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Bangor Savings Bank

Thank You!

Bangor Savings Bank for supporting the Wilson Museum's 100th Anniversary summer season.


The Wilson Museum is celebrating its 100th Anniversary this year


The Wilson Museum board and staff are very excited to celebrate the museum’s 100th anniversary with a variety of special programs throughout 2021.

See immediately below for a snapshot of special events honoring the 100th anniversary. Click event titles for details.

Snapshot: Special Events Honoring 100th Anniversary



Additional events will be added as time draws closer

Click the highlighted title for more details.
Programs are free unless otherwise noted in the details.
(207) 326-9247 or info@wilsonmusuem.org

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Arthur Wilson painting


Wilson Family:
A Window into the Past

Along with a majority of the collections that make up the Wilson Museum, we are fortunate to have a more personal collection of artwork done by family members as well as toys, clothing, and recreation items. This year, enjoy a more personal look at this collecting family. 





Weds. & Suns.
July & August
2-5 p.m.

Blacksmithing - guest blacksmiths
The Village Blacksmith, Perkins Street 

Weds. & Suns.
July & August 
2-5 p.m.

Woodturning - Temple Blackwood, Highlands Woodturning 
Woodshop, Perkins Street




 Friday, April 9

7 p.m.

The Wilson Museum is celebrating its 100th Anniversary this year


Family photo

Help celebrate the Wilson Museum’s 100th Anniversary by joining us in a virtual kick-off especially planned to be on Dr. John Howard Wilson’s birthday anniversary (born April 9, 1871 – yes, 150 years ago!). This virtual event will begin via Zoom at 7 p.m. with an introduction of upcoming events and a drawing for a tote bag filled with gifts from the Wilson Museum community (books, gift certificates, homemade crabapple jelly… and more!).

Snippets from the Wilson Family’s Home Movies
Guests will be invited to view a selection of early film taken by the Wilson Family between the mid-1930s and the mid-1940s. This footage has been extracted from the collection and reassembled to feature some members of the family, a few of their friends, and the local area of which Dr. Wilson and his wife Georgia were so very fond. A special treat will be seeing a glimpse of Georgia Wilson, daughter Ellenore, and their friend Anita Harris of Holbrook Island. You won’t want to miss it!

Guests are encouraged to prepare their favorite drink to toast the 100th Anniversary and a piece of birthday cake (or popcorn) to enjoy during the film.

Registration is free and required by April 7. Email the Wilson Museum staff at info@wilsonmuseum.org to register, subject line: “Kick-off Registration.”

Participants must be present on Zoom to win the raffle prize.



 Tuesday, May 11

10 a.m. – noon


Victory Gardens poster

Imagine getting a recipe with listed ingredients but no instructions. Sounds odd, right? Well, it was commonplace in the early twentieth century when time and temperature were fickle measures when cooking with a wood stove. Join us as we return to the kitchens and vegetable gardens of the 1940s and beyond with an illustrated presentation on Victory Gardens by Lisa Lutts.

Presenter Profile:
Lisa Simpson Lutts’s interest in Victory Gardens began when her sister-in-law gave her a handwritten cookbook from the early twentieth century that had descended in the family. The gift started Lisa on a path to collecting cookbooks dating from 1900 to 1950. Her collection included rationing cookbooks printed as pamphlets during the Second World War. The pamphlets confirmed the limited resources available in American kitchens at that time. Thus, Lisa’s interest in Victory Gardens was born… not through gardening but through cooking and food history.

Sign-up and Reserve Your Spot! In-person space is limited. Reserve a spot or register to attend virtually by Friday, May 7 by contacting Gail Winkler of the Castine Garden Club at (215) 925-8367 or winkler@winklerandmoss.com. Please know that in-person reservations are on a first-come, first-serve basis so be sure to reserve your spot soon! A waiting list will be used as necessary.

Program will be held on Zoom and inside the Hutchins Education Center of the museum campus.

Program cosponsored by the Castine Garden Club and the Wilson Museum.


 Thursday, May 27

10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

The Wilson Museum is celebrating its 100th Anniversary this year


Be the first to experience this year’s special, seasonal exhibits and new scavenger hunts by visiting the Museum on opening day! The exhibit Wilson Family: A Window into the Past honors the Wilson family while The Schooner Bowdoin Turns 100 celebrates Maine Maritime Academy’s arctic schooner - the official state vessel of Maine.

The Museum will remain open every day through September 30 – Weekdays (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.); Weekends (2 to 5 p.m.).

