The Biddeford Mills Museum and Maine Historical Society are teaming up to develop an exhibition to tell the story of the city’s industrial mills.

The exhibition, Biddeford/Saco Industrial Innovation, will open next year in Building 13 of the Pepperell Mill Campus, the former home of Pepperell Manufacturing Company, officials announced this week.

The nonprofit mills museum and the historical society also are making plans to raise money together for the exhibition.

“The local knowledge and commitment of the Biddeford Mills Museum combined with the almost 200 years of museum success of the Maine Historical Society will allow for the creation of a professional and dynamic exhibition in the Pepperell Mill,” said Jeff Cabral, president of the Biddeford Mills Museum board. “Biddeford is experiencing an exciting renaissance of economic development that embodies both ideals from the past and creative visions for the present.”

Cabral said the exhibition will celebrate mill history through creative use of space, artifacts, images and architectural features. Topics for the exhibition will include Maine’s vibrant industrial history, the ongoing evolution of the state economy, the diversity and innovation of people who contributed to the community and Maine’s relationship to the world, he said.

The Biddeford Mills Museum was founded in 2009 and hosts tours of the sprawling mill campus where textiles were once manufactured and shipped around the world. The museum is supported in part by an active committee of volunteer “mill vets” who once worked in the mills.


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