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.
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.
For more information or call 207-548-2529
Searsport, Maine, February 11, 2014 – Boat building is an important part of Maine’s cultural and economic life, bringing millions of dollars into the state and providing thousands of jobs. This March Penobscot Marine Museum launches the Maine Boatbuilding Forum, a monthly conversation with boat builders about the “how” and “why” of the boats they build, and to look at ideas, trends and controversies in the boating world. Maine Coastal News publisher Jon Johansen will serve as moderator.
Saturday, March 8, 2014 at 2pm
Schooners: with Captains Doug and Linda Lee, Captain John Foss, Captain Havilah Hawkins, Captain Bill Brown, Captain Steven Pagels, Captain Dan Miller, Captains Kate Kana and Zander Parker, and Captain John Worth. Join schooner builders and the captains who sail them as they debate which type of schooner is best for the windjammer trade and who is going to win this year’s Schooner Race.
Thursday, April 10, 2014 at 7pm
Small Wooden Boats: with boat builders Dale Cottrell, Greg Rossel, Richard Stanley, Chris Stickney and others. Join the small boat builders of Penobscot Bay who create the craft that allow us enjoy a day of rowing and sailing, and trailer it home at the end of the day. Expect a lively discussion of updated designs versus staying true to tradition, power tools versus hand tools and how to walk away with the boat of your dreams.
Thursday, May 8, 2014 at 7pm
Boat Builders of Mount Desert Island: with boat builders Richard Helmke, and Richard and Ralph Stanley and others. Mount Desert Island is home to high-end yacht builders, lobster boat builders, and traditional sloop builders. Join us for a discussion of how a 108 mile square island’s boat designers can cater to the summer residents, the lobstermen and commercial fishermen still plying the waters just offshore, and everyone in between.
The talks will be at the Penobscot Marine Museum’s Main Street Gallery, Route One, Searsport, Maine. Tickets are $8 members and $10 non-members. For more information go to www.penobscotmarinemuseum.org or call 207-548-2529 or 0334.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
Media Contact: Kathy Goldner, firstname.lastname@example.org, 207.548.2529 x216
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.
“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.”
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.
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.