Cause Area

  • Arts & Culture
  • Community
  • Education & Literacy


PO BOX 231BATH, ME 04530 United States

Organization Information

Mission Statement

Maine’s First Ship strives to use our reconstruction of the 1607 pinnace Virginia to immerse the public in an exploration of the region’s early history, craftsmanship, and relationships, and their impact on our community and environment today.


The Virginia Project, Inc. dba Maine's First Ship launched the volunteer-crafted Virginia in June of 2022. The vessel is a reconstruction of the first ship built in America by Europeans; the original was built by the 1607-1608 Popham Colony. In spring of 2023 volunteers remain at work outfitting the ship in preparation for US Coast Guard certification with future plans to sail with students and visitors. Additional volunteers serve as docents in our visitor center; create and present educational programming and community events; and even knit and sew historical costuming for our crewe. We have two stories to share: that of the 17th-century colonists who built a pinnace to explore the coast of Maine and of the eventual archaeological excavation of the colony site and the dream to reconstruct the vessel that started a long tradition of shipbuilding in the region. We aspire to work with the Wabanaki and represent the indigenous stories of the area as well. We celebrate history, ingenuity, community.


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