Heritage Tourism

“Here are the men, the women, and the flowers…”

– from “Sonnet” by E.A. Robinson

A visit to Gardiner, Maine is an opportunity to immerse yourself in a world of shipbuilders and tradesmen, 18th century entrepreneurs and 19th century merchants, brick-lined sidewalks and the historic homes of world-class poets, authors, scholars and intellectuals.

Your first stop might be a tour of the historic neighborhood of Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Edwin Arlington Robinson. Robinson (1869-1935) is often remembered for his “Tilbury Town” characters that appear throughout his 28 volumes of poetry, and are popularly believed to be based on the people he encountered in his beloved City of Gardiner. Until you get here, you can click for a fascinating “virtual tour” of Robinson’s world at the end of the 19th century.

Continue your tour with visits to the other historic homes and landmarks — all listed in the National Register of Historic Places – in this lovely old neighborhood just up the hill from downtown Gardiner. Among them is the famed “Yellow House” at 3 Dennis Street, home to prolific author and poet Laura E. Richards, a contemporary of Robinson’s who also received a Pulitzer Prize in 1917.

For more details, download the “Tilbury Town Walking Tour” brochure and map here, or pick up a copy at the Public Library or Gardiner City Hall. On the Tilbury Town page, you’ll also find a multi-part podcast you can download to your mp3 player and experience the walking tour with a detailed soundtrack!

Make your next stop the Gardiner Waterfront and the soon-to-be-completed Icehouse Heritage Project. And delve deeper into this website to learn more about Gardiner’s 250 years of history:

Gardiner, Maine – A History

Historical Perspectives – Interpretive Signage for the Gardiner Waterfront Park