Upcoming Events
Playing with Fire: W.O. Barney
The celebrations for Searsport's 175th anniversary started last month with a reenactment of Searsport's first town meeting. The festivities and remembrances will continue all year, especially at PMM with our new reinterpretation of the Sea Captain's house titled  At Home At Sea . We have been busy researching the stories behind our objects on display in the house. Here is a fun tidbit we found.

William Otis Barney (1823-1895) was a man who knew his fire. He operated the W.O. Barney Foundry in Searsport circa 1853-1895 in Mechanics Hollow, just east of the three major shipyards in Searsport: McGilvery Yard, Carver Yard and Merithew Yard. In addition to making home goods, like the bean pot pictured, the 
Bean Pot made by Barney Foundry, PMM#1972.18.1.
Gift of Sally Dow.
foundry's primary purpose was providing the ironwork for the vessels built in the adjacent shipyards.  William Otis Barney married  Eliza Jane Merithew,  the niece of prominent Searsport shipyard owner Jeremiah Merithew. The Barneys moved from Massachusetts and are listed in the Searsport tax rolls beginning in 1853.  W.O. Barney, well aware of the destructive and creative uses of fire, was a member of the Penobscot Engine Company No. 1, the local fire department organized in 1854. In 1933, the fire department reorganized and took the name Barney Hose Company in honor of W.O. Barney.  W.O. Barney passed in 1895.

We hope to see you this summer and beyond so we can share some other stories about the people who made Searsport run and who have left a lasting impression on the town that continues to today!
Searsport Waterfront in 1875. Detail from Map of Waldo County,Maine 1859 by
D. Kelsey & D.H. Davidson.
Photo Archives News
Who was Irving Nevells?

Friendship Sloop OLD BALDY
Back in 2012, we received a call from Weld Morse of South  Dartmouth, MA. He had a box of medium format negatives that his father had purchased from a yard sale in Pennsylvania. The negatives were taken between 1962-1970 and featured views of the Mid-Coast, mostly of boat building and launches, as well as scores of Friendship sloop races. They were all taken by a man named Irving Nevells. We gladly accepted the collection and began the work of processing the collection and investigating the photographer. We have since learned that Nevells was born in Sedgwick in 1895 and died in Rockport in 1972. He served in the army during WW I and later had a career working for Westinghouse Electrical. It seems he and his wife Alice retired to Camden in the early 1960s. It's unclear when he picked up photography, but he was an active member of the Knox County Camera Club, and exhibited his photos at the St. Thomas Episcopal Church. Some of his photos were published in National Fisherman Magazine. His photographs show he had a passion for boats, especially Friendship Sloops, and probably would have stood elbow to elbow with Carroll Thayer Berry and Red Boutilier photographing the same windjammers in Camden Harbor. While we still know little about the man, the Nevells photographs are a strong addition to our archives.

More Eastern Illustrating negatives

A big thank you to Thomas LePage for "adopting" the  9 negatives from Limerick, Maine. Not only did Tom donate the money to secure these negatives, he took the time to provide informative descriptions to the existing Limerick negatives . There are still many towns up for grabs in our Adopt-a-Town program if you can help! We are also still seeking support to purchase another 33 Eastern negatives of Caribou and New Sweden. Your donation would make a big impact on growing our Eastern collection.

Marty Bartlett Photographs

Marty Bartlett, now in his eighties, is done with the ocean, but he's
a character who was clearly shaped by his lifelong interaction with it. His photographs are a privileged on-deck view of tuna and sword fishing during a critical time for those fisheries. While searching for images from PMM's National Fisherman Collection for a book he was writing ( Wind Shift at Peaked Hills, a creative nonfiction account of sword fishing), he offered to donate his work here. While the images don't tell a Penobscot Bay story, their powerful place in the recent history of the Gulf of Maine made the choice of accepting his gift an obvious one.

"What is it?" exhibit at
Searsport Elementary School

To celebrate Maine's bicentennial in the month of March, the Searsport Elementary School is hosting a small Penobscot Marine Museum exhibit. "What is it?" includes a variety of items used in the 1800s. Some of them are similar to objects we use today, while some are obsolete. We hope the students and their families enjoy this little piece of history!
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