Maine Maritime Museum to debut ‘Upta Camp’ exhibition

Newest exhibition explores Maine’s storied history of sporting and leisure camps
Thu, 04/11/2024 - 10:00am

    Maine Maritime Museum in Bath announces the opening of “Upta Camp,” a new exhibition that investigates the rise of Maine’s sporting and leisure camp tradition (mid-1800s–post World War II) and how the state’s inland waterways have contributed to their popularity.

    “Associate curator Catherine Cyr's substantial research grounds this exhibit,” said Amanda Pleau, marketing and communications manager. “She dives deep into the origins of going ‘Upta Camp,’ well before it was a catchphrase or the subject of a reality television show. It is our hope that visitors will take from this exhibit a better appreciation for the role of camps in shaping Maine’s identity as a popular travel destination.”

    The exhibition will explore the various forms of transportation used to get individuals and families to rural camp locations, including lake-bound steamers; the types of activities available to visitors at camps, such as fishing and canoeing; and the architecture and amenities created by camps and their proprietors to produce a uniquely Maine experience.

    The exhibit opened April 9 and will run through November 2025.

    “Although turning our attention inland may seem like a departure for Maine Maritime Museum,” said executive director Chris Timm, “Lakes and rivers have featured in many of our exhibits such as 2016’s 'Meeting the Boat: Steam Travel Along Maine Waters,' which highlighted the extensive infrastructure to transport visitors on Moosehead Lake or 2019’s 'Frozen Kingdom: Commerce & Pleasure in the Maine Winter,' which explored the harvesting river ice along the Penobscot and Kennebec. And of course, we are a maritime museum not on the ocean, but on a river, 12 miles inland. We must always look inland and out to sea.”

    In addition to historic artifacts on display, the exhibition will include a hands-on, kid-friendly cabin replica, complete with reading nook, kitchenette, and fly-tying imagination station.