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Demonstrations -


blacksmith Joe



Joe Meltreder returns this summer to demonstrate the tools and techniques of his trade each Wednesday and Sunday from 2-5 p.m. during July and August.   












Woodturning demonstrations will be featured again this summer in the Museum Barn at 112 Perkins Street.  Trustee Temple Blackwood, a local woodturner with four decades of commercial woodturning and teaching experience, will demonstrate his craft on Wednesdays and Sundays from 2-5 p.m. in July and August.










Linda FreimuthSpinning & Weaving

Linda Freimuth of Northern Bay Handspun will demonstrate the art of wool spinning in the Museum Barn at 112 Perkins Street.  Linda began dyeing and spinning full-time after teaching 7th and 8th grade at Penobscot Community School.  Her fiber profession is her passion and she will share it with Museum visitors every Wednesday from 2-5 p.m. in July and August.  She will also demonstrate on Sunday, July 8th and 22nd and August 5th and 19th.

Elise Earl is a spinner and weaver living in Castine who will demonstrate spinning on Sundays when Linda is unavailable.  Elise is also an accomplished weaver and, on occasion, will demonstrate weaving.  Elise began knitting at eight, weaving at nine and spinning and dyeing between college and graduate school.  Although primarily self-taught, she has attended many workshops as well as living and working with the last traditional spinner, dyer and handweaver of Harris tweed in the Outer Hebrides. 



























Exhibits -

-Special Exhibit-

Friendship: A Quilt and the Process to Create One

friendship quilt block
A friendship quilt from the Brooksville area will be the highlight of this exhibit.  The quilt is graced with signatures that may be the original recipient's friends and relatives or it may have been made by a group of friends to raise funds for a church or organization.  Inspired by this idea, we are going to create our own friendship quilt of our very best friends - our members!

Renew your membership or Join NOW
and sign our Friendship Quilt.

Exhibited along with the Brooksville quilt will be photos and biographical information on some of the signers as well as weekly work stations where we will be putting our quilt together.  When a docent is available, visitors are invited to try their hand at the activity of the week.

June 1-7       Vote for the pattern we should use to make our quilt.
June 8-14     See how we're cutting the pieces for the quilt.
June 15-21   Try sewing blocks on our treadle sewing machine.
June 22-28   Add your quilting stitches to the quilt.

Friends -- the more, the merrier!
















Special Exhibit 

Celebrating ALLIE RYAN’s Maritime Passion

Steamer J. T. MorseThe Castine Historical Society and the Wilson Museum have arranged a joint exhibit this summer entitled "Celebrating Allie Ryan's Maritime Passion" on display at the Wilson Museum.  This exhibit is comprised of 46 items from the Allie Ryan collection recently given to them by the Maine State Museum including four models of steamboats built by Captain James I. Stinson (1881-1965), a friend of Allie's and, himself, an avid collector.  The prize of the four models is the Steamer Castine.  The original steamboat, built in 1889 at the Barbour yard in Brewer was 71.1 feet long and enjoyed forty-six years of service in Penobscot Bay.  Another gem is a Currier and Ives print of the Steamboat Penobscot.  The design of its paddlewheel cover has been incorporated in the title of this special exhibit.

Allie Ryan (1904-1992), a native son of Crotch Island in Stonington grew up in a world dominated by the rhythms of time and tide, watching steamships plying the waters laden with freight and passengers.  His youthful fascination grew into a passion for collecting maritime artifacts and studying maritime history.  Self-educated, he became an expert on the subject of eastern steam shipping authoring numerous articles and with Down East Enterprise producing "Penobscot Bay, Mount Desert and Eastport Steamboat Album."  At his home in South Brooksville, Allie Ryan amassed an impressive collection - an eclectic mix of photographs, books, models, paintings, documents and artifacts acquired through his travels during World War II, at auctions, antique sales and building demolitions.  Allie generously shared both his collection and his expertise with museums and libraries.  He had an eye for items of significance, and his collection served as the basis for many museum exhibits.

