The Working Waterfront

Penobscot Marine Museum catalogues Maine collections

Test Journo
Posted 2019-04-17
Last Modified 2019-04-17

Thanks to a grant of $3,886 from the Maine Historical Records Advisory Board, the Penobscot Marine Museum has rehoused and cataloged four collections documenting quintessential 19th and 20th century Maine industries. The collections document the shipping of Maine’s natural resources, the use of Maine built ships in the global trading routes, and the evolution of Maine’s lobster boats.

The Gillchrest Collection consists of over 3,000 family letters, ship documents, and business correspondence of Captain Levi Gillchrest, a Thomaston merchant mariner, spanning from 1826 to 1877, involving the shipping of Maine lime and timber around the globe. The Gillchrest Collection is a gift of Renny and Julie Stackpole.

The Richard Lunt Collection documents the lobster boat builders in Mount Desert and Jonesport-Beals, from 1880 to 1989, and explores the regional origins and early evolution of the Maine lobster boat that led to the design differences between the Jonesport-style, Mount Desert Island, and Casco Bay lobster boats of today. The Richard Lunt Collections is a gift of Richard Lunt.

The Whitcomb, Haynes & Whitney Business Records provide insight into the day to day business of an Ellsworth lumber and shipping business from 1873 to 1929. The Whitcomb, Haynes, & Whitney Business Records are a gift from Marc S. Blanchette. 

The Samuel F. Manning Illustration Collectionarchives the illustrations of Camden illustrator Samuel F. Manning, from 1970 to 2017, on subjects ranging from ship and boat building, to coastal and deep-sea shipping, to Maine town histories. The Samuel F. Manning Illustration Collection is a gift of Samuel F. Manning.

To access these collections, and the rest of the maritime history and genealogical archival records of the Penobscot Marine Museum, please contact Cipperly Good, Curator/Collections Manager at or 207-548-2529, ext. 212.

The museum is dedicated to bringing Maine’s maritime history to life on a campus of historic buildings in Searsport. Exhibits include hands-on activities for children and adults, as well as a ship captain’s house, marine paintings, scrimshaw, 19th century Chinese and Japanese pottery, boat models, historic Maine boats, a fisheries exhibit, and an heirloom garden. The museum has over 200,000 historic photographs, and a maritime history research library.

Museum offices and the research library are open year-round. Exhibits are open seven days a week, Memorial Day weekend through the third Sunday in October. The visitor center is at 40 East Main Street, Searsport. For more information call 207-548-2529 or visit