Tag Archives: Lake Champlain Maritime Museum

Rare Maps of the American Revolution in the North


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The 1776-1777 Northern Campaigns of the American War for Independence and Their Sequel: Contemporary Maps of Mainly German Origin by Thomas M. Barker and Paul R. Huey is the first, full-scale, presentation in atlas form of the two, abortive British-German invasions of New York – events crucial to understanding the rebel American victory in the War for Independence. The book includes 240 pages with 32 full-color illustrations.

The bulk of the maps are from the German archives. The material has previously been little used by researchers in the United States due to linguistic and handwriting barriers. The volume includes transcriptions, translations, and detailed textual analysis of the naval and land operations of 1776 and 1777. It is written from a novel military-historical perspective, namely, British, German, loyalist, French Canadian, and First American.

The attack of Benedict Arnold and Richard Montgomery on Québec City, the colonial assailants’ repulse and withdrawal to the Province of New York and the Hudson River corridor, prior actions in the adjacent St. Lawrence-Richelieu river region of Canada, the Battle of Valcour Island on Lake Champlain, the forts at Crown Point and Ticonderoga, and the Battles of Bennington and Saratoga all receive detailed attention. The last section of the atlas deals with the less known, final phase of combat, in which the Britons, Germans, refugee tories, Québec militia, and Amerindians kept the insurgents off balance by mounting numerous small-scale expeditions into New York.

The significance of the publication is highlighted by Russell Bellico, author of Sails and Steam in the Mountains: A Maritime History of Lake George and Lake Champlain. He writes that Barker’s and Huey’s tome is “a superb work of scholarship based on exhaustive research on both sides of the Atlantic.” J. Winthrop Aldrich, New York State Deputy Commissioner for Historic Preservation, states that the maps “are of significant help now as we continue to build our understanding of what happened in our war for independence, and why. This rediscovered treasure and the illuminating commentary and notes superbly advance that understanding.”

Dr. Thomas M. Barker is emeritus professor of history, University of Albany, State University of New York at Albany. He is the author of numerous books about European military history, especially the Habsburg monarchy, Spain, World War II as well as ethnic minority issues. Dr. Paul R. Huey is a well-known New York State historical archeologist and also has many publications to his credit. He is particularly knowledgeable about the locations of old forts, battlefields, colonial and nineteenth-century buildings, and/or their buried vestiges. He works at the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historical Preservation Bureau of Historic Sites office on Peebles Island in Waterford, New York. The book is co-published with the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum.

Note: Books noticed on this site have been provided by the publishers. Purchases made through this Amazon link help support this site.

Champlain Maritime Museum Storytelling Festival Sat


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Gather in the museum’s intimate theater or in an Adirondack-style lodge to experience lake history in song and story at Lake Champlain Maritime Museum’s Storytelling Festival, Saturday October 16. Festival activities take place from noon to 5pm, rain or shine, at the museum’s scenic campus just west of Vergennes on the shore of Lake Champlain.

At noon, Russell Van Dervoort will share family stories from over a century of adventure operating tugboats on the Hudson River, Erie and Champlain Canals. Van Dervoort will also personalize autographed copies of his new book, Canal Canaries and Other Tough Old Birds, recently published by LCMM. At 1:30pm, the student actors of Burlington’s Very Merry Theater will lead theatrical activities, games, and present a performance of The Velveteen Rabbit.

Their presentation is a special occasion at “The Roost,” LCMM’s Adirondack-style lodge that served as a children’s theater for Camp Marbury in the 1920s. At 3:00pm, the traditional musicians of Atlantic Crossing team up with LCMM director Art Cohn to offer original songs and illustrated stories of life on Lake Champlain, interweaving narration, images and music to paint a picture of Lake Champlain and its people. Along the way, Art Cohn shares his personal adventures as a nautical archaeologist and his unique perspective on the lake. The show ends with a brief discussion of the current state of lake resources and the need for conservation.

Lake Champlain Maritime Museum is open daily from 10-5. Festival admission includes all performances, a day at the museum, a 20% discount at Red Mill Restaurant, and helps preserve Lake Champlain’s history and archaeology. Enjoy over a dozen exhibit buildings, antique boats in the new Hazelett Watercraft Center, and replica historic vessels at North Harbor. Find out more online at www.lcmm.org or call 802 475-2022.

NNY Museums, History Scaled Back Over Economy


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The Adirondack Museum in Blue Mountain Lake has announced that it will close it’s satellite retail store in Lake Placid on October 30th. The store, which opened in 2003, was an initial step in the museum’s long-range plan to reach out to communities in the Adirondack Park. Lake Placid was considered by museum officials to be the best place to begin.

“The subsequent and continuing economic downturn have forced a strategic re-thinking of the museum’s plans,” Adirodnack Museum spokesperson Katherine Moore told the press in a recent announcement. “At the present time it is no longer feasible to operate two retail operations and maintain a growing online sales presence.” The museum will concentrate its efforts and financial resources on the Blue Mountain Lake campus Moore told the press.

It’s the second set-back for the Adirondack Museum in Lake Placid. In June of 2008, the museum ended its plan to erect a building on Main Street to house a new branch of the museum and its existing store. That decision was made “very reluctantly” museum officials said, citing a strained economic situation.

Last year, Adirondack Museum Marketing Director Susan Dineen told WNBZ that they were feeling the effects of the recession. “Like many large nonprofit institutions, our endowment has seen a downturn,” she told Chris Morris, “It’s unavoidable.” Dineen said today that the museum has not yet instituted a museum-wide hiring freeze or any layoffs. However, three employees at the Lake Placid store have been notified that their positions will be eliminated.

