“The Story of Falmouth” explores the history of the community, from the Indigenous population before the town’s official incorporation to the steady growth of the community today. Contributed / Town of Falmouth

A new exhibit in Falmouth Town Hall aims to honor the storied history of the community, including traditionally underrepresented groups such as Indigenous people and women.

The first panel of the exhibit introduces Falmouth’s 300-plus year history. Contributed / Town of Falmouth

The permanent display “The Story of Falmouth,” started out as a traveling exhibit that had been brought to multiple venues in Falmouth beginning in 2018 to mark the town’s 300th anniversary.

The exhibit was created by Erin Bishop Cadigan, the town’s former tercentennial coordinator and a director of the Falmouth Historical Society, and was made possible through a $3,000 Bicentennial Project Grant from the Maine Bicentennial Commission.

The bicentennial grant allowed us the opportunity to repurpose the temporary exhibit into a permanent installation that people can enjoy well beyond the town’s tercentennial commemoration,” said Town Manager Nathan Poore.

Much of the material came from the historical society’s collections, according to President David Farnham.

“Thanks to Erin’s thorough research as a professional historian, the exhibit compresses four centuries of our town’s history into 12 entertaining and informative panels,” Farnham said. “The Story of Falmouth is a companion to another historical display at Town Hall, Edward La Salle’s 1940 Illustrated Map Painting of Falmouth.


The painting was restored and an informational booklet was published as another tercentennial project, Farnum said, adding, “These exhibits serve as reminders for our citizens and town officials of how Falmouth became the place we call home.”

One panel in the series pays homage to the people who lived in Falmouth before the European settlers established a town in 1718. Contact between Europeans and Maine’s Indigenous population began in the early 1600s when explorers visited the Maine coast and dubbed the Indigenous group “Wabanaki,” according to the panel.

The history of Falmouth’s governance, land, the role women played in making Falmouth what it is today, schools, how war impacted the community, and recreation and tourism are all explored on other panels.

Other panels outline how Falmouth’s population began to steadily grow in the 1920s and doubled between 1950 and 2000, thanks to changes like the interstate highway being built in the mid-1950s and more retail centers and subdivisions.

Pat Cuccaro, who was born and raised in Falmouth, said the biggest change she has seen over the years is how suburban it’s become since her childhood.

“It was more rural when I was growing up, more fields and woodlands. Like any other town around Portland, it’s just become more developed,” Cuccaro said.


Cuccaro, who raised her family in Falmouth, returned with her husband to retire after spending about 30 years traveling all over the world for his job with the military. She now lives at the OceanView retirement community.

Her family also has a place in local history. Cuccaro’s father, Dr. Norman Stiles, had a veterinary practice in town and was active in the community, serving on the School Board and the committee for Pine Grove Cemetery.

Town Council Chairperson Amy Kuhn said the panels “are a wonderful way to help deepen today’s Town Hall visitors’ connection with our community’s history.”

The exhibit has “been well-received by visitors to Town Hall who have found it interesting and informative,” Town Clerk Ellen Planer said, and staff “like how it makes an otherwise long, empty hallway more attractive.”

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