Tag Archives: Finger Lakes Boating Museum

Finger Lakes Boating Museum Locating In Hammondsport


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FLBMThe Finger Lakes Boating Museum has announced that they will be locating at the south end of Keuka Lake in the Village of Hammondsport, Town of Urbana, Steuben County.

Mercury Aircraft, which operates in Hammondsport, owns the former Taylor Wine Co. buildings located just south of the Village of Hammondsport on Pleasant Valley Road. The president of Mercury, Joseph “Bud” Meade III, is making a 14-acre parcel available to the Boating Museum. Continue reading

Boating Museum Auctioning Boats from Collection


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Ro-Mo-SailAfter collecting wooden boats built in the Finger Lakes for more than a decade, the Finger Lakes Boating Museum has decided to sell some boats from its collection of more than 100 vessels. The Auction will take place Saturday, September 21, starting at 10 am at the Museum storage site, 8231 Pleasant Valley Road, Hammondsport.

Ed Wightman, Museum President and Chair of its Collections Committee, said that the boats in the auction are “project boats,” meaning they are not in excellent restored condition. “We are offering them because they are either duplicates or boats that we have not been able to identify their origin,” explained Wightman. Continue reading

Finger Lakes Boating Museum’s 2013 Boating Festival


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2012 Boating FestivalThe Finger Lakes Boating Museum’s 2013 Boating Festival will take place in a historic Cayuga Lake boat manufacturing building on Saturday and Sunday, July 13 and 14.

The annual Festival will be at the Museum’s Morehouse Center on Lower Lake Road at the north end of Cayuga Lake State Park at the boat launch site.  The Festival will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, July 13, and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, July 14. Admission is free. Continue reading

NY Wine History: Finger Lakes Museum Doc Premier


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The Finger Lakes Museum is hosting the premier showing of its documentary film series, Vine to Wine; Savor our Finger Lakes, at Bristol Harbour Resort in Canandaigua on Friday, September 21st. The 6:30 p.m. event includes an assortment of tapas and wine tastings from regional wineries as well as presentations by the wine professionals who created the program series. Attendees can also bid on “Finger Lakes Experience” silent auction packages and participate in a raffle.
Part One of the Vine to Wine series, which highlights the history of grape growing and winemaking in the Finger Lakes Region, will be presented at four different venues across the region in October and November. Through film, live presentations, and wine and juice tastings, people can learn how the region developed into the wine destination that it is today.

For additional information and program schedule, or to purchase tickets for the premier, log on to www.FingerLakesMuseum.org or call 315-595-2200. Reserved ticket prices are $15 per person or $20 per person at the door.

The Finger Lakes Museum is being planned to be the premier cultural and natural history resource dedicated to the enjoyment, education and stewardship of the Finger Lakes Region, and to freshwater conservation.

The Finger Lakes Museum is chartered by the New York State Education Department and is incorporated as a not-for-profit tax-exempt organization. For more information or to make contact, log on to www.FingerLakesMuseum.org.

Finger Lakes Boating Museum Gets $2.4 Million


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The City of Geneva and the Finger Lakes Boating Museum have announced that grant agreements totaling $2,450,000 in state funds for the development of the Boating Museum and Visitor Center have been received and are being executed.

The funds will be used for the design and construction of a museum showcasing boating and boat building in the Finger Lakes region, as well as an enhanced visitor center. The project will be developed on the north shore of Seneca Lake on the site of the existing visitor center.

The State of New York announced two separate grant awards, the first a $2,000,000 grant from the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York, secured through the efforts of State Sen. Michael Nozzolio. The second grant of $450,000 from New York’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Program was announced as part of the 2011 Consolidated Funding Application process.

“After many months of planning, we are very pleased to be getting under way soon in providing Geneva and the entire Finger Lakes with a beautiful museum that will bring to life the history of boating and its influence on life in the Finger Lakes” said Vince Scalise, President of the Finger Lakes Boating Museum Board of Trustees. “We look forward to cooperating with the City in bringing this educational facility to the lakefront for all to enjoy and to learn.”

