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Maine Authors Celebrate Christmas at Penobscot Marine Museum

One Maine Christmas Eve author Douglas Coffin with his daughter

One Maine Christmas Eve author Douglas Coffin with his daughter

On Friday, December 4th, Penobscot Marine Museum will host five Maine authors and an illustrator, as part of the Town of Searsport’s annual Christmas Tree Lighting.   Maine authors Ardeana Hamlin, Douglas Coffin, Mac Smith, Mark Scott Ricketts, Mark Warner, and illustrator Russ Cox will be on hand to discuss their books, which will be available in the Museum Store.  On display in the Store will be the red velvet dress designed by Edith Head for the 1954 movie White Christmas, and Victorian and nautical-themed Christmas Gingerbread scenes.  Refreshments will be served.  At the same time Penobscot Marine Museum Sea Captain’s house will be open to the public, with each room decorated for a Victorian Christmas. The Museum Store is on the Crescent at 2 Church Street, the Sea Captain’s house is across the street. The Maine authors will be in the Museum Store from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm. Searsport’s Christmas Tree will be lit on the Crescent at 5:30 pm with refreshments and carol singing.   Admission is free for all events.

Abbott’s Reach by Ardeana Hamlin

Abbott’s Reach by Ardeana Hamlin

Ardeana Hamlin’s life is steeped in Maine history.  She grew up in Bingham, Maine with family tales of logging in the Maine woods.  Hamlin worked for 14 years at the Bangor Daily News, and now lives in Hampden.  Abbott’s Reach, her historical novel set in 19th century Maine, tells the tale of a young woman setting sail on her honeymoon voyage with her sea captain husband.  The Havener Sisters, also set in the 19th century, chronicles the adventures of three Maine women who by necessity reinvent their lives.

Douglas Coffin lives in Stockton Springs and hand-carves letters and decorative motifs in stone for architects and individuals.  He wrote and illustrated the delightful children’s book about Santa in Maine, One Maine Christmas Eve.

Mac Smith, also a resident of Stockton Springs, is a Navy veteran of the first Gulf War and former news reporter for The Bar Harbor TimesMainers on the Titanic tells the fascinating personal histories of passengers on that ill-fated ship who had ties to Maine.

Mark Scott Ricketts is a Maine-based Arkansas-born illustrator who has authored several Iron Man comics.  A Flatlander’s Guide to Maine is a charming and funny, finely-illustrated, educational guidebook.  The children’s book Adventures in Vacationland is the story of a young boy who takes his family on a wild adventure through the wilds of Maine to rescue his favorite Aunt.

Vinalhaven native Mark Warner grew up hearing stories about the wreck of the ship Royal Tar.  His book The Tragedy of the Royal Tar: Maine’s 1836 Circus Steamboat Disaster explores the events leading up to the famous ship wreck, beginning with the construction of Royal Tar, the tracing the circus’s tour of the Maritimes, the cause of the fire, and details of the rescue operation.

Russ Cox illustrated award-winning children’s book author Lynn Plourde’s very funny Merry Moosey Christmas, a story of Rudolf the famous red-nosed reindeer.

For a complete schedule of weekend events or for more information click here or call the Visitors Center 207-548-0334 or Administrative Offices at 207-548-2529.

Searsport’s Christmas Extravaganza

Victorian-Christmas-image

On Friday, December 4th at 5:30 pm the Town of Searsport will light its Christmas tree on the Crescent, inaugurating the holiday season with a weekend of celebrations.  On Friday from 4:00 to 6:00 pm the Penobscot Marine Museum Sea Captain’s house will be open to the public, with each room decorated for a Victorian Christmas.  The Museum Store will host six Maine authors including Hampden novelist Ardeana Hamlin and children’s book author and illustrator Douglas Coffin.  Also in the Museum Store the red velvet dress designed by Edith Head for the 1954 movie White Christmas, and Victorian and nautical-themed Christmas Gingerbread scenes will be on display.  Refreshments will be served.  Admission is free.

White Christmas, red dress on display at Penobscot Marine Museum

White Christmas, red dress on display at Penobscot Marine Museum

On Saturday, December 5, from 10:oo am to 4;00 pm the Museum’s Sea Captain’s House, part of the Searsport Historic Society House Tour, will host live music performances from 10 am to noon by Ralph Stanley and his fiddle group, and from 2 pm to 3 pm by an ensemble from the Pen Bay Singers.  At 1:00 pm and at 3:00 pm, Katie Hessler, Librarian Carver Library will read 19th century Christmas favorites.  The First Congregational Church will be open for tours of this historic building with spectacular stained glass windows and refreshments will be served.  Admission is free.

