful businessman and philanthropist. In 1907, he approached Frederick Robie, former Governor of Maine, with a proposal to fund the building of a public library in Gorham. Baxter’s offer was made on the condition that his childhood home be made into a museum. The proposal was accepted, and in September 1908 the Baxter Memorial Library and Baxter House Museum opened their doors. The Baxter House itself was moved away from the road, with the Library occupying its original site.
Townspeople donated countless objects to begin the Museum’s collection – James Phinney Baxter himself furnished an entire room with furniture and books belonging to his family. Since the first great lot of donations in 1908 and 1909, the Baxter Museum continues to acquire and display artifacts pertaining to Gorham history, and tries to give an idea of how its former occupants would have lived.
Admission is free, although donations are accepted and encouraged!
Contact Museum Director Linda Frinsko at 207.839.3878 for more details.