During our historic tour season, Biddeford's textile mill doors are open once more, with access to the unique underground canals! Tours are generally guided by former mill workers who are passionate about Pepperell and know the history of these incredible buildings.
Discover the details about the textile industry and the contributions made by local mill workers from the 1840s to 2009. Experience the grand scale of the spinning and weaving rooms, the soaring ceilings raised by stately columns, and the rushing power of the Saco River.
We also offer group tours in the late spring and early fall, and we can visit your location between September and May with our Education & Outreach program and presentation.
2018 Tour Schedule for Biddeford Mills Museum
Guided Historic Tours for 2018 start June 2nd and end September 1st. Tours run Thursdays and Saturdays at 10 am to 12 pm. Please plan to arrive by 9:45 am.
Please note that Historic Tours will not be held on July 5th or July 7th due to the holiday week.
Tour participants should meet in front of Portland Pie Restaurant at 40 Main Street (located near the corner of Foss & Main Streets and across from the Happy Dragon Restaurant). Follow the signs. Please see Parking.
Reservations for Historic Tours
Reservations are required. During the tour season, please call Heart of Biddeford at (207) 284-8520, Monday - Friday from 10 am - 2 pm to arrange your tour booking. Reservations should be made prior to 2 pm on the day before the Biddeford Mills Museum Tour.
The first 25 registrants will be booked on a first come, first serve basis for any Historical Tour. Larger groups can be accommodated with at least three (3) day prior notice.
$12 Seniors (age 65)
$10 Students (under age 18)
The Historical Tours are designed for those able to climb minimal stairs. Walking shoes should be worn. For safety reasons no open toed shoes are allowed. Children under the age of five (5) are discouraged from participating. A Waiver is required to be signed for participation. An adult or guardian must sign for any minor (under 18).
Organized Small Group Tours
The Small Group Tour season will traditionally run from April to June and September to the end of October each year. During the late fall and winter seasons, lighting and temperature issues make touring the mills too challenging to undertake.
Types of eligible groups include: schools, colleges and universities, corporations, small businesses, retirement communities, historical societies, etc. Typically, there will be a minimum of 10 tour attendees required but smaller groups may be possible. Reservations are required.
Prices for organized school / small groups: $15 per adult (or $12/person for seniors; $3/person for students).
Educational Presentations & Outreach Visits
From September to May, Biddeford Mills Museum offers in-person presentations which intertwine historical fact with real life experiences. Topic choices include: The History of the Mills 1845 - 2009; The Mill Girls; The Creation of the Vellux Blanket; A Virtual Tour of the Pepperell Mills.
Our outreach programs are designed for students in 5th-12th grade. These presentations are also available to college, university, adult education, business, historical society and other groups. We will prepare a program that suits your needs and time allowance.
The price rate is $100 within 25 miles of Biddeford; otherwise, negotiable.
Motorcoach Tour Information – Historic Tours
Guided tour rates for motorcoach groups (20+ people) start at $12/person and require a deposit. The Museum offers flexible arrangements and customized tour experiences from 60 to 90 minutes. Parking is available for motorcoaches.
These tours highlight various stages in the textile manufacturing process and feature a visit to an underground ‘lagoon’ where the Saco River flowed through tunnels to power the mills. Tour visitors will see how many of these spaces have been transformed since the last mill closed in 2009 and are now being adapted for current use, and see the development that is the centerpiece of a community’s revitalization.
Tour visitors will enjoy Biddeford’s historic downtown, now boasting some of Maine’s top restaurants, as well as retail shops featuring Mainemade clothing and crafts.
Biddeford/Saco Mills Historic District is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on motorcoach tours or to request a booking.
Additional Tour Info
Historical Tours of the Pepperell Mill Campus are a two (2) hour walking tour of the buildings built as early as 1845 and the water power tunnels built in 1837. The tour includes discussions of the: