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News and Press Releases

Searsport Farmers’ Market Opens May 13

Searsport, Maine, April 11, 2014 – The new Searsport Farmer’s Market will open for the year on Tuesday, May 13. The market is hosted by Penobscot Marine Museum on the Crescent on Route One, and will be open every Tuesday from 2:30 pm to 5:30 pm through mid-October. The market will include locally grown fruit and vegetables, including locally grown ginger root, and crafts.

“Penobscot Marine Museum is very happy to host this market,” says museum director Liz Lodge, “because Maine’s historic food traditions of seafood and agricultural produce are interwoven with its’ maritime history.”

If you would like more information about the Searsport Farmer’s Market, or would like an application to participate in the market, please call Jim Nichols at 567-3967.

Husking Corn, Farmington Maine Penobscot Marine Museum

Husking Corn, Farmington Maine Penobscot Marine Museum

Author Richard J. King Discusses a Misunderstood Bird

Searsport, Maine, April 4, 2014 – On Thursday, April 17 at 7:00 pm, author Richard J. King will talk about his book The Devil’s Cormorant: A Natural History, at Friends of Maine’s Seabird Islands in Rockland, Maine. King integrates hard science and extensive research to create a fascinating snapshot of how cormorants are both cherished and despised in different cultures around the world. King also will share his personal stories about his global adventures while researching this bird.

Left: The Devil’s Cormorant, Right: Author Richard J. Kin

Left: The Devil’s Cormorant, Right: Author Richard J. Kin

Richard J. King teaches Literature of the Sea with The Williams College-Mystic Seaport Maritime Studies Program. He is the author of Lobster, published by Reaktion Books, 2011, and has written widely on maritime topics. King also has been teaching and crewing on tall ships for over fifteen years.

Friends of Maine’s Seabird Islands’ Visitor Center is located at 9 Water Street (in the large white building where Rte. 73 and Water Street meet by the clock tower), Rockland, Maine. Admission is free. This event is sponsored by the Friends of Maine’s Seabird Islands, Penobscot Marine Museum and Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors. For more information call Friends of Maine’s Seabird Islands at 207-594-0600 or Penobscot Marine Museum at 207-548-2529.

Small Wooden Boats Forum at Penobscot Marine Museum

Searsport, Maine, April 1, 2014 – Small Wooden Boats is the topic of April’s Maine Boatbuilding Forum at Penobscot Marine Museum on Thursday, April 10th at 7:00 pm. Maine’s small wooden boat builders are known for superb craftsmanship and they play a key role in preserving Maine’s maritime culture and making that culture an important part of our future. John Brooks, Cottrell Boat Building, Arch Davis, Havilah Hawkins, Greg Rossel, O’Donovan & Dole Wooden Boatworks, Richard Stanley, and Chris Stickney are the boat builders participating in the forum. A Peapod donated to the Penobscot Marine Museum by the Hawkins family will be on display for attendees at the talk, along will half-models and boat plans for boats built by Havilah Hawkins’ uncle Arno Day.

John Brooks, of Brooks Boats Designs in Brooklin, designed and built his first glued-lapstrake boat in 1987, and he and his partner Ruth Hill have been designing and building glued-lapstrake boats together since 1990.

Penobscot Wherry built by Cottrell Boat Building

Penobscot Wherry built by Cottrell Boat Building

Cottrell Boat Building in Searsport is a family business and includes Dale Cottrell’s wife Lynn, son Seth, and occasionally sons Josh, Ben and daughter Kate. Dale has been designing, building and restoring boats for over 40 years, but his real love is small boats. Cottrell is the designer of the Puffin Dinghy, thousands of which are used in harbors around the world. Cottrell Boat Building uses local woods whenever possible and make sure that their wood is sustainably and ethically grown and harvested.

Arch Davis of Arch Davis Designs in Belfast has been helping people to build beautiful wooden boats since 1988. His approach to design is to use modern materials – marine plywood and epoxy resin – to build a truly lovely boat with classic lines.

Capt. Havilah “Haddie” Hawkins of Segdwick is a fourth-generation boat builder. His father designed and built a version of the quintessential Maine double-ended rowing boats known as Peapods, developed from a lapstrake boat he found over on Deer Isle. He built about 47 of them using a cement mold as a production tool.

Greg Rossel is a long-time instructor at WoodenBoat School, teaching lofting, skiff building, and the Fundamentals of Boatbuilding. He has written over 100 articles for WoodenBoat and other publications and is the author and illustrator of Building Small Boats, a book on carvel and traditional lapstrake boatbuilding published by WoodenBoat Books. In spring Greg teaches boat building to students from Searsport District High School at Penobscot Marine Museum.

