Remembering the Portland: 125 Years of Legacy and Learning
Free public symposium, April 27, 2024, at Southern Maine Community College

an old photo of the portland docked

On Nov. 26, 1898, the elegant coastal steamship Portland departed Boston, never to reach its intended destination. All passengers and crew were lost. The ship’s location remained a mystery for a century until researchers determined its resting place. Since 2002, the site has become a focus for maritime studies, ranging from technical science to elementary education.

Join us on April 27, 2024, at Southern Maine Community College, as we commemorate the 125th anniversary of the Portland’s loss and explore innovative technologies and new research findings, while also highlighting the personal stories tied to this historic New England maritime tragedy. The day-long symposium is free and open to the public.

Please send RSVP by April 17 to or for more information.

Symposium Program

9:00 a.m.

Pete DeCola, superintendent, Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary
Welcome and Introduction

9:15 a.m.

Professor Herb Adams, professor of history, Southern Maine Community College
Setting the Context for the Tragedy

9:45 a.m.

Joseph Sienkiewicz, Chief of the Ocean Applications Branch, National Weather Service
Why Weather Matters?

10:15 a.m.


10:30 a.m.

Benjamin Haskell, Deputy Superintendent, Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary
Reflections on 20 years of Studying the Portland

11:00 a.m.

Evan Kovacs, Owner of Marine Imaging Technologies, Inc.
Unveiling the 3D Model of the Wreck of the Portland

11:30 a.m.

Dr. Calvin Mires, archaeologist, Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary
Why Does the Portland Matter? An Historical Perspective


Lunch (on your own at the SMCC cafeteria)

1:00 p.m.

Dr. Kirstin Meyer-Kaiser, biologist, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
How does the Portland Build Community?

1:30 p.m.

Terry Wolkowicz, principal of Sound Explorations
Using the Portland as a Teaching Tool

2:00 p.m.


2:30 p.m.

Pete DeCola and Ben Haskell
Protecting the Portland and Maritime Heritage in Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary

3:00 p.m.

John Galluzzo, author
Impacts of the Portland Gale on southern New England

3:30 p.m.

Herb Adams, Bob Greene, Ruth Silcox
Moderated Panel: Impacts of the Tragedy on the Community

4:00 p.m.

Pete DeCola, Herb Adams
Closing Remarks

4:30 p.m.


Portland Symposium Sponsored By:

  • Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary
  • Maine Historical Society
  • Southern Maine Community College