Liberty Tool Company
Hulls Cove Tool Barn
Captain Tinkham's Emporium
Davistown Museum

Jonesport Wood Company Great Wass Island Ebay Store

Liberty Tool Company Online

Davistown Museum
Fine Arts Gallery


Historical Background

The Jonesport Wood Company

The Jonesport Wood Co. originated on the beaches of northern California in the late 1960's as a collection of driftwood. Skip Brack collected several thousand pieces of driftwood with interesting sculptural characteristics in Berkeley, California. In 1970, he ended a long journey at the former Cummings and Norton General Store in West Jonesport, Maine, opposite the Beal's Island bridge. The original business name was the Great Wass Island Salvage Company. When the first shop opened in West Jonesport (driftwood sculpture, crafts, a few tools and antiques), we were inundated with requests for old tools, especially old woodworking tools. Some of the first customers were students at a boat building school in Eastport, Maine. Skip changed a pre-existing classified advertisement in the Waltham, Mass. News Tribune from "master painter available" to "old tools wanted," and the rest is history.

By 1976, the inventory of used tools and "accidental durable remnants" was too large for the Jonesport building, and Skip purchased the old IGA in Liberty, Maine, (a rooming house with a dance hall on the third floor). This is now the current location of the Liberty Tool Co.

In 1983, Skip purchased a large property (6.5 acres) on the edge of Acadia National Park and moved the main office, warehouse and Jonesport inventory to this new location in Hulls Cove (3 miles north of Bar Harbor, Maine). At this time, books and antiques were sold in the house, formerly a restaurant, while the barn was renovated for tool sales. In 1984, the Hulls Cove Tool Barn opened in the renovated barn, while the house reverted to restaurant status in the form of the Yellow Giraffe Cafe (a vegetarian restaurant in the land of lobsters). The book shop in the house continued. The cafe also served as a venue for selling some tools and antique items (known as the Hulls Cove Trading Company). The Yellow Giraffe Cafe continued in operation until 1992, renamed as the Breakneck Hollow Cafe and then as the Geronimo Cafe. The Jonesport store closed in 1984.

In 1986, Skip acquired the Liberty Village General Store and Banks' Garage, across the street from the Liberty Tool Co., and it temporarily served to accommodate the overflow until it was leased to Liberty Graphics (T-shirts) in 1992. The Banks' Garage is still used as an annex to the Liberty Tool Co. for storage and sale of power tools.

In 1994, a fifth store, the Captain Parker Building in downtown Searsport, was purchased. Here we sell books formerly located at the Hulls Cove Geronimo Cafe bookshop, in addition to paper items, antiques, collectibles, prints, and a selction of hand tools.

Currently, there are three stores open to the public.

Liberty Tool Co.

In 1976, we began running out of space for all of our inventory at our Jonesport Wood store. The Liberty Tool Company was purchased in 1976 after a tool-picking trip to Liberty, Maine, in search of hand tools rumored to be available in large quantities at the Liberty Salvage Company, located just below what is now the Liberty Tool Company on the edge of the George's River. Owner David McLaughlin was reluctant to part with any tools, but purchased several hundred dollars worth of merchandise from the Jonesport Wood tool truck. The Liberty Tool Company was at that time an empty building with a small selection of leftover antiques from a retired antique dealer as well as a large quantity of rubbish on the second floor. The Liberty Tool Company was purchased the day after the visit to David's Liberty Salvage, and was opened for business within a few weeks. The first year of operation was devoted to cleaning out the rubbish on the upper floors and painting the building, famed for its hackmatack ship's knees in the cellar and chestnut clapboards on the exterior. The rest of the story is history.

Center for Biological Monitoring

The owner of the Jonesport Wood Co., H.G. "Skip" Brack, was formerly a director of the New England Ecology Center, (Cambridge, Mass. circa Earth Day 1970). As a subsidiary of the Jonesport Wood Co., Washington County RADSCAN, later changed to Maine RADSCAN, was established in West Jonesport at the same time as the Jonesport store. The focus of RADSCAN was source points of anthropogenic radioactivity impacting eastern Maine. When the Jonesport store closed, Maine RADSCAN moved to Hulls Cove with the tool and book departments and was reincarnated as the Center for Biological Monitoring, Inc. CBM, now a part of The Davistown Museum, sponsors RADNET: Nuclear Information on the Internet. RADNET is an on-line encyclopedia of information pertaining to source points of anthropogenic radioactivity and its spread in the biosphere. For a bibliography of the many publications of CBM including three publications pertaining to the Maine Yankee Atomic Power Company, visit RADNET Section 16: Sponsor Information.  For our most recent publication on the Maine Yankee Atomic Power Company, click Patterns of Noncompliance:  The Nuclear Regulatory Commission and The Maine Yankee Atomic Power Company:  Generic and Site-Specific Deficiencies in Radiological Surveillance Programs.  For an endless journey into cyberspace, visit CBM's RADLINKS where you can electronically access virtually any site that has information pertaining to nuclear weapons production, nuclear power, fuel reprocessing and radioactive waste disposal.  These links range from Greenpeace and the Nuclear Information Resource Service (NIRS) to the National Imagery Management Agency (NIMA) and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