In the mid-1970s Allie Ryan donated his collection to the Maine Maritime Academy in Castine.  The collection was later transferred to the Maine State Museum where it has been preserved for many years.  In addition to the items recently given to the Castine Historical Society and the Wilson Museum, selections were also given to the Penobscot Marine Museum in Searsport and the Maine Maritime Museum in Bath.  Appreciation is extended to the Maine State Museum for sharing a part of this incredible collection with the museum community and its visitors.


The Romantic Era: Understanding Friendship Quilts 

Lynne BassettInspired by a recently donated friendship quilt from the Brooksville area, the Wilson Museum has invited Lynne Bassett to give a lecture entitled The Romantic Era: Understanding Friendship Quilts at the Museum on  Tuesday, June 5th at 3 p.m.  The friendship quilt fashion was at its height between 1840 and 1865.  Lynne will describe the religious fervor, sentimentality, and social stresses of the era to provide an understanding of the significance of these quilts.  The Wilson Museum is creating its own friendship quilt with signatures from its membership, click here to become a member or renew your membership

Lynne Zacek Bassett is an independent museum consultant and author specializing in New England's historic costumes and textiles.  A former Curator of Textiles and Fine Arts at Old Sturbridge Village, Lynne now consults and lectures at historical societies and museums including the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art,; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Colonial Williamsburg, and the Winterthur Museum. 


Mystery Table Runner Workshop 

mystery runner Love mysteries and like to quilt?  Join the staff of the Wilson Museum in the Meeting Room at 112 Perkins Street on Tuesday, June 12th from 1 - 4 p.m., for a Mystery Table Runner Workshop.  The mystery story is in seven chapters and begins with a prologue including a list of squares and triangles to cut and bring to the workshop as well as a list of supplies and equipment needed.  Each succeeding chapter will offer clues and instructions for creating a table runner.  This project is small enough to complete in an afternoon, easy enough for beginners and mysterious enough for experienced quilters.  Cost for the workshop is $15 per person.  Call 207-326-9247 or email info@wilsonmuseum.org for more information or to sign up and receive the prologue and materials list.



Mariner's Compass Workshop 

mariner's compass blockTying together the Wilson Museum's featured summer exhibit Celebrating Allie Ryan's Maritime Passion with the Museum's June quilt theme, a Mariner's Compass, paper-piecing workshop will be held on Tuesday, June 19th from 1-5 p.m.  Deb Norton of A Straight Stitch Quilt and Sew Shop will lead a group of up to 10 quilters through the steps of paper piecing a section of a mariner's compass block in this intermediate class.  This design originated in the multi-pointed star used to illustrate the directions on a ship's compass.

Deb Norton began sewing at the age of 7 and graduated from the University of Maine at Farmington with a degree in Home Economics Education.  After teaching in both school and shop settings, Deb and her husband Jeff began A Straight Stitch Quilt and Sew Shop in their home in 2005.  It is now located at 46 Betton Street in Brewer.

Preregistration is required for the Mariner's Compass Workshop, as is purchasing a copy of Carol Doak's book "Mariner Compass Stars."  Cost for the workshop is $15 plus the cost of the book $28.95 plus tax.  Books will be available at the workshop.  For more information or to register, call 326-9247 or email info@wilsonmuseum.org


Discovery Days - Marine Art

ship portraitPort painting was a special type of marine art which was created in port cities around the world.  On Thursday, June 28th from 2 - 4 p.m. Penobscot Marine Museum educators will present a program exploring this style of ship painting where backgrounds were often painted in advance.  When a ship came into port, the artist then painted the ship onto the background and quickly had a finished product before the ship set sail again.  Families will experience this technique as they create their own works of art as "port painters."

Penobscot Marine Museum offers a variety of educational outreach programs designed to bring maritime history to children and families.  These programs include many topics and activities with an emphasis on hands-on learning.  PMM also offers a Maritime History and Literacy Curriculum to schools.

Discovery Days programs are designed for families with children ages 12 and under.  The cost for each program is $3 per person or $12 per family of four or more participating members.  Space is limited, so preregistration and prepayment are needed to ensure your place in this program.  Call 326-9247 or email info@wilsonmuseum.org.


Quilting Bee & Potluck Supper 

quilting beeThe Wilson Museum will conclude its June theme of friendship, membership and quilts with a quilting bee and potluck supper on Thursday, June 28th from 4-7 p.m. in the Main Hall at 120 Perkins Street.

