March News
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Kid's Programs

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A 1954 Visit to Penobscot Marine Museum

By Jeana Ganskop, Education Director

PMM’s current high school intern Haylie was recently looking through old Searsport yearbooks and discovered an article from 1954 about a school visit to Penobscot Marine Museum. The article concluded saying, “The visit to these buildings was most interesting and helped us to understand better the sailing days of Searsport and surrounding towns.” Read the whole article here.


RSU 20 (Searsport and Stockton Springs) students still come to Penobscot Marine Museum every year and PMM staff visit their classrooms, too. In February, PMM Education Director Jeana Ganskop presented to nearly all of the K-6 students! As part of the 6th grade social studies ancient Egypt unit, the students created a museum of ancient Egyptian artifacts. Jeana talked to the students about museum best practices for object handling and giving tours to help prepare them for their community open house. Jeana also went into the elementary school physical education classes to talk about historic games and toys - with a little maritime history squeezed in!


Last year, PMM welcomed around 1,000 students and chaperones on field trips. This year, we’re hoping for even more. When students come to PMM, they participate in the Set Sail demonstration, engage with art, search for items on scavenger hunts, make related crafts, evaluate primary sources, and discover connections between our maritime past and today. During the last few years, PMM has offered low cost or no cost field trips plus a busing scholarship to make the field trips more affordable for schools. Students come from down the street, around the region, and up to 1.5 hours away! We estimate that each field trip costs PMM an average of $800. Help us keep free field trips at PMM by donating today!


Evolution of the Maine Lobsterboat

By Cipperly Good, Richard Saltonstall Jr. Curator of Maritime History

As I have been researching the evolution of the Maine Lobsterboat in preparation of this summer’s new exhibit, I have been drawing heavily from C. Richard K. Lunt’s 1975 PhD Dissertation Lobsterboat Building on the Eastern Coast of Maine: A Comparative Study. We are lucky that in 2017 Professor Lunt donated this collection of notes, oral histories, and boat plans he compiled to write his dissertation. Take a peek at the finding aid to see an overview of the collection. 

Lunt makes the argument in his dissertation that two colonial boats were the ancestor of the modern day lobsterboat: the fishing shallop and the wherry. In the 19th century, the shallop evolved into the Moosabec Reach Boat and the Friendship Sloop, while the wherry evolved into the peapod or double-ender.

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Photo Archives News

Kosti Ruohomaa Collection: February 2024 Rollout

By Matt Wheeler, Digital Collections Curator

Kosti often undertook photo essay assignments for Black Star Publishing outside his home state. This month, we venture down the James River in Virginia with the photographer poet on a trip he made by boat in 1945 to illustrate historic sites in the region.

Also this month, we visit a young WWII veteran who severely injured his knee during a training exercise. The story follows his academic path: he pivoted to an engineering program at NYU via the GI Bill. Ruohomaa’s captions make clear that these kinds of transitions were not always easy. 

To view the new content, click here.

Music in Our Lives

By Jeana Ganskop, Education Director

Searsport’s Joanna Colcord spent a large part of her childhood at sea on her father’s sailing vessels. She grew up hearing the sailors chanteying while working and singing during their off-time, too. As an adult, Joanna collected these songs into her 1924 book, Roll and Go: Songs of American Sailormen.

This year, as we commemorate the 100th anniversary of Joanna's book, PMM is looking at the role music plays in our lives in Midcoast Maine, both in the past and today! Joanna's commitment to sea chanteys and sailor songs inspires us to connect visitors with the past in an experiential way. The exhibit Music in Our Lives explores work songs, musical instruments, and the role of music as an indicator of vibrant culture within our communities. It is brought to life with weekly chantey sing-alongs and Saturday sessions featuring local performers.

Want to be a part of the exhibit? We’re looking for photos of musical performances in the Searsport/Waldo County/MidCoast Maine area from the past few years and posters for upcoming local musical performances between May and October, 2024. Send them to Jeana at [email protected] for a chance to be included in the exhibit!

PMM in the News

This past month The Working Waterfront published an article written by PMM Photo Archivist Kevin Johnson. Read his piece, "Steamboat Days in Stockton Spring"  here.

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