Press Release

Historical Society Exhibit to Feature Schooner Bowdoin

CASTINE, Maine — Things are busy at the Castine Historical Society as preparations for the 2012 summer exhibit, co-sponsored with Maine Maritime Academy, are in their final stages. The exhibit, Schooner Bowdoin on the Greenland Patrol, which tells the story of the vessel’s service during World War II, officially opens  with a reception 4:00-6:00 p.m. Sunday, June 24.

The Castine Historical Society opening reception is free and open to the public, refreshments will be served, and families are encouraged to attend. The Schooner Bowdoin is very much a part of life in Castine. The beautiful 91-year-old two-masted wooden schooner, a National Historic Landmark, has been owned and operated by Maine Maritime Academy  since 1988.

In 2010, MMA received the Bowdoin’s WWII-era nautical charts from the family of the man who served as executive officer from 1942-43. Inspired by this remarkable collection, two MMA faculty members – Professor of Marine Transportation Peg Brandon and Adjunct Professor of Geography Betsy Reese – recognized that there were important untold stories about the Bowdoin’s wartime service. This exhibit collaboration between MMA and the Castine Historical Society provides an opportunity to tell these tales of the Bowdoin, her crew and the storied Greenland Patrol to a larger audience.

The exhibit highlights the Bowdoin’s time on the Greenland Patrol as well as her other voyages to the Arctic. Artifacts and memorabilia from Maine Maritime Academy, the Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum at Bowdoin College, and private collections will focus the visitor’s attention on the vessel’s history and the compelling stories of her officers and crew. Objects in the display include the original “ice-barrel” used as a lookout on the schooner’s foremast. Navigational tools and period charts, meticulous models of the Bowdoin, and interactive displays will also be featured.

Beginning Monday, June 25, the Castine Historical Society will be open seven days a week through Labor Day; 10am-4pm Mondays-Saturdays and 1-4pm Sundays. In addition to the seasonal exhibit, the Society offers a permanent exhibit on the Penobscot Expedition of 1779 and a gift shop at its location in the Abbott School on the town common in Castine. For more information on the Bowdoin exhibit and the full schedule of events for summer 2012, visit CHS online at, email or call 326-4118.