New Exhibit on the Burlington Waterfront

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Eloise Beil, Director of Collections and Exhibits
802-475-2022, x107; eloiseb@lcmm.org

Burlington, VT – Starting June 20, the Burlington Waterfront will feature a special attraction: Lake Champlain Maritime Museum’s new interpretive exhibit, Maritime Burlington! In a festive “big top tent” setting on Perkins Pier at the foot of Maple Street, the exhibit serves as a porthole to history for visitors and area residents, and a discovery resource for LCMM’s new Lake Adventure Camps.

The exhibit Maritime Burlington presents highlights from LCMM’s nautical archaeology fieldwork and historical research encourages exploration and discovery. “We are very excited to be greeting the public right where so much history happened,” says Executive Director Mike Smiles. “The lake’s first steamboat, Vermont – and the second commercially successful steamboat in the world – was launched right here on the Burlington waterfront in 1808.” Changing views of the Burlington waterfront invite us to travel through time, seeing the breakwater, lighthouses, steamboats, canal boats, railroads and the cargoes that shipped in and out of the Champlain Valley, all helping to shape the city. The exhibit also includes stories of former slaves for whom the historic waterway served as a corridor to freedom. Visitors can use a working replica of a nineteenth century crane to lift cargo into a small-scale canal boat. On weekends, there will be live demonstrations of maritime skills such as shaping spars, ropework and rigging.

Several boats from LCMM’s fleet will also add color to the waterfront at Perkins Pier: MV Baldwin,which will host Saturday Shipwreck tours in July and August; and “Champlain Longboats,” the student-built rowing boats used for community rowing, regional racing events, and On Water Ecology tours. Schooner Lois McClure and her companion wooden tugboat C. L. Churchill will also be in port, although the schooner is not available for boarding in 2015 while preparing for restoration work this fall.

The exhibit is open daily from June 20 through August 23, and then Wednesday through Sunday through October 12, 2015. “Our first Lake Adventure Camps in Burlington start June 22, so you will see lots of young adventurers exploring the area with us,” says Deputy Director Erick Tichonuk. “Week-long camps on the waterfront and in Vergennes run through August 14 and there are still a few places open.” A formal ribbon cutting at the exhibit will be announced shortly.

 

 

Background:

Lois McClure was built by LCMM shipwrights and volunteers on the Burlington waterfront in 2001-2004, based on two shipwrecks of 1862-class canal schooners discovered in Lake Champlain. This authentic replica has no means of propulsion other than sail, so 1964 tugboat C. L. Churchillprovides power. Launched in 2004, Lois McClure has completed eleven journeys. Over 5,200 miles on the region’s inland waterways have carried the schooner south to New York City, west to Buffalo and Lake Ontario, and north to Quebec City, engaging people in history and archaeology at every port. More than 220,000 visitors in 220 communities have stepped on board. This replica vessel has been the most effective outreach program LCMM has ever conducted, and a leader in the world of Maritime Museums.

The Maritime Burlington exhibit, 2015 Lake Adventure Camps and restoration of schooner Lois McClure are made possible thanks to the generous support of sponsors including Burlington Parks, Recreation, and Waterfront, Lake Champlain Transportation, Seventh Generation, Merchants Bank, Dan Landau, the McClure Family, and the Lake Champlain Basin Program. This project was funded in part by an agreement awarded by the Great Lakes Fishery Commission to the New England Water Pollution Control Commission in partnership with the Lake Champlain Basin Program. NEI WPCC manages LCBP’s personnel, contract, grant and budget tasks and provides input on the program’s activities through a partnership with the LCBP steering committee.

 

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 that makes a difference, LCMM brings underwater discoveries and lake adventures to the public in exciting and imaginative ways. New, hands-on “60 Minute Experiences” are offered daily. The Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. through October 11, 2015. LCMM Members and children 5 and under receive free admission. For more information call (802) 475-2022 or visitwww.lcmm.org.

Lake Champlain Maritime Museum Opens For Season May 23

Lake Champlain Maritime Museum (LCMM) opens for the season on Saturday May 23, 2015 offering Addison County residents, students with college ID, and veterans, as well as active and reserve military personnel free admission over the entire Memorial Day Weekend.  “Memorial Day, which was created to honor people who gave their lives while serving in the nation’s armed forces, has special meaning for the Maritime Museum,” says Executive Director Mike Smiles. “Lives were lost to create and defend our country in these local waters during the American Revolution and the War of 1812.” LCMM’s exhibit Key to Liberty and replica 1776 gunboat allow visitors to step back in time to the nation’s founding. Detailed ship models of War of 1812 vessels are featured in LCMM’s new exhibit History in Miniature: The Models and Dioramas of Bill Kissam. For more than 25 years, Kissam, a resident of Westport, NY, has created detailed and accurate scale models and dioramas for museums in the region, including ships from the War of 1812, Lake Champlain steamboats, iron mines, and historic gardens. The exhibit brings together models made for LCMM and private collections. A checklist accompanying the exhibit will guide the visitor to other regional museums where Kissam’s work can be seen.

