Starting with a Community Open House, the museum entry will be free for all from 10am – 4pm. At 3pm, there will be a celebration with music, special guests, and (of course) cake!
Winner of this year’s Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce Community Person of the Year Award, Sharp’s impact on the Midcoast has been wide reaching. Long a fixture on the Camden waterfront at Sharp’s Wharf (now Bayview Landing), Sharp ran windjammer tours on historic vessels such as the Gloucester fishing schooner Adventure and the Essex built schooner Roseway. He also owned and restored Admiral McMillan’s arctic explorer, the Bowdoin. All three of those vessels are still in service with the Adventure designated as a National Historic Landmark and an official project of Save America’s Treasures; the Bowdoin designated as the flagship of the State of Maine and still making trips to the Artic under the ownership of Maine Maritime Academy; and Roseway, traveling the globe as a sail training vessel with the World Ocean School. For a while, the old steam tug, John Wanamaker, even called Sharp’s wharf “home” as a unique and popular restaurant.
As a young man, he inherited his father’s love of sailing, purchasing the Alden yawl Malabar with friends and offering Chesapeake and Bahamian charters. At 24 years old he was hired as “mate” onboard the schooner Mattie (now the Grace Bailey) and his love affair with Maine began. From there he purchased the Stephen Taber and his life course aboard these old vessels was set.
As he reached retirement age, he donated Adventure to the city of Gloucester, sold his waterfront property in Camden, and then owned a series of unique vessels. Sharp and his wife and museum co-founder, Meg, traveled, exploring the coast, canals and rivers America, Europe and beyond. Finding themselves with a lifetime collection of nautical treasures they began to contemplate what to do with it all.
As fate would have it, in 2007, Hurricane Island Outward Bound School vacated their home on the shores of Rockland Harbor and put their property up for sale. A friend of the Sharp’s talked them into going to look at the space, and they began to dream of opening a museum. No longer a young man, they contemplated the realities of starting a new business, and decided to flip a coin. As Sharp recounts the story, the coin was flipped and the answer was a resounding “NO!” But they looked at each other and decided to put an offer in on the property anyway, and lo and behold, their offer was accepted.
Now, 16 years later, the Sail, Power, and Steam Museum is a thriving entity and a visitor destination in Rockland’s South End, next door to Snow Marine Park and at the entrance to Rockland’s Harbor Walk. With thousands of visitors (both local and from away) each year, the museum also has an active waterfront and runs the Midcoast Sailing Center which holds programs in sailing navigation, sailing