maine charitable mechanic association


       The Maine Charitable Mechanic Association was founded in 1815  to help and promote excellence among Portland’s various mechanical and artistic trades. Carpenters, Glass workers, Sailmakers, Shipbuilders and Riggers, Ironworkers, Stone Cutters, Brick Masons, Jewelers, Watchmakers and Nautical instrument makers, Furniture makers and similar tradesmen all learned their skills and crafts through Apprenticeship education  by the membership of this Association. The apprentice Library was started in 1820 in various locations around the city for the education and enlightenment of apprentices and members until finally having a permanent  home, built by its members in 1859. The Association sponsored many fairs and expositions to showcase the skills of local artisans and tradesmen.  Many lectures by prominent speakers and dances in the grand ballroom were held here. For many years groups of various trades would march down Congress St. proudly carrying beautiful banners with slogans to promote their trades. A free school for Mechanical  and Architectural drawing  was started in 1875 and continued for over a 100 years until 1983.  The Association stills supports mechanical and architectural education through scholarships and grants in local schools.

            Today, the Maine Charitable Mechanic Association has about 300 members. Members have the use of the historic library on Congress Street and may attend events including readings by local and national authors and travel presentations

            We hope to continue to play a big part in Portland’s Historic Downtown.Always looking for fresh ideas and new members to help contribute toward this goal.We are a non-profit 501(C) (3) organization, and hope to increase our Endowment Fund for the future stability of the Association.

    The Library welcomes new members.  If interested, please contact Pat Larrabee at 207-773-8396 during library hours;10:00-3:00;Tues.,Wed,Thurs. The Library is also a participant in Portland’s First Friday Art Walks, exhibiting a new artist every month.

You may also contact us by e-mail with any questions at, or @

Mechanics’ Hall

A Portland Landmark Building

Mechanics hall,built by the membership in 1859 and is still serving its members and  the city of Portland well.We hope this site will give you a glimpse into the past and what is now currently going on at 519 Congress St. Library  Hrs., 10:00-3:00, Tue., Wed.,Thurs., 

phone # 773-8396