Perhaps you saw the October Mount Desert Islander article ⇗ about the Maine Seacoast Mission’s 75-foot motor vessel Sunbeam returning to its home port in Northeast Harbor, after a year and a half of repairs and renovations. Did you know the boat is actually named Sunbeam V? And, that there was a sloop named Hope and a motor launch named Morning Star that preceded the five Sunbeams?
“To sail a sloop…from Kittery Point to Quoddy Head, in all kinds of weather, is not a small undertaking. To…call on families on isolated islands, visit the lightkeepers and the lifesaving stations, is a task of greater magnitude.”First Annual Report, Maine Sea Coast Missionary Society, 1906
Want to learn more? The History Trust can help: my recent search on “Sunbeam” returned 61 items from the digital archive. There are drawings, images, and stories of those predecessor boats, along with information about the history of Seacoast Mission.
Check out the report that shows all 61 of the items I retrieved on the search, “Sunbeam”. I created the PDF with a new report feature of the digital archive.
Look below for a few items I found.
Or, try the search yourself.
- Photos of Sunbeam I », Sunbeam II », Sunbeam III », and the above drawing of Sunbeam ».
- 1939 Sunbeam button ». “Extra credit” if you can tell us which Sunbeam is pictured on the button.
- Photos of the vessels carrying kids », jeeps », coffins », and the ill ».
- Sunbeam in winter ice ».
- Maine Seacoast Mission Reference Item ».
- A wonderful 1950 story » by the Sigma Kappa sorority. Did you know that women of the Sigma Kappa (founded by Colby College’s first women students . . . but that’s another story) began supplying gifts and other needed items to the Seacoast Mission as early as 1911?
Have information to share about the Sunbeam or the Seacoast Mission? Comment below or contact us. Can you identify the boys in the photo below? “Bonus points” if you ARE one of the boys!
The History Trust’s virtual archive holds fascinating details about our member institutions—and the communities they have served. I love rummaging around in the Digital Archive to see what I might learn. Explore our historical collections to pursue your own questions about the history of the Mount Desert Island region.
You can learn about the current activities of the Sunbeam, including a schedule of its visits, at the Mission website ⇗, where you’ll find a 2016 virtual tour of the Sunbeam V before refurbishment and the video profile below.
The Sunbeam will soon be very busy delivering needed health and wellness services, supplies, and holiday food and gifts to about 3,000 residents on the region’s unbridged islands. If you would like to help brighten the holidays for the folks who count on the Sunbeam, take a look at Maine Seacoast Mission‘s 2020 Christmas Wish List ⇗.
Header Image: “Drawing of the Sunbeam at Sea Slide 1, 1961-1982,” Maine Seacoast Mission …view item »