Grand re-opening June 15

Montpelier gets a makeover

Jun 07, 2017
Women & Children is one of the “new” rooms at Montpelier.

Thomaston — Knox Museum invites the public to attend its grand re-opening of Montpelier, the big white house at the Route 131 turn to St. George, Thursday, June 15, between 5 and 7 p.m. Admission is free, light refreshments will be served and all are encouraged to come see what’s new for 2017.

“It’s kind of an oxymoron to talk about ‘what’s new’ at a history museum,” admitted Knox Museum’s Executive Director Tobin Malone. “But, no fear of that this year. Museum staff and trustees have been busy all winter literally shaking things up, and we just can’t wait for everyone in the community to come see all the changes and tell us what they think about Montpelier’s new look.”

The underlying change in the way Montpelier is exhibited this year is based on the organization’s desire to shift and broaden its focus from that of an historic house to a full-fledged museum dedicated to Gen. Henry Knox — patriot, soldier, veteran, statesman, husband, father, citizen and local resident.

Visiting exhibitions from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and Mount Vernon, the National Society of the Cincinnati, the Maine Masons, Castine Historical Society, the Maine Military History Museum, Thomaston Historical Society and others, will be on display throughout the architectural landmark.

“New” rooms at Montpelier this season include The Boston Room, The War Room, Women & Children, The State Room, The French Dining Room and the Knox Heirloom Garden & Landscape Room. Many of the Knox family’s original furniture and objects are on display in The General’s Bedroom and in The Knox Collections Room.

Another new exhibition space, underwritten by the Maine Community Foundation, is The Thomaston Room, in which the conception for and building of today’s Montpelier beginning in 1929 by the Henry Knox Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution is displayed through blueprints, historic photos and some interesting remnants and bits of architectural salvage.

Knox Museum’s rotating 2017 exhibition on Maine women veterans, “From Molly Pitcher to The Global War on Terror,” also will be open for viewing during the grand re-opening open house.

Due to its historic nature, Montpelier is not handicapped-accessible at present, and one must be able to navigate stairs to visit. Carpooling is encouraged, and visitors are cautioned that, weather permitting, exterior painting may be underway — The Knox Paint Brigade has currently raised enough in donations to paint three sides of the building, and is working on the fourth.

Knox Museum was incorporated in 1999 with a mission to honor the life, times, and legacy of Henry Knox; the heritage of Montpelier; and the veterans and families who have served, and continue to serve, our nation. For more information about the grand re-opening and other news, visit the museum’s new website, compliments of trustee Robert Shotwell, at knoxmuseum.org.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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