2022 Annual Appeal

Dear Friends,

November is a time of reflection at the museum.   As our team of staff, volunteers and board members prepare the grounds for winter, we reflect on a year past and envision the year ahead.  And in keeping with the worldwide November tradition, we give thanks for our many blessings.

As we continue to adapt to a world of rapid and significant change, we become increasingly aware of the moments that make us, always centering on family, friends, and community.  These moments are forever present at the museum and permanently archived for generations to come.  It’s a very special place to honor yesterday, savor today, and anticipate tomorrow.  And it’s made possible by you: our members, visitors, sponsors, donors, and volunteers.

Our 57th season was another for the history books.  We hosted clubs, organizations, bus tours, classrooms, weddings, birthday parties, fundraisers, and community events.  We welcomed thousands of members and visitors, brought machinery back to life, restored buildings and exhibits, developed new educational programs, debuted our new digital collection, introduced new events, and re-introduced past favorite events.  We grew our antique store, our museum collections, and our member base.  We witnessed and cherished thousands of smiles.

And as we bring our 57th season to a close, we are excited to welcome the newest addition to our team, Paul Barcellos, the museum’s new Executive Director.  Paul brings with him an impressive professional background and 45 years of experience in a variety of positions, including Founder, CEO, Production Manager, Firefighter, Commercial Real Estate Developer, and Public Relations.  A formal introduction will be forthcoming.


Artisan Days and New Exhibits: 2023 will see the return and expansion of “Artisan Days” featuring previous and new tradespeople. Grants are also being sought to support the purchase of activity kits for visitors to participate in crafts and pursuits relevant to our museum’s mission period. These kits (ex: tabletop butter churns, handheld looms, thaumatrope making, etc.) would be able to be used at events, field trips, and potential summer camps.

Archival Building: 

Our most ambitious undertaking of the past few years is the design and construction of a much-needed archive and storage facility. As presented in last year’s request, the structure will allow for the proper care of museum artifacts while providing the space needed for a library and workshops. Thus, opening opportunities for research collaborations and volunteering will encourage the community to participate and feel ownership in the museum’s success as valuable stewards of local history. Progress has been made in securing funds for the construction of the building with donations and matching funds to date totaling $260,000.  On the construction front, a septic design has been completed and a special rails system for storage has been ordered.  As progress continues additional grant opportunities will be sought to support the project.  A total of $500,000 is needed to complete the project.

Why we need an Archival Building: 

Most of our patrons already know the Railway Village Museum is home to a substantial collection of historic artifacts, rolling stock, antique vehicles, and historic structures.   But many do not know that items on display are only a fraction of the objects making up the museum’s collections. However, the museum has insufficient facilities to properly store, conserve, or restore the entirety of the collections. Particularly, our current storage facilities do not support proper control of environmental conditions, and our collections are at risk of continued deterioration.

The construction of an archival building will allow for the preservation of our historic artifacts to appropriate museum quality standards. The architectural plans were created in consultation with the museum curator and an archival storage specialist who assessed our collections and specific needs. Additionally, we have long outgrown our facilities’ ability to properly store historic documents and significant book collection, therefore, the planned structure has been designed to include a library and historic document storage. The library will be made available to the public for research by appointment. The building design also includes a staging area for exhibit development currently unavailable given present spatial limitations. With this new space, we plan to create a new feature exhibit annually and arrange for rotating displays. Lastly, the archive building will facilitate the development of a robust volunteer program to assist in the rehousing and digital cataloging of our collections. Our desired outcomes relate directly to the care of our collections and the improved capacity to develop and deliver educational content to our visitors.  We hope you will consider funding this project, as it will ultimately allow us to be more effective custodians of Maine history and better serve our community through improved educational programming, resource accessibility, and volunteer opportunities.

General Museum Fund:

As we plan for growth and improvement, we remain focused on our mission to preserve and maintain current collections, exhibits, buildings, and grounds.  The massive 35- acre property is in constant need of care, and with that comes the need for regular funding.  Donations made to the general fund will play a valuable role in the museum’s future, allowing us to maintain the train tracks, buildings, grounds, auto museum, and all existing exhibits.  Donations allocated to the general fund also allow us to overcome unexpected challenges as they arise; a priceless asset when maintaining a vintage village.

It Takes a Village, and WE NEED YOU
The museum offers a rare opportunity in our region and our state, and its existence relies on collaboration.  Continued support for the museum’s goals will ensure that the demonstrated progress of the last few years persists into 2023 and beyond.

A 100% Match on Donations Received before December 31, 2022:

As in years’ past, our longtime generous donor will match all donations made before December 31, 2022, allowing us to reach our goals in half the time.  Donations can be designated to a specific project, or applied to our general museum fund, donor’s choice.   All donations are 100% tax deductible.  Donations of any size are valuable and appreciated. It is with humble appreciation that we ask our generous family of past donors, residents, and area businesses to help us, as we continue our mission to offer meaningful recreation to locals and visitors, who need the outlet now more than ever.

On behalf of the staff, volunteers, and Board, we wish to thank you in advance, for your consideration.

Happy Thanksgiving,

Caleb Hodgdon
President of the Board of Directors
Boothbay Railway Village Museum

Please include the remitter below with your donation allocation preference

_______ Artisan Days & Educational Activities

_______ Archival Building

_______ General Museum Fund

Thank You!  Your Support Makes a Difference.