LCMM encourages visitors of all ages to go deeper, and challenge themselves to make new connections with the lake, the surrounding community, and the world around us. The Museum’s main campus at Basin Harbor outside Vergennes, Vermont, with 14 exhibit buildings and replica 1776 gunboat Philadelphia II, provides an incredible opportunity to explore the maritime heritage that transformed this nation over the centuries. Exhibits, Archaeology Lab, Boat Shop, and metalworking facilities support hands-on learning and specialized adventures such as the five-week teen kayak building and camping experience of Champlain Discovery, using foundries and forges inHeavy Metal Mania, or getting back to basics with Survivor Then & Now.

Daily visitors can choose to add a 60 to 90 minute mini-workshop or on-water experience to their Museum admission with a new pilot program of 60 Minute Experiences.” “If you like to roll up your sleeves and try something new, we have a menu of bite-sized adventures,” says Site Manager Kris Jarrett. “We can get you out on the water or into a workshop where you create something to take home.” During Memorial Day Weekend, 60 Minute Experiences include Copper Fold Forming(Saturday at 2pm); Longboat Rowing (Sunday 2-3:30pm); and Ropework (Monday at 2pm); additional fee applies. The discount package of Museum admission, lunch at the Red Mill, and history cruise return this season as well. Find more information and program registration online atwww.lcmm.org or call 802 475-2022.

 

Lake Adventure Camps:

LCMM also launches an exciting new series of adventure education programs this summer on the Burlington waterfront in partnership with Burlington Parks, Recreation & Waterfront, and at the LCMM campus in Vergennes. These week-long day camps in June, July and August are designed to inspire a new generation of adventure historians, scientists, collectors, and stewards of Lake Champlain. The Burlington Waterfront will be an extraordinary adventure camp site for LCMM. “We’ll use canoes, longboats, and power vessels to access lakeshore environments and an amazing array of shipwrecks,” explains Program Director Erick Tichonuk. “We’ll teach snorkeling techniques with the Waterfront Diving Center so students ages 4-16 can experience in-water connections with the lake’s creatures and shipwrecks. We go underwater to view shipwrecks and aquatic life without getting wet using our Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV) – we’re the only camp on Lake Champlain with a robot on staff!” A new shuttle service will provide pick-up and drop-off in Burlington and Shelburne for some of the Vergennes-based camps, and each of the Burlington camps includes one day-trip to the Vergennes campus. Registration now open online.

 

Looking Ahead:

LCMM’s featured exhibits for 2015 offer varied perspectives on the region’s maritime heritage.

  • Great Shipwrecks of New York’s Great Lakes, a traveling exhibit designed by LCMM on view May 28 through Sept. 7 presents several of Lake Champlain’s historic shipwrecks together with shipwrecks in other waterways throughout NY State.
  • Parley & Protocol: Abenaki Diplomacy Past & Present on view from June 28 through Oct. 11 is a loan exhibit by members of the Vermont Abenaki Artists Association.

Special events fill LCMM’s calendar throughout the summer:

  • May 21: Champlain Longboats Launch Day
  • May 30: LCMM Golf Challenge and Spring Wave Youth Rowing Competition
  • June 13-14: Kids Pirate Festival
  • June 27-28: Abenaki Heritage Weekend
  • July 3: The Big ShaBang – Food, Fun & Fireworks!
  • August 15-16: Rabble in Arms Reenactment Weekend
  • Rowing and racing events for youth and adults include weekly rowing with the Community Rowing Club and Rowing For Racing, and travel to regional rowing competitions.
  • View the Complete Calendar of Events

 

New Waterfront Exhibit: Maritime Burlington!

Starting June 20, LCMM presents a new interpretive exhibit, Maritime Burlington! In a festive setting at Perkins Pier on the Burlington waterfront, the exhibit will serve as a porthole to history for visitors and area residents, and a discovery resource for LCMM’s new Lake Adventure Camps. The exhibitMaritime Burlington presents highlights from LCMM’s nautical archaeology fieldwork and historical research that encourage exploration and discovery “right where history happened,” and will also include stories of former slaves for whom the historic waterway served as a corridor to freedom. Several boats from LCMM’s fleet will add color to the waterfront at Perkins Pier: wooden tugboat C. L. Churchill; MV Baldwin, which will host Saturday Shipwreck tours in July and August; and “Champlain Longboats,” the student-built rowing boats used for community rowing, regional racing events, and On Water Ecology tours. LCMM’s schooner Lois McClure will be present as a backdrop but not available for boarding as she is being prepared for restoration work. The schooner departs in late August for the NYS Canal Corporation shipyard where a team of shipwrights will prepare her for the 2016 season.

