Category Archives: News

Bringing Mary E Home: Maine Maritime Museum to Acquire Historic Schooner

Bath, Maine, December 20, 2016 – At a December 15 meeting, the Maine Maritime Museum Board of Trustees approved the acquisition of the historic schooner Mary E, believed to be the oldest Bath-built wooden vessel still afloat. She is also the oldest fishing schooner built in the state of Maine that is still sailing.

mary-e-2(2) Mary E has been running cruises in Connecticut since 2006. Photo courtesy of Matt Culen.

“Since the museum’s board approved the acquisition of this historic vessel, word has spread quickly. So many people have commented about the incredible gift this will be for the state of Maine to return this beautiful schooner to the place where she was built. We could not be more excited to restore and preserve this beautiful and significant symbol of Maine’s past,” said Amy Lent, the museum’s executive director.

Built in Bath in 1906 by shipbuilder Thomas E. Hagan (in a shipyard located where Bath Iron Works stands today), and restored in Bath in 1965 by William R. Donnell II (on the grounds of what is now Maine Maritime Museum), Mary E is a two-masted clipper schooner with a sparred length of 73 feet. This is the last of 69 vessels built by Hagan and representative of the type of vessel that would have been seen all over the coast of Maine in the 1900s.

Mary E will be delivered to the museum in spring of 2017, and the restoration work started by her current owner, Matt Culen of Pelham, N.Y., will be completed on the museum’s campus, giving the public the opportunity to witness historic shipbuilding techniques first hand.

Following completion of the work, Mary E will be docked at the museum, serving as a historic vessel accessible to everyone. Mary E will also serve as the ambassador of Maine Maritime Museum and of Bath, the “City of Ships,” traveling to events up and down the coast.

“This is a vessel of remarkable importance, despite its modest size,” said Senior Curator Nathan Lipfert. “We have compiled a list of historic Maine vessels that are still extant, and there is nothing older, or better, that is available to us. I am very excited about Mary E becoming part of the historic collection of the museum, and I am looking forward to continuing research on her long history.”

The museum will soon be launching a major fundraising effort to support the restoration and continued preservation of Mary E.

mary-e-1(1) Mary E in 1965 during her restoration at the Donnell Shipyard property, now the campus of Maine Maritime Museum. Photo courtesy of Maine Maritime Museum.

About Maine Maritime Museum                                                                          

Maine Maritime Museum is an independent, nonprofit institution dedicated to promoting an understanding and appreciation of Maine’s maritime heritage through gallery exhibits, an historic shipyard, educational programs, a research library, and narrated excursions along area waterways.  Call (207) 443-1316 or visit www.MaineMaritimeMuseum.org for more information. 243 Washington Street, Bath, Maine, 04530.

Released by the Maine Maritime Museum, December 20, 2016.

Call for Papers: NASOH Annual Meeting

 Ventures into the Western Ocean: Global Maritime Communities, Commerce, and Conflicts

 North American Society for Oceanic History (NASOH)
National Maritime Historical Society (NMHS)
Society for the History of Navy Medicine (SHNM)

2017 Annual Conference
Charleston, South Carolina
May 15-17, 2017

“Ventures into the Western Ocean: Global Maritime Communities, Commerce, and Conflicts,” the 43rd Conference of the North American Society for Oceanic History, held jointly with the National Maritime Historical Society, will be held in Charleston, South Carolina, May 15-17, 2017.

With the international connection of the Atlantic Ocean as a backdrop, the 2017 Program Committee invites paper and session proposals that explore a wide range of maritime connections, cultural landscapes, or an interweaving of both to examine the meaning and processes of our maritime heritage. Suggested topic areas include cultural connections, race, gender, fisheries, archaeology, empire, military (especially the First World War), Law of the Sea and ocean management, maritime health, indigenous, environmental, and public history. Additional topics and geographic focuses are welcome for submission and the Program Committee will consider papers and sessions exploring all aspects of history and archaeology related to navigable saltwater and freshwater environments as well as to preserving and publicly interpreting the cultural artifacts of our maritime heritage. Papers from graduate students and junior scholars with fresh approaches to maritime history are greatly encouraged as are papers discussing the maritime realm from a non-American/non-European perspective.

Students may apply for a Chad Smith Travel Grant to assist in travel to present a paper at the conference. Additionally, the Clark G. Reynolds Student Paper Award is provided each year to the author of the best graduate student paper delivered at the society’s annual conference. Please see the awards section of the NASOH website for details.