Pennywheel Press

The Pennywheel Press was established in West Jonesport in 1976 for the purpose of publishing the first and only book catalog for the Moosabec Reach Historical Company, 1976 - 1981. Since 2000, Pennywheel Press has been publishing the texts issued by the Davistown Museum; 14 books have been published. The most recent publication is the Fukushima Daiichi: Nuclear Information Handbook: A Guide to Accident Terminology and Information Sources, which can be ordered at For additional information on this text, please visit the Davistown Museum website, which will bring you to a complete listing of all Pennywheel Press publications. Please note the blog on the Japan disaster, which contains updates on the various issues associated with the accident at Fukushima Daiichi, including lack of accurate accident monitoring data and the ongoing controversy pertaining to the design defects in America's 35 boiling water nuclear reactors.

The Pennywheel Press publishes the Davistown Museum's six volume Hand Tools in History series, which can also be ordered through The text and photographs in this publication series are accessible online and are an integral component of the Davistown Museum's mission of documenting the maritime and industrial history of New England from the Colonial Period to the end of the Classic Period of American Toolmaking.

The Pennywheel Press has also recently published the three volume edition of Biocatastophe: The Legacy of Human Ecology sponsored by both the Environmental History Department of the Davistown Museum and Engine Company No. 9: RADSCAN CHEMFALL (established 1970). The entire Phenomenology of Biocatastrophe series can be accessed online here.

After the Pennywheel Press was established in West Jonesport in 1976, it published the first edition of The Phenomenology of Tools (1982), which has since be reprinted (2010) in an illustrated and updated edition. In 1984, RADSCAN: Information Sampler on Long-Lived Radionuclides, was published for the Center for Biological Monitoring (CBM). Prior to the establishment of the Davistown Museum, the Pennywheel Press issued numerous publications for CBM, all of which are now out of print. Most of the publications issued in behalf of the Davistown Museum are currently available at selected Maine bookstores and museums, on in softcover and Kindle versions, at the museum locations in Liberty in Searsport, and at the Jonesport Wood Co. locations in Hulls Cove, Searsport, and Liberty, Maine.

Comments, corrections and additional information pertaining to any Davistown Museum publication are welcomed, please e-mail here. Don't forget to visit the Davistown Museum website for photo tours of exhibitions and collections!

Many CBM publications can be accessed through URSUS: University of Maine Library System (search for H.G. Brack or Ephraim Tinkham, a pseudonym used for the Biocatastrophe Publication Series). The office of Pennywheel Press is located at PO Box 144, Hulls Cove, Maine and is a component of the Davistown Museum office located next to the Hulls Cove Tool Barn.

Hulls Cove Tool Barn

The Hulls Cove Tool Barn, long known as the Hulls Cove Trading Company and so designated by our sign behind the post office in Hulls Cove, is our main outlet for the woodworking tools recovered by the Jonesport Wood Company. Once the location of the famed Yellow Giraffe, then Geronimo Cafe, our gallery/bookshop/restaurant was the only vegetarian restaurant on Mount Desert Island from 1983 to circa 1998. The cafe evolved into the main office of the Davistown Museum, its extensive website, and the Pennywheel Press publication series. The gallery component of the museum office remains nearly unchanged from the days of the cafe's operation.
A number of paintings and other items contained in the gallery are listed by the e-store at, as well as in the Fine Arts e-store of the Davistown Museum. The gallery itself is closed to the general public, but individuals visiting the Hulls Cove Tool Barn or the Davistown Museum may make an appointment to view some of the paintings and artwork by contacting Skip Brack at

Captain Tinkham's Emporium

Captain Tinkham's was established in 1996 for the purpose of providing an additional outlet for Jonesport Wood company merchandise, including tools, but also including our extensive collection of books and prints. Captain Tinkham's is located in the historic Park's block (National Register of Historic Sites, circa 1820), and is currently open every day during the Summer and Saturdays all Winter. Much of the inventory of the Jonesport Wood company e-store, Great Wass Island Salvage Company, is located on the premises of Captain Tinkham's.