Patrick and John of O’Donovan & Dole Wooden Boatworks in Searsport have a combined boat building experience of over 15 years. They build boats reflecting the way they have been built for generations. They build boats that will last for generations, and they help people who own wooden boats to keep them sailing for years to come.

Richard Stanley of Richard Stanley Custom Boats in Bass Harbor never wanted to be anything but a wooden boatbuilder. From the time he could walk, he was out back in father’s boatyard. When he was old enough to use tools, Richard began helping in his father, Ralph Stanley’s shop. If Ralph didn’t have work for him, Richard ventured out to other local builders’ shops, to watch new boats being built and old boats being fixed. For nearly 50 years, he has devoted his entire being to the art of building functional, beautiful wooden boats.

Chris Stickney of C. Stickney Boatbuilders Ltd, St. George, aims to bring new life into older wooden boats and introduce people to the virtues of new wooden boats by building skiffs in his St. George shop. His personal dedication to craftsmanship at an affordable price has attracted boaters looking for a new boat or the repair and restoration of an older vessel.

The Maine Boatbuilding Forum is moderated by Jon Johansen of Maine Coastal News, and is held at Penobscot Marine Museum’s Main Street Gallery, Route One, Searsport, Maine. Tickets are $8 members and $10 non-members. For more information call 207-548-2529 or 0334.

Historic Photographs of Schooner Bowdoin Returning From Greenland Now Online at Penobscot Marine Museum

Searsport, Maine, March 31, 2014 – The John Booras Collection of historic photographs of the Schooner Bowdoin, probably taken in 1924 on a return voyage of Arctic exploration from Greenland, is now online. Most of these one hundred and forty photographs were taken at a stop the Bowdoin made on Monhegan Island, and they provide an intimate look at an Arctic expedition making its way home. A native-made kayak, a young girl in native Greenlandic dress, and northern dogs are seen on board ship. The Bowdoin’s famous captain Admiral Donald B. MacMillan, who was recruited for Arctic exploration by Robert E. Peary, is being presented with flowers by local children. John Booras, a retired postman who collects and researches old photographs, found these negatives in a shop in Massachusetts, bought the collection, and returned it to Maine by donating it to the Penobscot Marine Museum.

Bowdoin Captain MacMillan being presented with flowers

Bowdoin Captain MacMillan being presented with flowers

The Schooner Bowdoin was built in East Boothbay, Maine in 1920-21 and designed specifically for Arctic exploration at Admiral MacMillan’s request after he spent four years stranded in northern Greenland. MacMillan made over thirty expeditions to the Arctic and, according to the Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum he “pioneered the use of radios, airplanes, and electricity in the Arctic, brought back films and thousands of photographs of Arctic scenes, and put together a dictionary of the Inuktikut language.” Together, Admiral MacMillan and the Bowdoin made over 26 voyages and sailed over 300,000 miles. The Schooner Bowdoin is currently owned by the Maine Maritime Academy in Castine and used as a training vessel. In 1989 she was designated a National Historic Landmark.

Penobscot Marine Museum is grateful to Mrs. Mildred Jones of the Bowdoin College Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum for her invaluable research on the John Booras Collection. Penobscot Marine Museum has one of the largest archives of historical photographs in Maine, with more than 140,000 negatives, prints, slides, postcards and daguerreotypes available for research, reproduction and licensing. Revealing many aspects of life from the late nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century, the collections range from vast archives to the works of individual professional photographers and intimate family albums.

For winter hours and events go to www.penobscotmarinemuseum.org or call 207-548-2529 or 0334. The Penobscot Marine Museum campus, 40 East Main Street, Searsport, Maine is open May 24 – October 19, Monday through Saturday, 10am to 5pm, Sunday noon to 5:00 pm.

Searsport Farmers’ Market Now Taking Applications

Searsport, Maine, March 14, 2014 – A new Farmer’s Market is starting up in Searsport this May. The market will be on Route One, on the Crescent of the Penobscot Marine Museum and will run on Tuesdays. If you would like more information, or would like an application, please call Jim Nichols at 567-3967.

Students build boats in new museum learning center

students-build-boat-news

SEARSPORT, Maine (NEWS CENTER)– A Searsport District High School course is teaching students problem solving skills and maintaining the tradition of boat budiling in Seasport.

“To have a new generation of young people involved in the maritime field is just super. To have them get excited about maritime- who knows where it will lead,” says Wayne Hamilton, owner of Hamilton Marine.

Wayne and Loraine Hamilton donated their old Hamilton Marine store to the Penobscot Marine Museum in December. Since then, students have been working with long time boat builder, Greg Rossel.

