Maine has a long and enduring maritime tradition, and we are proud to call the Pine Tree State our home. Since the Fall of 2021, we have been located on Rockland Harbor at the mouth of Penobscot Bay. Home to a Coast Guard station, an impressive group of museums and a lively art scene, Rockland is perfectly situated on Maine's mid-coast.
Find us at the Sail, Power & Steam Museum Complex at 75 Mechanic Street, adjacent to Snow Marine Park and the terminus of Rockland's Harborwalk.
Open hours: Saturdays and Sundays year-round from 12-4. Other hours by appointment. Please call ahead, since we are sometimes off-site doing programs! Our phone is 207-390-5909.
We were the featured cover story article in the March 2022 edition of Down East DogNews. https://downeastdognews.villagesoup.com and have received great publicity via radio and the press since our arrival. Our museum has several portable exhibits available to travel: Lighthouse Mascots, Overview of Maritime Pets, Irish Maritime Pets and others. We also offer talks to groups, libraries and clubs about working and companion maritime pets, maritime heroes and famous mascots.
In addition to presenting on-line lectures, our staff contributes to blogs, book reviews and other services to the field. We also maintain our social media outreach and contacts with the wider maritime and scholarly communities.
Plans during the 2024-25 period include digitizing our library and photo archival collections. This will be a major focus of our Second Decade Initiative. In 1923 we welcomed two graduate interns from the Museum and Library Sciences program at San Jose State University. Sarah started a catalog of our photo archive (compriging hundreds of images, it represents our primary collection). Dylan catalogued our regular objects collection and also contributed research about some of our photos. We will have another Intern join us this Spring, and in the meantime are also working with volunteers to help with this project.
Our work could simply not be done without these wonderful people! Last Fall, Dylan opted to continue volunteering for us to produce an eventual online exhibit. Mary has also joined us. A long-time library cataloguer, she is now enjoying researching and cataloguing some of our images.
We are also happy to welcome Tyler, recent graduate from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana MLIS program. He is assisting with research pertaining to Coast Guards in Latin America. That continent, with its extremely long coastline and varied maritime heritages, is a rich source we are just starting to investigate with his help.
Another effort included in our Second Decade Initiative is the development and presentation of STEAM programs for various educational levels. This Winter of 2024 offers us the time to produce and test these programs.
During the 2020-21 pandemic period, we expanded our virtual volunteer force and completed several projects as part of our Second Decade Initiative. These included cataloguing our Library and developing resource lists of maritime organizations around the world by region.
In 2019, the Museum's founder participated in the first international Maritime Animals conference, held in Greenwich UK at the National Maritime Museum. Patricia Sulivan discussed the museum's mission and presented an overview of the types and functions of maritime pets throughout the ages.
Sullivan shared her east and west-bound ocean crossings with a Black Lab service dog who has accompanied her owner on several voyages. Many ocean liners roll out the red carpet for such dogs, and we salute them all!
During her time in the UK, Sullivan visited colleagues at various maritime museums and ports of call. Buster, the history dog from Plymouth University, and Hatch from the Mary Rose Museum in Portsmouth were just two of many furry and human friends she met up with.
The museum's dory, "Noah's Barque" found a new home in 2019. She performed very well on the water, but the boat was too unstable to use for pet demonstrations and educational events.
Podcasting gained in popularity in 2020-21 as museums and other organizations sought ways to keep their profiles and messages front and center in the public eye. We were featured on a May 13, 2021 episode of The Mariner's Mirror, devoted to maritime history. Visit the Society for Nautical Research and search the podcasts page. All episodes are available. www.snr.org
In recent years, we have been interviewed on one foreign and several national radio programs, and have been featured in comprehensive articles in Atlas Obscura, as well as Boating Times, Smithsonian Online Magazine, and the Washington Post. We contribute to several blogs on an invitation basis, and maintain an active exchange of information and images via social media.
In 2017, we circulated an exhibit on loan to us from CFB Esquimalt Museum (Canadian Navy) in Victoria BC. "Creature Comforts" featured mascots from the late 19th through mid 20th centuries. Our own maritime pets exhibit "All Paws on Deck" continues to travel on demand. It features several famous mascots, topical news and images, and a tribute to the pets who were aboard the Titanic on her fateful voyage in 1912.
Potuguese Water Dog
Egyptian Tomb Painting showing cat hunting birds
Sullivan & Buster at Portsmouth Harbor
In honor of the Americans with Disabilities Act's 25th anniversary in 2015, we visited and had an extensive interview with a live-aboard Service Dog and his owner. Service dogs and cats sail around the world to help their humans live fun and fulfilling lives. Many have blogs and websites.
Our annual charity golf tournament held its fifth and last tournament just prior to the pandemic, with an added Virtual Tournament option for people not living near Annapolis.
We hope to revive the tournament at our new Maine location!
Pennsylvania artist Heidi Brotheron dedicated a painting to us which features maritime pets from many parts of the world. It is her "folk art" concept of maritime pets in all seasons and from all continents. Her image has been reproduced as notecards. Visit our store for more details.
Several summers ago, we interviewed Rosie, a black labrador who was the mascot of Coast Guard Station Annapolis. Rosie kept things moving smoothly at the Station, and also provided hospitality services! She retired with honors to spend her last happy years with her long-time handler.
Ray L and Scott R
Heidi Brotherton's "Little Helper"
C.G. Station Annapolis mascot Rosie and Handler BM1 Abels
Hatch of the Mary Rose Museum
The Museum's archives include a groundbreaking interview on NPR's Animal House program, aired in 2010 by WAMU, a Washington D.C. station. We also appeared consistently in the Annapolis newspaper Capital Gazette, featuring our activities or exhibits throughout the years.
In 2015 we partnered with Anne Arundel Volunteer Center to advance our mission with the help of talented community members. These included members of the Armed Services, retired professionals from various fields, and college students seeking internship projects. Their assignments furthered our mission and provided learning opportunities for the students and volunteers involved.