NEMA Museums New England

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Museum Profile

Wilson Museum

120 Perkins Street, P.O. Box 196, Castine, ME 04421

Building on the legacy of its founding family,
the Wilson Museum uses its diverse collections
and learning experiences to stimulate exploration
of the natural history and cultures of the
Penobscot Bay region and the world.

Be prepared for a tour through time and cultures as you enter the Wilson Museum Campus, a series of buildings begun in 1921 by geologist Dr. John Howard Wilson to house collections gathered around the world and close to home. Here you will see rocks and fossils from the earliest geologic times and will follow humankind's advances in tool-making from pre-history through Castine's rich local history. You can wend your way across continents and among indigenous cultures through displays from Africa, the Americas and Bali, to name just a few.

In the John Perkins House, step back in time to colonial Castine to meet the Perkins family and learn about the generations who lived here. A tour of this home is guided by a knowledgeable docent and on special days visitors may have the opportunity to watch cooking done over the open hearth in the kitchen.

A step back in time would not be complete without a visit to the campus hub where craftsmen demonstrate the tools and techniques of their trades, including a woodturner and a blacksmith. Once you've been to the Village Blacksmith and seen what fire can create, take a peek into the Pump House Display to learn about Castine's early firefighting history. Push the button and watch in wonder as the gears and levers make the alarm bell ring!

There is so much to see here. One visit is never enough and doesn’t have to be. Throughout the year there are special events and year-round educational programming in the Hutchins Education Center.