To recap, the June theme was inspired by a friendship quilt with signatures of friends and relatives from the Brooksville area.  The Wilson Museum incorporated the idea of a friendship quilt into its spring membership campaign by inviting new and renewing members to sign a quilt square.  Since then, members and visitors to the Museum have enjoyed quilt related programming as well as an exhibit which included, not only the Brooksville quilt, but an interactive display inviting participants in choosing a pattern, piecing the squares and creating the Museum's membership quilt top.  It is this membership quilt that you are invited to help quilt on the 28th.  Once completed, the quilt will be used by the Education Department to illustrate the role friendship quilts have played in history.  To participate in the quilting bee and potluck supper, please call 207-326-9247 or email info@wilsonmuseum.org


Discovery Days - Build a Dory 

fishing doryDories were built and used for fishing in New England as early as the eighteenth century.  On Thursday, July 5th from 2 - 4 p.m. at the Wilson Museum, learn about the history of these flat-bottomed boats.  Participants will build their own model dory out of cardboard using a template designed by author, illustrator, and former boat-builder Sam Manning.  Cover the boat in tape, paint it and it's ready to launch! 

Discovery Days programs are designed for families with children ages 12 and under.  The cost for each program is $3 per person or $12 per family of four or more participating members.  Space is limited, so preregistration and prepayment are needed to ensure your place in this program.  Call 326-9247 or email info@wilsonmuseum.org.


New England Masts and the King's Broad Arrow

mast depotDuring the age of sail, New England pine trees were felled, limbed, and transported across land and sea to become masts for the English Royal Navy.  On Tuesday, July 10 at 3 p.m., Sam Manning will explore the history and process of the colonial New England mast trade.  This program will include a discussion of the "Broad Arrow," a symbol that marked American pines for exclusive use by England.  The lecture will be illustrated using sixteen of Sam's world-renown, meticulously detailed maritime drawings that he created for Maine Public Broadcasting Network's documentary "Home to the Sea."

Sam Manning is a former boatbuilder, author and illustrator.  His drawings have appeared in books, magazines and film, including "The Dory Book" by John Gardner, and Sam Manning's own publication "New England Masts and the King's Broad Arrow."  He currently lives in Camden, Maine with his wife Susan.


Fireside Cooking 

Ellenore Tarr fireside cookingAs you punch in the seconds on the microwave oven in your twenty-first century kitchen, have you ever wondered how our ancestors cooked in large open fireplaces and what kinds of foods they prepared?  The kitchen of the John Perkins House will be the venue for such wonder when fireside cooking is demonstrated on: July 11th, July 15th, August 8th, August 12th, and August 15th, from 2-5 p.m.   The John Perkins House is located at 120 Perkins Street in Castine and is part of the Wilson Museum campus.  Guided tours of the John Perkins House are $5 per person; visitors will enjoy some tasty morsels from the day's fare.

2008 fireside cooking







Discovery Days - "Burt Dow: Deep-Water Man"

Burt Dow coverHear Robert McCloskey's classic story "Burt Dow: Deep-Water Man" read by the author's daughter, Jane McCloskey on Thursday, July 12th.  She will bring to life the adventures of the down-east fisherman who was swallowed by a whale.  Following the story, participants will make models of Burt's dory garden as mentioned in the book.

Jane McCloskey has worn many hats throughout her life including house painter, Christmas wreath maker, environmentalist, and writer.  In 2011 she published "Robert McCloskey: A Private Life in Words and Pictures," a biography of her father and her family.  She currently lives in a house she built herself in Deer Isle, Maine. 

Discovery Days programs are designed for families with children ages 12 and under.  The cost for each program is $3 per person or $12 per family of four or more participating members.  Space is limited, so preregistration and prepayment are needed to ensure your place in this program.  Call 326-9247 or email info@wilsonmuseum.org.


Four Centuries of Style: The Domestic Architecture of New England

Caitlin CorkinsShelter may be a basic human need, but throughout history houses have taken many different shapes.  On Tuesday, July 17th at 3 p.m. discover some of these architectural styles during a presentation by Historic New England's Caitlin Corkins.  Throughout the program Caitlin will explore the history of domestic architecture in New England from first period colonials, through mid-century modern homes and the styles of the 20th century.  Following the lecture, participants will learn how some of these architectural styles relate to early British settlement in Castine as Caitlin leads a tour through the Museum's historic John Perkins House.  This program is offered free to the public through a Community Preservation grant that the Wilson Museum received from Historic New England.

