Classes, Weekends in Wiscasset

Weekends in Wiscasset – May 24 and 25th

Saturday, May 25

Damariscotta Mills Alewives Festival

2:00 pm – 9:00 pm Damariscotta Mills Fish Restoration Ladder, Nobleboro

Childrens activities, music games, see the alewives and restoration work. Good food, smoked alewives and 5K road race (8 AM)

35th Anniversary, Wiscasset Bay Gallery

From 3 – 5 pm to celebrate the gallery’s 35th year and the opening of “Spring Arrivals.” The reception is free and open to the public and light refreshments will be served. 67 Main Street, Wiscasset

Wiscasset, Waterville and Farmington Railway Museum, 7 Cross Rd, Alna

WWI on the Homefront Re-enactment  May 25 at 2:00 pm – May 26, 2019 at 8:00 pm

Re-enactors from 103rd Regiment Living History will be encamped at Alna Center Station all weekend sharing stories, information and history relating to the First World War in Europe and on the home front.

The Art of Woodburning May 26th 9:30 am – 3 pm

The Shelter Institute, Route 1 in Woolwich

Explore tools, wood types and techniques to open a world of creativity, utilitarian uses and unique gifts. Wood burning has much to offer and does not require you to be an artist.

Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens – Free Weekend for Mainers

Maine residents get free admission to the gardens this Saturday, Sunday and Monday (May 25, 26, 27).

Regular Events

Montsweag Flea Market

6:00 am – 2:00 pm Montsweag Flea Market is Midcoast Maine’s largest flea market. Open Saturday and Sunday.

Monkey C Monkey Do

Ropes challenge course and ziplines for the whole family. On Route 1 just south of Shaw’s supermarket. Open Saturday and Sundays.

Lighthouse Lovers Tour

Maine Maritime Museum, Bath 3:30pm – 7:30pm. See up to ten lighthouses: Doubling Point Light, Kennebec Range Lights, Squirrel Point Light, Perkins Island Light, Pond Island Light, Seguin Island Light, Cuckolds Light, Ram Island Light, Burnt Island Light, and Hendricks Head Light.

Monday – Memorial Day

Try your had at selling stuff at the Montsweage Flea Market. Memorial Day is Open Field Day FREE To One & All. Please limit yourself to 2 spaces. No Reservations.

Classes, Discover Wiscasset, Shopping

Family Business Brings the World to Midcoast Maine

Post and beam structure built by students at the Shelter Institute in Midcoast Maine.
Post and Beam Structure Built by students

The entrance to the Shelter Institute is just outside Wiscasset on Route 1. You’ve probably passed the entrance a thousand times, seen their post and beam sign with the rotating holiday decorations and thought, “I should stop in some time and take a look. And while you might not have been in yet, the Shelter Institute hosts people from all around the world. They come to attend workshops, buy woodworking tools, and order custom designed timber structures. The Shelter Institute has recently had attendees from Germany, Brazil, New Zealand, Poland, Spain, Japan, Puerto Rico, South America and France. They’ve designed and built structures all around the US and the Caribbean. 

All types of woodworking tools are for sale in the shop at the Shelter Institute in Maine.
Woodworking Tools for Sale at the Shelter institute

While it has world reach, the Shelter Institute has Maine roots. Pat and Patsy Hennin started the business in 1974 in Bath, Maine. Originally in the space above Reny’s they later bought and renovated the building that now houses Brynes Irish Pub. Patsy remained very active in the business up until her death in 2006 and Pat is still highly involved. Their children, Blueberry Beeton and Gaius Hennin now run the majority of the day to day operations. Everyone in the family live nearby and enjoy all the outdoor opportunities that Maine has to offer, especially boating.

Working on the beams for a custom designed building built at the Shelter Institute
Fabricating a Custom Designed Building at the Shelter Institute

As the courses and structures became more popular they found they needed a larger site that would allow students to practice raising buildings and provide space to house their growing fabrication business.  They knew they wanted to remain close to Bath and their regular customers, and they knew they wanted to be on Route 1 because of the great exposure to all the vehicles traveling back and forth regularly. In 2000 they bought 68 acres of land on Route 1 for their new location. The campus includes a retail store, classroom, and workshop.

Students gather around to learn the use of woodworking tools at the Shelter Institute in Maine
Teaching Students at one of their Courses at the Shelter Institute

All of the class offered by the Shelter Institute are approved for the GI Bill for Veterans and many institutions consider the classes job training opportunities. The Design Build Class is college accredited through the University of Maine Augusta. Shelter was founded on the idea of learning and teaching. Pat and Patsy believed in the importance of the individual having an understanding of the world in which they live; literally their home. As a commemoration to the passion for learning that Patsy Henning infused into the Shelter Institute, the family created a scholarship program for local high school and college students to help them attend trainings and gain skills.  You can find out more information on their classes, tools, and scholarships by visiting their website, Facebook page or Instagram.

Or next time you’re driving by why not stop in and see everything they have to offer.  


This article is part of a series produced by Friends of Wiscasset to highlight area businesses. This article was written by Saundra Neperud. Other stories in this series include: