BATH — Two organizations dedicated to the region’s shipbuilding heritage are now one.
The union of Maine’s First Ship and the Bath Freight Shed Alliance, following months of planning and meetings, was celebrated July 9 with a potluck dinner at the 19th century freight shed on Commercial Street. MFS is absorbing the alliance.
The shed, which is home to the farmers market in the winter and the Maine’s First Ship Visitor Center, will serve as a permanent home for the reconstructed vessel Virginia. English colonists built the original 1607 pinnace at the Popham Colony in what is now Phippsburg.
Construction of the Virginia continues, with shipbuilders active Wednesdays and Saturdays. The Visitor Center is open Tuesday-Saturday from 10 a.m.-3 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Admission is free.
Renovating the shed is one project where the two organizations previously worked together, Freight Shed President Wiebke Theodore told those at the potluck, according to a July 10 press release.
“Now, we have the shared energy of volunteers from both groups to further the building’s use by members of the community,” she said.
Orman Hines, president of MFS, remains in the leadership role following the merger, which he said provides better coordination for the groups’ shared goals.
The agreement notes MFS’ commitment to a “wide range of programs on Virginia and in the Freight Shed to enhance Bath and local communities through historical exhibits, the Winter Farmers Market, tours, events and education.”
Surrounded by members of their respective boards of directors, Wiebke Theodore, left, president of the Bath Freight Shed Alliance, and Maine’s First Ship President Orman Hines sign documents July 9 for the merger of their organizations.