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Bath museum kicks off summer events

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Bath museum kicks off summer events

BATH — With a reception at its Percy & Small Shipyard – including the raising of flags on six masts that symbolize the mammoth schooner Wyoming – Maine Maritime Museum on May 22 kicked off its summer activities.

Two new trolley tours – "The "Bath Iron Works Story" and "Historic Bath Architecture: The City that Ships Built" – will be offered Monday through Saturday from June 2 to Oct. 11.

The 243 Washington St. museum is offering the tours in response to BIW's decision to suspend drive-through tours due to security and safety concerns during a time of increased shipbuilding activity and shipyard construction, according to the museum.

"When we first learned of the BIW decision, we went to work on replacement programs immediately," Amy Lent, MMM executive director, said in a museum press release, "and we quickly concluded that the situation presented an opportunity to look at how we were telling the BIW story and find ways to do it better."

Two new exhibits will open June 14. The major one, "Eye Sweet & Fair: Naval Architecture, Lofting and Modeling," covers the development of ship design from the days of half-hull modeling to today's computer design. The museum will offer a six-event lecture series related to the exhibit.

In the second exhibit, Maine surfers who construct their own surfboards from wood will be featured. The exhibit will include video interviews of the surfers and their boards.

The museum has added a new small craft collection tour – a behind-the-scenes look at the facility's Maine boats collection – led by a curator. A similar tour is offered of the museum's artifact vaults.

The opening of the Kenneth D. Kramer Blacksmith Shop Exhibit will be marked by an all-day event Saturday, Aug. 16. Admission will be free, and blacksmithing and other shipbuilding demonstrations will be offered.

The 2,100-square-foot exhibit recalls a 1914 structure that sat on the Percy & Small shipbuilding site, now preserved as part of the museum's campus.

It was at Percy & Small that the Wyoming was built over a nine-month period in 1909. The six masts on the Kennebec River campus, erected last year, are an evocation of that schooner, which the museum says was the largest wooden sailing vessel ever built in the U.S.

Meanwhile, the museum continues its daily lighthouse and nature cruises, boatbuilding and woodworking workshops, kids summer day camps, guided kayak paddles around Merrymeeting Bay and connecting waters, safety courses on navigation and boating safety.

Log onto mainemaritimemuseum.org for more information and event registration.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.