Photos property of Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, http://www.lcmm.org
From Arthur Child Museum – Linda Mainse – Also 1813, The Shipwrights’ War and Other Stories
(GANANOQUE, ONTARIO) Lake Champlain Maritime Museum’s schooner Lois McClure will be in port at the PUC dock adjacent to Joel Stone Heritage Park, Water St., Gananoque from 6 pm Thursday August 29th to 10 am Saturday August 31st, open to the public from 11 – 6 pm on August 30th, during her tour commemorating the War of 1812 Bicentennial. As well, Art Cohn will present an evening talk titled “Shipwrecks: The Lake Champlain Experience” on Thursday, August 29th from 7:30 – 8:30 pm at the Arthur Child Heritage Museum, followed by refreshments. “The shipbuilding races and naval battles of 1813 helped to determine the outcome of the War of 1812, and left a legacy of shipwrecks beneath the waters of the Great Lakes, St. Lawrence River, and Lake Champlain,” explains Art Cohn, Special Project Director. “Our dynamic outreach program explores history where it happened, on the anniversary of the cross-border war that ushered in 200 years of peace.”
Visitors can board the schooner free of charge to explore the 88-foot long boat “from stem to stern.”Many ports on the tour played significant roles during the War of 1812. In recent years, a tangible legacy of shipwrecks from the War of 1812 has been discovered at the bottom of the lakes and waterways where naval history was made. These shipwrecks and related sites on land form a powerful connection to the little-known war, which closed the final chapter in North American boundary disputes and ushered in two centuries of peaceful alliance between the United States, Britain, and Canada.
The 2013 journey begins in June on the Champlain Canal, and continues west across the Erie Canal to Buffalo, NY to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry’s victory at the Battle of Lake Erie – an event of special interest to Senior Captain Roger Taylor, a descendant of the Commodore. The schooner then enters Lake Ontario via the Oswego Canal, and travels down the St. Lawrence and Richelieu, returning to Lake Champlain in October.
Lois McClure was built by LCMM shipwrights and volunteers on the Burlington waterfront, based on two shipwrecks of 1862-class canal schooners discovered in Lake Champlain. Since 2004, Lois McClure has cruised Lake Champlain, the Hudson and St. Lawrence Rivers, and the Erie Canal System, and has visited over 115 communities and welcomed aboard more than 150,000 visitors. Many of the historic canals on which the schooner travels were constructed not long after the War of 1812, and were viewed in part as “homeland security” if it became necessary to transport troops or military supplies. Happily, however, the canals, and the canal boats on them, have served the network of shared trade, commerce and recreation enjoyed by Canadians and Americans.
LCMM’s authentic replica 1862 canal schooner Lois McClure has no means of propulsion other than sail, so 1964 tugboat C. L. Churchill serves as power. As with all wooden vessels, constant care and maintenance is needed to ensure safe and effective operation.
Free admission is offered throughout the tour thanks to the generous support of sponsors including the New York State Canal Corporation, State of Vermont, National Park Service, Lake Champlain Basin Program, the farm families of Cabot Creamery, and Lake Champlain Transportation. Local hosts and supporters include the Arthur Child Museum.
Lake Champlain Maritime Museum is located on the shore of Lake Champlain, seven scenic miles from historic Vergennes, Vermont at 4472 Basin Harbor Road, across from the Basin Harbor Club. A museum with a difference, LCMM brings underwater discoveries and lake adventures to the public in exciting and imaginative ways. The Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. through October 13, 2013. LCMM Members and children 5 and under receive free admission. For more information call (802) 475-2022 or visit http://www.lcmm.org.