Old News

Author Kate Webber Discusses Life on Swans Island

Penobscot Marine Museum will host author Kate Webber discussing her new book Swans Island Chronicles: Borrowed, Exaggerated and Half-Forgotten Tales of Island Life on Saturday, June 7, at 2:00 pm. Books will be available for signing, and the event will take place in the Penobscot Marine Museum Store, 40 East Main Street, Searsport. Admission is free.

Kate Webber worked through the Island Institute for the Swan’s Island Historical Society for two years and experienced the delights of living on a small isolated Maine island first hand. She tells her stories about the people and island culture with humor and affection. Local legends and spooky tales are included for the reader’s delight. Ms. Webber is now with the Maine Humanities Council.

Left: Swans Island Chronicles: Borrowed, Exaggerated and Half-Forgotten Tales of Island Life by Kate Webber. Right: Author Kate Webber

Left: Swans Island Chronicles: Borrowed, Exaggerated and Half-Forgotten Tales of Island Life by Kate Webber. Right: Author Kate Webber

For more information go online www.penobscotmarinemuseum.org or call 207-548-2529. Penobscot Marine Museum is hosting seven exhibits and over fifty events this season.

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.

Merchant Marine Oral History Interview Day to be Held at Penobscot Marine Museum

usmerchant-marine-sealThe Penobscot Marine Museum is partnering with the Seamen’s Church Institute (SCI) to host a day of oral history interviews with merchant mariners on June 24, 2014, from 10-4. During this event, mariners will be invited to come to the museum to record their stories with SCI researchers and volunteers as part of the American Merchant Marine Veterans Oral History Project. Photo archivists at the museum will also be gathering feedback from mariners on their photo collections. The Penobscot Marine Museum will be offering reduced admission for mariners on the day of the interviews ($6). The interviews will be archived and made available as a robust online repository of stories of the sea.

Merchant mariners have contributed significantly to the security and prosperity of the nation–the online archive created by this project brings the compelling stories of local seafarers to light. Johnathan Thayer, SCI Archivist and leader of the project, has interviewed veteran mariners in the Port of New York and New Jersey. “Their remarkable tales represent largely overlooked perspectives within American history,” he says. Johnathan recounts the story of John Ludwick, also known as “Kansas,” who, although he survived the crossing of dangerous WWII North Atlantic waters in a convoy that lost 17 of 33 ships, found himself mistakenly imprisoned in a camp at Leningrad. He tells the story of his escape, stealing a Russian snowmobile and riding it hundreds of miles through arctic tundra back to his ship.

Toiling on board ships often months at a time, merchant mariners work out of the public eye, but SCI—since its very beginnings—has endeavored to bring their labors to light. Through its American Merchant Marine Veterans Oral History Project, SCI helps mariners gain recognition and dignity in the historic record through their own words and Mariners interested in participating should RSVP to Maine-based SCI researcher Michele Christle at michele.christle@gmail.com or at 603-781-9848 to schedule a time for an interview. If transportation or health is an issue, mariners are encouraged to contact Michele Christle for alternative participation methods.

For more information about this event, please contact: Michele Christle, 603-781-9848 michele.christle@gmail.com


Volunteer Day & Yale Day of Service

Saturday, May 10, 9:00 am to 3:00 pm

We have fun

We have fun

Come join the Yale alumni and their friends and family taking part in the annual YaleDayofService at Penobscot Marine Museum this May. Help us clean the boat barns, wash the windows, touch up the railings, and get ready for opening! We will feed you a delicious lunch.

Every spring for the past six years Yale volunteers have teamed up at service projects as varied as beautifying urban spaces, prepping special-needs camps for the season, and mentoring inner-city youth. Last year over 3500 participants pitched in at 232 sites in 16 countries.

This year will be the fourth YaleDayofService at Penobscot Marine Museum.
Thank you, to all our volunteers,
see you this Saturday!

We will feed you delicious food.

We will feed you delicious food.

Boat Builders of Mount Desert Island at Penobscot Marine Museum Boat Builders Forum

Thursday, May 8, at 7:00 pm the Maine Boatbuilding Forum will host boat builders of Mount Desert Island. Boat builders Hank Hinckley, Chummy Rich and Rich Helmke from Bass Harbor Boats, and Ralph and Richard Stanley, will talk about building everything from high-end yachts to lobster boats and traditional sloops for their diverse set of clients on Mount Desert Island and beyond.

Located in Southwest Harbor, Hank Hinckley Boat Builders specializes in building custom and semi-custom boats, and in restoring or rebuilding larger quality craft of up to about 45 feet. The company was formed in 1994 by Hank Hinckley, son of the founder of what is now The Hinckley Company.

Little Folly built by Ralph Stanley

Little Folly built by Ralph Stanley

Chummy Rich grew up in Tremont, Maine with a boat building grandfather Clifton Rich, and a boat building father Bobby Rich. After decades in a business that he loved, he was thinking of retiring when Rich Helmke approached him and they now work together at Bass Harbor Boats in Bernard.