Front door of the Wilson Museum



Sunday, June 20

5 - 7 p.m.

The Wilson Museum is celebrating its 100th Anniversary this year


1920s Speakeasy

Break out the beaded jewelry, feathers, and bowties because we are going back to the 1920s to celebrate the founding of the Wilson Museum on this day 100 years ago. Enjoy delicious food prepared by the Tarr family and “speakeasy” antics at the bar with Mark and Kelly Sawyer of MarKel’s Bakehouse. In addition to the frolic and fun, guests will have a first-hand look at the newly updated booklet on the Wilson Museum. Not yet a member? Register on our membership page, or call the main office (326-9247), for the membership level that’s right for you: students ($15), individuals ($25), families ($40), and life members ($500).


 Wednesday, June 23

2 – 3 p.m.


Presented by Donald Small

Donald Small

Join Castine resident and author Don Small for an exclusive reading of unpublished works by George Augustus Wheeler – author of History of Castine: The Battle Line of Four Nations and the great, great grandfather of Don’s wife Shelley Bartlett Small. Through a selection of stories, get a glimpse into George’s life as a medical doctor and resident of Castine in the period 1870 to 1923. Attendees will have fun imagining a Castine of days gone by as they hear about George’s move from Old Town with his family, his view of the town, descriptions of several citizens – some of whom will be familiar names to those acquainted with the history of our town, and several stories of unusual happenings.

The hand-written papers were from the Bartlett House on Perkins Street, the home of Louise Wheeler Bartlett (daughter of Dr. Wheeler and great grandmother to Shelley).

Copies of the 1923 History of Castine: The Battle Line of Four Nations by George A. Wheeler can be found in the Museum Store online and in person.


 Friday, June 25

6 – 7 p.m.


Award-Winning Early Birds Combo & Jazz Immunity Combo

jazz image

Enjoy an evening of jazz with the award-winning Early Birds Combo and the Jazz Immunity Combo of George Stevens Academy when they perform contemporary jazz pieces as well as throwbacks to the 1920s and 1930s along the shore of Penobscot Bay.

Those familiar with Castine may enjoy seeing some familiar faces – Nora Spratt playing trombone, Will MacArthur playing trumpet, and Morgan Davis playing piano. Each combo will play a 45-minute set.

Recently, in the 2021 National Jazz Festival, George Stevens Academy’s Jazz Immunity Combo placed first in the S-2 “Live” division and the Early Birds Jazz Combo placed second in the S-2 “Live” division.

Please bring a camp chair.

Event is free of charge.

GSA 2021-2022 Jazz Combo



Saturday, July 3

Noon - 5 p.m.

The Wilson Museum is celebrating its 100th Anniversary this year
Open House at the Wilson Museum


Featuring Announcement of New Executive Director

Stop by the Wilson Museum campus this Independence Day Weekend for some homemade vanilla ice cream, live music, and the announcement of the incoming executive director on Saturday, July 3. Ice cream will be served with strawberries and blueberries starting at noon until it’s gone, so be sure to come early! Plan to stay and listen to an eclectic mix of music (anything from old time jazz favorites to originals, some blues, and perhaps even reggae-based originals) performed by Castine’s New Shades of Blue. Then, at 1:30 p.m., be of the first to know and meet the new incoming executive director for the Wilson Museum. The selected candidate will begin their role as director in September after the retirement of the current director, Patty Hutchins. The fun will continue as The Leftovers, East Blue Hill’s premiere semi-unprofessional musical ensemble, perform live music from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Activities will be based out of the Hutchins Education Center.

Additionally, throughout the afternoon (from noon to 5 p.m.), visitors can enjoy doing scavenger hunts in the museum, testing out tools in the Perkins Gallery, and viewing the demonstration spaces on campus in advance of the blacksmithing and woodturning demonstrations beginning the following afternoon – Sunday, July 4 (2 to 5 p.m.).

Community: Museum staff encourages those interested to visit the Witherle Memorial Library between 4 and 5:30 p.m. for a community tea honoring the retirement of Anne Romans.



Sunday, July 4

2 - 5 p.m.


Offered Sundays and Wednesdays in July and August

While woodturning and blacksmithing demonstrations will continue, The Village Blacksmith will look different this year due to the passing of our longtime friend and blacksmith, Joe Meltreder, this past December. For years, Joe enriched the lives of the museum staff and visitors with his contagious smile, sense of humor, and blacksmithing talent.

