Seal Cove Auto Museum, Antique Autos and Motorcycles from the Brass Era, Mount Desert Island, Maine
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New Steam Team Formed

June, 2015 - This spring a new Steam team was formed to become more familiar with the repair, maintenance, demonstration, and operation of the steam vehicles among the museum's collection. The Seal Cove Auto Museum exhibits a number of steam powered vehicles including a 1900 Locomobile, and number of Stanleys, a 1910 White, and a 1900 Skene.

The team's first venture into the world of steam was a May 9th trip to the Stanley Museum in Kingfield, Maine to learn the principles of steam power from Mark Smith. The day was extremely productive with each member of the Seal Cove Auto Museum's team enjoying the unexpected adventure of actually driving the Stanley Collection's 1908 “Gentleman's Roadster.”

The visit to Kingfield was followed up by Mark's June 6th visit to Seal Cove to guide the team in completing some repairs on the Museum's Stanley Mountain Wagon, followed by the firing of the boiler for the first time in a number of years. After a long day of fitting, adjusting, and tinkering the vehicle made a brief cruise through the neighborhood.

The team, consisting entirely of volunteers, will be meeting regularly to help enhance the visitor experience at the Seal Cove Auto Museum.

Museum Participating in Dance Off Contest - Please Vote!

April, 2015 - With assistance from The Barn Arts Collective, we have created and submitted a dance video to a Museum Dance-Off Competition. The When You Work at a Museum blog is holding this competition for its second year to dispel the misconception that museums are stuffy, staid old institutions, and also to just have some fun and celebrate museums of all kinds.

Twenty-eight museums from around the world have submitted entries. Each day a few videos are highlighted, and viewers choose their favorite. Those favorites will ultimately battle it out in subsequent rounds, until only one is left standing. Our dance video will be up for round one of voting on April 27, so be sure to visit the competition page to place you vote on Monday! In the meantime, you can check out our awesome and sure-to-win dance video here.

Local Museums and MPBN
Announce Partnership Programs

April, 2015 - Woodlawn Museum, Seal Cove Auto Museum and MPBN are pleased to announce a joint membership promotion. To celebrate their season openings, each museum will offer free admission for all Auto Museum, Woodlawn, and MPBN members for the month of May. “The promotion stemmed from discussions about ways in which our organizations could cross promote and increase member benefits”, Kate Phenix, MPBN Development & Communication Associate.

In addition to the month-long member-to-member promotion, on Mother's Day, Sunday, May 10th, the Seal Cove Auto Museum and Woodlawn invite all mothers to enjoy a free tour at both museums. Also planned is a special community event, Mother's Day at Woodlawn. The Auto Museum will bring its 1912 Crane automobile (weather permitting) to Woodlawn for rides, free of charge during the museum's regular hours, 1-4pm. According to Seal Cove Auto Museum Executive Director Raney Bench, “The 1912 Crane is a real beauty. One of only forty produced, it was originally owned by the extremely wealthy Helen Hartley Jenkins, daughter to the owner of the Remington Arms Company. This is the first time we have brought one of the cars from our collection to Woodlawn, so visitors will have the opportunity for a very unique experience in Ellsworth on Mother's Day.” Families are invited to bring a picnic and enjoy Woodlawn's public park and walking trails.

Throughout the 2015 season, the Seal Cove Auto Museum and Woodlawn will continue to collaborate, offering visitors 20% off each museum's admission when both are visited. According to Woodlawn's executive director, Joshua Torrance, “Visitors will gain a deeper understanding of early 20th century living by visiting both museums as our collections reflect similar time periods” The Auto Museum focuses on the “Brass Era” of automobile development, 1895-1917; Woodlawn dates 1824 - 1928. The two collections reflect both everyday living and opulent lifestyles at the turn of the 20th century.

Over 100 turn out for Speakeasy

February, 2015 - More than 100 people turned out for the Seal Cove Auto Museum's Brass Club Speakeasy on a chilly Saturday night in February. Revelers had to say the password “horsefeathers” to gain admission to the fun. Dancing to a 10-piece swing band, a live belly-dancing performance, charity blackjack and prohibition-era beers were all a part of the festivities.

View a video produced by Earl Brechlin of the MDIslander about the event

New Acquisition of 1904 Searchmont

December, 2014 - The Seal Cove Auto Museum has recently acquired a 1904 Type VII Searchmont Touring car. A true 'barn find' that has been lovingly restored by a previous owner, it is one of only two vehicles manufactured by the Searchmont Automobile Co. known to exist. This antique auto was purchased by the Richard C. Paine, Jr. Automobile Collection Charitable Trust, and will be on display as a part of the collection at the Seal Cove Auto Museum.

The Searchmont Motor Co. was formed in Philadelphia, PA, by Theodore C. Search in 1900. His purpose was to build an American Automobile called the Searchmont. The first car the Company produced was a 5 passenger Touring Car, with an optional surrey top, 12 horsepower engine, and a frame made of hickory wood reinforced with steel. Search later acquired the rights to manufacture a car developed by the Keystone Motor Company, a two-seater buggy, steered by a tiller, known as the Wagonette.

The design of the 1904 Searchmont reflects the Auto Company’s complete change in the design of its cars in 1903, the new design following French lines. It is a rear-entrance vehicle, powered by a two-cylinder engine that produces 10 horsepower. It has leather upholstery, wicker tonneau baskets, and brass accents as appropriate to its time period.

Following the bankruptcy of the Searchmont Motor Company in 1904, the John Wanamaker Department Store in Philadelphia bought the entire lot of 100 unsold cars at $750 apiece, put $1200 price tags on them, and sold them. Thanks to the Richard C. Paine Jr., Automobile Collection Charitable Trust, the Seal Cove Auto Museum’s latest addition is one of those cars.

The previous owner of the 1904 Searchmont Touring car, Bob Ames, also owned the 1904 Curved Dash Oldsmobile in the museum’s collection. Both the Searchmont and the Olds were driven by Mr. Ames in the prestigious London to Brighton Run, a race for cars built prior to 1905, and the longest running motoring event in the world. The Searchmont has also been awarded a national first place award from the Antique Automobile Club of America.

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