The Marshall Steam Museum features a variety of exhibits highlighting the evolution of steam technology in America as well as the Marshall family’s legacy. Stop by to view the museum’s exhibitions:

Letting Off Steam: The Stanley Legacy

In 1897, twins Francis and Freelan Stanley of Kingfield, Maine, designed their first automobile, in many ways just to see if they could do it better. By 1902, the Stanley Motor Carriage Company was born. They did not design just any automobile, but one powered by steam, the most advanced and prevalent technology of the time. The Marshall Steam Museum at Auburn Heights is pleased to announce Letting Off Steam: The Stanley Legacy, a new exhibition that explores the rise and fall of the Stanley Motor Carriage Company and the enduring legacy of that company on the Marshall family and Auburn Heights. Click here to learn more.

What’s Under the Hood? How a Stanley Steamer Works

This hands-on exhibit offers all visitors–and especially children–an unprecedented opportunity to not only see inside a vintage steam car but also learn how it operates. Development on the display continues, but curious guests can now see how the engine, pump box, boiler, burner and wheel interact to set a Stanley in motion. Check back to watch our progress as we build out this display.

This exhibit is funded in part by the Joseph Boxler Education Fund, with equipment donated by Don Bourdon and Jay Williams. Established in 2009 to honor the memory of an extraordinary youth volunteer at Auburn Heights, the Joseph Boxler Education Fund supports the continued development and expansion of educational programming at Auburn Heights Preserve.

Early American Billboard Advertising

To enhance the experience of riding the rails aboard the Auburn Valley Railroad, the Marshall Steam Museum introduced in 2013 the outdoor exhibit “Early American Billboard Advertising.” Strategically placed along the railroad tracks that circle the estate are historic billboards from the first half of the 20th century.



With the introduction of Gutenberg’s movable type printing system in 1450 came the launch of advertising in the modern sense. The development of lithography in the late 18th century made it practical for the first time to mass produce illustrated posters. The birth of the billboard industry in the United States traces its roots to the printing of posters for traveling circuses in the 1830s. During this early period, advertising was generally local, with merchants gluing posters on walls and fences to notify travelers where they could purchase certain goods and services. By 1850, exterior advertising was in use on street railways, and in 1900, with the standardization of billboard structures, a boom in national billboard campaigns was well under way.

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