The Searsport Historical Society House Tour is Saturday, December 5, from 10:oo am to 4;00 pm.  The tour includes eight 19th century Searsport homes, beautifully decorated for Christmas.  Refreshments will be served at Searsport Historical Society’s Coleman House.  Tickets are $10, and are for sale now at Searsport Antique Mall and on the day of the tour at Searsport Historical Society’s Coleman House.

Victorian Christmas Celebrated at Penobscot Marine Museum

Victorian-Christmas-image

The holiday season will be celebrated with Victorian Christmas at Penobscot Marine Museum this year on Friday, December 4th and Saturday, December 5th. The ship captain’s house will be open to the public with each room decorated for a Victorian Christmas by community groups and businesses, including the Congregational Church Women’s Fellowship Group, Searsport Historical Society, Searsport Beautification Committee, Blue Jacket Shipcrafters, Bangor Savings Bank and Searsport Antique Mall. There will be refreshments, music performed by boatbuilder Ralph Stanley and his fiddle group, and volunteers from Searsport’s Carver Library will be reading from 19th Christmas favorites.

On Friday night the Museum Store will host a “Meet the Maine Authors” party in celebration of the annual Town of Searsport Tree Lighting party on Crescent. The museum’s annual gingerbread competition “Maritime Christmas Gingerbread By the Sea” will be on display and refreshments will be served.

Searsport Christmas Extravaganza!
Friday, December 4th and Saturday, December 5th
Admission free unless otherwise indicated

Friday, December 4

5:30 pm – Town of Searsport Tree Lighting on the Crescent
 
10 am to 7 pm – Grasshopper Shop Customer Appreciation Open House

• Storewide 20% discount
• Refreshments

4 pm to 6 pm – Open House at Penobscot Marine Museum’s Fowler-True-Ross Sea Captain’s House
Rooms beautifully decorated for a Victorian Christmas by community groups and businesses:

• Bangor Savings Bank
• Blue Jacket Shipcrafters
• Congregational Church Women’s Fellowship Group
• Friendship Quilting group
• Nautical Scribe Books
• Searsport Antique Mall
• Searsport Beautification Committee
• Searsport Historical Society

4 pm to 6 pm – Meet the Authors at Penobscot Marine Museum Store
Meet Maine Authors:

• Ardeana Hamlin, Abbott’s Reach, The Havener Sisters
• Douglas Coffin, One Maine Christmas Eve
• Mac Smith, Mainers on the Titanic
• Mark Scott Ricketts, A Flatlander’s Guide to Maine, Adventures in Vacationland
• Mark Warner, The Tragedy of the Royal Tar
• Russ Cox (illustrator), Merry Moosey Christmas
• Christmas Gingerbread display
• “White Christmas” dress on display
• Refreshments

4 pm to 6 pm – Tours of First Congregational Church

• Historical tours of this 19th century church with gorgeous stained glass windows
• Refreshments served in Fellowship Hall

7 pm – Variety Show at Union Hall at Searsport Town Office

• Holiday Season Variety Show to benefit the stained glass window restoration fund for First Congregational Church. Something for everyone of all ages – Songs, Stories, Music and a whole lot of fun!  Adults $8, Kids 12 and under $4.  Refreshments for sale.

 

Saturday, December 5

10 am to 4 pm – Open House at Penobscot Marine Museum’s Fowler-True-Ross Sea Captain’s House (Searsport Historic Society House Tour),
10 am to noon – Live music: Ralph Stanley and his fiddle group
2 pm to 3 pm – Live music: ensemble from the Pen Bay Singers
1 pm and 3 pm – Christmas readings from 19th century Christmas favorites Read by Katie Hessler, Librarian Carver Library

10 am to 4 pm – Holiday Displays at Penobscot Marine Museum Store

• Christmas Gingerbread display
• “White Christmas” dress on display

10 am to 4 pm – Tours of First Congregational Church

• Historical tours of this 19th century church with gorgeous stained glass windows
• Refreshments served in Fellowship Hall

1 pm to 4 pm – Searsport Historical Society House Tour
Tickets are $10, and are for sale now at Searsport Antique Mall and on the day of the tour at Searsport Historical Society’s Coleman House

• Beautifully decorated for Christmas, the homes are: Dawn & Keith Ritchie’s house, Suzanne & Joel Ploszaj’s house, Lin Calista & George Kerper’s house, Janet William’s house, Marie Underwood’s house, Kendra & Bruce Probert’s house and the Fowler-True-Ross house at the Penobscot Marine Museum.
• Refreshments served at Searsport Historical Society’s Coleman House
• Decorated Penobscot #1 Fire Truck in the barn doorway of Coleman House

10 am to 1 pm – Carver Memorial Library Gift Book Sale
Rare and first edition books on sale to support the Library
Carver Memorial Library, 12 Union Street

2 pm – Christmas Concert at Searsport District High School
Tempo, The Eastern Maine Pops Orchestra Christmas Cheer Concerts, traditional and modern arrangement of carols.