The City has selected Pittsford-based Hanlon Architects for design and engineering, which will begin immediately, and Chrisanntha Construction for construction of the project, which is slated to begin this fall.

Interested persons can see some of the Museum’s collection of boats on display at the 2012 Boating Festival in the Geneva Lakeshore Park Saturday (10-5) and Sunday (10-4), July 14 and 15. The Show will be held the same days as the Musselman Triathlon 2012 races and events.

The boat show will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, July 14, and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, July 15. Admission is free.

Many of the Museum’s wooden rowboats, power boats, and canoes built in the Finger Lakes will be on display. Activities will include workshops and demonstrations on boat building and restoration, interactive nautical displays and a sailing regatta. For more information, check the Boating Museum’s website at www.flbm.org.

The Boating Museum reached agreement with the City of Geneva in the fall of 2009 to establish a permanent home on the Geneva waterfront in association with a Visitor Center.

The Boating Museum has assembled a collection of more than 115 wooden boats built in the Finger Lakes over the past 100 years, as well as numerous related artifacts and extensive reference material. Portions of the collection will be displayed on a rotating basis within the new facility, but President Scalise emphasized that there will be a lot more to the museum than viewing boats because education, restoration and preservation are the key elements of the museum’s mission.

Also featured will be boat rides on Seneca Lake, active on-water programs including sailing and small boat handling, interactive workshops and displays to engage visitors in the design and construction of boats and boating history materials and programs.

The boating museum is a 501c3 not-for-profit corporation and was chartered by the New York State Department of Education in 1997 to “research, document, preserve and share the boating history of the Finger Lakes region.”

Photo: Construction of the Finger Lakes Boating Museum and Visitor Center will begin this fall on the north shore of Seneca Lake in Geneva.

Finger Lakes Boating Museum Appoints Exec Director


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The Finger Lakes Boating Museum has announced the appointment of Dr. David C. Danahar, a retired college president, as Executive Director of the Boating Museum. Danahar, who now lives in Canandaigua, was President of Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, MI, from 2001 to 2011.

“We are delighted to announce the engagement of Dr. Danahar as Executive Director of the Boating Museum,” said William Oben, president of the Museum. “He brings a wealth of valuable knowledge in resource development and organizational administration gained from his extensive academic career.”

The Boating Museum reached agreement with the City of Geneva in the fall of 2009 to establish a permanent home on the Geneva waterfront in association with the city’s Visitor Center. The building, which will be located on the current Geneva Chamber of Commerce site, is being enabled by a $2 million grant provided to the city by state Sen. Michael Nozzolio.

Also named to the staff of the Boating Museum as assistant to the executive director is Bobbi Clifford of Romulus. Clifford is retired after 35 years of teaching in various local school districts, including Geneva, North Rose-Wolcott, Naples, Lyons, Clyde-Savannah and Newark. She coordinated and directed programs for Gifted and Talented Students and Arts-In-Education programs. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association, Inc.

As president of Southwest Minnesota State, Danahar was the chief executive officer of the university responsible for leading the faculty, staff and students in developing and accomplishing the university’s mission.

His administrative experience also includes serving as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Loyola University in New Orleans from 1992-2001, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Fairfield University in Connecticut from 1985-1992, Director of General Education at the State University of New York at Oswego from 1979-1985 and Acting Associate Dean of Arts and Sciences at the State University of New York at Oswego in 1983 and 1984-1985.

In another development related to the appointment of an executive director, the Boating Museum has engaged Danforth Development of Rochester to lead the creation of a fundraising plan for capital needs for the organization.

The Boating Museum’s collection of more than 100 historic boats and vessels built in the Finger Lakes also includes numerous related artifacts and extensive reference material. Besides the story of boat manufacturing, the Boating Museum also researches and informs on the impact that marine transportation has had on the development of the region.

