News at the Museum

Old Towns/New Country: The First Years of a New Nation

A workshop for teachers & local history enthusiasts sponsored by the Massachusetts Historical Society and Penobscot Marine Museum

Wednesday, August 6 and Thursday, August 7, 2014
Searsport, Maine
8:30am — 3:30pm

This two-day workshop will explore how to use local resources—documents, artifacts, landscapes, and the rich expertise in every town—to examine historical issues with a national focus. We will concentrate on the period just after the Revolution and the concerns and conflicts, hopes and fears, experiences and expectations of the people living in the Penobscot Bay and River area at a time of uncertainty, fragility, and possibility. We will investigate such questions as: What was it like to live in a town that had existed for decades in a country that was new? When the nation was first forming after the Revolution, what were people in our town/region worried about? How much did the geography, economy, culture, and social makeup of our region influence those concerns? How can we find out? What resources/pieces of evidence does our community have that relate to this time period and the people living in it? How can we best present this evidence and allow people of all ages to discover answers to some of these questions? How does our local focus add a crucial dimension to our understanding of a key period in American history?

Workshop faculty will include local historians, educators and museum/archives professionals. The program will also include visits to early American fortifications and sites of interest.

The workshop is open to teachers, librarians, archivists, members of local historical societies, and all interested local history enthusiasts. There is a $25 charge to cover lunches on two days; program and material costs have been generously funded by the Richard Saltonstall Charitable Foundation. Educators can earn 15 PDPs and 1 Graduate Credit (for an additional fee) from Framingham State University.

For more information, or to register, please contact the education department at education@masshist.org or (617) 646-0557.


Penobscot Marine Museum’s Hancock County Photography Exhibit Travels to Sedgwick

Penobscot Marine Museum’s historic photography exhibit Hancock County Through Eastern’s Eye will be at the Sedgwick Town Meeting House, 574 North Sedgwick Rd., Sedgwick, from Monday, July 1st through Thursday, July 31st.  There will be an opening reception on Monday, July 1st from 4:00pm to 6:00pm.  This exhibit is hosted by the Sedgwick-Brooklin Historical Society and admission is free.

Hancock County Through Eastern’s Eye is part of the Blue Hill peninsula’s Touring Through Time: Keeping Our Past Present series of events and exhibits featured at area historical societies and museums this summer.  “This exhibit definitely helps to keep our past present,” says Kevin Johnson, Penobscot Marine Museum’s Photography Archivist.   “People love to see what has changed, or not, over time.  And seeing photographs of their town in a travelling exhibit sparks a pride of place and an interest in local history.”

High School, Sedgwick ME courtesy Penobscot Marine Museum

High School, Sedgwick ME courtesy Penobscot Marine Museum

An online exhibit on the museum’s website includes many additional Hancock County images.   This exhibit is also online on the Maine Memory Network.

The photographs in Hancock County Through Eastern’s Eye are of places people loved.  A century ago the founder of Eastern Illustrating & Publishing Company sent his crews with their box cameras into tiny towns telling them to ask local citizens what they should photograph, what was important to them about their town.   This makes the Eastern Illustrating & Publishing Company photos aesthetically beautiful and historically important.

The Eastern collection is the largest single photographic collection in Maine, consisting of nearly 50,000 images of Maine and the rest of New England and upstate New York. Most of the photos are on glass-plate negatives.   The Penobscot Marine Museum is raising funds to acquire more of Eastern’s negatives, and has recently added a searchable database online to their website which includes nearly 30,000 Eastern Illustrating photographs. Photo prints are available from the museum, with proceeds from their sale going to expand the collection.  The exhibit was funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts and is part of four county exhibits the Penobscot Marine Museum will produce.

For more information go to www.penobscotmarinemuseum.org.  For exhibit hours call 207-359-8900.

