Arts, Culture, and Humanities


Lewiston, ME


Museum L-A connects generations and cultures, fosters a spirit of discovery and human ingenuity, and helps people experience the rich heritage and history of work, the arts, and community

Ruling Year


Executive Director

Ms. Rachel Desgrosseilliers

Main Address

35 Canal St Ste A7

Lewiston, ME 04240 USA


museum, history, heritage, community, mill workers, shoe workers, brick makers, creativity





Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Museum & Museum Activities (A50)

History Museums (A54)

Arts, Cultural Organizations - Multipurpose (A20)

IRS Filing Requirement

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Programs + Results

What we aim to solve New!

Museum L-A's mission is to connect generations and cultures, foster a spirit of discovery and human ingenuity, and help people experience the rich heritage and history of work, the arts and community.

Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Permanent Exhibit Featuring Mill Workers, Shoe Workers, and Brick Makers of Lewiston-Auburn, Maine

Where we workNew!

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have and haven't they accomplished so far?

In 1850, Benjamin Bates began construction on his first mill, Bates Mill in Lewiston, hoping to make his fortune in the textile industry as the Bates Manufacturing Company. The company quickly grew to become one of the largest textile manufacturers in New England and transformed Lewiston from an agricultural town into a booming city. After a steady decline in sales, the mill slowed down production in 1990 before officially closing their doors in 2001. Museum L-A, founded in 1996, started its collection by salvaging the machinery and artifacts that were left behind when operations ceased.

As the Museum began to grow, there was a recognized need to tell not only the story of the textile mill workers, but also the workers from the shoe and brick industries that built the Lewiston-Auburn area as well. This led to further collecting on behalf of the Museum. The oral histories of the workers and artifacts that have been collected serve to augment the stories that are being told in the permanent and temporary exhibits that are installed in our gallery spaces. We strive to continue sharing these stories to enlighten future generations, families, businesses, artists and teachers. Our goal is to maintain and share our rich history and heritage of the thousands of workers who made our community what it is today.

The Board and staff of Museum L-A are dedicated to continuing the storytelling of the rich heritage of the mill workers, shoe workers, and brick makers who built its community. We do this by doing oral histories of the people we honor, by collecting and preserving priceless collections from community members, and by educating people of all ages about the history, determination, and ethics of our ancestors.

Museum L-A benefits from strong community support and an excellent Board of Directors and staff who strive to grow our Museum. Our outreach to local schools, colleges, libraries, and businesses helps to spread the word of the work we do to share the history of our community. Our exhibits display unique items from our collections that resonate with our visitors. Our docents share stories about the work in the textile mills, shoe shops and brick-making companies, as well as how these industries formed Lewiston and Auburn, Maine. Many of our visitors share their own stories about working in the mills, bringing wonderful memories of family and home.

Museum L-A Board and staff will recognize the Museum's successes with increased numbers of visitors who come for tours, increased volunteers, and increased financial support from individuals, businesses, and grantors.

Museum L-A takes a great deal of pride in the quality of its collections and its positive status in the Lewiston-Auburn, Maine community and beyond. The Museum benefits from many visits from people who come from other states and several countries. The Museum is established in the local community, and has taken a lead in helping to develop the tourism industry in our former textile cities. Next steps include an expansion of the Museum's exhibits, educational programs, and events and a future move to a new location from the temporary space that currently houses our Museum.

External Reviews



Fiscal year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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  • Forms 990 for 2016, 2015 and 2014
A Pro report is also available for this organization for $125.
Click here to see what's included.

Board Leadership Practices

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SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?



Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?



Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?



Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?



Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?