The collection of boats and artifacts is being moved to a storage facility in the Geneva Enterprise Development Center on North Genesee Street arranged by the Geneva IDA. Portions of the collection will be displayed on a rotating basis within the new facility, which will also feature boat rides on Seneca Lake, active on-water programs including sailing and small boat handling, interactive workshops and displays to engage visitors in the design, construction and use of the boats and boating history materials and programs.

The Boating Museum is a 501c3 not-for-profit corporation and was chartered by the New York State Department of Education in 1997 to “research, document, preserve and share the boating history of the Finger Lakes region.”

Geneva Growth Donate $10k to Boating Museum


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Geneva Growth, a local economic development agency, has donated $10,000 to the Finger Lakes Boating Museum. In a lakefront ceremony at the future site of the museum, former Geneva Growth President Phil Beckley presented a check for $10,000 to Bill Oben, president of the museum Board of Directors. Also taking part in the ceremony were Vince Scalise of Geneva Growth and Ed Wightman, vice president of the museum board.

“Geneva Growth’s donation represented delivery on a promise made several months ago with the hope that our group’s early show of faith would lead to broader financial support from the community at large,” said Beckley.

Oben said the funds will be used to organize and support the multi-million dollar Preserving Our Boating Heritage campaign to outfit the Museum on the Geneva waterfront.

“We partnered with Geneva Growth in 2009 to bring the Boating Museum to Geneva, and they have provided invaluable support to the Museum during the past three years,” said Oben. “This extremely generous gift is the latest manifestation of their belief in the importance of this project for the City of Geneva.”

The Boating Museum is in partnership with the City of Geneva to establish a permanent home on the Geneva waterfront in association with the Visitor Center. The building, which will be located on the current Chamber of Commerce site, is being enabled by a $2-million grant provided to the city by state Sen. Michael Nozzolio.

“We have believed in the viability of the Boating Museum and its benefit to Geneva from the start,” said Beckley, “and we challenge others to join us in providing funding for the museum’s start up. This is a great achievement as Genevans join together for a waterfront attraction that will bring visitors to the city as well as enhance the lakefront experience for local people.”

Current Geneva Growth President Dave Bunnell said that the organization views its mission as supporting local economic development projects and strives to put its money to work in the community. “We brought the City and the Boating Museum together several years ago and we are now pleased to offer financial support as the project advances,” said Bunnell.

Bunnell noted that Geneva Growth also supports the Museum in another way as three of its members, Beckley, Scalise and himself, serve on the Boating Museum board.

Starting the ball rolling to raise seed money for the museum were contributions totaling $15,000 from members of the Museum’s Board of Directors. The Finger Lakes Times, Hobart and William Smith Colleges and the Geneva IDA all have donated in-kind contributions valued at $10,000. The Geneva Business Improvement District has also committed $10,000 predicated on the Museum first meeting a fundraising goal set by BID.

Joanne Wisor, IDA Chair, commented, “The FLBM inventory of classic, locally built vessels is in temporary storage at the Geneva Enterprise Development Center (the old American Can building on North Genesee Street) until its new quarters on the lakefront are ready. The board of the Geneva IDA, which owns the GEDC, has offered the space at no cost to the FLBM to help ensure the Museum’s successful location in the City of Geneva.”

The Boating Museum has assembled a collection of more than 100 wooden boats built in the Finger Lakes over the past 100 years, as well as numerous related artifacts and extensive reference material.

Portions of the collection will be displayed on a rotating basis within the new facility, but President Oben emphasized that there will be a lot more to the museum than viewing boats because education, restoration and preservation are the key elements of the museum’s mission. Also featured will be boat rides on Seneca Lake, active on-water programs including sailing and small boat handling, interactive workshops and displays to engage visitors in the design and construction of boats and boating history materials and programs.

The Boating Museum is a 501c3 not-for-profit corporation and was chartered by the New York State Department of Education in 1997 to “research, document, preserve and share the boating history of the Finger Lakes region.”

Additional information about the Boating Museum may be found on its website.