Penobscot Marine Museum in Searsport, Maine has seven new exhibits and over fifty programs and events during the 2014 season.  Its three acre, ten building campus is on Route One in Searsport, and is open Monday through Saturday, 10am to 5pm, and Sunday noon to 5:00 pm through Sunday, October 19.


Maine 2014 Antique Paper Show: Postcards and Paper Collectibles

The Maine 2014 Antique Paper Show: Postcards and Paper Collectibles will be at the First Congregational Church Vestry, 8 Church Street, Searsport on Saturday, June 28, from 8:30 am to 3:00 pm. This popular annual show includes thousands of vintage postcards, old maps, Penobscot Marine Museum historic photographs, sheet music, and paper ephemera. Free appraisals for your paper collectibles will be available from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm. Admission is $2, and includes $2 off of a Penobscot Marine Museum admission ticket.

Post Card Store in St. Stephen, N.B. from Penobscot Marine Museum.

Post Card Store in St. Stephen, N.B. from Penobscot Marine Museum.

The first American postcard was printed in 1873 and the sending and collecting of them quickly became a craze. Postcards provide important historical information about the landscape, architecture and the clothing of the early 19th century. The collecting of postcards is called deltiology, and it is the third largest collecting hobby world-wide.

For more information go to our calendar listings or call Kevin Johnson at 207-548-2529 ext.210. Penobscot Marine Museum on Route One in Searsport has seven new exhibits and over fifty programs and events during the 2014 season. It is open Monday through Saturday, 10am to 5pm, and Sunday noon to 5:00 pm through Sunday, October 19.


Historic Coastal Way of Life Documented in Photography Exhibit at Penobscot Marine Museum

Lisa Tyson Ennis takes photographs the slow, old-fashioned way with medium and large format cameras, black and white film, and long exposures. She hand-prints her images one by one in a traditional wet dark room. The subjects that intrigue her are also old-fashioned and disappearing. Her exhibit at Penobscot Marine Museum, What Once Was – Our Changing Fisheries, documents, in her haunting and unusual style, a pre-industrial way of making a living from the sea which is nearly extinct. The opening reception for Ennis’s exhibit is Saturday, June 28, 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm in PMM’s Main Street Gallery, 40 East Main St, Searsport, Maine. The exhibit will be at PMM through Tuesday, July 29.

Fishing Weir Study IX Campobello by Lisa Tyson Ennis

Fishing Weir Study IX Campobello by Lisa Tyson Ennis

Lisa Tyson Ennis lives in Lubec, Maine and is fascinated by weir fishing, a sustainable way of herring fishing which used to be practiced in Maine and is now only found in the Maritimes. She travels the coast and photographs weirs when she finds them, hoping to make a final record of these historic weirs before they disappear entirely. She also visits and photographs remote fishing communities in Newfoundland which can only be reached by boat. Many of these remote communities are abandoned, having been “re-settled” by the government when cod fishing declined.

Lisa Tyson Ennis’s photographs are in the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, The Tides Institute in Eastport, the Delaware Art Museum, and the Portland Museum of Art. What Once Was – Our Changing Fisheries is at Penobscot Marine Museum Saturday, June 28 through Tuesday, July 29. Penobscot Marine Museum, on Route One in Searsport, has seven new exhibits and over fifty programs and events during the 2014 season. It is open Monday through Saturday, 10am to 5pm, and Sunday noon to 5:00 pm through Sunday, October 19.


Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors Founder and Editor to be Honored at Penobscot Marine Museum’s Gala & Auction

On July 19, Penobscot Marine Museum’s biennial Gala & Auction fundraiser will honor John K. Hanson, Jr. founder and publisher of Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors magazine, and Polly Saltonstall, editor in chief of Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors. Polly and John are also both longtime friends and supporters of the museum. The Gala & Auction will be held at Point Lookout Resort in Northport at 5:30 pm.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity this year to celebrate and honor John and Polly. They have both passionately promote and have made enormous contributions to Maine’s rich maritime culture,” said the museum’s Executive Director Liz Lodge.

artwork in PMM’s Gala & Auction

Artwork in PMM’s Gala & Auction

Penobscot Marine Museum’s biennial Gala & Auction fundraiser provides support for a diverse array of exhibitions, programs and educational initiatives, all celebrating the maritime heritage of the Penobscot Bay region and beyond. This season alone the museum hosts seven new exhibits and over fifty events.

