Spirited Fun During 
Last Night at the Museum
Astrig Tanguay,  Meryem Rogan, Willa, Joe Greenley, Deb Nowers,
Flora, Wally Good, Cipperly Good

As you know, October 20th was the last day of the 2019 season for the Penobscot Marine Museum. This made October 19th the Last Night of the season. Curious things happen at this time of year as the campus buzzes with museum staff preparing for the off-season. The activity seems to awaken the spirits of the people represented in our exhibits and stories.

On Saturday evening, October 19th, visitors enjoyed special tours of the Fowler-True-Ross house guided by museum staff as they prepared to close the exhibit. Many thanks to our delightful crew of volunteers who portrayed local historic characters. Sometimes dark, sometimes hilarious, always based in the fascinating stories of real-life people, there was something for everyone in the Last Night at the Museum tours.

Deb Nowers played Jane who, in 1813, married local sea captain Miles Fowler and raised a family in what is now the Museum's Fowler-True-Ross House. Tragedy during her childhood was followed by a troubled marriage. It's no wonder her spirit haunts these halls.

LeRoy Dow, portrayed by Joe Greeley, experienced personal loss at sea and then fought a long legal battle after a steamer collided with Dow's ship CLARISSA B. CARVER in Japan.

Born in the South Seas in 1882, Joanna Colcord, played by Flora, later recorded her memories of her childhood aboard ship. She shared the tragic story of Purr the kitten in 1892.

Astrig Tanguay shared the story of the waterspout hitting the bark TRAVATORE off Messina. The bark went down in 1870 and Emma Pendleton Blanchard, her husband Captain James M. Blanchard, and their daughter Emma M. Blanchard all perished. 

Wally Good portrayed Captain Jesse Thayer Carver whose ship SAINT MARY joined the ghost fleet of ships in the Falkland Islands disabled trying to round Cape Horn.

Clara B. Nickels grew up in the Nickels-Colcord-Duncan House. Meryem Rogan played Clara who pursued a career in opera internationally only to have her life cut short in 1880. Meryem got so interested in her Last Night at the Museum character that she went to visit Clara's grave in Elmwood Cemetery in Searsport.

Willa shared the story of Maria Whall Waterhouse who sailed with her husband,  Captain Charles Waterhouse aboard the troubled ship S.F. HERSEY. Sickness, mutiny, man overboard, death, overdose?: Maria's time at sea and the fate of the S.F. HERSEY are full of mystery and drama.

Look for Last Night at the Museum at the end of the 2020 season. We'll repeat some favorite stories and share new ones. We're also looking for more volunteers!
Holiday Gift Idea
Even though our Museum Store is now closed, our 2020 Pen Bay Photo Calendars are still available. You can order online or by phone. Calendars can be shipped or picked up at our administrative offices by appointment.
A Look Back
Photo of Clifford Carver
taken by Ken Williams

Photographer Ken Williams relayed the stories of these photographs of Clifford Nickels Carver to us recently: " When I shot these for some NE magazine [in 1965], I was picked up by someone in an old, beat up Nash Rambler. A pretty scruffy looking guy who I took for the gardener. That is until we arrived and entered through the servants entrance and the maid said, "Good evening Mr. Carver".

Mr. Carver excused himself and came back a little later looking like he stepped out of Esquire! Sadly, a short time later I heard from one of his sons who wanted a print. These were the last photos taken of him."
Photo of Clifford Carver
taken by Ken Williams

Clifford came by his ability to work  from a line of Searsport Sea Captains and shipbuilders. His great-great-grandfather Captain Isaac Carver brought the family to Searsport at the turn of the 19th century. His great-grandfather John Carver built 55 ships in Searsport, the earliest being the schooner BOSTON in 1824. His grandfather George AlbertCarver expanded the influence of the family beyond Searsport; starting out as a shipbuilder, he became captain of the brig AMY A. LANE and bark ALBERT RUSSELL, before retiring from the sea in 1877 to move to New York to set up a ship chandlery Baker & Carver, and later Baker, Carver & Morrell. Clifford's father Amos Dow Carver carried on in the ship chandlery business, serving Searsport sea captains stocking up on supplies while in port. Clifford served as board chairman of Baker, Carver & Morrell and director of the Western Operating Corporation, a 20th century whaling enterprise. He also worked as secretary to the American ambassador in London in 1914-15, secretary to Woodrow Wilson's chief European negotiator in 1916 during World War I, assistant to the chair of the War Industries Board in 1917 and aide to the Director of Naval Intelligence in 1918. His love of genealogy brought him to write  John Carver (1799-1867) builder of wooden ships upon the Penobscot Bay  and The Carver Family of New England: Robert Carver of Marshfield and His Descendants, and led him and other descendants of Searsport Sea Captains to found the Penobscot Marine Museum in 1936.
A Seacoast Village Christmas
Photo Archives News
Boothbay Region Fisheries Collection, 
a Collaborative Digitization Project

Penobscot Marine Museum (PMM) is partnering with the Boothbay Region Maritime Foundation (BRMF) and the Boothbay Region Historical Society to gather historical and contemporary photos of fishing in the Boothbay Region.The BRMF was formed in 2018 to preserve the maritime heritage of the Boothbay Region and provide educational opportunities for the public. The Boothbay Historical Society was founded in 1967 has traditionally represented the three towns of the region: Boothbay, Boothbay Harbor, and Southport.