Caitlin Corkins is the Stewardship Manager for Historic New England where she monitors approximately half of the organization's easements properties.  Caitlin holds an M.S. in Historic Preservation from the University of Vermont, a B.A. in History from Knox College, and a Certificate in Museum Studies from Tufts University.  She is currently a member of the Boston Preservation Alliance's Young Advisors Board and the University of Vermont's Historic Preservation Alumni Association Board.


Discovery Days - Dyce's Head 

Dyce's Head LightThe book Keep the Lights Burning Abbie, by Peter and Connie Roop is based on the true story of a Maine girl who maintained a lighthouse while her father was away.  On Thursday, July 19th, from 2-4 p.m. listen to this classic tale while you learn about lighthouses.  Following the reading, get a first-hand look at a lighthouse as we trek to Dyce's Head to tour the lighthouse tower.  The tour will be led by Castine Selectman Peter Vogell.

Discovery Days programs are designed for families with children ages 12 and under.  The cost for each program is $3 per person or $12 per family of four or more participating members.  Space is limited, so preregistration and prepayment are needed to ensure your place in this program.  Call 326-9247 or email info@wilsonmuseum.org.


Concert: Castine Town Band 

Castine Town Band drumThe picturesque grounds of the Wilson Museum on Perkins Street, on the shore of Castine Harbor, will be the location of an outdoor concert by the Castine Town Band, Friday, the 3rd of August, at 6 p.m. Bring a chair or blanket and enjoy this free concert!

In the late nineteenth century Castine's Town Band was a proud contributor to patriotic events and summer evening entertainments. Revived in 1998 by a group of like-minded musicians, the Band, by 2004, was recognized as one of the top four municipal bands in Maine. Membership in the Band is open to players of all ages and talent. It is a fine blend of locals, retirees and summer people who have one common interest - playing in the Town Band.

As an agent for connecting the past to the present, the Museum is proud to host the Castine Town Band.

In case of rain, concert will be at Emerson Hall, Court Street.


Discovery Days - This Old House 

timber-frame modelLearn about life at home in colonial New England on Thursday, July 26th from 2-4 p.m.  Participants will play an artifact matcing game to learn how people lived at home during the eighteenth century.  Following the game, they will visit the John Perkins House to help assemble the Museum's model timber-frame building which is a replica of the Perkins House ell and a common type of colonial New England architecture. 

Discovery Days programs are designed for families with children ages 12 and under.  The cost for each program is $3 per person or $12 per family of four or more participating members.  Space is limited, so preregistration and prepayment are needed to ensure your place in this program.  Call 326-9247 or email info@wilsonmuseum.org.


Discovery Days - Art in the Home 

silhouetteBefore cameras, how did people capture their images for friends and family?  By having portraits commissioned, of course!  On Thursday, August 2nd from 2-4 p.m., learn about eighteenth and ninetheenth century portraits and the people who created and commissioned them.  Finally, using what you've learned, create your own silhouette portraits. 

Discovery Days programs are designed for families with children ages 12 and under.  The cost for each program is $3 per person or $12 per family of four or more participating members.  Space is limited, so preregistration and prepayment are needed to ensure your place in this program.  Call 326-9247 or email info@wilsonmuseum.org.


Native Americans and America's Whaling Fleets

Dana Benner

Dana Benner

In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, massive whaling and fishing fleets originated out of New England waters.  Who better to serve on these ships than New England Native Americans whose ancestors plied these waters for centuries before the arrival of Europeans.  On Tuesday, August 7th at 3 p.m. Dana Benner will explore the lives of these Native American whalers, including their duties, living arrangements, and hardships at sea.

Dana Benner has been writing and lecturing about Native American history for over 20 years.  He holds a B.A. in Liberal Arts from Granite State College and is working on his Masters in Heritage Studies at Plymouth State University.  Dana is of Penobscot/Piqwacket and Micmac descent and, while he lives in New Hampshire, his family originates from Maine.


