Preservation of the Percy & Small Shipyard and the Donnell House

The Maine Maritime Museum in Bath, Maine, celebrates the state’s maritime heritage and culture. The museum is headquartered at the historic Percy & Small Shipyard, the only intact shipyard in the United States which built large wooden sailing vessels. The museum also owns the William T. Donnell House, home of a prominent 19th century local shipbuilder. More than 200 volunteers work to help preserve and interpret these historic properties. 

Volunteers work under the supervision of museum staff to maintain the buildings. Recent projects in the shipyard include repairing and painting windows, replacing clapboards, and painting building exteriors. Other volunteers serve as tour guides and docents and undertake research on the complex. Volunteers also maintain several gardens on the property. 

Quartermaster Volunteers come in twice a year for an all-day work session. Up to a dozen work crews are assigned to projects throughout the complex, ranging from cleaning the buildings and exhibits to building wheelchair ramps. 

The Maine Maritime Museum has focused efforts on getting young people involved as volunteers. The museum has partnered with the Sea Scouts, a program for girls and boys 14-21 years old under the auspices of the Boy Scouts of America, and Sea Scout volunteers have organized and run many games and activities at museum events. The museum also works with guidance counselors at area high schools to recruit students for volunteer activities. 

Volunteer tour guides and docents participate in training programs consisting of class time, reading assignments, and practicums. Volunteers also are encouraged to attend the series of classes offered annually by the museum.

Designated a Preserve America Steward in February 2010.