Click on photograph to enlarge
Main Plaque Corner of Main and Knox Streets


The Museum In The Streets

The concept for Museum in the Streets is the brainchild of Dr. Patrick Cardon who lives in our neighboring town of Cushing. A trained Egyptologist and museum consultant, Cardon spent many years abroad and still maintains a home in France. While he introduced this idea and put it into fifteen French villages first, he chose Thomaston as his first venture for the Museum in the Streets in the United States.

The outdoor museum is comprised of a series of twenty five plaques with historic photographs and legends, in both English and French, about the town's history. The plaques are placed throughout the historic district and positioned as closely as possible to the spot where the original photographer had stood when taking the pictures more than 125 years ago. In that way, you can view the plaque and then raise your eyes to see the same scene as it appears today. Surprisingly, many of the old photographs are not that different from the way the town looks today.

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Thomaston Harbor foot of Knox Street


Because Thomaston has such a long and rich history, the museum is especially important to visitors, many of whom wonder when first seeing Thomaston, what the people had done in this small town to leave behind such a wealth of historic houses, many of which bear the architectural beauty and integrity of a time period long passed.

Thomaston does indeed resemble a nineteenth century village instead of a twenty first century one. As such, it is one of the best preserved working towns of the historic past.

Brochures showing the entire route of the tour and the location of all of the plaques are easy to find. Both the Town Office, the Thomaston Public Library and several shops on Main Street have them available. You need only go into any of these places and pick one up or simply consult the large map posted on the side wall of the Thomaston Cafe and Bakery on the corner of Main and Knox Street. There is no particular order in which the plaques should be viewed, you can begin at any point and read as many or as few as you wish. Because the route is actually quite long, you may wish to drive part of the way or take the tour in two parts with a break for lunch or a snack part way through. The museum is laid out in a T shape along Main street from the old Prison site on the west end to Route 131 South on the east end and along the entire length of Knox Street from Main Street to the water's edge at the town landing and the site of the  Waymouth Cross.

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A James Overlock built home, circa 1850
with one of the Museum In The Streets signs
showing the house as it appeared in 1874.  
 

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