PMM's role in this project is to help digitize the photographs shared by the public and make them available through our online database. These photos will be digitized for an online collection titled, "The Boothbay Region Fisheries Collection". Individuals are invited to bring their artifacts and photos to one of the scheduled digitizing sessions that will be held at the Boothbay Region Historical Society during the next several months. The first session is scheduled for November 16th from 2:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M . Photos will be digitized on site by Kevin Johnson and Matt Wheeler, professional photo archivists from PMM, and returned to their owners. Donors will also have the option of discussing a donation of their photos and artifacts to the Penobscot Marine Museum, the Boothbay Region Historical Society, or the Southport Historical Society.

We are thrilled to be working with these important institutions. This is a unique opportunity for people to share their photos while still maintaining ownership of them and for the community to work together to create a digital photo archive reflective of Boothbay's fishing industry.

If you would like to volunteer to be part of this project please contact BRMF at the address below. More information can be found at the BRMF website, https://www.boothbayregionmaritimefoundation.org/ . For questions about this project and the Foundation's work contact them at [email protected]
Kosti Comes Home exhibit in Belfast

Kosti Ruohomaa Self Portrait
Our initial exhibit of Kosti Ruohomaa's photographs will spend November and December at the Belfast Free Library after stints in Rockland and Islesboro.  The exhibit focuses on his Maine coastal and maritime work.  During the age of the photo magazine, Kosti was a rock star in the photography world. His photographs graced the cover of Life magazine numerous times. Other major magazines such as Look and  National Geographic used his photos regularly. He moved to Dodge Mountain in Rockland at the age of 13, where his family had a blueberry farm. He discovered his love for photography in the 1930s while working as a cartoonist for Disney. During the 1940s and 50s, his career blossomed. While he photographed around the world, Maine was his favorite subject, both the people and land. He died prematurely in 1961 at the age of 47. This exhibit was sponsored by Camden Wealth Management. The Belfast Free Library is located at 106 High Street, in Belfast. For more information call (207) 338-3884 or visit their  website.

Exhibit Heads to Vose Library in Union

From the Cradle to the Grave: Mining the Ed Coffin Collection showcases  28 of the more than 2,500 photographs Ed Coffin collected throughout his lifetime. There are many themes to explore in the Coffin collection, but two that stand out as crowd pleasers are ship launches and ship wrecks. The "birth" and "death" of ships have long held the public's fascination. Most of Maine's Midcoast towns have been involved in building boats, ships and schooners. Watching the culmination of a year or more of construction and investment has been a spectacle not to be missed. On the flipside, the wreck of a ship evokes entirely different feelings, but the pull to see the tragic scene and to learn the grim story can be just as strong. After being on display here at the museum this season, it will head to the Vose Library in Union for the month of November. The library is located at 392 Common Rd. in Union. For hours or more info contact the library at 207-785-4733 or [email protected].
Where in the World?
Bordeaux and the Girond e
Bordeaux served as the clearing port for France's Caribbean colonies. Despite her humanist principles, Bordeaux let commerce overrule those tendencies, benefiting from the slave trade and slave-grown commodities. From the Caribbean, she imported bananas, cocoa, coffee, rice and cereal grains, tropical woods, and most importantly: sugar cane rum. Bordeaux, by the 1850s, was known more for its rum, than its native wines. Yet she still exported said Bordeaux wine, beer, shoes, hats, clothes, and agricultural tools.  France's trade with Indochina (parts of Vietnam and Cambodia) brought rubber to Bordeaux.

Bark INVESTIGATOR entering river Gironde Arvilland, circa 1856, watercolor.Gift of Charles W. Childs, #1955.1

Detail of River Gironde from "General Chart of the Mediterranean, Adriatic and Black Seas" published by J.W. Norie & Co. in 1850. Gift of A.H. Sawyer, PMM #270.

The River Gironde, A Closer Look
The Gironde is a navigable estuary in southwest France, at the confluences of the Rivers Garonne and Dordogne. Bordeaux sits on the Garonne River, and is 56 miles from from the mouth of the Gironde. The Tour de Cordouan lighthouse, seen in the painting, sits on the Plateau of Cordouan midway across the mouth of the River Gironde. The lighthouse, known as "The Patriarch of Lighthouses" is the oldest in France, and is the tenth tallest traditional lighthouse in the world. At a height of 207 feet above sea level, sailors could see the lighthouse from a distance of 48 miles on a clear day. The Gironde River pilot, seen in the yawl with the "R.P.Y.8" on the sail, waits for ships wanting to enter the estuary.
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