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Moosehead Marine Museum receives Bangor Savings Bank Foundation grant for sunken steamboats documentary project

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GREENVILLE – The Moosehead Marine Museum (MMM) received a $5,000 grant from the Bangor Savings Foundation to support filming of a historical documentary film featuring steamboat wrecks in Moosehead Lake.

The centerpiece of MMM’s collection is the 1914 steamboat Katahdin, according to Liz McKeil, museum executive director. It is the only remaining steamboat of a fleet of some 50 or more that once plied the waters of the state’s largest lake.

“There is little documented about the fate of the other steamboats,” McKeil said. “We know the Katahdin I caught fire while underway and was run intentionally aground near Sandbar Island as a life saving measure, whereas the Twilight sank during overwintering at Steamboat Point. Anecdotal reports indicate that many of the steamboats, such as the Kineo, were burned to the waterline and sunk once they reached the end of their useful lives.”

MMM is partnering with Ryan Robbins, the film’s director and founder of Moosehead Lake Divers to identify and capture video of the sunken remains of at least three known wrecks in Moosehead Lake. The documentary, titled “Sunken Steamboats of Moosehead Lake,” will tell the story of steamboat history on Moosehead Lake by combining underwater footage of steamboat remains with historic still images and video oral history interviews. The goal of the project is to research, document, and disseminate information about Moosehead Lake’s steamboating past.

Divers scouted several steamboat wrecks during the summer of 2017 and will begin actual filming this summer. “It’s exciting to see the amount of interest from the community,” Robbins said. “The steamboats were the backbone of transportation for over 100 years on Moosehead Lake … and with every interview we learned just a little more about the story. We feel a sense of urgency around filming. With each day that goes by the steamboat remains deteriorate and we want to capture the footage while we still have the chance.”

The Moosehead Marine Museum’s mission is to preserve and operate the Katahdin as a “living museum” for the benefit of our community, region, and future generations. For more information please visit www.katahdincruises.com.

The Bangor Savings Bank Foundation was created in 1997. Together the bank and its foundation invest more than $1.8 million per year into the community in the form of nonprofit sponsorships, grants and partnership initiatives.

“This grant awarded from the Bangor Savings Bank Foundation to the Moosehead Marine Museum signifies our commitment to making our communities more prosperous, livable, and vibrant,” said Alicia Stone, Greenville assistant branch manager at Bangor Savings Bank. “The Bangor Savings Bank Foundation is honored to play a role in supporting the filming of this historical documentary film.”

For additional information about the film please visit mooseheadsteamboats.com.

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