Visitors and staff alike will remember and honor Joe’s impact on and contributions to the museum community with the continuation of blacksmithing demonstrations by a variety of guest smiths. Some of these smiths worked for us when Hoyt Hutchins first built our smithy and we are excited to have them back for a day or two: George Brace from the Ricker Blacksmith Shop in Cherryfield and Peter Ross who later worked at Williamsburg. These talented men will be joined by others in the local area. More information will be available as the summer plans unfold.

Blacksmith Joe Meltreder at work



Wednesday, July 21

12 - 3 p.m.


Horseless Carriage Club of America

As the Wilson Museum celebrates turning 100, come check out cars that are even older! Feast your eyes on beautifully restored antique motorcars manufactured before 1916, beauties like the Model T, when the Horseless Carriage Club of America visits the Wilson Museum campus.

The Horseless Carriage Club of America (HCCA) is an International Club that was established in 1937, and is dedicated to preserving and enjoying vehicles that represent the beginning of the automobile industry by focusing on pre-1916 automobiles. The club is dedicated to the preservation, conservation, and the touring of vehicles of ancient age, and strives to be the source of accurate technical and historical information about these special vehicles for the benefit of members and the public at large. HCCA has Regional Clubs across the United States as well as in Canada and Australia.

The display is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Wilson Museum at 326-9247 or info@wilsonmuseum.org.

Horseless Carriage Club of America


Monday, July 26 – Thursday, August 5

Museum Hours

The Wilson Museum is celebrating its 100th Anniversary this year


Honoring Past Wilson Family Artists

As part of the Wilson Museum’s 100th Anniversary, the exhibit Collecting Castine returns. In previous years Collecting Castine has been held as a one-night exhibit and fundraiser, it returns this year in a new format. The exhibit will be shown from July 26 through August 5 in the Hutchins Education Center and features original artwork created by living artists either from Castine or with a long association to Castine. One of the exciting hallmarks of Collecting Castine is that the Wilson Museum will acquire one of the pieces in the show for the Museum’s Collection. Voting for the People’s Choice will be in-person through Monday, August 2, and the selection will be announced on the Museum’s Facebook and Instagram that evening (6 p.m.)

The exhibit can also be viewed online. Immediately following the announcement of the People’s Choice, the other artwork in the show will be available via this online auction platform with bidding open until Thursday, August 5 (6 p.m.).

This year, in honor of the Wilson Museum’s 100th Anniversary, Collecting Castine is dedicated to past artists within the Wilson family. As an artistic family, they began the legacy of the Museum’s art collection, which is continued to this day with programs like Collecting Castine. Artwork by members of our founding family will be on exhibit through September in the Wilson Museum’s Main Hall.

The Museum encourages visitors to also take the opportunity to visit galleries and artist studios around town and to support the vibrant art community of Castine.

View the Exhibit
July 26 - August 5
(Weekdays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Weekends 2 to 5 p.m.)
Also viewable online.

Vote for the People's Choice
July 26 - August 2
Voting will happen in-person during exhibit hours.

  • An Individual Membership to the Museum allows for one vote
  • A Family Membership to the Museum allows for two votes
  • Purchase of an Exhibit Catalogue by a Museum guest allows for one vote

The People’s Choice is Announced
August 2 (6 p.m.)

Online Auction
August 2 (6 p.m.) - August 5 (6 p.m.)

Collecting Castine artwork


Friday, July 30

10:30 a.m.


Speaker Professor Liam Riordan

Liam Riordan

Many members of the Wilson Family will be joining us this weekend to participate in the summer-long centennial celebration. At their request, we have invited Professor Liam Riordan from the University of Maine to give a presentation on the Penobscot Expedition. Why did they ask for this topic to be presented? Well, a good portion of this engagement was situated on Nautilus Island – the island which was owned by the Wilsons for 100 years. Dr. Liam Riordan is a leading expert on this period of time and on the battle between the British and the Americans – considered by some as the worst naval disaster until Pearl Harbor. Join the family to hear this presentation and then take the walking tour led by the Castine Historical Society to see some of the relevant historic sites.

Presenter Profile:
Liam Riordan, Ph.D., is an early American historian specializing in the Revolutionary era (ca. 1760-1830), and has been a faculty member at the University of Maine since 1997. He has done considerable Public History work to commemorate the bicentennial of the state of Maine in 2019-2020, and helps organize the annual Maine National History Day contest for grade 6-12 students.

Dr. Riordan’s current book project is a comparative biography of five loyalists who lived all across the British Atlantic World. While a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Glasgow in 2012, he began research about what Glasgow merchants did after the Revolution destroyed their dominant role in the lucrative Chesapeake tobacco trade. Liam received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.