Read the rest and watch the video at WCSH 6.

Photography News

The Willows

We are pleased to announce that Penobscot Marine Museum’s historic photography exhibit Washington County Through Eastern’s Eye is now online at Maine Memory Network, the statewide photography archive of the Maine Historical Society. Over two hundred and sixty organizations have images on The Maine Memory Network, making it one of the premier resources for state research. The research and text for this exhibit was written by Liz Fitzsimmons.

Pomroys-Cottage-1

HancockHancock County through Eastern’s Eye, hosted by The Mount Desert Island Historical Society, is on display at the Sound School House, 373 Sound Drive/Route 198, Mount Desert, Maine. The exhibit is open from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday and runs through February 28, 2014.

For more information or call 207-548-2529

Wayne and Loraine Hamilton Donate Building to PMM

Searsport, Maine, February 10, 2014 – Wayne and Loraine Hamilton have donated the former Hamilton Marine Seine Loft on Route One in Searsport to the Penobscot Marine Museum as a home for the museum’s new education center. Contractors have renovated the front of the building to create a boat building workshop, and last week, the newly-named Hamilton Learning Center opened its doors to host an intensive eighteen-week boat building class for Searsport District High School students, taught by master builder Greg Rossel.

Hamilton_Learning_Center

“We are so thrilled to see this building used to promote education, Searsport and the Penobscot Marine Museum, three causes that we strongly believe in,” said Wayne Hamilton, after the gift was finalized last December. “Loraine and I hope this boat-building class is the first of many programming collaborations between the school and the museum.”

The museum is currently engaged in raising funds to renovate the remainder of the 7,000 square foot building, and working with Searsport District High School and other organizations to develop further educational programming. “Loraine and I hope other donors will take up our challenge to contribute to this project and help promote education and building skills for the future by learning about our rich maritime heritage,” Wayne said.

Wayne grew up in Searsport and fished in Penobscot Bay. He has served as Searsport harbor master for many years and also helps deliver and pick up Penobscot Bay pilots from ships transiting the bay. The Hamiltons bought the Seine Loft in 1982 as a base for their marine supplies business, Hamilton Marine. Eventually the company outgrew the space and moved to its current location in 1990. Hamilton Marine, which now has five stores throughout Maine, has used the Seine Loft as storage since then.

This is the fourth year that Penobscot Marine Museum has partnered with the Searsport District High School and Rossel to present this class in which the traditional art of boat building is interwoven with academic objectives to create a multi-disciplinary learning experience. Students work with Rossel and a dedicated core of community mentors to build two Joel White-designed shellback dinghies, which they launch in the spring in Searsport Harbor.

Building boats is a Maine tradition that dates back hundreds of years. Maine’s resource-based economy depended on the exportation of fish, lumber, ice, granite, and other products, and the state’s waterways and miles of ocean coastline were the highways by which these goods were sent around the world. Virtually every small town on the Maine coast was involved in boatbuilding and Maine’s reputation for fine design and craftsmanship continues today. By building a traditional wooden boat, designed by the premier Maine designer Joel White, high school students carry on a long-standing art form, gaining not only appreciation of the history of that art, but also its application in today’s world.

“The Hamilton Learning Center provides an ideal site for this and other related educational opportunities,” said Penobscot Marine Museum Director Liz Lodge. The boat-building program integrates this traditional art form with curriculum standards. Rossel works with teachers from Searsport District High School to identify and incorporate math and science concepts into the boat building process. Over the course of building the dinghies, students apply these concepts to practical situations. Math concepts, from measuring and ratios to more complicated geometry and algebra, are reinforced during the boat building process. Building a viable boat which actually floats makes it clear why these concepts matter. During the course, students also learn specific woodworking skills and practice creative problem-solving and team building skills that impact their lives well beyond the conclusion of the program.

Holiday Party and Underfoot Opening at Penobscot Marine Museum

Media Contact: Kathy Goldner, kgoldner@pmm-maine.org, 207.548.2529 x216

Searsport, Maine, November 18, 2013 – Penobscot Marine Museum’s winter exhibit Underfoot: Footwear, Hooked Rugs, In the Cellar and Below Decks opens on Friday, December 6th from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm with a holiday party including Christmas gingerbread houses, a book signing with five Maine authors, and the town of Searsport’s Holiday Tree Lighting.   The Tree Lighting will take place at 4:00 pm on the museum’s crescent and the party is in Penobscot Marine Museum’s Main Street Gallery and Shop on Route One in Searsport.

