The Maine Maritime Museum is worth a visit

Maine Maritime Museum

Photo: Jack at Wikipedia / Sherman Zwicker at the Maine Maritime Museum / Flickr

For centuries, wooden ships featured an elegant, hand carved figurehead at its hull. The figureheads were intricate carvings, often depicting a woman, an animal or a coat of arms. They represented various things, including the name of the ship, strength, wealth, or the ship’s country of origin. One of the current exhibits at the Maine Maritime Museum pays homage to these beautiful carvings and the craftsmen who created them.

Maine Maritime Museum Exhibits

The exhibit “Ingrained: The Art of the Shipcarver” is on display at the Maine Maritime Museum through early July. Hand carved nautical artifacts include a figurehead and a pattern used to carve a figurehead, as well as a golden eagle, cornices and more. The exhibit also includes a collection of tools and the workbench of renowned Newcastle carver Edbury Hatch.

In addition to rotating exhibits like “The Art of the Shipcarver,” eight permanent exhibits allow you to explore Maine’s maritime heritage and culture. The core exhibit, “A Maritime History of Maine,” offers a glimpse into the various professions that fueled the maritime industry, including fishing, coastal trades, wooden and steel shipbuilding, recreation and more.

Museum Tours

When you visit the museum, you’ll enjoy viewing the collection of more than 21,000 artifacts amassed over 50 years. You’ll see the world’s largest collection of shipbuilding tools, 550 ship models, 475 maritime paintings and more. Stroll through the museum at your leisure or register for one of the guided tours, including a Behind-the-Scenes tour and a Small Watercraft Collection Tour.

Museum History

The Maine Maritime Museum occupies a former shipyard that once produced large four-, five- and six-mast wooden ships. The shipyard and the Victorian-era home that belonged to the shipyard owner were donated to the museum in the 1970s and 1980s. The museum eventually acquired the building that now houses the Maine Lobstering Exhibit. It also landed a schooner, the Sherman Zwicker, which serves as a floating waterfront exhibit during the summer. The museum also opened a brand new Maritime History Building in 1989.

The Maine Maritime Museum is located Bath, Maine, about an hour south of Camden. The beautiful drive from Camden offers views of the coastline and the historic lighthouses that have protected it for hundreds of years. If you have time, stop and tour Maine lighthouses along the way.

The Hartstone Inn

The Hartstone Inn is an enchanting bed and breakfast hideaway in the heart of downtown Camden, Maine. Let the inn serve as your home base while you visit the area. Choose from any of our 21 elegant guest rooms and suites appointed with luxurious amenities, including soft robes, fine linens, and down quilts and pillows. Enjoy gourmet cuisine morning, afternoon and evening, and maybe even try your hand at preparing a gourmet meal or two yourself with a Foodie Adventure Packages. Our Camden bed and breakfast is the perfect place to get away from it all.

Photo: Jack at Wikipedia / Sherman Zwicker at the Maine Maritime Museum / Flickr