Friday, July 30

1 p.m.


Led by Castine Historical Society

Walking Tour

Learn more about the Penobscot Expedition in a walking tour of Castine’s historic sites relative to this engagement, offered in partnership with the Castine Historical Society. Before joining the tour, visit the Wilson Museum in the morning for a related presentation by history professor Liam Riordan.



Friday, July 30

6 p.m.


Free Outdoor Concert

Come enjoy a free outdoor concert along the picturesque shore of Castine Harbor when the Castine Town Band performs on the Wilson Museum’s shore lot. Please bring your own chair and/or blanket.

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, by 2004, the Band 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 a common interest - playing in the Town Band.

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

Castine Town Band


Saturday, July 31

4 p.m.

Outdoor Cooking


Have you ever seen a bean-hole? Stop by the museum’s shore lot (beside the John and Phebe Perkins House) to learn more about cooking in a bean-hole as Patty Hutchins prepares beans to bake overnight.




Sunday, August 1

4 – 5:30 p.m.

The Wilson Museum is celebrating its 100th Anniversary this year


Stop by the Wilson Museum to meet members of the Wilson family and gain an historical perspective of the Wilson Museum as you hear from guest presenters about American science between 1890 and 1920 and the role of natural history museums during the last century in science and education.


4:00 p.m.

Introduction: John Howard Wilson, A Gentleman Scientist, and His Museum

Introduction by Dr. Alan N. Schechter


4:15 p.m. –


Speaker Dr. Franklin Portugal
The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC

Dr. Franklin Portugal will give a presentation on the state of American science between 1890 and 1920 during the time when the Museum’s founder Dr. J. Howard Wilson was actively collecting and how that period contributed to the later professionalization of science with the formation of the Rockefeller and Carnegie Institutes in the early 20th century.

Presenter Profile:
Frank Portugal, PhD is currently Clinical Associate Professor of Biology at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. and is working on a book about the rise of basic science in the United States from the 18th century through the first half of the 20th century. Two books by Dr. Portugal on the history of science have been published as well as a biography of Marshall Nirenberg, a Nobel Prize winner.

Dr. Frank Portugal received his undergraduate degree in pharmaceutical sciences from Columbia University and his Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Illinois. He did his postdoctoral work in Dr. Nirenberg’s laboratory, at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, on the pioneering work that elucidated the nature of the genetic code – of fundamental importance to modern molecular biology and molecular medicine. He then continued as a staff scientist at the National Institutes of Health.


4:45 p.m.


Speaker Dr. Alan N. Schechter
National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD

Dr. Alan Schechter will discuss the role of natural history museums during the last century in science education and their roles in the future.

Presenter Profile:
Dr. Alan N. Schechter received his A.B. degree in 1959 from Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. and his graduate education at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, in New York, N.Y., from which he received the M.D. degree in 1963. After two years of clinical training in internal medicine at the Albert Einstein Medical College hospitals in New York City he went to the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, M.D., in 1965 as a Research Associate. During the decade from 1965 to 1975 Schechter developed with Dr. Anfinsen several new approaches to the study of the mechanism by which proteins attain their biologically active conformation.

Since the mid-1970s Dr. Schechter's main scientific interest has been fundamental and clinical research related to developing treatments for the genetic diseases of hemoglobin. He is currently the Chief of the Molecular Medicine Branch of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases at the National Institutes of Health and a member of many professional societies. He has served on multiple national and international committees and the editorial boards of several scientific journals.



Friday, August 13

2 p.m.


Ellenore Wilson

Join us for Tea with Ellenore as storyteller Johanna Sweet, portraying herself as Ellenore’s friend, will share intimate moments with this remarkable woman whose life as the daughter of John Howard Wilson enabled her to participate as a child in her father’s archaeological expeditions, whose young adulthood met with love and tragedy, and whose devotion to her beloved Nautilus Island and the Castine community enriched the world well beyond local borders.

Tea and a variety of delicious sweet treats will be served, the linen tablecloths, fine china and silver all recalling the style and ambiance of a bygone era.

Space is limited so please call ahead for reservations.

Presenter Profile:
Castine resident Johanna Sweet is an avid storyteller and writer. Anyone who has experienced a performance by Johanna can attest to her ability to captivate her audience. She shares her love of writing and literature through teaching, most recently at Maine Maritime Academy and previously with high school and middle school students in New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

In the fall of 2020, Johanna published her first children’s book, Corona Island, which won a 2020 Moonbeam Children’s Book Award. Her work has been published in a variety of publications including the book From Home & Away: Castine Voices, a volume of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, art work, and photography self-published by her writers’ group in 2019.


