Statement of Significance (as of designation - December 20, 1989):
Built in 1921 specifically for Arctic exploration, the auxiliary schooner Bowdoin was the brainchild of Adm. Donald Baxter MacMillan, an Arctic explorer, aviator, author, anthropologist, and philanthropist who made 26 of his 29 voyages to the Arctic on Bowdoin. She is one of a handful of historic Arctic vessels left in the world and exemplifies the rugged conditions and the hardy navigators who braved the frozen north to unlock its secrets. Much of the information and knowledge of the Arctic, Labrador, and Greenland that exists to date was gathered aboard BOWDOIN. During the Second World War, Bowdoin and MacMillan were commissioned by the U.S. Navy to serve on the important Greenland Patrol. Retired from her Arctic service in 1954, MacMillan sailed Bowdoin south to commence a career as a museum vessel.