Oldest Film Shot in Maine to be Shown at Penobscot Marine Museum’s Annual History Conference

Self-portrait, Peggy McKenna (1947 – 2014)

Self-portrait, Peggy McKenna (1947 – 2014)

A clip from the oldest film shot in Maine will be shown during Wish You Were Here: Communicating Maine’s Unique Sense of Place, Penobscot Marine Museum’s 2015 History Conference.  The Conference this year brings together Northeast Historic Film, Maine Folklife Center, and historians and writers Jay Davis, David Andrews, William Bunting and Kevin Johnson to discuss Maine’s unusual sense of place and how it has been communicated, preserved or changed over the last one hundred years.

The oldest known film taken in Maine was shot in 1901, and a clip of this historic film will be shown by Northeast Historic Film’s new Executive Director Brook Minner in her talk onpreserving Maine’s moving image history.  Maine Folklife Center’s Katrina Wynn will present audio clips of stories told by Mainers on topics ranging from logging to Wabanaki culture, and discuss how preserving Maine’s oral histories adds to its sense of place.

The vibrant photographic portrait of Maine created by Peggy McKenna (1947 – 2014) in her work for Down East, Waldo Independent, and Republican Journal will be discussed by former newspaper editor Jay Davis.  For more information on the History Conference or to purchase tickets, go to www.enobscotmarinemuseum.org or call 548-2529.  Wish You Were Here: Communicating Maine’s Unique Sense of Place will be held at University of Maine’s Hutchinson Center in Belfast, Maine on Saturday, October 24, 8:00 am to 2:30 pm.

 

Penobscot Marine Museum 2015 History Conference

History Conference 15Cover-620

Penobscot Marine Museum
2015 History Conference

Wish You Were Here: Communicating Maine’s Unique Sense of Place
Saturday October 24, 2015
8:00 am to 2:30pm
University of Maine Hutchinson Center
80 Belmont Avenue
Belfast, Maine

For tickets click here.

or call 207-548-0334 or 548-2529.

SCHEDULE

8:00 to 8:45 am Registration

9:00 to 9:30 am
Northeast Historic Film: Preserving Maine’s Sense of Place in Moving Images

Brook Minner is Executive Director of Northeast Historic Film.

Showing short clips, including the oldest known film shot in Maine (1901) and the 1919 launching of a four-masted schooner built in Harrington, Maine, Ms. Minner will illustrate the ways in which preserving Maine’s moving image history preserves and strengthens Maine’s sense of place.

9:45 to 10:15 am
Memories Create a Sense of Place: The Maine Folklife Center’s Role

Katrina Wynn is Archives Manager at Maine Folklife Center at University of Maine.

Using examples from its collection, Katrina Wynn will talk about the Maine Folklife Center and how it helps preserve and define Maine’s cultural history and sense of place.  With a vast collection of oral histories and documents, the Maine Folklife Center preserves a treasure trove of local and regional cultural history on topics ranging from logging to Wabanaki culture. 

10:30 to 11:00 am
Post Cards and Town History: Telling the Story of South Bristol with Post Cards

Dave Andrews has been the historian of the South Bristol Historical Society since its creation in 1996.

Postcards can be a great tool for discovering otherwise forgotten history. Dave Andrews will share his extensive experience in creating, managing and using his own post card collection to research South Bristol history. His postcard collection has figured prominently in many of the activities of mid-coast Maine history groups.

11:15 to 11:45 am
Glass Plate Maine: Early 20th Century Images from the Eastern Illustrating and Publishing Company

William H. Bunting is the author of A Day’s Work: A Sampler of Historic Maine Photographs 1860-1920 Part I & II. Kevin Johnson is the Penobscot Marine Museum Photo Archivist.

Kevin Johnson and Bill Bunting will show photos from Eastern Illustrating & Publishing Company, the largest manufacturer of real-photo postcards in the United States, and discuss what these photos reveal about Mainers’ own sense of place and identity in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Earle Shettleworth Jr., William H. Bunting and Kevin Johnson are working on a book celebrating the extraordinary legacy and photographs of the company.