Photo: Phil Beckley (second from left), former president of Geneva Growth, presents a check for $10,000 to Bill Oben, president of the Finger Lakes Boating Museum. Also participating were Vince Scalise (left) of Geneva Growth, and Ed Wightman, (right) vice president of the Museum. The presentation took place alongside the marker commemorating the location of the Fay & Bowen Engine Company, which built wooden boats in Geneva from 1904 to 1929.

Rochester Businessman Joins Boating Museum Board


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Rochester businessman Allyn E. Hetzke Sr. has joined the Board of Directors of the Finger Lakes Boating Museum. Hetzke, who is active in the Antique and Classic Boat Society in Clayton on the St. Lawrence River, is married with four children and 13 grandchildren and lives in Spencerport.

The boating museum reached agreement with the City of Geneva in the fall of 2009 to establish a permanent home on the Geneva waterfront in association with a Visitor Center. The building, which will be located on the current Geneva Chamber of Commerce site, is being enabled by a $2 million grant provided to the city by state Sen. Michael Nozzolio. Construction is expected to start this spring.

“I’m thrilled to be a part of this project,” said Hetzke. “If the site is correctly developed it should be a world class museum. It should be spectacular for the City of Geneva.”

Hetzke started his company, Unitrac, in 1974 as a metal brokerage company and in the mid-‘80s formed Unitrac Energy Management Systems specializing in energy efficient lighting applications. IlluminFx, a division of Unitrac, provided the color-changing LED system used to light the Cradle of Champions sculpture unveiled during Super Bowl Week near the site of the game. The unveiling was covered on ESPN.

The Rochester Business Journal recently reported that the steel statue in Fort Worth, Texas, weight seven tons and is 16 feet high. It is shaped like the state of Texas and honors the strength and legacy of high school football in the state and those who later played in the National Football League.

Before starting his own business, Hetzke worked for Eastman Kodak Co., Community Savings Bank and Home Life Insurance Co. He former First Rochester Co. in 1971 and incorporated the company into First Rochester Security Corp. in 1972.

Hetzke purchased Burke Steel Serviceenters, Inc. in 1973 and sold the company to Mallard Lakes in 1977. He formed Unitrac in 1974.

He is a 1960 graduate of SUNY at Delhi with an AAS degree in business management. His hobby is restoring old boats and he is a member of the Rochester Curling Club as well as the Rochester Business Alliance.

The boating museum has assembled a collection of more than 100 wooden boats built in the Finger Lakes over the past 100 years, as well as numerous related artifacts and extensive reference material. The collection is stored in the Geneva Enterprise Development Center on North Genesee Street arranged by the Geneva IDA and in Yates County.

Portions of the collection will be displayed on a rotating basis within the new facility, but President Bill Oben emphasized that there will be a lot more to the museum than viewing boats because education, restoration and preservation are the key elements of the museum’s mission.

Also featured will be boat rides on Seneca Lake, active on-water programs including sailing and small boat handling, interactive workshops and displays to engage visitors in the design and construction of boats and boating history materials and programs.

The boating museum is a 501c3 not-for-profit corporation and was chartered by the New York State Department of Education in 1997 to “research, document, preserve and share the boating history of the Finger Lakes region.”

Additional information about the boating museum may be found on its website.

Finger Lakes Boating Museum Elects Officers


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Trustees of the Finger Lakes Boating Museum that will be built on the Geneva waterfront in 2011 elected officers at their December Board of Trustees meeting.

Bill Oben of Bluff Point, a founding trustee, was re-elected as board president. Following a career in manufacturing management with Dupont and Kodak, he retired to Yates County where he has served on the boards of several other non-profit community organizations, including the Keuka Lake Association and the Yates County Genealogical & Historical Society.

Also re-elected to one-year terms were: Ed Wightman of Hammondsport, vice president; Bill Smith of Pittsford and Branchport, secretary; and Dennis Karalow of Penn Yan, treasurer.

Wightman, a native of the Keuka Lake area, is a retired college professor. In his retirement he restores Finger Lakes wooden boats. He is a past president of the boating museum and is a board member of Wine Country Classic Boats.

