On Sept. 30, 2019, the 1906 schooner Mary E, Maine Maritime Museum’s flagship and the oldest Maine-built fishing schooner still sailing, was entered in the National Register of Historic Places by the National Park Service, Department of the Interior. This recognition confirms the museum’s commitment to preserving the iconic vessel.
Left at a dock to sink in the early 1960s, Mary E was raised, rebuilt, and maintained by a handful of people who recognized its significance in Maine’s history. The schooner now serves as an ambassador for the state’s maritime heritage — the last surviving schooner built on the Kennebec River.
Built in Bath, Maine, in 1906 as a fishing schooner, Mary E also served as a cargo carrier, windjammer, and is rumored to have been a rum-runner. After a long career as a fishing vessel off Block Island, Mary E was eventually abandoned in 1960, sinking in a hurricane in Lynn Harbor, Mass., in 1963. Two years later, William R. Donnell II of Bath purchased and raised the vessel, brought it to Bath, and began a two-year renovation on the grounds of what is now the Maine Maritime Museum campus. Following the renovation, Mary E served as a passenger vessel for many years.
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