Tuesday, August 17

7 p.m.


Ship lovers and history lovers alike will delight in learning about Maine’s first ship, the Virginia, and the ongoing construction of a Virginia replica through a dynamic presentation by designer David Wyman and rigging expert James Nelson. Come hear insightful stories shared by David and James about the design and construction of the 51-foot-long replica heavily built of white oak and it’s unique rigging not seen on this coast for hundreds of years.

The original Virginia was built at Maine’s Popham Colony at the mouth of the Kennebec River in the early 1600s. Today, a group of volunteers are nearing completion of a reconstruction of the Virginia on the waterfront in Bath, Maine, with launching scheduled for the summer of 2022.

Presenter Profiles:
James L. Nelson is the award-winning author of more than twenty-five works of maritime fiction and history. His books cover the gamut from Vikings to piracy in Colonial America, the naval action of the American Revolution, and the Civil War. He has lectured all over the country and appeared on the Discovery Channel, History Channel, and BookTV. He currently lives in Harpswell with his former shipmate, now wife, Lisa and one of their four children. Learn more about James and his publications online at www.jameslnelson.com.

David Wyman is a naval architect living and working in Castine. He has designed and surveyed a large variety of vessels over his career including the Virginia. David is also a trustee of the Wilson Museum.


Tuesday, August 24

3 to 4:30 p.m.


Bennett Konesni

Looking for ways to liven up your garden, kitchen, or rowboat? Be sure to join us for an interactive and engaging workshop on work songs - from sea shanties to field hollers and lumbering songs - with Bennett Konesni as he shares work songs that are “fun and a little weird and ragged” to help everyone get more done and enjoy doing it. Do you have wood to stack, dishes to wash, floors to sweep, weeds to pull? You’ll come away from this workshop with songs that will help get the job done. Maybe you just enjoy raising a joyful noise with others using a simple call and response format? This workshop is also for you, and do bring a friend! Note: This program is followed by an evening concert rich with sounds of sea shanties.

Presenter Profile:
Bennett is a singing farmer, rower, jogger, designer, administrator, dreamer – and world traveler. From 2005-2006 with a TJ Watson Fellowship, Bennett studied musical labor in over a dozen countries, including musical fishing in Ghana and Holland; Singing Farmers in Tanzania; and Livestock songs in Mongolia, Switzerland and Sweden. He has also traveled to Mongolia and Ukraine as a cultural ambassador of the United States State Department to share traditional American music, including work songs, and to Durban, South Africa, to study abroad where he learned about the Zulu tradition "Ilimo," a community work/music party. Over the past decade Bennett has taught dozens of workshops each year at festivals, conferences, on farms and on boats, all around the world.

To see more about Bennett and his Worksong Project, visit www.worksongs.org


Tuesday, August 24

7 to 8:30 p.m.


Following an afternoon workshop on sea shanties and other work songs, join Bennett Konesni for an educational and entertaining concert exploring the cultural roots of sea shanties through the songs of Maine’s Colcord Collection: one of the world’s premier sea shanty collections. Joanna Colcord of Searsport, Maine collected dozens of songs on board her family’s ships as they sailed from Searsport to Singapore and they represent one of the largest intact collections of traditional Maine music, and reflect the multicultural nature of shipboard life in the 1800s.

Presenter Profile:
Bennett has been singing since he was a teenager working on schooners in Penobscot Bay in Maine. In the summer of 2000, Bennett’s crew aboard the J&E Riggin won the schooner bum talent show with a rowdy version of the sea shanty classic "blow the man down." His curiosity about work songs became more serious when he began working on Organic farms in 2001 where he was encouraged to lead shanties while weeding beans with the crew.

Today, Bennett is recognized as a leading practitioner of the art of singing while working. He is founder of The Worksong Project, whose mission is to create a world where people sing boldly while getting work done. He runs a The Mighty Community Chorus in Belfast, Maine, where participants sing while rowing, farming, jogging, and doing handwork such as knitting or oiling tools. He is based out of Midcoast Maine where he grew up and also at Sylvester Manor Educational Farm on Shelter Island, NY.

Bennett Konesni


Sunday, August 29

12:00 to 5 p.m.


A Retirement Party
The public is invited by the Wilson Museum Board and Staff to honor the retirement of Patty after nearly 50 years of dedication to the Wilson Museum. Plan to arrive at this "laid-back" picnic party at noon to see Patty, Sherm, and Staff in action at the bake-oven and the bean-hole, to socialize, and to sample scrumptious dishes provided by the Museum Board and Staff.