The Gala & Auction begins at 5:30 p.m. with cocktails and a silent auction in Point Lookout’s open-air pavilion, and progresses to Erikson Hall at 7:00 p.m. for dinner, a live auction, and dancing with live music from the band Interplay. Items in the auction include small water craft, hotel overnights, paintings, a mink coat, and theater tickets.

Sponsorships and tickets to the auction are available, and the museum is accepting auction donations. For more information go online www.penobscotmarinemuseum.org or call 207-548-2529.

Purchase tickets online or BID ONLINE NOW!

Penobscot Marine Museum, 40 East Main Street, Searsport, is open for the 2014 season from Saturday, May 24 through Sunday, October 19, Monday through Saturday, 10am to 5pm, and Sunday noon to 5:00 pm.

Jewelry in PMM’s Gala & Auction

Jewelry in PMM’s Gala & Auction


Searsport High School Boatbuilding Class Launch!

Two Shellback dinghies built by Searsport High School students in the new Hamilton Learning Center at Penobscot Marine Museum will be launched on Wednesday, May 28, at noon at the Searsport Town Dock. The eight students began building the boats on January 28, working with master boat builder Greg Rossel and a crew of volunteers from the community. Wayne Hamilton, owner of Hamilton Marine, gave the students their last class on navigation, and now they are ready to launch the boats they have been building for the past four months.

Searsport District High School student learning boatbuilding at Hamilton Learning Center at Penobscot Marine Museum

Searsport District High School student learning boatbuilding at Hamilton Learning Center at Penobscot Marine Museum

This boatbuilding class would not have been possible without the devoted help of community volunteers, who either brought their expertise to the classroom to help the students or donated materials, or both. The Penobscot Marine Museum gratefully thanks Jerry Marancik, Dave Lawrence, Bruce Brown, Rob Griffin, Rich Fitzsimmons, Fred Kircheis, Fred Schmidt, Mary Ann McCrea, Pam Steele, Grant Gambell sailmaker, and Wayne and Loraine Hamilton who generously donated the Hamilton Learning Center to Penobscot Marine Museum.

In building this particular boat, which was deigned by E.B. White’s son Joel, the students learn traditional woodworking skills but also work with modern composites, learning plywood lamination methods. The eight high school students use mathematical equations to make stability tests, ratios for proper mixing of epoxy, applied statistics in making patterns for planks, physics and geometry in their navigation training. They study chemical reactions, galvanic action, exothermic reaction, and air foils when they make the sails. The students also learn the importance of team work and deadlines. Their teacher, master boatbuilder Greg Rossel, is an author and has been teaching boat building at WoodenBoat School for over twenty years.


Summer 2014: Sailing Tours, Daily Events and Seven Exhibitions

On Saturday, May 24, Penobscot Marine Museum in Searsport opens with Fish, Wind and Tide: Art and Technology of Maine’s Resources, one of seven exhibits which begins a season overflowing with events including sailing tours of Searsport Harbor, craft demonstrations, the Maine Boatbuilding Forum, twice weekly children’s activities, and the Historic Photography and the Thursday Night Lecture Series.

Photograph courtesy Dean Kotula

Photograph courtesy Dean Kotula

Using interactive displays and historic photographs, Fish, Wind and Tide: Art and Technology of Maine’s Resources explores the past and the future of these resources in Maine.  The exhibit examines the modern technology of fishing and of wind and tidal power, and looks at how this impacts Maine’s working waterfront, culture, environment and tourism.   The opening reception for Fish, Wind and Tide: Art and Technology of Maine’s Resource is Friday, May 23, 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm at Penobscot Marine Museum’s Main Street Gallery, 40 East Main Street, Searsport.