12:00 am to 12:45 pm – LUNCH

1:00 to 1:30 pm
Making a Storymap to Define “Place”

Margaret Chernosky, of Maine Geographic Alliance, brought a variety of GIS software to the teaching of geography at Bangor High School.

Chernosky demonstrates the construction of a storymap which defines Maine’s sense of place by using the iconic images, ranging from the County to the coast, from vintage postcards.

1:45 to 2:15 pm
Maine in Her Heart: the Photography of Margaret “Peggy ” McKenna from 1971 to 2013

Jay Davis is the author of History of Belfast in the 20th Century, and has been the editor of the Republican Journal, Waldo Independent, and Maine Times.

Peggy McKenna (1947 – 2014) was a professional photographer whose remarkable photos captured the essence of and endeared her to the hearts of her subjects. Over the years she photographed thousands of people for Down East, Waldo Independent, and Republican Journal, creating an astounding and vibrant photographic portrait of the place that is Midcoast Maine.

Lunch is included.

Download History Conference Brochure

The Famous Mariners of Deer Isle Discussed at Penobscot Marine Museum

Floating Palaces: America's Queens of the Sea by William Haviland and Barbara (Greenlaw) Britton

Floating Palaces: America’s Queens of the Sea by William Haviland and Barbara (Greenlaw) Britton

The men of Deer Isle have been famous for their maritime skills for well over a hundred years.  In 1895 and 1899 the America’s Cup was won by all-Deer Isle crews, the first and last time in history a single town supplied an entire crew for the race.  At Penobscot Marine Museum onThursday, October 8 at 7:00 pm, anthropologist William Haviland will discuss why the men of Deer Isle developed such an excellent reputation and were sought after as crewmen especially for the big steam yachts of the early 20th century.  Haviland’s book on the subject, Floating Palaces: America’s Queens of the Sea which he wrote with Deer Isle native Barbara (Greenlaw) Britton, was published this year.  Admission is free.

William Haviland is Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at the University of Vermont. Growing up he spent summers on Deer Isle and is now a full-time resident.  He is on the boards of the Deer Isle-Stonington Historical Society and the Abbe Museum in Bar Harbor.

Floating Palaces: America’s Queens of the Sea is part of Penobscot Marine Museum’s Boat Talk Series.  The talk will take place on Thursday, October 8, 7:00 pm, at Douglas and Margaret Carver Memorial Art Gallery, 11 Church Street, Searsport, Maine.  Admission is free.

Free Admission to Penobscot Marine Museum During Searsport’s Fall Festival

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Admission will be free at Penobscot Marine Museum for all visitors during Searsport’s annual Fling Into Fall celebration on Friday, October 2nd and Saturday, October 3rd. In addition, the Museum Store will offer 20% off all purchases on Saturday, October 3rd. Many Searsport businesses are offering sales for the festival weekend. Grasshopper Shop is having a 20% storewide sale on Friday and Saturday, WORKS is having a storewide sale on books, and Searsport Shores Campground is offering free camping to Searsport residents. For more information on call Kathy at 207-548-2529 ext. 216.

Antique Auto, Fling Into Fall 2014 First Place Jack O’ Lantern, Fling Into Fall 2014 Restored Tonka Truck, Fling Into Fall 2014

Antique Auto, Fling Into Fall 2014
First Place Jack O’ Lantern, Fling Into Fall 2014
Restored Tonka Truck, Fling Into Fall 2014

Touch-A-Truck and chain-saw sculpting are two of the new activities at Searsport’s annual Fling Into Fall festival. Rockin Ron and the New Society Band will be playing rock and doo-wop in the evening. Fling Into Fall begins at noon on Friday, October 2nd with Jack O’ Lantern and Scarecrow set-up on the Crescent, and ends at 6:00 pm on Saturday, October 3rd with a Public Italian Supper at the Congregational Church. For a full schedule or more information check the Fling Into Fall Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/flingintofall?fref=ts or call Kari at Searsport Rec. Dept. 207-548-2769.

Touch-A-Truck New to Searsport’s Fall Festival

First Place Jack O’ Lantern, Fling Into Fall 2014

First Place Jack O’ Lantern, Fling Into Fall 2014

Firetrucks, a marine patrol boat, race car, Central Maine Power truck and more will all be available for kids and adults to touch and climb into at Searsport’s annual Fling Into Fall celebration on Friday, October 2nd and Saturday, October 3rd. Also new to the festival is Pasco Grove, who will be making chain-saw sculpture, and a cash prize award for the best float in the Fling Into Fall Parade.

