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Stanley Museum, Kingfield

#63 of 136 in Museums in Maine
Must see · History Museum · Museum
The Stanley Museum is a hands-on history museum exploring the dynamics of Yankee ingenuity and the American experience through telling the special story of the remarkable Stanley Family, known best as the makers of the Stanley Steam Car. The Stanley Twins, Francis Edgar and Freelan Oscar (known simply and modestly as F.E. & F.O.), were school teachers and inventors, artisans and entrepreneurs, self-taught scholars and community builders, who together with their talented sister, Chansonetta, left an enduring legacy of art, culture, and achievement in the rise of the American Renaissance.

Founded in 1981, the Stanley Museum occupies an authentic turn-of-the-century schoolhouse, partly designed by and named after the Stanley Twins, located in their hometown of Kingfield in the picturesque Western Mountains of Maine. Exhibits within the old schoolhouse explore the Stanleys’ firm belief in the importance of education and community engagement, their love of photography, music and the arts, and their triumphs in sports and engineering. Permanent exhibits focus on the history of the Stanley Family, the development of the Stanley Dry Plate Company and the Stanley Motor Carriage Company, Stanley violin making, and the pioneering photography of Chansonetta Stanley Emmons. Special rotating exhibits highlight unique aspects of Stanley history, and a new major exhibit on Kingfield’s Civil War History as part of the Stanley Museum’s involvement in the Maine Civil War Trail in 2013.

Chief among the Stanley Museum’s exhibits are four Stanley steamers: a 1905 Model CX Tiller-steered Runabout, a 1909 Model R Roadster, a 1910 Model 70 5-Passenger Touring Car, and a 1916 Model 725 Condensing Car, all representing the progressive stages of Stanley automobile history. For over thirty years the Stanley Museum has considered these functional survivors of America’s automotive past to be living history exhibits, and the Museum’s cars are frequently fired up and run on tours and special events.

The Stanley Museum is open Tuesday through Friday from 1:00-4:00 pm (also weekends July-Oct.) and by appointment. During the winter months of January and February the Museum is only open by appointment. The Museum aspires to showcase the daily philosophy of the Stanleys, expressed by F.O. Stanley as “Work, Temperance, and Fun!” Come join us as we explore Yankee Ingenuity at Work!
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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
26 reviews
  • We had a great doscent who allowed us up on the stanleys to use the gears and my wife scared the daylights out of everyone when she honked the horn!  more »
  • While the museum isn't really as large as the Trip Advisor pic would have you believe(exhibits in 2 rooms on main floor only), we packed a lot of information in about the hour we were there. The...  more »
  • Great place to learn about the Stanley family and all there inventions..
  • I liked how knowledgeable and friendly the employees are; we visited during a Kingfield Art Walk event. There is a lot to see here but be advised it can be crowded even with just a few visitors.

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