AUGUSTA – Saturday, Feb. 16, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Maine State Museum will present One For the Wood Heap Day, celebrating Maine’s winter joys and hardships.

“The story begins with firewood,” said museum chief educator Joanna Torow, explaining visitors will get free admission to the museum by donating a piece of dry, stove-length, insect-free firewood. The museum will use the visitor contributions to build woodpiles that will be part of the upcoming “At Home in Maine” exhibit.

Sneak preview tours of the exhibit will be offered at noon, 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. To add to the fun, Maine humorist Gary Crocker will entertain visitors with “Warm Tales for the Maine Winter” at 3 p.m.

The “At Home in Maine” exhibit is the first in-depth presentation of home life in Maine and the largest exhibition ever created on this subject. When completed, it will occupy 5,600 square feet on the museum’s fourth floor and display nearly 1,500 objects from the museum’s domestic and decorative arts collection, along with the much-appreciated donated sticks of firewood.

The museum is cooperating with the Maine Forest Service by asking visitors to bring the firewood in a plastic bag, isolating it to raise awareness about the perils of transporting insect pests when firewood is moved.

Before wood stoves replaced fireplaces as heat sources, a medium-sized Maine home needed about 20 cords of wood per year. For many today, it is difficult to secure enough fuel to keep warm throughout the season. To aid those struggling to stay warm, the museum will accept donations throughout the day for Operation Keep ME Warm.

The Maine State Museum’s usual hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, from, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $2 for adults, $1 for seniors over 62 and children 6-18 years of age; children under 6 admitted free. Maximum charge for families is $6. For more information, call 287-2301 or visit the Maine State Museum Web site,

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