Maine’s Moosehead Marine Museum

17 Lily Bay Rd., Greenville, Maine The museum houses a small onshore collection of marine memorabilia, but the centerpiece here

Moosehead Marine Museum, Maine
Visitors to the museum cruise Moosehead Lake—seen here from Mount Kineo—on the Katahdin, a lavishly appointed vintage steamer.

17 Lily Bay Rd., Greenville, Maine

The museum houses a small onshore collection of marine memorabilia, but the centerpiece here is a 110-foot lake steamer. The steel-hulled Katahdin was built in 1914 to take tourists to the luxurious Mount Kineo Resort and other destinations on Moosehead Lake. The lavishly appointed ship, with fixtures and furnishings of brass, mahogany, leather, and velvet, was queen of the Maine lake steamers for more than 20 years. When the resort failed after World War I, the Katahdin was reduced to the hard service of towing log rafts on the lake. Then environmental considerations put a stop to the rafting of logs, and it seemed that this historic ship (the oldest-surviving steel hull built by the Bath Iron Works) was headed for the scrap heap.

She was saved, however, by a group of local enthusiasts who preserved the ship as a floating museum and put her back in service on the lake. The newly refurbished Katahdin is now available for short cruises and group charters.

From the deck of the original passenger carrier here, one can see the sleek seaplanes that now serve the lakeshore and the wilderness beyond.

Open late June–Columbus Day weekend. Admission charged.

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest