March 2005
Educators' Newsletter
In this issue


Lake Champlain's Sailing Canal Boats: An Illustrated Journey from Burlington Bay to the Hudson River, by Arthur Cohn

This book draws on a wealth of historic photographs and illustrations, and new information from Lake Champlain's extraordinary shipwrecks, to tell the nearly forgotten story of Lake Champlain's sailing canal boats. Using the construction of canal schooner Lois McClure as a springboard, this book brings to life the lake's nineteenth century commercial era.

Order Your Copy by Phone, 802-475-2022 Educators receive a 10% discount on all purchases!


Welcome to the first ever LCMM Educators' Newsletter


The LCMM is joining the digital age. We are phasing out paper mailings and putting more onto our website. Check us out anytime at Follow the links to Education and explore all we have to offer.

We're developing new programming, taking on new archaeological projects, and we'd like to keep educators informed and up to date.

Each email newsletter includes the latest news at LCMM, and an article entitled "Did You Know?" which offers interesting information on history and archaeology. We've also included a Featured Resource that you can take back to your classroom as a teaching tool.

Finally, if you missed an article or would like to review old issues, we've posted them on our website .


Erick Tichonuk, Director of Education


Grant For Educational Enhancements on Schooner Lois McClure

The Lake Champlain Maritime Museum has just been awarded a grant of $4,225 from the Lake Champlain Basin Program to expand and enhance educational programming on our replica 1862 canal schooner Lois McClure.

Now on-board exhibits, hands-on educational materials for visitors and students, and expanded research and training materials for our education staff will help us explore the environmental impact of the canal boat era.

By examining cargos based on timber resources we will discuss issues of deforestation and forest resource management. Agricultural cargoes tell about the changing nature of farming. Quarrying and mining yielded cargos of iron ore, marble, granite, gravel and sand, and also altered the environment of the watershed. Boatloads of coal from Pennsylvania brought a new source of power to the Champlain Valley, but the coal gasification plant that operated on the Burlington waterfront contaminated the Pine Street Barge Canal.

These important stories link the canal boat era to life in the Champlain Valley today. Thank you, LCBP!

Suggested Field Trip: Canal Schooner Lois McClure


Superfund Site Leads to Archaeology

The Pine Street Barge Canal in Burlington was declared a Superfund site by the Environmental Protection Agency because of the toxic contamination from the coal gasification plant 100 years ago. Federal law required a cultural resource study on these late-nineteenth century canal wrecks sunken in the site. However, it was unsafe for archaeologists to work in the toxic soil to do a complete study.

As a result, a similar wreck was investigated in safer waters near Sloop Island off Charlotte, VT. After a total of 400 dives, LCMM nautical archaeologists completed their study on "Wreck Z" or the "Sloop Island Canal Boat" in the summer of 2003.

The name of the wreck has not been determined, but its construction indicates that it was built in the 1880s or 1890s, and the artifacts recovered suggest that it sank after 1915.

Among the artifacts recovered are a coat meant for a pregnant woman, clay marbles, a checker, and many wood-working tools. Evidence suggests that no lives were lost, but the cabin's nearly complete artifact collection indicates that the sinking must have been sudden, leaving the resident family little time to remove personal possessions.

These 300 artifacts were conserved in the lab at LCMM at Basin Harbor, and many are now on display in our special exhibit "Life Aboard: Canal Boat Families Rediscovered."

Learn more about the Sloop Island Canal Boat

Suggested Field Trip: Digging, Diving, Documenting


Hand Over Fist

The nautical expression hand over hand originated with English sailors as a literal description of the technique used in climbing a rope, or hauling in or letting out a sail. It is thought that American sailors changed the expression to hand over fist. The term has acquired its current figurative meaning of continuous, rapid advancement.

From When a Loose Cannon Flogs a Dead Horse There's the Devil to Pay, by Olivia A. Isil, available at LCMM, 802-475-2022.

Phone: 802-475-2022