Following the picnic, the Board of Trustees is excited to formally announce the establishment of the Patricia L. Hutchins Endowed Internship Fund, and specially recognize the donors. Appreciation will also be extended to those who have helped to make this a very special 100th Anniversary year.

Continue to enjoy the Museum campus at 2:30 p.m. with a dynamic display of demonstrations including pottery throwing, weaving, blacksmithing, woodturning, and more!

Event Schedule
12:00 to 1:45 p.m. Picnic
Picnic with bean-hole beans, bake-oven bread, hand-cranked ice cream, cake, and more!
1:45 to 2:30 p.m. Acknowledgements
Acknowledgements including Patricia L. Hutchins Endowed Internship Fund Donor Recognition
2:30 to 5:00 p.m. Demonstrations
A dynamic display of interactive demonstrations featuring blacksmithing, woodturning, weaving, pottery throwing, and more!

Patty’s Involvement with the Wilson Museum
Patty's involvement with the Wilson Museum began in 1974 as a volunteer under the direction of Ellenore Wilson Doudiet, daughter of the Museum founder. A year later, in preparation for the country's bicentennial, she was hired to prepare the John and Phebe Perkins House for guided tours, making costumes for the guides, and learning and demonstrating various living-history skills. Over the next ten years, Patty oversaw the guides each summer and continued to demonstrate colonial living skills. She became the full-time Curator in 1985 and, in 2004, the Executive Director.

During her tenure as Director, Patty has overseen the redesign and expansion of the Museum to become a more campus-like experience for the visitor. As the Museum has grown, Patty has created programs, curated exhibits, managed collections, researched items in the Museum’s collection, and overseen a growing Staff. In recent years, Patty has led Maja Trivia, a popular Jeopardy-style quiz game focusing on the history of local and Majabigwaduce - now the towns of Brooksville, Castine, and Penobscot. This game has been taken into the schools for grades five through eight for several years, each year culminating with a final competition on the Museum campus. Patty has continued to engage visitors through demonstrations of fireside and outdoor cooking and the leading of Perkins House tours – bringing the spaces, tools, and practices of the past to life.

Patty churning ice cream




Two centennials are better than one! Not only does 2021 mark the 100th anniversary of the Wilson Museum but also that of Maine Maritime Academy’s arctic schooner Bowdoin. Stay tuned for exciting programs in September celebrating Bowdoin, Maine’s official state vessel.

Schooner Bowdoin


Wednesday, September 15

4 p.m.


A Man and His Boat

Come be inspired with a sense of adventure as you “meet” Arctic explorer Donald MacMillan through readings of his life and voyages and through personal memories shared by Don Small who attended a presentation by MacMillan as a youngster. Become acquainted with MacMillan’s beloved schooner, Bowdoin, through a presentation given by naval architect David Wyman on the vessel’s unique design and adventurous purpose.


Photo Credit: Lisa Burton of Castine, Maine

Join the program either in-person at the Wilson Museum’s Hutchins Education Center or virtually through Zoom. To attend virtually, please email the staff at info@wilsonmuseum.org with the subject line: Virtual Attendance MacMillan & Bowdoin.

Note: Bowdoin is the Official Vessel of the State of Maine and turns 100 this year. This program is offered in celebration of Bowdoin's centennial.

Presenter Profiles:

Don Small

Photo courtesy of Don Small

Don has lived in Castine for much of his life, is a retired Maine Maritime Academy faculty member, and now enjoys a variety of activities in town. He also writes historical fiction about this region and is a member of the Wilson Museum Board of Trustees.

David Wyman

Photo courtesy of David Wyman

David Wyman is a naval architect living and working in Castine. He has designed and surveyed a large variety of vessels over his career. David is also is a member of the Wilson Museum Board of Trustees.


Wednesday, September 22

4 p.m.


Living and Working in Northwest Greenland

In 1921, Donald MacMillan set sail for his maiden voyage aboard his new schooner, Bowdoin – a vessel built in Boothbay, Maine, for Arctic exploration. Over five decades, Donald MacMillan explored the Arctic, mapping the waterways and building relations with many Inuit communities. On his return trips, MacMillan would revisit the same communities, working closely and building long-term friendships with the same individuals and families. Come take a closer look at some of the families MacMillan worked with in northwestern Greenland, and explore how his close relationships with them allowed him to document many of their everyday activities in a presentation by Genevieve LeMoine of the Peary-MacMillan Museum. Join the program either in-person at the Wilson Museum’s Hutchins Education Center or virtually through Zoom. To attend virtually, please email the staff at info@wilsonmuseum.org with the subject line: Zoom, MacMillan & the Inuit.