Davistown Museum

The Davistown Museum was established in 1999 and is located in Main Street in Liberty, directly across the street from the Liberty Tool Company on the second, third and fourth floors of the Prescott Block, directly above the Liberty Graphics Outlet. Originally planned as a movie theater with a small tool museum on one side of the theater, the museum gradually evolved into a combination of a tool, art and history museum (the marriage of tools, art, and history). The mission of the Davistown Museum is the recovery, interpretation, preservation, and display of the hand tools of New England's wooden age, with special emphasis on the edge tools made and used in the florescence of New England's shipbuilding. The Davistown Museum is sponsored by the Jonesport Wood Company and has received extensive donations of historically significant tools from the Liberty Tool Company, as well as other generous donors. Barker Steel LLC has been the primary sponsor of the museum's extensive website since its incorporation in 1999. Numerous other corporate and private donors have assisted the Davistown Museum in the various missions described on its web page.

Davistown Museum Hulls Cove Sculpture Gardens

When the Jonesport Wood Co. moved to Hulls Cove, Skip had the luxury of 6.5 acres of gardens, fields, apple trees and woods on two sides of Breakneck Stream adjacent to Acadia National Park. From 1983 onward, Skip made intensive efforts to improve and expand the existing gardens. Frog ponds were created by digging out a large garbage dump at the rear of the property and several boggy areas on the south side. These wetlands form the southern edge of what is now the Hulls Cove Sculpture Garden.

Beginning in 1985 with creations of David McLaughlin (Liberty, ME) and Carol Hanson (Damriscotta, ME), the collections of the Jonesport Wood Co. expanded to include work by a number of Maine artists including Melita Westerlund-Brecher, Katie Bell, Sam Shaw, and Phil Barter. In addition to sculpture by these artists, the gardens contain interesting found artifacts made by anonymous individuals during the last two centuries.

The Hulls Cove Sculpture Garden is open to the public from May to November and has over a mile of trails, a treehouse and hideaway for visiting children, several locations for picnics, a play area with swings and extensive annual, perennial, and wildflower gardens. The installation philosophy of the Hulls Cove Sculpture Garden is that no sculpture is complete without an interesting setting adjacent to or within one of the flower gardens. Children, photographers and painters are invited to visit the gardens even if they have no interest in old tools or antiquarian items.

Great Wass Island Salvage Company e-stores

The Great Wass Island Salvage Company is the e-store for the Jonesport Wood Company. Established in 2002, the mission of the Great Wass Island Salvage Company is to sell tools, books, paintings, and other artifacts online owned by the Jonesport Wood Company. The Great Wass Island Salvage Company was the very first name of the Jonesport Wood Company. Since the Jonesport Wood Company was located across the Moosabec Reach from Beal's and Great Wass Island, it was quickly determined in 1970 that we'd best name our new store the Jonesport Wood Company. For sentimental reasons, this seemed the appropriate name for our new e-store in 2002. What was initially a very meager series of offerings on this e-store will soon become a much larger potpourri of interesting tools, books, paintings, and artifacts. In 2008 we have divided the Great Wass Island Salvage Company in two sections, our online store and an eBay store. We also do a certain amount of eBay auctioning during the winter. Visitors please note that 20% of the sales from Great Wass Island Salvage Company are donated to the Davistown Museum to help fund our extensive research, publications, and exhibitions.

Maine Artists Guild Online Gallery

In the Spring of 2005, a large section of the second floor of the Davistown Museum building, previously an apartment, became vacant and available for the Davistown Museum's growing collection of art. The extra space provided by these four rooms, in addition to the library and reading room already present on the second floor, provided the opportunity to display and sell works of art consigned by Maine artists in the permanent collection of the museum. The Maine Artists Guild e-store consists of works of art for sale by artists whose work is on display in the permanent collection, as well as links to individual artists' home pages, galleries, shows, or other vending locations. 20% of the sales from the Maine Artists Guild e-store are donated to the Davistown Museum.

Davistown Museum Fine Arts Gallery

A small number of antiquarian paintings of significant art historical interest on loan to the Davistown Museum and exhibited in our annual exhibitions, either at the museum main hall in Liberty or at our Hulls Cove gallery are available for purchase at our fine arts online gallery. 20% or more of the proceeds from the sale of these artworks will be donated to the Davistown Museum, with special emphasis on paying our significant long-term debt which was incurred during the last ten years with respect to the construction and organization of the Davistown Museum.

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