Underfoot-shoe-rug-collage

Left: Victorian Shoes, Right: Hooked Rug

Five Maine writers of mystery, adventure, and children’s books: Kelly Brooks-Bay, Darcy Scott, John Cobb, Bob Branco and Angela Nickerson, will all be on hand to discuss and sign their books during this holiday party.  Christmas gingerbread houses made by local children and adults, including chefs at Anglers and other local restaurants, will be on display.  Come and vote for your favorite confection.  “People’s Choice” awards will be given to the best gingerbread house made by a child and by an adult.

The museum’s winter exhibit Underfoot: Footwear, Hooked Rugs, In the Cellar and Below Decks explores what is on your feet and what is under your feet.  Antique shoes from around the world, Maine hooked rugs, and a re-created nineteenth century ship’s cabin will all be a part of Penobscot Marine Museum’s exhibit.  The museum will even open up its own cellar to show the world of food storage before refrigeration.   Check www.penobscotmarinemuseum.org for winter talks and workshops.

To enter your gingerbread house, or for more information on the museum’s Gingerbread Christmas, call Lin Calista at 207-548-0334.

Underfoot: Footwear, Hooked Rugs, In the Cellar and Below Decks runs through Saturday, February 22.  Museum Gallery, Shop and Framer hours are 11:00 am to 4:00 pm, Thursday through Saturday.  Museum Gallery, Shop and Framer, 40 East Main Street, Searsport, Maine.  For more information call 207-548-0334 or 207-548-2529.

Historic Photos Taken by Steamboat Captain Now Available to Public

Media Contact: Kathy Goldner, kgoldner@pmm-maine.org, 207.548.2529 x216

KENNEBEC, Photo Courtesy Penobscot Marine Museum

KENNEBEC, Photo Courtesy Penobscot Marine Museum

SEARSPORT, ME, November 8, 2013 – In the 1890’s, Kennebec River steamboat captain James E. Perkins taught himself to take photographs with a 4”x 5” view camera using glass plate negatives. He often set up his tripod and large wooden camera with its squeeze-bulb activated shutter on the deck of his steamboat. These photographs, many of which were taken from the deck of a steamboat of views that a shore-bound photographer could never have made, make this collection unique.

Two Little Girls in Parlor, Photo Courtesy Penobscot Marine

Two Little Girls in Parlor, Photo Courtesy Penobscot Marine

“Capt. Perkins loved Popham Village where he grew up. He wanted to capture the feeling of the place and the era of steamboats, which took people to Bath, Boothbay, Boston and Augusta. He could see this way of life disappearing during his lifetime,” says Penobscot Marine Museum Photography Curator Kevin Johnson. “He sailed up and down the Kennebec River and photographed crowds waiting at the dock for a steamboat, harbors full of boats, houses filled with Victorian furniture, the shoreline, musicians, people swimming, cats sleeping, dogs barking, men plowing with horses and his friends and family. He wanted to create a record of the way life was. And he did.”

Popham Bathers, Photo Courtesy Penobscot Marine Museum

Popham Bathers, Photo Courtesy Penobscot Marine Museum

At age fifteen, Captain Perkins was hired as first mate on the steam tug ADELIA. The next summer he became the first mate on the PERCY V, and in 1889 he became its captain, making Perkins at age 22 the youngest captain on the Kennebec River. He later became captain of the DAMARIN, EL DORADO, ISLAND BELLE, WINTER HARBOR, ISLESFORD, and, finally, SABINO, before retiring. The SABINO is still in operation at the Mystic Seaport Museum in Connecticut, where it is preserved as an example of a large steam-powered watercraft.

Man in Rigging, Photo Courtesy Penobscot Marine Museum

Man in Rigging, Photo Courtesy Penobscot Marine Museum

Captain Perkins died in 1935, and his widow Sybil stored his negatives in their attic for the next ten years. Sybil’s niece Jane was interested in photography and when she was entrusted with the glass plate negatives she enlisted the help of Dr. Allen Milbury, Director of Educational Media from the University of Maine who taught her to print them. Most importantly, after printing the negatives Jane researched the images, identifying the people and places, and their historical significance. In doing this she preserved knowledge of the area and its people that would have otherwise been lost. In 1974 she published the photographs in the book One Man’s World: Popham Beach, Maine.

In 2012 Penobscot Marine Museum received this collection of over five hundred, mostly glass plate negatives, and now this visual historic record of the people and places of Popham Beach and the Kennebec River is available online to historians, researchers, students and the public at www.penobscotmarinemuseum.org. The photographs are also available for purchase.

For more information contact Penobscot Marine Museum at 207-548-2529 or go online www.penobscotmarinemuseum.org.