Presenter Profile:
Genevieve LeMoine received her PhD from the University of Calgary in 1991 and since 1996 has been the curator/registrar of the Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum. Her research has taken her to various parts of the Canadian Arctic and northwestern Greenland where she has conducted archaeological and oral history research in the places frequently visited by both Robert A. Peary and Donald B. MacMillan.

Collaboration Notes:
The Wilson Museum is pleased to offer this program in celebration of the schooner Bowdoin’s centennial (presently owned by Maine Maritime Academy of Castine, Maine) and in collaboration with the Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum of Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine.

Bowdoin’s Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum is dedicated entirely to all things Arctic. It is named after Arctic explorers and Bowdoin graduates Robert E. Peary (Class of 1877) and Donald B. MacMillan (Class of 1898). Learn more about the Arctic Museum by visiting their website.

Donald MacMillan with members of the north Pole Expedition

Clatyon Hodgdon, MacMillan with members of the north Pole Expedition [back l-r Tukummeq, Donald MacMillan, front l-r Inugarssuk, Inukitooq, Odaq], Greenland, ca, 1948. 35mm transparency. Gift of Clayton Hodgdon. Courtesy of The Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum, Bowdoin College.


Friday, September 24

2 p.m.


From Forge to Sea

Iron hardware onboard the schooner Bowdoin

Iron hardware onboard the schooner Bowdoin.

Come learn about shipsmithing (forging iron for ships) in a three-part program featuring a talk, a tour, and a demonstration with guest presenter Captain Ken Barnes. Hear about the history of shipsmithing, its uses, and how it’s changed overtime with a presentation in the Museum’s Hutchins Education Center. Then, venture to the Maine Maritime Academy waterfront, a 15-minute walk away, to board the schooner Bowdoin for a dock-side tour and hands-on look at forged items aboard the 100-year-old vessel. Return to the Museum campus to see Captain Barnes reproduce select items seen onboard in the Museum’s blacksmith shop.

Due to limited space, reservations are required. Please make a reservation by calling 326-9247 or emailing info@wilsonmuseum.org with the subject line: Bowdoin Blacksmithing Reservation.

The Wilson Museum is pleased to offer this program in celebration of the schooner Bowdoin’s centennial and in collaboration with Maine Maritime Academy.

Presenter Profile:
Captain Ken Barnes was master of the Schooner Stephen Taber for 25 years before turning the helm over to his son, Captain Noah Barnes. During his tenure, Ken, along with his wife, Ellen (also a licensed captain), gave the Taber a complete overhaul over the course of the winter of 1982-83. This re-fit entailed 250,000 board feet of oak, pine, and locust and 2.5 tons of fastenings. An additional 1,000 pounds of ironwork were produced in the Taber Forge that made up the vessel’s fittings.







Thursday, November 4 & Friday, November 5

9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. each day


Come learn the art of basket making at a two-day workshop with basket maker Billy Ray Sims as he teaches how to make a tote basket of spoke construction at the Wilson Museum’s Hutchins Education Center. At the workshop, each participant will learn the forms and practice the traditional style of basket making while creating their own beautiful and functional basket. The course fee for the workshop is $180 per student which includes materials and instruction. A selection of tools participants will need to bring will be emailed upon registration. Space in this workshop is limited – contact the Wilson Museum at 207-326-9247 or info@wilsonmuseum.org to make a reservation by Monday, November 1.

Presenter Profile:
Billy Ray Sims’ path as a basket maker has ranged from weaving the sweetgrass baskets of South Carolina to New England black ash pack baskets and river cane from the Southern Highlands. Billy Ray has worked almost exclusively in recent years weaving traditional white oak styles.

He is the former executive editor of WoodenBoat and Cooking Light magazines, and as a woodworker, he has built and restored custom furniture and wooden boats. Recently, he retired from Maine Maritime Academy where he was editor of the alumni magazine, The Mariner.

See examples of Billy’s work and learn more about him by visiting his website: billyraysimsbaskets.com.

Billy Ray Sims' basket


Tuesday, November 16

10:00 a.m.