The Program Committee welcomes the submission of individual papers and full sessions, preferring panels with three papers. Session and individual paper proposals should include: A) title, not to exceed 10 words; B) abstract, not to exceed 250 words; C) a 200-word bio for the presenter; D) contact information including phone number, address, affiliation, and email. Please submit this information as a single Word document, single-spaced, 12-point Times Roman font, and not as a PDF.

Accommodations for PowerPoint presentations will be provided; any other requirements, including audio-visual equipment, special outlets, or accommodations for disabilities should be included in the proposal. Please note that all participants must register for the conference.

The deadline for proposal submission is February 1, 2017. Please submit proposal packets electronically to the Program Committee: nasohpapers@gmail.com NASOH or NMHS members interested in serving as panel chairs should send an email to the Program Committee at the same address.

Maritime Heritage Grant Program Restored

Good News!

Language to amend the National Maritime Heritage Act was included in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2017 (the Defense bill) that was favorably voted on last week by the US House of Representatives (375 to 34).  Members of the House and Senate reached agreement on the bill last week after a summer of tough negotiating. The Senate will consider it next week. Once passed, the president is expected to sign the bill.

The maritime heritage grant program will be restored. Funding for the program was diverted by an amendment to the National Maritime Heritage Act in 2010, initiated by the US Maritime Administration. Advocacy by the maritime heritage community and the support of members of Congress resulted in that agency’s commitment of $7M to the grant program over the past few years.

split-rock-lighthouse-hero
The Minnesota Historical Society received a maritime heritage grant in 2015 to support the research and production of a Cultural Landscape Report for the Split Rock Light Station.
Photo Minnesota Historical Society.

The new legislation mandates that 18.75% of all ship scrapping proceeds will be committed to the maritime heritage grant program (my goal was 25%, so we have some more work to do).    The funds will be transferred to the Department of the Interior where the National Park Service will continue to administer the competitive grant program. The grants fund maritime heritage education and preservation projects.

Additional amendments to the Defense bill require greater transparency in the Maritime Administration’s ship scrapping operations, including timely reporting on the funds available, and the use of funds for the preservation and presentation to the public of the Maritime Administration’s maritime heritage property.

These changes are all beneficial to the maritime heritage grant program.

My thanks to all who have supported this effort.

Submitted by Tim Runyan, Chair, National Maritime Alliance, December 5, 2016

This Friday, December 2: 2017 CAMM Conference Call for Papers Deadline

The Call for Papers deadline for the 2017 CAMM conference is Friday, December 2, 2016. Please consider submitting a proposal on a topic of interest to your colleagues. Both individual and panel sessions will be considered. The Program Committee will make their decisions by December 16, 2016.

Please download and fill out the online-call, save, and email it to <paul.fontenoy@ncdcr.gov>.

Conference dates: April 19-21, 2017 San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park.   More information about the conference, including Rennie Travel Grants, is available on our website.

Balclutha and Hercules small

Courtesy of San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park

CAMM Welcomes New Administrator

CAMM President Greg Gorga is delighted to announce that Cathy Green has been selected to be CAMM’s new administrator.

cathygreenphotoCathy has spent the last 16 years working as a marine archaeologist, educator and program manager in state and federal government. Her most recent work centers on grant writing and grants administration with NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries in the Great Lakes Region as Program Manger for the Great Lakes Bay-Watershed Education and Training (B-WET) Program.

Her work in the maritime world over the past 20 years has intersected with maritime museums from the beginning – with one of her first post-college jobs at the Bermuda Maritime Museum to her East Carolina University MA thesis research at The Mariners’ Museum. She has taught maritime history and literature aboard several historic vessels for Long Island University’s SEAmester Program, visiting maritime institutions along the East and West Coasts, the Caribbean and Hawaii. Moreover, during her 13 years with NOAA, she has had the opportunity to work with CAMM members and organizations many times, as well as having attended several joint CAMM Conferences though her involvement in the North American Society for Oceanic History (NASOH).

She and her family recently moved to Wisconsin where she is looking forward to staying engaged with the maritime and museum communities through this new administration position with CAMM.

Candace Clifford has served as CAMM’s administrator since April 2013. She recently became the U.S. Lighthouse Society’s historian. Since the Society is a CAMM affiliate, she hopes to remain connected with CAMM in her new position. Candace has certainly enjoyed working with CAMM’s membership and hopes to see everyone at the 2017 meeting in San Francisco.

Cathy can be reached at the same CAMM Administrator email: maritimemuseums@gmail.com

Submitted by Cathy Green and Candace Clifford, November 11, 2016