YARMOUTH — Maine Preservation is excited to announce the launch of Drive ME Historic Tours in commemoration of Maine’s bicentennial. 

Ranging from 30 minutes to four hours, the interactive tours highlight historic homes and places that existed when Maine established statehood in 1820. The maps share Maine’s way of life 200 years ago by telling the stories of those who lived and worked here and how these places played an important role in forming Maine’s cultural identity.  

“We advocate statewide, deploying preservation as a tool for economic development and community revitalization, because historic buildings are not only important to our cultural heritage; they are a valuable investment in our future,” says Tara Kelly, executive director of Maine Preservation. 

In partnership with the Maine Office of Tourism and the Maine Bicentennial Commission, Maine Preservation has created 26 tours throughout many of Maine’s eight regions including Downeast and Acadia, Greater Portland and Casco Bay, Kennebec & Moose River Valley, Maine Lakes & Mountains, Mid-Coast, Southern Maine, and the Maine Highlands. Participants are encouraged to share their tour experiences via a submission form on the Maine Preservation website. All tours and forms can be found at https://www.mainepreservation.org/tours-1

“As we reflect on 201 years of statehood, we are pleased to support these tours that pinpoint buildings and sites that help us understand the history of this place we call Maine,” said Bicentennial Commission Chairman Sen. Bill Diamond. “We encourage Mainers and visitors alike to take one or more of these drives and experience a connection to the people and events that made us who we are today.”

“Maine’s historic buildings create a visible link to our past and are an important asset for cultural tourism in Maine. The new “Drive ME: Historic Tours” provide an accessible way for visitors and residents alike to connect with Maine’s heritage and the people and places that make Maine special,” said Steve Lyons, director of the Maine Office of Tourism. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many celebrations were postponed until 2021. The tours will now be available on the Maine Preservation website through this year. 

Maine Preservation is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit member-based historic preservation organization that promotes and preserves historic places, buildings, downtowns and neighborhoods, strengthening the cultural and economic vitality of Maine communities. 

The Maine Office of Tourism supports and expands the tourism industry and promotes the state as a tourism destination. The MOT develops and executes effective marketing programs for the benefit of the travel and film industries, and the economy and the citizens of Maine, by protecting and creating jobs through attracting visitors to the state.

The Maine Bicentennial Commission exists to plan, administer and coordinate programs and projects that commemorate Maine’s 200th anniversary of statehood, to explore Maine’s history from the many perspectives of its multiple past and current populations; to celebrate Maine’s present people, places, institutions and economy; and to envision the public and private actions that will enhance Maine’s future prosperity.