With Just Grass Inc.
Learn best practices for creating and maintaining turf grass lawns using products that are safe for people, pets, wildlife, and pollinators at an illustrated lecture by Kevin Erickson of Bucksport’s Just Grass Inc. Kevin Erickson is a 2010 graduate in Environmental Horticulture from the University of Maine in Orono and the founder of Just Grass Inc., a firm which has worked on lawns throughout the area including several in Castine. Kevin is also a Master Applicator licensed by the state of Maine to apply products for insect control, soil amending, and fertilizing.

This free presentation will be held in the Hutchins Education Center of the Wilson Museum campus.

Due to limited space, reservations are required. To make a reservation, contact Gail Winkler at winkler@winklerandmoss.com or 207-326-8999.

COVID-19 restrictions apply: please wear a mask and practice social distancing.


The Wilson Museum is pleased to cosponsor this program with the Castine Garden Club.

Lawn at Backshore Road

Castine Lawn Treated by Just Grass Inc. of Bucksport


Thursday, November 18

4:00 p.m.


Book Launch
Join local author Donald (Don) Small for the debut of Margaret: A Novel, written by his late wife, Bary Lyon Terry. Don will introduce attendees to Bary, share insights on the process the book has gone through, and read a few excerpts. Attendees will have the opportunity to purchase a copy of the book, the royalties for which go to the Bary Lyon Small Fund at the Maine Community Foundation. This fund supports innovative education programs in Maine.

The Wilson Museum is pleased to offer this program in collaboration with Penobscot Bay Press.

About Margaret: A Novel
Margaret and her husband, Richard, have a home on Boston’s Beacon Hill as well as a summer residence in a small coastal Maine town. Richard, the senior partner in a law firm started by his grandfather, is devoted to his job and, besides sailing, has few other interests. He is troubled by the thought of retirement.

Margaret does volunteer work in Boston and spends summers in Maine, where Richard joins her on weekends. Their two sons have completed college and are now at the start of their adult lives, in 1990. There is continuing family dialogue about law school and the sons becoming fourth-generation members of the family law firm. Both are resisting.

The opportunity for father and sons to participate in a great adventure is at first dismissed as impossible, but eventually they decide to go with it. The results are not as expected, and Margaret’s life is changed forever.

Margaret: A Novel




Thursday, December 2

4:00 - 6:00 p.m.


Cohosted with the Castine Historical Society
From time immemorial, humans have used the stars to shape our cultural narratives. We use constellations to create meaning in the sky above us that helps to guide us in our lives on the ground. This holiday season, in anticipation of the winter solstice, visit the Wilson Museum to explore different interpretations of one of the most recognizable constellations in the Northern Hemisphere, Ursa Major. The museum will be providing all the materials necessary for a fun make-and-take craft session so you can leave with a keepsake that honors the timeless legend of the great Bear in the sky.

The Castine Historical Society will be giving special behind-the-scenes tours of the 1850 Grindle House including sneak peaks into collections storage. Also offered will be a unique holiday shopping experience for those wanting to jump start their gift giving.

Visitors can kick-off the holiday season by going between these two institutions to enjoy light refreshments and outdoor fire pits. Get a raffle slip stamped at both places and be entered into a raffle! Both institutions are using this event to partner with Blue Angel in an effort to deliver food to local families in need. We encourage you to drop off shelf-stable foods at either location.

This outdoor/indoor event will follow COVID protocols. While indoors, visitors are requested to wear face coverings. For questions, please call either the Wilson Museum at 207-326-9247 or the Castine Historical Society at 207-326-4118.


Holiday Open House with Castine Historical Society

Castine Historical Society Campus

Oak Disc Constellation Craft at Wilson Museum Holiday Open House

Oak Disc Constellation Craft Available to Create at Wilson Museum





Previous Calendars
Information from the 2020 Calendar of the Wilson Museum
Information from the 2019 Calendar of the Wilson Museum
Information from the 2018 Calendar of the Wilson Museum
Information from the 2017 Calendar of the Wilson Museum
Information from the 2016 Calendar of the Wilson Museum
Information from the 2015 Calendar of the Wilson Museum
Summer 2014 Information from the 2014 Calendar of the Wilson Museum
Summer 2013 Information from the 2013 Calendar of the Wilson Museum

Open: May 27 - September 30
Weekdays 10 am - 5 pm, Saturday & Sunday 2 - 5 pm
John Perkins House Bullet The Village Blacksmith Bullet Woodshop
July - August, Wednesday & Sunday, 2 - 5 pm
Group visits can be arranged by appointment.
(207) 326-9247   info@wilsonmuseum.org
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Admission is free, except for the John Perkins House,
where there are guided tours on the hour.
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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