Discovery Days - Revolution Down-east

In 1779 the British occupied Castine dividing the town's loyalties.  On Thursday, August 9th from 2-4 p.m., learn about this important event through a variety of fun and educational activities.  First, enjoy a brief tour of the Museum's Revolutionary War artifacts and learn what residents had to gain, or lose, by choosing one side over the other.  Using what you've learned, determine which side you would be loyal to if you lived in Castine during the occupation, and make your own papier-mache powder horn.

Discovery Days programs are designed for families with children ages 12 and under.  The cost for each program is $3 per person or $12 per family of four or more participating members.  Space is limited, so preregistration and prepayment are needed to ensure your place in this program.  Call 326-9247 or email info@wilsonmuseum.org.


Discovery Days - Pastimes from Times Past 

whirligig pastimeIt's the end of the Discovery Days program series and we'd like to thank you for making it a success!  On Thursday, August 16th from 2-4 p.m. visit the Wilson Museum for the presentation Pastimes from Times Past.  During this program participate in games and activities that were popular at home in the eighteenth century, such as blindman's bluff.  Then beat the summer heat as you make a rare late 1700s treat - ice cream!  Who knew history could be so fun and refreshing?

Discovery Days programs are designed for families with children ages 12 and under.  In appreciation for spending your summer with the Wilson Museum, the Pastimes from Times Past program will be offered free of charge.  Whether you've been to all of the Discovery Days programs, or this is your first, we want you here.  Call 326-9247 or email info@wilsonmuseum.org to ensure your place at this fun event. 


The Ice Age Geology of Coastal Maine 

Woodrow ThompsonIce Age glaciers played a mojor role in shaping Maine's landscape. On August 23rd at 3 p.m. Woodrow "Woody" Thompson of the Maine Geological Survey will describe the remarkable circumstances accompanying the retreat of the last great ice sheet. This retreat caused changes in sea level resulting in the ocean covering much of southern Maine. These events left a rich legacy of natural resources, as well as impacting how we use the land. Woody will present the results of his recent geologic mapping in midcoast Maine which will include his ongoing work in the Searsport and Castine areas.

Woodrow Thompson has been with the Maine Geological Survey since 1975. He teaches geology courses and has collaborated on numerous research projects with the University of Maine, including development of the Ice Age Trail in Hancock and Washington Counties. He has published extensively on the glacial geology of Maine and the White Mountains and most recently has been mapping the midcoast region from Damariscotta to Penobscot Bay.


Canoe Indians of Down East Maine 

Canoe Indians book coverIn 1604, when Frenchmen landed on Saint Croix Island, they were far from the first people to walk along its hores. For thousands of year, Etchemins - whose descendants were members of the Wabanaki Confederacy - had lived , loved and labored in Down East Maine. Bound together with neighboring people, all of whom relied heavily on canoes for transportation, trade and survival, each group still maintained its own unique culture and customs. After the French arrived, they faced unspeakable hardships, from "the Great Dying," when disease killed up to 90 percent of coastal populations, to centuries of discrimination. Yet, they never abandoned Ketakamigwa, their homeland. Anthropologist William Haviland will relate the history of hardship and survival endured by the natives of the Down East coast in a talk and booksigning at the Wilson Museum, 120 Perkins Street in Castine on Tuesday, August 28th at 3 p.m.

Dr. William A. Haviland is professor emeritus at the University of Vermont, where he founded the Department of Anthropology and taught for thirty-five years. He has authored many books including his latest "Canoe Indians of Down East Maine," which will be on sale at the August 28th signing event. Now retired from teaching, Haviland continues his research, writing and lecturing from the coast of Maine. In addition, he has served as president of the Island Heritage Trust on Deer Isle and presently serves on the boards of the Deer Isle - Stonington Historical Society and the Abbe Museum in Bar Harbor. 


Storyteller Michael Parent 

storyteller Michael ParentStories can transport you to different times and places; they can make you laugh or shed a tear; and they can draw entire communities together. Beginning this September, some of the best storytellers in the country will bring these experiences to Castine during a year-long storytelling extravaganza. These events are co-sponsored by the Wilson Museum and the Witherle Library in collaboration with the Adams School. The extravaganza will kick off with three days of school and public performances by professional storyteller Michael Parent. 