History Chests: Exhibit Designed by the Sophmore Class of Searsport District High School has a special Opening Reception and tour on Thursday, May 22, 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  The students will take visitors to see the sea chests they placed in PMM’s Merithew and Fowler True Ross Houses.  Nine sea captain chests, which contain specific artifacts showing the different aspects of the impact the Penobscot Bay has on the Midcoast region, were assembled and documented by students from the sophomore class of SDHS. The topics include marine art, the granite industry, lumbering, fisheries, the Penobscot Nation, life at sea, navigation, ship building, and Far East trade.

History Chest designed by SDHS students

History Chest designed by SDHS students

A major retrospective of a beloved Maine artist, Eric Hopkins: Shells – Fish – Shellfish, opens Monday, June 16.  Eric Hopkins will be on hand for the Artist’s Reception on  Friday, July 25, 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm.  One of a handful of artists born in Maine to receive national recognition, Hopkins has exhibited in galleries and museums across the country.  This exhibit includes paintings, monotypes and glass and wood sculpture, much of which has not been seen before.  It also includes, for the first time, Hopkins’ personal collection of the skeletons, shells and remnants of creatures picked up on beaches over his lifetime and which have inspired the artwork in this exhibition.  This exhibit is in Penobscot Marine Museum’s Douglas and Margaret Carver Memorial Art Gallery, 11 Church Street, Searsport through Sunday, October 19.

Three photography shows in the Main Street Gallery will explore the art of fish, wind and tide throughout Penobscot Marine Museum’s season.  The first exhibit is Maritime Muse – Inspired By the Sea, Saturday, May 24, through Thursday, June 26.  These exciting photographs by Dean Kotula are from his years of working on foreign factory ships.   Photographs by Lisa Tyson Ennis, What Once Was – Our Changing Fisheries,

document a traditional way of life which is fast disappearing, and include photographs of remote fishing villages in Newfoundland accessible only by boat.  Tuesday, September 9 through Sunday, October 19, The Photography of Antonia Small bears witness to some remarkable souls living along the coast and doing whatever they can to keep the ancient link to fishing and to the sea alive in coastal villages.

“Do It Your Way”: Gee’s Bend Quilts & Quilters in Maine brings quilts hailed by the New York Times as “some of the most miraculous works of modern art America has produced” to Penobscot Marine Museum’s Main Street Gallery, Saturday, August 2 through Sunday, September 7. September 3rd through September 8th four of the Gee’s Bend quilters will be teaching courses at Fiber College of Maine in Searsport.  Maine Fiberarts in Topsham, Maine will also have quilts from Gee’s Bend from Friday, July 4 through Saturday, August 30.  This will be the first time the quilts and the quilters have been north of Boston.

In addition to the five exhibits, the Schooner GUILDIVE will be offering sailing tours of Searsport Harbor on Mondays and Saturdays, every Tuesday the Searsport Farmers’ Market will be on the crescent 2:30 pm to 5:30 pm, children’s activities are scheduled for every Wednesday and Friday, crafters will demonstrations on Thursdays for Artisan Days, and lectures and book signings are scheduled nearly every week.  Please call 207-548-2529 for more information.

Penobscot Marine Museum, 40 East Main Street, Searsport, is open for the 2014 season from Saturday, May 24 through Sunday, October 19.

The Museum is open Monday through Saturday, 10am to 5pm, and Sunday noon to 5:00 pm.


Photography exhibits in the Main Street Gallery

Maritime Muse – Inspired By the Sea
Saturday, May 24, through Thursday, June 26
Opening reception Friday, May 23, 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm

Dean Kotula

Dean Kotula

This historically significant group of silver gelatin photographs by Dean Kotula offers an exciting and rare glimpse of foreign factory ships fishing in U.S. waters. After 1975, every foreign vessel fishing in U.S. waters had to have an American on board during fishing operations to document catches and collect biological data. From 1985 to 1990 Kotula worked aboard these factory ships as an observer, taking full advantage of this extraordinary experience by putting his camera to use.