Ralph Stanley is a Master Boatbuilder and a 1999 NEA National Heritage Fellow. His son, Richard Stanley, of Richard Stanley Custom Boats in Bass Harbor, followed in his father’s footsteps and has been building wooden boats for over fifty years.

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 go to www.penobscotmarinemuseum.org or call 207-548-2529 or 0334.

Photography News

Photo news Collage

Boothbay Railway Village in Boothbay, Maine

Saturday, May 3 from 1:30 – 3:00 pm
The Boothbay Railway Village in partnership with the Boothbay Region Historical Society will host Kevin
Johnson, photo archivist for the Penobscot Marine Museum in Searsport, Maine for an illustrated talk entitled Boothbay: The Postcard View; Selections from the Eastern Illustrating & Publishing Company. The talk will take place inside the Town Hall at the Boothbay Railway Village. Admission is free, donations to the Penobscot Marine Museum are appreciated. The Boothbay Railway Village is located at 586 Wiscasset Road,
Route 27 in Boothbay, Maine.

The Apprenticeshop in Rockland, Maine

Thursday, May 8, 7:00 pm
Kevin Johnson, photo archivist for the Penobscot Marine Museum, will discuss and share the maritime photography archives of the Penobscot Marine Museum of Searsport. The Apprenticeshop, is located at 643 Main Street in Rockland. The event is open to the public and admission is $5.

Summerfolk: The Postcard View

Live on the Maine Memory Network

Hancock County Through Eastern’s Eye

Through April 30 at
Sullivan Town Office
1888 US Hwy 1

Historic Photographs of Schooner Bowdoin Returning From Greenland

Now Online at Penobscot Marine Museum
The John Booras Collection of historic photographs of the schooner Bowdoin, probably taken in1924 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.

Cash Mob at Penobscot Marine Museum

Saturday, April 26
11:00 am to 1:00 pm

cash mob

Come join the Cash Mob! Mob the Museum Store, 40 E. Main Street. Spend $20 and you will be entered into a raffle held by Bangor Savings Bank for something wonderful from a Bucksport area business (thank you Bangor Savings Bank!) AND a Museum Store raffle for a beautiful and useful Maine Lobster Rope basket AND
four museum admission passes. You must be present during the raffle drawing to be eligible. Support local business.

Thank you Bucksport Area Chamber of Commerce for hosting this event!

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.

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 www.penobscotmarinemuseum.org or call 207-548-2529 or 0334.

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.


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.

Are Maine Scientists Changing America’s Energy Future?

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

VolturnUS, the first grid-connected offshore wind turbine

VolturnUS, the first grid-connected offshore wind turbine

SEARSPORT, ME, October 18, 2013 – Maine scientists are leading the way nationally in wind and tide energy development, and important strides are being made in fisheries research. This year Penobscot Marine Museum’s history conference Fish, Wind and Tide: Maine’s Future Resources? on November 2 at Belfast’s Hutchinson Center brings together experts from Maine Maritime Academy, the Universities of Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts, and from Maine Department of Conservation, Tide Mill Institute, Island Institute, Conservation Law Foundation and Maine Ocean & Wind Industry Initiative, to look at the past and to explore exciting new developments for the future of these resources.

Larry Parent, Assistant Director, Advanced Structures and Composites Center, University of Maine, Orono

Larry Parent, Assistant Director, Advanced Structures and Composites Center, University of Maine, Orono

Among the Conference speakers will be Larry Parent, Assistant Director of the University of Maine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center. The Center is a world leader in composites research and made history last summer by deploying the first U.S. grid-connected wind turbine off the coast of Castine. The first U.S. grid-connected tidal energy project was also launched in Maine last summer, and Richard Armstrong, Executive Director of Tidal Energy Demonstration & Evaluation Center at Maine Maritime Academy will speak about developments in tidal power which will shape our future.

What economic impact will wind and tidal power have in Maine? Over $900 million in direct investment has been brought to Maine since 2006, according to Maine Ocean & Wind Industry Initiative. Paul Williamson, Director and Industry Coordinator of the Initiative joins the Conference to discuss this potentially huge economic impact in Maine.

The Conference will also address our fisheries resource. University of New Hampshire Historic Fisheries Scientist Karen Alexander will speak about the history of the Gulf of Maine fisheries, and William Leavenworth, of the University of Massachusetts’ Environmental Conservation Department will help us see where the fisheries are headed.

How all of these new developments will affect our coastal resources will be discussed by Maine Dept. of Conservation’s Matthew Nixon, Maine Coastal Program, lobsterman Richard Nelson, Caitlin Cleaver, from the Island Institute and Robin Just of the Conservation Law Foundation.

Penobscot Marine Museum will sponsor tickets for high school students at half price. For more information call 207-548-2529 or visit the 2013 History Conference page. Click here to register online. The History Conference is on Saturday, November 2, 8:15 am to 5:00 pm at University of Maine Hutchinson Center, 80 Belmont Avenue, Belfast, Maine. Tickets are $50 for Museum members, $60 for non-members, $50 for teachers and $30 for students. Conference price includes lunch if registration is received by Monday, October 28.