“A tour of this museum gives the visitor a good look at so much: the life of Peaks Island, the history of the Civil War and its people, battles and artifacts, interesting late 19th century architecture, and a lovely garden.”Season 2021 update
“We loved this museum. It's a must see on the island.”
We are pleased to announce a new temporary exhibition that explores how adversity has effected the island, slated to open in June 2021.
Entitled “Weathering the Storm: Five Centuries of Resilience on Peaks Island,” the exhibit starts at the point of European contact with the indigenous Wabanaki people in the early 1600s and explores a defining hardship for each of the next five centuries, asking the question “Is resilience and community more meaningful here on Peaks Island, where outside assistance is not always accessible?”
It’s impossible to present a grand summary of every event that ever happened on Peaks Island during the last five centuries, and wisely, the exhibit doesn’t take that approach. Instead, it focuses on smaller, more personal stories that help the visitor appreciate the islanders’ tenacity and the complexity of island history through the eyes of the people who lived it. Visitors will leave the exhibit contemplating how events have shaped, and continue to shape, our community.
Weathering the Storm is curated by Holly Hurd-Forsyth and runs through October 2022.
Terrible Swift Sword: Civil War Weapons and Ordnance
Our newest permanent exhibition showcases some of the most significant Civil War-era weapons and armaments in the Fifth Maine Museum collection, entitled Terrible Swift Sword: Civil War Weapons and Ordnance.
The culmination of several year’s work, the exhibit features weapons carried or collected by the soldiers of the Fifth Maine Regiment, one of the Union Army’s most celebrated fighting regiments. The objects include muskets and a pistol, a Navy carbine, a bayonet, swords, shells, and projectiles. They represent both the Confederate and Union armies. The purpose-built case will ensure the newly cleaned weapons are properly preserved for generations to come.
The Fifth Maine veterans kept these remarkable artifacts in their reunion hall on Peaks Island, built in 1888 and used by the men and their families as a summer retreat until the 1940s.
The exhibit is guest curated by Eric Champigny, a Civil War researcher, collector, and author.