Restored Tonka Truck, Fling Into Fall 2014

Restored Tonka Truck, Fling Into Fall 2014

Children who renovate Tonka trucks will be competing again this year in the very popular Tonka Truck Restoration Challenge. Jack O’ Lanterns and Scarecrows will be displayed on the Crescent, Searsport Public Safety professionals again challenge Stockton Springs, Prospect and Frankfort to a Chili Cook-Off. There will be a Big Parade, Craft Show, Antique Car Show, Apple Pie Baking Contest, and Rockin Robin and the New Society band will be playing doo-wop and rock.

Antique Auto, Fling Into Fall 2014

Antique Auto, Fling Into Fall 2014

Grasshopper Shop, WORKS, Searsport Shores Campground and Penobscot Marine Museum Store will be offering discounts to all customers on Friday, October 2nd and Saturday, October 3rd. Penobscot Marine Museum admission will be free for everyone on Friday, October 2nd and Saturday, October 3rd.

Fling Into Fall begins at noon on Friday, October 2nd with Jack O’ Lantern and Scarecrow set-up on the Crescent, and ends at 6:00 pm on Saturday, October 3rd with a Public Italian Supper at the Congregational Church. For a full schedule or more information check the Fling Into Fall Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/flingintofall?fref=ts or call Kari at Searsport Rec. Dept. 207-548-2769.

The Life of LIFE Photographer Kosti Ruohomaa

Twenty-Best-Poster-Link

Photo by Kosti Ruohomaa in the Penobscot Marine Museum collection

Many legends surround the Finish-American photographer Kosti Ruohomaa, and it is said his life was “haunted”.  Ruohomaa was an award-winning photo journalist who shot iconic portraits of working Americans which appeared in LIFE, National Geographic, and other publications from 1940 to 1960, but Maine was always his favorite subject.  Deanna S. Bonner-Ganter, Curator of Photography at the Maine State Museum, has studied Kosti Ruohomaa for twenty years and her biography of Ruohomaa will soon be published by Down East Books.  On Thursday, September 24 at 7:00 pm she will give an illustrated talk Close to the Land & Close to the Sea: The Photography of Kosti Ruohomaa at Penobscot Marine Museum’s Douglas and Margaret Carver Memorial Art Gallery, 11 Church Street, Searsport, Maine.  Tickets are $8, or  $5 for Museum members and Searsport residents.

Close to the Land & Close to the Sea: The Photography of Kosti Ruohomaa is part of Exploring the Magic of Photography: Painting with Light, Penobscot Marine Museum’s first major exhibition of historic photography.  It includes four exhibits, a walk-in camera, a wall of selfies taken by museum visitors, and an historic darkroom.  The four exhibits, Through Her Lens: Women Photographers of Mid-Coast Maine, 1890-1920; Twenty Best; Evolution of the Photographic Snapshot: 1888-2015; and The Carters and the Lukes – Selections from the Red Boutilier Collection are filled with inter-active opportunities for visitors including life-sized photographic cut-outs with which visitors may photograph themselves, an online exhibit of visitor photographs and comments, and QR codes and tablets providing access to audio clips of interviews, biographies, and commentary by historians, curators and professional photographers.

Meet the Fishermen from Port Clyde Fresh Catch

Fresh shrimp at Port Clyde Fresh Catch

Fresh shrimp at Port Clyde Fresh Catch

Building boats and fishing occupied every coastal town in Maine during the 1800’s. By 1855 Maine was building 35% of all of America’s ships, and its fisheries fed much of the country. Today Maine has only 20 miles of working waterfront left, and 80% of the seafood eaten in America is imported. In 2007 Port Clyde was the last surviving ground-fishing fleet between Portland and Canada. To save their livelihood a group of Port Clyde fishermen got together to found Port Clyde Fresh Catch and became the first community-supported fishery in the United States. The idea came from community-supported agriculture, a model used by farmers in which consumers pay a membership fee for weekly shares of food. These fishermen have preserved their fishing community, their maritime heritage, and by using environmentally sustainable fishing methods they are helping to preserve the fisheries. There are now dozens of community-supported fisheries in the USA and Europe.

Fresh fish at Port Clyde Fresh Catch

Fresh fish at Port Clyde Fresh Catch

On Thursday, September 10, at 7:00 pm the fishermen of Port Clyde Fresh Catch will be at Penobscot Marine Museum for an illustrated panel discussion about fishing in Maine, their pioneering community-supported fishery, how they started it, and Port Clyde Fresh Catch today. This community forum will be held in Penobscot Marine Museum’s Douglas and Margaret Carver Memorial Art Gallery, 11 Church Street, Searsport, Maine. Tickets are $8 or $5 for Penobscot Marine Museum Members. for more information, or to purchase tickets online, click here.