 

 

LCMM is grateful to the Basin Harbor Club and Lake Champlain Transportation for their generous support. ROV acquisition was made possible by the Bristow Foundation, Barney Bristow, the Lake Champlain Basin Program (LCBP), Oakland Foundation, Greensea Systems, Inc., and International Paper. The 2015 Lake Adventure Camps and restoration of schooner Lois McClure are made possible thanks to the generous support of sponsors including the McClure Family and the Lake Champlain Basin Program. This project was funded in part by an agreement awarded by the Great Lakes Fishery Commission to the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission (NEIWPCC) in partnership with the Lake Champlain Basin Program. NEIWPCC manages LCBP’s personnel, contract, grant and budget tasks and provides input on the program’s activities through a partnership with the LCBP steering committee.

Lake Champlain Maritime Museum Names New Executive Director

Growing to Serve More Audiences, Lake Champlain Maritime Museum Names New Executive Director

JMSPhotoThe Board of Directors of Lake Champlain Maritime Museum (LCMM) is pleased to announce the appointment of J. Michael “Mike” Smiles as our new Executive Director. Mike assumes the role from Erick Tichonuk, who is stepping down from the position. He begins the leadership role on January 5, 2015.

“Mike brings a breadth of experience that will broaden the Museum’s impact in reaching and serving diverse audiences through our collection of historic replica vessels, innovative education programs, hands-on rowing programs, publications, research, and permanent and traveling exhibits,” said Board Chair Bob Beach. “We’re delighted to have him join our team of highly dedicated staff, committed volunteers, and engaged members and donors as we begin our 30th year of operation.”

A career non-profit professional, Smiles comes to LCMM from the New England Science & Sailing Foundation (NESS) in Stonington, CT, where he served as Vice President and Director of Advancement for three years. Named by US Sailing as the 2013 Outstanding Community Sailing Center in America, NESS offers education programs to more than 3,000 students annually at three locations and established one of the first AmeriCorps public school partnerships that incorporates kayaking, marine science, and sailing to advance science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education.

“I am absolutely thrilled to be joining such an outstanding organization, especially given its inspiring and innovative mission of discovery and hands-on learning,” said Smiles. “I am proud to help lead the Museum as a center of excellence in nautical archaeology, boat building, and touring replica historic ships that bring history to life for thousands of people.”

A long-time summer resident of Essex, NY on Lake Champlain, Smiles is the former Director of Development at Mystic Seaport – the Museum of America and the Sea, and Chief Development Officer of The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp for seriously ill children founded by Paul Newman. Mike holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of New Haven and is a graduate of Beloit College in Wisconsin. He and his wife, Martha, will be moving to Vermont from their home of 20 years in Noank, Connecticut.

LCMM is on a growth track: its replica 1862 schooner, Lois McClure, recently completed her 11th educational tour under the leadership of Co-Founder and Historian Arthur Cohn and welcomed thousands of visitors at ports in New York, Vermont and Canada. The Maritime Museum’s Vergennes, VT, campus now boasts sixteen buildings for exhibitions and programs including a year-round boat building program, adventure kayaking experiences, and nautical archaeology research; and replica vessels including the Philadelphia II, a 50-foot replica of one of the nation’s first gunboats built to defend our country during the American Revolution.

Smiles will be part of an effort to raise awareness and continue expanding the Museum’s education programs, securing its leadership in nautical archaeology and educational outreach and impact. “Many members, donors, and partners are eager to support the Museum because they appreciate its innovative approach in bringing history to life through hands-on learning and self-discovery,” he said. “Erick’s contribution to the Museum over the years has been immeasurable and I look forward to working with him in my new role as Executive Director to assure his depth of knowledge and passion for LCMM’s mission will best serve the Museum’s bright future.  In the meantime, I look forward to meeting LCMM’s many friends, members, and partner organizations as I embrace what I believe to be one of finest maritime museums in the country.”

About the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum:

Through nautical exploration, an active fleet of historic replica vessels, boat-building programs for special needs students, and hands-on exhibits and learning adventures for all ages, Lake Champlain Maritime Museum brings to life the stories of Lake Champlain and its people. Its mission is to preserve and share the rich history of the Lake Champlain region with a broad audience through publications, research, exhibits and education programs. LCMM’s exhibit buildings and on-water programs are seasonal; archaeological research, collection management and education programs continue all year. More information can be found at  www.lcmm.org or call 802 475-2022

For More Information, Contact:

Eloise Beil, Community Relations Manager

(802) 475-2022 ext. 107 eloiseb@lcmm.org

 

Download a PDF of this announcement.