HOULTON, Maine — The Aroostook County Historical and Art Museum, which usually opens for the season around Memorial Day weekend, has announced that it will be closed for the summer due to ongoing concerns of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The museum announced its closure for the remainder of 2020 in a post on its Facebook page Thursday, May 28. The museum is normally open only during the summer months.
“We invite you to visit our website for the many virtual tours we have posted there and look forward to seeing you in 2021,” the post read, including a link to the museum’s website.
The museum had begun posting virtual tours of the museum in April, allowing viewers to experience the many historical artifacts and artworks from Aroostook County from the safety of their own homes.
The tours, which are available on the museum’s website as well as on YouTube, feature Curator Leigh Cummings, and were filmed using the iMovie app by Henry Gartley, the president of the museum.
“Our mission is to preserve and provide access to our extensive collection,” said Cummings regarding the closure of the museum. “We have greatly expanded our online presence and will continue to add to our story this summer.”
The museum features a wide variety of historical artifacts and paintings, including a dog-powered butter churning machine and military regalia acknowledging Houlton’s long history of being a military base. It was founded in 1937 by then-prominent Houlton attorney Ramsford Shaw, the house being donated by Stella King, who wrote a book about the early history of The County.
Though the museum remains closed, the museum’s annual summer intern program, in which one high school student is hired to help with the museum, is still in effect.