The Adirondack Museum’s economic travails are part of wider trend for local historical organizations. First Fort Ticonderoga faced financial ruin after Deborah Mars, a Ticonderoga native married to the billionaire co-owner of the Mars candy company Forrest Mars Jr., bailed on her long-time support for the fort just before completion of a new $23 million Deborah Clarke Mars Education Center. The Mars paid for nearly all of the new building’s construction but left before it was finished leaving Fort Ti about two million dollars in debt.

Then there was the well-publicized New York State Historic Site closure debacle that threatened the John Brown Farm in Essex County and the Macomb Reservation State Park and Point Au Roche State Park, both in Clinton County.

The long-awaited preservation of Rogers Island in Fort Edward is on hold after preservation funds dried up in July. Earlier this month, Governor David Paterson vetoed a bill that would have funded the celebration of the 200th Anniversary of America’s Second War of Independence, the War of 1812.

The news about the Adirondack Museum’s retreat was not the only troubling local museum news this week. The Lake Champlain Maritime Museum (LCMM) abandoned its plan to occupy a 7,000 square foot former generating plant on the Burlington waterfront. The LCMM had planned an installation of the museum’s collection of historic shipwrecks.

“The City of Burlington has done an outstanding job putting together a sound plan for redeveloping the Moran site, but the Maritime Museum has significant concerns about our ability to raise sufficient funds to participate in the project and the long-term financial sustainability of a future Moran maritime museum site. We felt our continued participation in the project, given our funding concerns, was not helpful to the City in meeting their overall goal of redeveloping the Moran site,” Art Cohn, Executive Director of the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, announced.

Photo: The Adirondack Museum’s store on Main Street in Lake Placid. Photo courtesy Sarah and Marc Galvin, Owners of The Bookstore Plus in Lake Placid.

VT: British Raid on Addison County to be Recreated


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Addison County was “A nest of the greatest rebels in that part of the country,” when British forces led by Major Christopher Carleton invaded the area, determined to eliminate any possible supplies for rebel troops. Carleton’s 21 day expedition of 350 soldiers and 100 Indians, supported by naval vessels on the lake, proudly tallied up their success: crops destroyed, livestock slaughtered, barns and homesteads burned – nearly 100 structures and enough supplies to feed 12,000 men for four months. Continue reading

Champlain Maritime Museum Small Boat Fest


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A celebration of small-boating will be held at the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum in Vergennes, Vermont on Saturday and Sunday, July 17th, and 18th. The event will include the Grand Opening of the new Hazelett Watercraft Center and the exhibit “Celebrating the Small Watercraft of Lake Champlain,” displays by contemporary boat builders, on-water boat trials, workshops, and illustrated talks. On Saturday there will be a Kids Duct Tape Regatta. On Sunday the Lake Champlain Challenge Race will be held during which participants with their own non-motorized boat, kayak, or canoe compete in a three-mile race from the museum’s North Harbor. Continue reading

Native Encampment at Champlain Maritime Museum


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There will be a Native American Encampment event on Saturday and Sunday, June 19-20, 2010, 10am-5pm daily at the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, 4472 Basin Harbor Rd, Vergennes, VT.

Dressed in clothing of earlier times, members of El-nu and Missisquoi Abenaki portray their ancestors and share traditional life skills, tools, clothing, personal adornments, and weapons used by Native Americans in the Champlain Valley through the centuries. Event includes traditional songs, cooking and camp skills, wampum readings, Native American weapons and armor, film showings and much more. Participating craftspeople combine archaeological evidence with personal expression to create beautiful and utilitarian objects. Continue reading

Champlain Maritime Launches New Boat, Season


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Months of planning and work in the boat shop at Lake Champlain Maritime Museum go public on Thursday May 20th with the launch of newly built 32’ rowing gig Harvest Moon. Seven students and three staff members from the Diversified Occupations Program at The Hannaford Career Center in Middlebury worked full time for five months this winter with museum staff and volunteers to build this magnificent boat. Harvest Moon will join LCMM’s fleet of ten other student-built rowing gigs serving over 500 youth in team rowing activities throughout the year. Continue reading

Lake Champlain Maritime Museum Small Watercraft Fest


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“Messing About in Boats” the annual Small Watercraft Festival at Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, August 8-9 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. The festival is a celebration of clean, green, sustainable boating.

On Saturday morning at 11 a.m., explorers Samuel de Champlain and Henry Hudson will meet for the first time at the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum – 400 years after their first exploration of the region! The life-sized puppet of Hudson is traveling from Albany, NY in the company of Carol Margolis of the Albany Heritage Area Visitors Center (www.albany1609.com), while Champlain will arrive in the company of Rebecca Goldberg of Burlington’s Fletcher Free Library. The great explorers will greet the public and are happy to share stories of their historic travels and recent adventures. Young visitors will also enjoy hands-on activities with smaller puppets of Henry Hudson and friends. Continue reading

VPR Looks At Historic Lake Champlain Sinkings


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All last week Vermont Public Radio (VPR) has been running a series of reported entitled “History Under the Waves” looking at five historic wrecks that lie at the bottom of Lake Champlain. Over 300 shipwrecks lie at the bottom of Champlain, and VPR looked at what sent five of them to their fates, including a Revolutionary War gunboat, a lake schooner, two steamboats, and a sailing canal boat. The reports also feature a photo gallery.

Much of what is known about the extend of underwater remains of Champlain shipwrecks comes from surveys conducted by the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum (LCMM). The LCMM has been instrumental in conducting archeological surveys and persuading New York and Vermont to establish the Lake Champlain Historic Preserve System in order to provide access for divers to some of the Lake’s historic shipwrecks. You can find a list of manning of the Champlain Shipwrecks at the LCMM Shipwrecks site.