Smith, a registered professional engineer, Diplomate of the American Academy of Environmental Engineers, retired from Malcolm Pirnie Env. Engrs. where he was responsible for design, construction and operation of water and wastewater utilities. A consultant in the environmental field, he teaches at RIT.

Karalow relocated to Penn Yan from Virginia where he was the owner and general manager of Connell’s Valet, a drycleaning business in Vienna, VA., for 30 years.

The boating museum reached agreement with the City of Geneva last fall to establish a permanent home on the Geneva waterfront in association with the Visitor Center. The building, which will be located on the current Chamber of Commerce site, is being enabled by a $3.5 million grant provided to the city by state Sen. Michael Nozzolio. Construction is expected to start this spring.

The other members of the 14-member Board of Trustees are Phil Beckley of Geneva, Dave Bunnell of Geneva, Mayor Stu Einstein of Geneva, City Manager Matt Horn of Geneva, Scott Johnson of Hornell, Sam Pennise of Hammondsport, Vince Scalise of Geneva, Keith Toaspern of Penn Yan, Al Wahlig of Hammondsport and Chris Bennett-West of Pultneyville.

The following committee chairs will serve in 2011: Collections, Oben; Communications, Beckley; Finance, Karalow; Membership, Wightman; Nominating, Wahlig; Resource Development, Scalise; and Site Development, Oben.

The boating museum has assembled a collection of more than 100 wooden boats built in the Finger Lakes over the past 100 years, as well as numerous related artifacts and extensive reference material. The collection is stored in the Geneva Enterprise Development Center on North Genesee Street arranged by the Geneva IDA and in Yates County.

Portions of the collection will be displayed on a rotating basis within the new facility, but President Oben emphasized that there will be a lot more to the museum than viewing boats because education, restoration and preservation are the key elements of the museum’s mission.

Also featured will be boat rides on Seneca Lake, active on-water programs including sailing and small boat handling, interactive workshops and displays to engage visitors in the design and construction of boats and boating history materials and programs.

The boating museum is a 501c3 not-for-profit corporation and was chartered by the New York State Department of Education in 1997 to “research, document, preserve and share the boating history of the Finger Lakes region.”

Additional information about the boating museum may be found on its website.

Boating Museum Donates Important Canal Marker


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The Finger Lakes Boating Museum commemorated the important role of the Cayuga-Seneca Canal in the development of Geneva by donating an historical marker for the city’s waterfront. City and boating museum officials dedicated the marker in a ceremony at 11 a.m. Saturday on the lakefront near the Geneva Area Chamber of Commerce building. Bill Oben, President of the Boating Museum, made the presentation to Mayor Stu Einstein.

The dedication ceremony coincided with the stopover in Geneva of the Lois McClure, an 88-foot canal schooner moored for three days on the lakefront just west of the Chamber. The McClure is a full-scale working replica of an 1862 canal schooner, a unique example of working vessels that carried goods throughout Northeastern waterways during the 19th century.

“The scheduled arrival of the schooner Lois McClure in Geneva harbor this week is a wonderful reminder of the significant role the Cayuga-Seneca Canal played in the development of Geneva and the region beyond throughout the 19th century,” said Oben. “The last vestiges of the canal along the Geneva waterfront disappeared long ago as the old waterway was filled in to make way for the arterial highway. As we plan the future home of the Finger Lakes Boating Museum on the site of the original entrance to this historic canal, it’s appropriate to recognize this with placement of an enduring marker identifying the former location of this important transportation artery.”

Oben said the historical marker at the original canal entrance will be similar to others already along the waterfront that note significant people and places in Geneva’s history. Geneva Granite donated the granite base for the plaque.

The plaque on the marker will read as follows: “At this point in 1828, water from Seneca Lake was first released into the newly constructed Cayuga-Seneca Canal, forming a navigable link to the Erie Canal. This waterway enabled commerce to flow between Seneca and the Hudson River and soon became an economic engine that brought wealth and prosperity to the City of Geneva and other municipalities along its path. Eventually supplanted by rail and truck transportation, this channel was abandoned in the 1920s and ultimately filled in.”

