Lake Champlain Maritime Museum Whaleboat Project

Although Lake Champlain Maritime Museum (LCMM) opens to the public this year on May 25, in the museum’s Boat Shop students from the Diversified Occupations Program of the Hannaford Career Center in Middlebury have been busy since January.  On Launch Day, May 23, their new pilot gig will join LCMM’s fleet for youth and community rowing programs, and the Boat Shop will begin gearing up for a very special two-year project in partnership with Mystic Seaport: building a whaleboat for the whaling ship Charles W. Morgan. Starting in June, LCMM visitors can see boat builders “lofting” the boat, creating the full-sized pattern that will guide construction in 2014. The young boat builders will deliver the finished whaleboat to Mystic Seaport in May 2014. Throughout 2013-14, LCMM a special exhibition at LCMM will present the change from nineteenth century “harvesting” of whales as a source of oil for lighting and lubrication, to twentieth century efforts to ensure the survival of these marine mammals.

About Lake Champlain Maritime Museum

A museum with a difference: preserving and sharing regional heritage by connecting the past, present and future...bringing underwater discoveries to the public in exciting and imaginative ways.

Lake Champlain Maritime Museum (LCMM) brings to life the stories of Lake Champlain and its people through a dynamic combination of archaeological exploration, hands-on exhibits, on-water experiences, and other learning adventures. LCMM believes that historic maritime skills and traditions can encourage and inspire people to healthy and constructive lives in supportive and welcoming communities.

Teamwork has helped build and operate the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum since the Stone Schoolhouse became its first home in 1985. The Museum has grown to encompass 12 exhibit buildings, replica 1776 gunboat Philadelphia II, replica 1862 schooner Lois McClure, tugboat, C. L. Churchill, and a fleet of 24- and 36-foot student-built rowing boats. Over the years, volunteers with a wide variety of backgrounds and skills have worked alongside professional archaeologists, conservators, boat builders, educators, curators and administrators to help bring lake-related learning experiences to interested people of all ages in the Champlain Valley and beyond.

On Land
With 14 exhibit building and replica 1776 gunboat Philadelphia II docked at the waterfront, LCMM is a virtual timeline of regional life ways, colorful characters, and historical events. LCMM's experiential museum campus provides visitors
of all ages with meaningful insight into the past; the staff members are ambassadors for the archaeology and history throughout the region.

On Water
LCMM navigates a fleet of full-sized working vessel, including replica 1776 gunboat Philadelphia II. Replica 1862 schooner Lois McClure, powered by tugboat C. L. Churchill, travels to ports-of-call in New York, Vermont and Canada. Our innovative boat building and outdoor education programs use maritime experiences to help young people develop essential life skills. We also offer narrated boat tours that explore historic shipwrecks.

LCMM's nautical archaeology team has explored the lake's 300 plus shipwrecks, bringing underwater discoveries to the public in exciting and imaginative ways. LCMM was instrumental in found the Lake Champlain Underwater Historic Preserve, one of the nation's first recreational diver shipwreck access systems. LCMM also operates a publicly-accessible conservation lab for stabilizing artifacts recovered from underwater  environments.