Adams School and Home School Performances
During his visit to Castine, Michael Parent will work closely with Adams School and home school students. On Tuesday, September 25th, he will introduce students to the art of storytelling with an assortment of songs and tales. On Wednesday, September 26th, grades 3-8 will create their own stories during two-hour workshops. The following day, interested students will perform their stories for the school. Home school parents should contact Adams School at 207-326-8608 or info@adamsschool.com for times and venues.

Tuesday, September 25 (6-7 p.m.)
Unitarian Universalist Church Parish House

Drawing from his Franco-American heritage, Michael wil tell stories and sing songs guaranteed to entertain all ages.

Wednesday, September 26 (5:30-8 p.m.)
Friends of the Witherle Library at Manor Inn

The Friends' Annual Meeting with include an evening of food and entertainment. At 7:30 p.m., Michael Parent will perform songs and stories, and will share experiences from his recent Adams School workshops. Call the Manor Inn at 207-326-4861 for dinner reservations or Harry Kaiserian at 207-326-9309 for more information.

Thursday, September 27 (10:30 a.m.)
Witherle Memorial Library
Michael Parent will visit the library for a very special children's story time.

Thursday, September 27 (6-8 p.m.)
Wilson Museum

Michael Parent invites adults to the Wilson Museum for a storytelling workshop. Whether you are a storyteller who wants to improve and expand your craft, or someone interested in developing readable and tell-able tales, Michael will impart his thirty-five years of experience. The workshop will focus on public speaking and self presentation.

Since 1977 Michael Parent has performed as a storyteller and singer throughout the United States, and in France, England, Ireland, Poland, and New Zealand. He received the National Storytelling Network's "Circle of Excellence" Award in 1999, and was a keynote speaker at the 2001 National Storytelling Conference in Providence, RI. For more information on any of these programs contact the Wilson Museum at 207-326-9247 or info@wilsonmuseum.org.


Remembering Allie Ryan and the Age of Steam 

Brooklin waterfront 

This photograph of the Brooklin waterfront is part
of the Allie Ryan exhibit. We would love to start a discussion about the various buildings and 
how the waterfront has changed over time.

On Sunday, September 30th at 3 p.m., the Wilson Museum will offer an afternoon of stories and remembrances of Allie Ryan (1904-1992) as the culmination of the Wilson Museum's summer season and the exhibit Celebrating Allie Ryan's Maritime Passion, a collaboration with the Castine Historical Society of objects originally from Allie Ryan's collection. Though interested in all things maritime, Allie was especially fond of steamships and the era when they plied Maine's coastal waters. A panel of friends and acquaintances will share their stories of Allie and his collection, while the audience will be invited to join in with their own stories of Allie and times gone by. Whether you knew Allie or not, it's sure to be an interesting program as Allie Ryan was an extraordinary character, and the age of steam was a fascinating period of time.


Prologue to Reader's Theatre: Performance & Discussion

story squirrelInternationally renowned Reader's Theatre expert Iz Crain, former co-director of the Reader's Theatre Institute based in San Diego, presents "Prologue to Reader's Theatre," a story performed by six local homeschoolers (with a bit of help from a couple of younger siblings) on October 4th at 3 p.m. 

Reader's Theatre, the creative performance of literature from a script, is not just a fun way to perform stories without all the props and scenery required for a play; it's also a great way to provide meaningful reading practice and a sharpening of the imagination. Come and watch the show, and see what this is all about.

A discussion with Ms Crain will follow the performance for parents, teachers and children to ask questions or receive pointers in creating scripts of their own.








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Open: May 27 – September 30
Weekdays 10 am — 5 pm, Saturday & Sunday 2 — 5 pm
John Perkins House BulletBlacksmith Shop
July – August, Wednesday & Sunday, 2 – 5 pm
Group visits can be arranged by appointment.
(207) 326-9247   info@wilsonmuseum.org

Admission is free, except for the John Perkins House, where there are guided tours.
A non-profit organization, tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) IRS Code
120 Perkins Street, PO Box 196, Castine Maine 04421
(207) 326-9247    info@wilsonmuseum.org