The boating museum reached agreement with the City of Geneva last fall to establish a permanent home on the Geneva waterfront in association with the Visitor Center. The facility, which will be located on the current Chamber site, is being enabled by a $3.5 million grant provided to the city by State Sen. Michael Nozzolio.

The boating museum has assembled a collection of 100 wooden boats built in the Finger Lakes over the past 100 years, as well as numerous related artifacts and extensive reference material. The collection is being moved to a storage facility in the Geneva Enterprise Development Center on North Genesee Street arranged by the Geneva Industrial Development Authority.

Portions of the collection will be displayed on a rotating basis within the new facility. Also planned are interactive workshops and displays to engage visitors in the design, construction and use of the boats and an active on-water program including sailing and small boat handling.

The boating museum is a 501c3 not-for-profit corporation and was chartered by the New York State Department of Education in 1997 to “research, document, preserve and share the boating history of the Finger Lakes region.”

Additional information about the boating museum may be found on its website.

The canal schooner Lois McClure, whose homeport is Lake Champlain, is making a 1,000-mile journey across New York’s canals as it stops in 20 ports of call. The tour will culminate in September with a trip to the World Canals Conference in Rochester. The schooner also stopped in Geneva in 2007 on a similar tour.

The expedition is made possible by a partnership between the New York State Canal Corporation, the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor, the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, and the Champlain Valley National Heritage Partnership. This voyage is an opportunity for the public to learn more about the region’s interconnected waterways and the many activities found along the New York State Canal System and Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor, highlighting the Canal System’s roles in transportation, recreation and tourism. Tours of the boat with interpretive presentations, wayside exhibits and educational materials will be provided free of charge to the public at each stop.

The schooner is a full-scale replica of an 1862 sailing canal boat. Constructed in Burlington, Vt., and launched in 2004, the Lois McClure is an exact replica of canal schooners found shipwrecked in the waters of Lake Champlain. The unique sailing-canal boats were the tractor-trailers of the 19th century, designed to sail from lake cities to canal ports using wind power. Upon reaching a canal, the masts were lowered and centerboards raised, transforming the vessel into a typical canal boat.

The schooner is named for Lois McClure, who was born in 1926 and grew up in Burlington, Vt. In 1954, McClure married James Warren McClure, an owner and publisher of the Burlington Free Press, and later a major stockholder and Vice President of the Gannett Company, Inc. In 1971, the McClures left Burlington for Rochester, where Lois McClure continued her education. In 1978, after J. Warren McClure retired, they moved to Key Largo, Fla., spending summers in Charlotte, until they returned to Vermont in 2002.

In the 1970s, the McClures began to make significant financial contributions to organizations in the Burlington area and elsewhere. After her husband became ill in the 1990s, Lois McClure took on the leadership role in their philanthropy, a role she has continued since her husband’s death in 2004. The schooner was named in McClure’s honor for her major contribution to the schooner construction and support of many other community projects.

Photo: Bill Oben (left), president of the Finger Lakes Boating Museum, presents Geneva Mayor Stu Einstein with a copy of the historical marker that the boating museum donated to the city to mark the entrance to the Cayuga-Seneca Canal. In the background is the Lois McClure, a replica of a canal boat that stopped in Geneva on a tour of New York State canal waterways.

Boat Museum Artifacts on Display in Geneva Storefront


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Thanks to the generosity of Geneva retailer Joe Fragnoli, the Finger Lakes Boating Museum now has a museum display in place in downtown Geneva. Several artifacts along with some materials representative of the Boating Museum’s collection are now on display in the storefront windows at 430 Exchange St.

The Boating Museum and the City of Geneva reached agreement last fall on locating the Boating Museum and Visitor Center on the Geneva waterfront where the Chamber of Commerce building now stands.

Bill Oben, president of the Boating Museum, said the southern window is set up with a display of antique fishing gear of the type used in the Finger Lakes region during the first part of the last century. Central to this display is an elegant rowboat built in 1940 by noted Dresden boat builder Seymour Smith.

