About The Museum
Penobscot Marine Museum is the oldest maritime museum in Maine. It was founded in 1936 by descendants of local sea captains. From its original home in Searsport's former Town Hall, the museum has grown to include 13 buildings, eight of which are on the National Register of Historic Places. These include other nineteenth-century buildings: houses, a church vestry, barns, and a commercial block. The buildings are in their original locations in Searsport's historic district, near the waterfront where eight shipyards once built wooden Down Easters, schooners, and sloops.
The museum's mission is to preserve and present the maritime history of the Penobscot Bay region through collections, education, and community engagement.
The museum has collections of historic small boats; marine paintings; artifacts from around the world collected by mariners; ship models; photographs; and manuscripts. One historic house is furnished in late nineteenth century style, and shows how a sea captain and his family might have lived.
Exhibits illustrate the industries of Penobscot Bay-fishing, lumber, shipbuilding, ice, and granite-that built the Maine coast. Visitors learn how families from Maine often went to sea together, raising children aboard ship as they traveled the world. They get an in-depth look at the lobster, an icon nearly synonymous with Maine. Researchers use the library for genealogy, maritime records, and local history.
The Savage Education Center and the Marine Science "Lab" provide hands-on children's activities and programs, and the outdoor "Yard-in-the-Yard" allows children and adults to experience the workings of a square-rigger's sails, yards, and capstan.
For more information on Penobscot Marine Museum, see www.penobscotmarinemuseum.org.