To ensure the health and safety of our visitors and staff, Penobscot Marine Museum will delay its seasonal opening. Our tentative opening date is now June 30.
Though our museum is not currently open to visitors, our staff members are working both remotely and behind the scenes to care for our campus and collections and to further our mission. We continue to conduct research, develop exhibits, plan programs, and design new educational initiatives to reach beyond our campus.
We invite you to join us from your own homes to explore the Penobscot Marine Museum. Scroll through a virtual exhibit, follow a first-hand adventure on a turn-of-the-century merchant vessel, browse our collections, join our Facebook reading club, keep up with our timely Instagram posts, or plan your visit to Searsport when the time is right.
The Museum is open 7 days a week, and closed in winter. See below.
Visitor Center: Admissions, Museum Store
40 E. Main Street
2 Church Street
Exhibits and Store
Exhibits closed until June 30, 2020. Store open by appointment.
Museum Offices, Research Library and Photo Archives
Open year round; call 207-548-2529 to make an appointment.
PMM Members: FREE
Searsport/Stockton Springs Residents: Free
Children (7 and under): FREE
Seniors (65 and over) and Students (+17 with student ID): $12.00
Children (8 to 16): $10.00
Family (2 adults and children under 18): $40.00
Group Rate: $10.00 per person for parties larger than 10 people.
School Groups and Summer Camps: Please call ahead for pricing and reservations.
Become a Member!
As a Blue Star Museum, we are proud to offer FREE admission to Active Duty Military Families.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the mission of Penobscot Marine Museum?
The mission of Penobscot Marine Museum is to preserve, interpret and celebrate the maritime culture of the Penobscot Bay Region and beyond through collections, education, and community engagement.
- What is the museum like?
Our campus has more than a dozen buildings, five of which house public exhibits and collections. All but one of the buildings date from the first half of the 19th century, to authentically recreate the look and feel of a seaport village from the Great Age of Sail. (See the campus map for details on each building.) All of the exhibit buildings are rather closely spaced, and it’s a lovely place to stroll around. You can have your picnic lunch on the grounds, or simply cross the street for good restaurant fare or snacks.
- What are the highlights of your collection?
Small Craft. Working and recreational boats from the early 20th century include a Beals Island lobster boat; a North Haven dinghy; a Lincolnville wherry; a Herreshoff 12 ½; peapods; dories; canoes; marine engines and lots more.
Marine Art. We have a world-class collection of 19th century marine art featuring Thomas and James Buttersworth, Robert Salmon, and Antonio Jacobsen; ship portraits and port paintings from around the world; ships’ figureheads; dioramas and shadowboxes.
Furniture, crafts and domestic furnishings. In addition to domestic manufactures of the 19th century, many Searsport homes were furnished with a wealth of fascinating objects from the Orient, brought back by local sea captains. Our fully-furnished sea captain’s house shows how a 19th century home might have looked, with objects ranging from grandfather clocks and cuff crimpers to “larding needles” (to insert more fat into meat), hooked rugs, traveling desks, Chinese sewing boxes, oil portraits, and a piano with mother-of-pearl keys.
Tools. Artifacts of economic labor abound in the Working The Bay exhibit. You’ll see the tools used by Penobscot Bay’s loggers, farmers, ice harvesters, ship builders and mariners.
Ship Models. You’ll see builder’s half-hull models; large-scale fully-rigged plank-on frame models; exquisite miniatures; a French prisoner’s model made of bone; presentation models; a working steam-powered tug model and more.
Scrimshaw. Our collection includes both inscribed and rare painted whales’ teeth; baleen and walrus ivory objects; and related craft pieces.
Photography. Over 100,000 items, including collections from the Eastern Illustrating & Publishing Company and Atlantic Fisherman; and work by photographers Carroll Thayer Berry, Charles R. Coombs and Joanna Colcord.
Permanent Exhibits. The campus map includes descriptions of our permanent exhibits.
- Are there special activities for children?
“Yard in the Yard”. A real ship’s wheel, capstan, and a scale model mast from a square-rigged ship. Children burn energy while learning how ships were steered, sails and rigging handled, and anchors raised.
Peapod. Housed in our education center, this children’s space is for imaginative play. Accessories, toys, clothing and tools to recreate and imagine lives from the 19th century. Be a sailor, a shop owner, a parent of 150 years ago, or even a child!
In addition. With guidance from a loving adult, many children find our “grown-up” exhibits fascinating — especially the boats.
- Are you handicapped-accessible?
Most of our exhibits are wheelchair-accessible, but because of the nature of 19th-century buildings, a few are not accessible on the 2nd floor.
- Does the museum have a gift shop?
Located in the Visitors Center as well as online, the Museum Store carries a fine selection of gifts, books, photography, cards, and clothing. To shop online, visit our online shop.
- Does the museum have a restaurant?
No, but there are several good places to eat right in the neighborhood. There are lobster pounds nearby where the lobster is always fresh. And Belfast, 10 minutes away, has a wide variety of restaurants.
- How about lodging?
Several finely-restored sea captains’ houses operate as Bed and Breakfast inns in Searsport, and there are several motels nearby.
- What is the history of Penobscot Marine Museum?
Maine’s oldest maritime museum was founded in 1936 by descendants of Searsport sea captains. The original building was our Old Town Hall, built in 1845 and given to the Museum by the town to display our initial collection. Within the decade, we had outgrown this building, and we now encompass a total of 13 buildings, eight of which are on the National Register of Historic Places.