Old York Historical Society

Attractions Category: South Coast/Beaches

  • Includes seven historic buildings dating back to the 18th century, including the Old Gaol, one of the oldest public buildings in the U.S. (1719).

    At Old York, you will see and hear what life was like three centuries ago. The Museums of Old York are community operated by The Old York Historical Society. The Museums consist of nine historic buildings including The Old Gaol, the nation’s oldest royal prison. Visitors can tour the Old Schoolhouse and Tavern – all tolled thirty seven period rooms are open for viewing throughout the museum property.

    The Visitors Center at Old York is attached to the 1834 Remick Barn, where visitors are welcomed. Next to the Remick Barn is Jefferd’s Tavern, a true colonial tavern dating back to 1750. Kids enjoy sitting at desks in the neighboring Old Schoolhouse, but the Old Jail (Gaol) is often the favorite because of the eerie tales of the jail keeper’s family who lived above the prisoners’ dungeon.

    The Emerson Wilcox House, 1742, is furnished with fine period antiques. The Georgian style home served as a store, a post office and a tavern over time.

    The Museums of Old York property extends down to the York River to the John Hancock Wharf, an 1800 Commercial warehouse which served as a Custom House during early trading and taxation. Next door is the George Marshall Store of 1867 which now serves as an art exhibit for the museum.

    The Museums of Old York are open year round. Special events include the annual Old York Decorator Show House, where local designers redecorate a home as a fundraiser. This collaborative designer show case has been a major fundraiser for over 20 years, and the preview gala event is one of the best events in York – featuring home designer talents, fine food and cocktails all to benefit Old York Historical Society and the Museums. View more events in York, Maine.

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