What Once Was – Our Changing Fisheries
Saturday, June 28 through Tuesday, July 29
Opening reception Saturday, June 28, 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm

Lisa Tyson Ennis

Lisa Tyson Ennis

Hauntingly beautiful photographs by Lisa Tyson Ennis document an ancient coastal way of life which is fast becoming extinct. Included are photographs of remote fishing villages in Newfoundland accessible only by boat. Lisa Tyson Ennis works solely with historical processes: large and medium format cameras, black and white film, handmade toners, and oil paints. Each image is hand printed and painted with light in a traditional wet darkroom. Ennis’s work is in the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, The Tides Institute, the Delaware Art Museum, and the Portland Museum of Art.


The Photography of Antonia Small
Tuesday, September 9 through Sunday, October 19
Opening reception Saturday, September 13, 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm

Antonia Small, Fishinghouse detail

Antonia Small, Fishinghouse detail

Antonia Small’s lovely photographs bear witness to remarkable people in coastal villages doing whatever they can to keep the ancient link to fishing and to the sea alive. Her photographic work is devoted to the study of relationships between people, place and time, particularly sea-infused places and the people who love those places. Living in Port Clyde, Antonia Small is happy to be within earshot of the sea and walking distance to a wharf or a beach. Her photographs have been shown in group and solo shows in New England, New York and France.


Historic Photography Exhibit of Washington County Opens in Eastport

Generously sponsored in part by National Endowment for the Arts.

Penobscot Marine Museum’s historic photography exhibit Washington County Through Eastern’s Eye is now on view at the Eastport Art Center in Eastport, Maine.   The exhibit of photographs from the museum’s Eastern Illustrating & Publishing Company collection is a collaboration between the Penobscot Marine Museum and the various historical societies and historians of Washington County.  It features thirty-three historic photographs taken throughout Washington County from the late 19th to the early 20th centuries, and it has been travelling throughout the county since February of 2013.

Ships at Anchor, Eastport, Maine, courtesy Penobscot Marine Museum

Ships at Anchor, Eastport, Maine, courtesy Penobscot Marine Museum

“This exhibit sparks a pride of place and an interest in local history when it comes to a town,” says Kevin Johnson, Penobscot Marine Museum’s Photography Archivist.  “Our volunteer, Liz Fitzsimmons, worked closely with individuals and historical societies from virtually every community in Washington County community to research these photographs.”  An online exhibit on the museum’s website www.penobscotmarinemuseum.org includes many additional images.   The exhibit is also online on the Maine Memory Network.

The photographs in Washington County Through Eastern’s Eye are of places people loved.  A century ago the founder of Eastern Illustrating & Publishing Company sent his crews with their box cameras into tiny towns telling them to ask local citizens what they should photograph, what was important to them about their town.   This makes the Eastern Illustrating & Publishing Company photos aesthetically beautiful and historically important.

The Eastern collection is the largest single photographic collection in Maine, consisting of early 50,000 images of Maine and the rest of New England and upstate New York. Most of the photos are on glass-plate negatives.   The Penobscot Marine Museum is raising funds to acquire more of Eastern’s negatives, and has recently added a searchable database online to their website which includes nearly 30,000 Eastern Illustrating photographs. Photo prints are available from the museum, with proceeds from their sale going to expand the collection.

Washington County Through Eastern’s Eye will be at the Eastport Art Center through July 7, 2014.  The Eastport Art Center is at 36 Washington Street, Eastport, Maine 04631.  For more information call 207-853-4650, email eastportarts@gmail.com or go to www.eastportartscenter.com.  Gallery hours are 11:00 am to 4:00 pm, Tuesday through Saturday or by chance when the building is open.  The exhibit was funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts and is part of four county exhibits the Penobscot Marine Museum will produce.


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


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.


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