May News
PMM Newsletter.png


Plan Your Visit
New Exhibits
Core Exhibits

Do you enjoy watching our programming on YouTube? Be sure to subscribe to make sure you see all our content.

Kid's Programs

More Information
More Information

Goodbye to a Friend and Generous Supporter

This past month, the PMM Photo Archives lost one of its biggest supporters when Linda Bean passed away at her home in Port Clyde. She first got involved with the museum in 2005 with a generous donation to process the Everett “Red” Boutilier Collection. That donation was a major kick starter to the digitization of our photo collections which allowed us to purchase our first scanners and printer.

When the Kosti Ruohomaa Collection arrived in 2017, Linda and her sister Diana made a significant gift toward digitizing and cataloging these photos. Our institutional success was very important to her, so much so that she even provided exhibit space in Freeport to broaden our audience and make more people aware of our historical treasures and efforts to make them available. Her passion for Maine’s history was real and she left her mark here, as well as many cultural institutions around the state. She will be greatly missed.

James Steele Peapod Building Shop

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

Peapods were once Maine’s quintessential inshore oar-propelled boats for setting and hauling lobster traps. They are double-ended so rowers could nose into nooks and crannies, then reverse direction without turning around. As motorboats began replacing peapods shortly after 1900, peapods found a new calling as recreational boats prized for their rowing and sailing ability. Most recreational peapods built commercially after 1964 came from James F. Steele of Brooklin. 

Steele filled his workshop with modified, labor-saving tools to build recreational peapods. After Steele’s death in 2007, Donald Tofias bought his Downeast Peapod business. In 2010, thanks to Tofias and the Steele family, many of James Steele’s ingenious tools and patterns were donated to the Penobscot Marine Museum. This summer we are opening our new exhibit, a mocked-up space that gives visitors a taste of Steele’s boat shop and its contents, along with examples of other builders’ designs. 

Continue Reading

Photo Archives News

Kosti Ruohomaa Collection: May 2024 Rollout

By Matt Wheeler, Digital Collections Curator

Maine photographer, Kosti Ruohomaa’s reflective, reverent, and humorous journalism focused on people and places more than events. This month, we look over the photographer poet’s shoulder as he explores the city of Richmond, Virginia on assignment for Life magazine. The photos seem to explore a cultural and economic divide—on the one hand, we see workers in a steel factory and decrepit industrial zones; on the other, affluently dressed seniors and the interior of an opulent cathedral. Kosti’s gift for portraiture and his unique interpretation of landscape are both obvious here.

We will also peruse another project Kosti took on for Life: crafting a photo essay celebrating the centennial of Walt Whitman’s poem cycle, Leaves of Grass. There’s a spiritual kinship between the two creators: both men had a reverence for the character of place and its imprinting effect on the character of inhabitants. Images in this group depict everyday characters and settings in NYC and on Long Island, where Whitman lived and worked.

To view the new content, visit the museum’s Kosti Ruohomaa site.

Elixir of the Sea

Purchase Tickets
Business Opportunities
Facebook  Instagram