Abbe Museum Wins 2012 AASLH Award of Merit

The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) proudly announces that the Abbe Museum is the recipient of an Award of Merit from the AASLH Leadership in History Awards for the exhibit Indians and Rusticators: Wabanakis and Summer Visitors on Mount Desert Island 1840s-1920s. The AASLH Leadership in History Awards, now in its 67th year, is the most prestigious recognition for achievement in the preservation and interpretation of state and local history.

Indians and Rusticators is an immersive exhibit exploring the unique relationship between the first summer tourists visiting Mount Desert Island, called rusticators, and the Wabanaki. Living in encampments through the summer season, Wabanaki people traveled to Bar Harbor to offer their services as guides and entertainers, and also sold souvenirs of traditional baskets made to appeal to a wide array of people. The exhibit features a 19’ birch bark canoe purchased on a ship coming to Bar Harbor in 1878, baskets made from ash and sweet grass and birch bark, steam ship and rusticator artifacts, and hands-on activities for all ages. The exhibit will remain at the Abbe in downtown Bar Harbor through December.

This year, AASLH is proud to confer fifty-nine national awards honoring people, projects, exhibits, books, and organizations. The winners represent the best in the field and provide leadership for the future of state and local history. Presentation of the awards will be made at a special banquet during the 2012 AASLH Annual Meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Friday, October 5, 2012. The banquet is supported by a generous contribution from the History Channel.

The AASLH awards program was initiated in 1945 to establish and encourage standards of excellence in the collection, preservation, and interpretation of state and local history throughout the United States. The AASLH Leadership in History Awards not only honor significant achievement in the field of state and local history, but also brings public recognition of the opportunities for small and large organizations, institutions, and programs to make contributions in this arena. For more information about the Leadership in History Awards, contact AASLH at 615-320-3203, or go to

The American Association for State and Local History is a not-for-profit professional organization of individuals and institutions working to preserve and promote history. From its headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee, AASLH provides leadership, service, and support for its members who preserve and interpret state and local history in order to make the past more meaningful in American society. AASLH publishes books, technical publications, a quarterly magazine, and monthly newsletter. The association also sponsors regional and national training workshops and an annual meeting.