New Exhibit Highlights Portland Maritime History

Gold Rush panorama of Portland Harbor, courtesy Maine Maritime Museum

The Maine Maritime Museum will unveil a new exhibit titled Port of Portland: A Ship-Shaped History, marking the first large-scale event the Museum has mounted in the city.

Three men on the Portland. Photo courtesy Maine Maritime Museum.

Port of Portland will be on view in the Lewis Gallery of the Portland Public Library, 5 Monument Square, Portland, beginning Friday, December 2, and will remain through Tuesday, January 3, 2012. The Portland opening will feature a Directors Remarks and Meet the Curator event beginning at 5:00 p.m. on December 2. Admission to the exhibit in Portland is free. A more extensive Port of Portland exhibit will open for public viewing at Maine Maritime Museum in Bath, Saturday, December 17, and will remain on view through May 13, 2012.

Port of Portland presents a vision of the city’s history as portrayed by the ships that have transited Portland Head to clear Spring Point Ledge, a series of vessels as diverse as the different eras they represent; vessels that have brought hope, grief, sustenance, outrage, prosperity, disappointment, amusement, and a good day’s work to the people of the entire region.

From the 18th century sloop Portland Packet to the 19th century steamer Portland (New England’s Titanic) to the 20th century AfraMax tanker Overseas Portland, an interplay of floating tonnage has defined this same 2000-plus acres of deep-water anchorage for more than 350 years.

From the 1775 bombardment of HMS Canceaux (that burned then-Falmouth to the ground) to the fireworks welcoming the world’s largest passenger liner RMS Queen Mary 2, Portland has launched, courted and sheltered legions of ships, both the famous and the work-a-day clippers, schooners, destroyers, Liberty ships, seiners, tugs, box-boats and bulkers.

For more information:

Maine Maritime Museum


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