SIA 43rd Annual Conference - Tours & Events

SIA 43rd Annual Conference – Tours & Events



Thursday, May 15 (evening events at By The Bay Conference Center in conference hotel)
5:00-6:00 PM – New Members’ Welcome
6:00-9:00 PM – Opening Reception
The Reception will include snacks, a cash bar, and an orientation to the history of Maine manufacturing and the days ahead.

Our main speaker for the opening reception on Thursday evening May 15 will be Earle G. Shettleworth Jr., Maine’s State Historian and State Historic Preservation Officer.  His talk entitled “Maine at Work” presents historic stereoscopic views of Maine industries.


Choose one of the following all-day tours (lunch and transportation included)

F1 – Bath
This Tour is full Head “downeast” along the coast to Bath, City of Ships, with stops at Lowell Brothers in Yarmouth, a family operation that has built lobster boats, yachts, and even a few rum runners over the past century; Custom Composite Technologies; a tide mill; Maine Maritime Museum, Sagadahoc High Bridge, and the 1927 double-deck Carleton Lift Bridge in Bath (with views of the Bath Iron Works shipyard)

F2 – Biddeford

Pepperell Manufacturing grew on either side of the falls of the Saco River, starting in 1840, to become one of the largest cotton textile firms in New England. West Point Pepperell ceased operations here in 2009 and the 1.1-million-square-foot Mill complex is now home to a machine tool museum, a wool dying plant, precision metal fabricators, and a brewery. Additional process tours include Precision Manufacturing Solutions in Biddeford and Yale Cordage in Saco.

F3 – Portland

We have also reworked Friday Tour F3 (Portland).  This tour now includes process tours at Barber Foods (chicken processing), Nichols Portland (formerly W. H. Nichols, now Parker Hannifin’s gerotor pump division), New England Distilling and Geary Brewing, plus a railway ride, a behind-the-scenes tour of the massive repurposed Portland Company factory complex, and a waterfront luncheon.

Barber Foods

Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad.

F4 – Kittery

This Tour is Cancelled

Saturday May 17 Daytime events at By the Bay Conference Center in conference hotel

8:00–11:30 Morning Presentation Sessions
Coffee and soft drinks will be available.
11:45–1:15 Annual Business Meeting & Luncheon
1:30–5:00 Afternoon Presentation Sessions
All Day Exhibits, Posters & Book Sales

NOTE: Schedules on this website are approximate. Please watch for emails and check this website and your registration packet for updated times, details, and web links.


 OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES (extra fees apply to all optional activities below)

Thursday Afternoon, May 15

T1 – Downtown & Lighthouse Tour (3:45-5:30 PM) – A narrated trolley tour of Portland’s historic sites.

T2 – This Tour is now FULL Cruise to Historic Island Fortresses (12:45-4:15 PM) – This is a rare opportunity to visit three islands (two of which are normally off-limits) on a boat and walking tour led by Professor Joel Eastman. Fort Gorges (1858-1865), on Hog Island, retains its parade ground, powder magazines, and a 10-inch Parrot gun. Fort Scammell (1808-1898), on House Island, is the only Casco Bay fort ever fired upon (1813). Fort Levett, on Cushing Island, defended Portland from the 1890s to the end of WWII. A bus will take participants to and from the hotel to Long Wharf at 12:45. The cruise ends at 4:15.

T3 – Maine Maritime Museum (1:00-5:30 PM– bus transportation included) – Maine Maritime Museum in Bath has extensive collections of shipbuilding and seafaring artifacts in historic and modern buildings on the grounds of Percy & Small Shipyard.

T4- Allagash Brewery…New Tour added: Tour T4 (Allagash Brewery — $20 — 12:45-3:00 p.m.) is added to the Thursday afternoon options.  This tour will begin with a free tasting of the company’s unique offerings, followed by a guided tour of production facilities.

Friday Evening, May 16

Fourth Annual SIA Film Festival (7:00-9:00PM) – In the theater at One Longfellow Square. Come see historic and modern short films with an emphasis on Maine industry – logging, river drives, shipbuilding, fishing, boot making, and some surprises too. Snacks and cash bar available. The theatre is a three-block walk from the hotel.

Saturday Evening, May 17

SB – Saturday Banquet Lobster Cruise (Shuttle from hotel 5:30 PM to 6:20 PM, Cruise 6:30-9:30 PM) – A chance to cruise the islands and lighthouses of Casco Bay with SIA friends and colleagues while dining on some of Maine’s signature dishes. The meal includes clam chowder, a 1¼ lb. lobster, clams or mussels (depending on availability), corn on the cob, baked potato, rolls and blueberry cake. (Please contact Ron Petrie if you wish an alternative meal of barbecue chicken, vegetarian pasta primavera or a vegetarian burger.) Our ship sails at 6:30 sharp. There is a well-stocked cash bar on board. Shuttle service will be provided from the hotel to Custom House Wharf from 5:30 to 6:30 and return 9:30 to 10:30, but you may prefer a ¾-mile evening stroll along the aptly named Pleasant Street. Space is limited, so please register early.

ST – Downtown & Lighthouse Tour (6:45-8:45 PM) – A narrated trolley tour of Portland’s historic sites with some great views over the harbor at twilight and an opportunity to scope out some of the city’s best places to eat and drink.

Sunday Morning, May 18

S1 – Longfellow House & Museum – Meet at 10:00 AM at Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s childhood home, 489 Congress Street (4 blocks from the hotel), for a tour of the house, built in 1786, the first wholly brick dwelling in Portland and the oldest standing structure on the peninsula. Admission to the Maine Historical Society Museum is included.

S2 – Walking Tour – Meet at 10:00 AM at 489 Congress St. (4 blocks from the hotel) for a guided tour of historic sites from Congress Street to the waterfront. Admission to the Maine Historical Society Museum and Longfellow House are included after the tour.

S3 – This tour is full…George’s Basement 10 am tour – Visit the private home of George Collord, famous collector of machine tools and horological artifacts, to see things too special for his museum. Carpool from the hotel at 10:00 AM.

S4 – This tour is full…George’s Basement 2 pm tour – Visit the private home of George Collord, famous collector of machine tools and horological artifacts, to see things too special for his museum. Carpool from the hotel at 2:00 PM.

Off-site activities include transportation to and from the conference hotel, except Tour T2, the Friday Film Festival, and Sunday tours S1, S2, S3 and S4

Photograph credit: Fishing Docks, Portland c.1910
Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division
Detroit Publishing Company Collection