Maine Maritime Museum is just one of many reasons to visit Maine. Located in Bath (about twenty minutes from Freeport), the museum has a long and varied history, beginning in 1962.
In 1962 seven residents of Bath, Maine formed the Marine Research Society of Bath, which did business for years as the Bath Marine Museum. In 1975, the name was changed to Maine Maritime Museum.
1894 to 1920 – the Percy & Small (P&S) Shipyard built 45 vessels, of which 42 were four, five or six mast schooners, including Wyoming, the largest wooden schooner ever built, the largest wooden sailing vessel built in the United States. Their first three vessels were built in a leased shipyard, property now part of Bath Iron Works. In 1896 Percy & Small purchased their own shipyard (the old Daniel Orrin Blaisdell yard), property that is now part of Maine Maritime Museum, and began building there the following year.
1975 – the P&S Shipyard was donated by Mr. and Mrs. L. M. C. Smith. In 1981 Mrs. Smith also donated the adjoining Donnell House, a shipyard owner’s Victorian-era residence. The P&S Shipyard is the only intact shipyard site in the United States that built large wooden sailing vessels.
1989 – the museum built its three-story climate-controlled Maritime History Building,, allowing all of its changing exhibits, collections storage, research library, gift shop, admissions desk and administrative functions to be in one major location.
2001 – the museum built an addition to the Maritime History Building, a special event facility called Long Reach Hall. This beautiful timber frame building is equipped with a full caterer’s kitchen. The following year the Visiting Yachtsmen’s Building was added to provide amenities for visitors arriving by boat. Ten guest moorings are available in season.
2014 – in 2014 as a result of a generous bequest,the Kenneth D. Kramer Blacksmith Shop exhibit was constructed on the site of the original Percy & Small blacksmith shop, which was destroyed by fire in 1913. The museum is again named one of the world’s top maritime museums by Destinations Travel magazine.
2015 – after 30 years since its original installation, the museum completely redesigned and expanded the content of its Lobstering & the Maine Coast exhibit to tell the full “trap to table” story of the Maine lobster industry.
2016 – thanks to a grant from the Merrymeeting Bay Trust, the museum purchased the cruise vessel Pied Piper, renaming it Merrymeeting in honor of the region’s ecological wonder, Merrymeeting Bay.
The Maine Maritime Museum offers great tours and ever-rotating exhibits. Check back to my blog often as I plan to share information regarding the upcoming exhibit coming in May, 2017.
The best part for last: As a business sponsor of this museum, James Place Inn is able to offer its guests 20% off museum admission tickets. Follow this link to take advantage of this special, https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2017-museum-admission-for-lodging-business-partners-tickets-30848377327. Once there, the password is MMM04530.
Enjoy your visit!