Step Back in Time to the 17th Century at Colonial Pemaquid State Historic Site: Wabanaki and European Watercraft of 17th Century Maine

July 6, 2023

For more information contact: Jim Britt at:

New Harbor, ME - The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry's Bureau of Parks and Lands welcomes history enthusiasts and curious visitors to experience 17th century Maine during the "17th Century Days" at Colonial Pemaquid State Historic Site. This family-friendly event, organized by Neill DePaoli, Colonial Pemaquid State Historic Site Manager, will take place on July 15-16, 2023, from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM at the Colonial Pemaquid State Historic Site, located 13 miles south of Damariscotta off Route 130 at 2 Colonial Pemaquid Dr., New Harbor, ME 04554.

Visitors will witness historically accurate replicas of the "Virginia," Maine's first ship, the shallop "Jane Stevens," and a Wabanaki birch bark canoe. The event highlights the important roles watercraft such as these played in cultural exchange, conflict, political negotiations, work, and socialization among the Wabanaki, English, and French.

Historic interpreters will introduce visitors to the worlds of the Acadian pirates who once roamed the waters of Nova Scotia, attacking English fishing boats and Wabanaki traders who navigated their birch bark canoes, laden with furs, to trade with the English and French.

John Bear Mitchell, Penobscot historian and educator, will provide a broad cultural perspective of the early Wabanaki. Chris Sockalexis, Penobscot Tribal Historic Preservation Officer and archaeologist, will explore the origins, uses, advantages, and construction of the Wabanaki traditional birch bark canoe. Steve Cayard will bring his four decades of expertise as a builder and student of the traditional Wabanaki birchbark canoe.

"We are thrilled to present the 17th Century Days at Colonial Pemaquid State Historic Site," said Neill De Paoli. "This immersive experience offers a glimpse into Maine's fascinating history, showcasing the intricate connections between indigenous people and European settlers during this era. It's a remarkable opportunity for visitors of all ages to engage with the past and gain a deeper understanding of our heritage."

De Paoli also thanks Kirstie Truluck, Executive Director of Maine's First Ship, and her staff and host of dedicated volunteers for making this cooperative effort possible. The presence of the" Virginia" and the "Jane Stevens" and their crews will take this event to another level of public history.

For further information and to plan a visit, please contact Colonial Pemaquid State Historic Site at (207) 677-2423 or visit the official website at

Admission to the event is free; however, there is a nominal admission fee to explore the Museum, Fisherman's dwelling, & Fort: $1.00 for ages 5-11, $3.00 for Maine residents ages 12-64, $4.00 for non-residents ages 12-64, $1.00 for non-residents 65 and older. Children under five and Maine residents 65 and older enjoy free admission.

About Colonial Pemaquid State Historic Site

Colonial Pemaquid State Historic Site is a nationally recognized historical landmark in New Harbor, Maine. With its rich cultural heritage, the site aims to preserve and promote the significance of Maine's indigenous and colonial history. Through engaging events and educational programs, Colonial Pemaquid provides an immersive experience that transports visitors back in time, offering them a deeper appreciation of the region's past.

Supporting documents

"Virginia" - Maine's first ship