Smith is believed to have built more than 30 boats between 1920 and 1940. In later years he subordinated boatbuilding to his lifelong hobby of carving duck decoys, which are highly prized by collectors today. The display also includes several vintage photos related to trout fishing during that era.

The display in the northern window illustrates this year’s Boating Museum theme of “Sailing in the Finger Lakes.” In addition to a Penn Yan “Captain Kid” sailboat marketed for children in the1930s, the display contains scale models of some of the most popular one-design sailboats competitively sailed in the Finger Lakes during the past century. These include replicas of the Star, Comet, Lightning and Snipe, all built to 1/12th scale. Full-size examples of these famous sailing craft reside in the Boating Museum’s collection, and will be on display on the Seneca Lake waterfront at the annual Boat Show July 24-25 during Geneva’s Cruisin’ Weekend.

“We are grateful to Joe for lending the use of this space,” said Oben. “We plan to use it to display other artifacts and ephemera from the Boating Museum’s collection on a rotational basis while it is available to us, or until our permanent home on the lakefront is ready.”

Finger Lakes Boating Museum Moves Forward With Site


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The Board of Directors of the Finger Lakes Boating Museum in Geneva, NY has established a Site Development Committee and are moving forward with ambitous plans for a facility to research, document, preserve, and share the boating history of the Finger Lakes region. The Museum reached agreement with the City of Geneva last fall to establish a permanent home on the Geneva waterfront in association with the Visitor Center. The facility will be located on the current Chamber of Commerce site. The Museum anticipates occupying approximately 20,000 square feet of space initially, with future expansion on the lakefront and off-site eventually growing to approximately 60,000 square feet of space.

Newly elected board president Bill Oben said the Museum has assembled a collection of more than 90 wooden boats built in the Finger Lakes over the past 100 years, as well as numerous related artifacts and extensive reference material. Portions of the collection will be displayed on a rotating basis within the new facility. Also planned are interactive workshops and displays to engage visitors in the design, construction and use of the boats and an active on-water program including sailing and small boat handling.

The board also elected a new slate of officers and appointed four new directors at its January 4th. The officers for 2010 are Bill Oben as President, Ed Wightman as Vice President, Bill Smith as Secretary and Dennis Karalow as Treasurer. The new directors are Chrissy Bennett-West, Dave Bunnell, Vince Scalise and Bruce Tuxill.

Bennett-West is a Geneva native and a graduate of William Smith College. A long-time member of the Seneca Yacht Club, she sails Thistles and serves on the Executive Board as Vice Commodore. She and her husband live in Canandaigua where she is employed as a Special Education teacher in the Canandaigua School System.

Dave Bunnell relocated to Geneva following a 40-year career in law and business. He has practiced law with two commercial law firms in Dallas, Texas, served in senior management positions with international food companies, and engaged in various entrepreneurial activities. He is currently involved with others in efforts to accelerate the revitalization of downtown Geneva. He serves on the Boards of Geneva Growth, the Finger Lakes Regional Arts Council and the Business Improvement District.

Vince Scalise, a Geneva native and Korean War veteran, retired as Superintendent of the Geneva City School System. He has served on numerous boards including Cayuga-Seneca Canalway Trail Association, YMCA, Geneva Growth, Geneva Historical Society, United Way of Rochester and Ontario County, the Geneva Area Chamber of Commerce, and the FL Cultural & Natural History Museum. He has also served on the Geneva City Council.

Bruce Tuxill returned to his native Geneva in 2008 following a 40-year career in the Air Force and Air National Guard. At the time of his retirement he was serving as the Adjutant General of the Maryland National Guard. He is currently the President of the Tuxill Group, which provides consulting service for federal, state and local officials in the areas of national defense and homeland security. He currently serves on the Board of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Geneva and the Vestry of Trinity Episcopal Church.

Bill Oben, is a founding trustee who has served as president of the 300-member Museum since 2007, commented that the organization is “excited about establishing a permanent home for the museum on the Geneva waterfront. We intend to create a world class facility highlighting the boating heritage of the Finger Lakes region,” Oben said.