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Originally published in Compass, July 19, 2012
Historical society celebrates exhibit with tours of schooner Bowdoin

One of the few days when Maine Maritime Academy’s schooner Bowdoin is at her home berth this summer has been set aside for a special Open House—or, rather “Open Boat.” On Friday, July 27, the Castine Historical Society (CHS) will extend its seasonal exhibit, “Schooner Bowdoin on the Greenland Patrol,” to the Maine Maritime Academy waterfront, when the Bowdoin will be open to the public for tours from 9:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. The schooner’s captain and crew, MMA faculty and others involved in developing the joint CHS-MMA exhibit about the vessel’s extraordinary World War II service will be on hand to answer questions.

The Bowdoin is very much a part of life in Castine, according to a press release from the historical society. The beautiful 91-year-old two-masted wooden schooner, a National Historic Landmark, has been owned and operated by Maine Maritime since 1988. During the July 27 celebration on the MMA waterfront, CHS will provide refreshments and an opportunity to enter drawings with prizes from the CHS Gift Shop. Visitors to the Bowdoin will be encouraged to head to the Castine town common to enjoy the exhibit at the Abbott School.

The joint CHS-MMA exhibit highlights the Bowdoin’s time on the Greenland Patrol as well as her earlier and more recent voyages to the Arctic. Artifacts and memorabilia from MMA, the Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum at Bowdoin College and private collections offer insights into the vessel’s history and the compelling stories of her officers and crew. Objects on display include the original “ice-barrel” used as a lookout on the schooner’s foremast. Navigational tools, period charts, meticulous models of the Bowdoin and interactive displays are also featured.

The Castine Historical Society is open seven days a week through Labor Day: 10a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 1 to 4 p.m. 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 castine, email or call 326-4118.