Item 135799 - William Wood, Portland, ca. 1890

Item 135799 - William Wood, Portland, ca. 1890
Contributed by Maine Historical Society
Item 135799
William Wood, Portland, ca. 1890
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William Wood was an original founding member of the Maine Institute of Science in 1836, and the Portland Society of Natural History (PSNH) in 1843. Although he practiced medicine, Dr. Wood dedicated his life to natural history. When the Maine Institute closed in 1839, Wood purchased much of the collections at auction in 1840, storing it in his home. Wood also served as president of the Portland Lyceum and secretary for the Maine Historical Society.

In 1852, the PSNH elected William Wood as the third president, a term that lasted for 47 years until his death in 1899. Wood oversaw the two devastating fires that destroyed the PSNH, moving to five different locations, and supervised the renovation and construction of two buildings for the Society. Newspapers conveyed Wood’s connection to the PSNH, writing, “It will be difficult for us to think of him and this Society as separate and apart.”

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