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 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.

Penobscot Marine Museum’s Kevin Johnson Kicks Off Maritime Month Lecture Series at Camden Public Library

Searsport, Maine, March 28, 2014 – “The Coastwise Photography Collection of Ed Coffin” is the subject of Kevin Johnson’s talk on Tuesday, April 1 at 7:00 pm at Camden Public Library. Ed Coffin spent seventy years building this collection of photographs which document Maine’s maritime culture from Boothbay to Stockton Springs from the 1890’s to the 1980’s. In 2013 he donated this historic collection to Penobscot Marine Museum. An exhibit of the photographs, “The Coastwise Photography of Ed Coffin” will be on display in the Picker Room at the library through the month of April. This is the first time the collection has been on public display. Ed Coffin and Maynard Bray will be on hand during Kevin’s talk to answer questions.

The Penobscot Marine Museum’s three acre campus of twelve exhibit buildings will be open Saturday, May 24 through Sunday, October 19th, 2014. Penobscot Marine Museum Admissions and Store is located at 40 East Main Street, Searsport, Maine. The Museum Store and Framer are currently open Thursday through Saturday, 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. For more information call 207-548-2529 or 0334.

PMM’s Ed Coffin Collection: moving Federal-style house by barge from Phippsburg

PMM’s Ed Coffin Collection: moving Federal-style house by barge from Phippsburg

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


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.


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

Maine Boatbuilding Forum Launches in March

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.

Schooner HERITTAGE Captains Doug and Linda Lee will speak at the March 8th Maine Boatbuilding Forum

Schooner HERITTAGE Captains Doug and Linda Lee will speak at the March 8th Maine Boatbuilding Forum

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 or call 207-548-2529 or 0334.

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.


“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.