November 3, 2005
Educators' Newsletter
In this issue


The Phoenix Kit
In 1819, the steamboat Phoenix mysteriously caught fire during a routine trip down Lake Champlain. Six of the forty-six passengers lost their lives. Primary documents are used to study this dramatic event in Lake Champlain’s history. The kit also includes video, books, artifacts, maps, and more.

Cost: $20 for 2-week loan (delivery not included).
Order this Kit by Phone,

Order Your Copy by Phone,



During the days of sail, drinking water was kept in a butt or cask in an easily accessible spot aboard ship. In order to ensure that the fresh water would last until the next landing, a “scuttle” or small hole was sawed out of its side so that the butt could only be half-filled at any given time. The forerunner of the water cooler, the scuttlebutt was a place where sailors could congregate for a moment to relax and exchange a bit of gossip.

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.


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Rabble in Arms

Free and Subsidized Winter Outreach Programs!

This year we’re pleased to announce the receipt of two grants which will allow us to offer our winter outreach programs to regional schools at subsidized rates or free for schools in need. The Leo Cox Beach Philanthropic Foundation has awarded $15,000 and the George W. Mergans Foundation $5,000 to LCMM for support of educational programming. Teachers can select from a menu of programs: Colonial and Revolutionary Studies, Underwater Archaeology, Nineteenth Century Commercial Era, Buoyancy, and Songs and Stories of Lake Champlain. Click on the link above to find out more. Sincere thanks to both foundations from LCMM and the thousands of students we will be able to serve.

In addition to these funds, LCMM has other strategies that allow us to continue offering our programs to schools who are restricted by tight budgets and rising bussing costs. Ask about our “buy one - get the second at half price” field trip policy. Some teachers use both our Basin Harbor and Burlington (Lois McClure) sites. Our staff can help you come up with a combination that suits your needs.

If you are an educator, or know of a school that could benefit from this financial support, contact Chris McClain at
or call 802-475- 2022.


Did you know that Philomene Daniels of Vergennes, Vermont was the first licensed female steamboat pilot in the United States and possibly the world? Born in 1843, Philomene Ostiguy dit Domingue moved to Vergennes and married Louis Daniels in 1862. Together they operated the Daniels Boat Line on the Otter Creek, ultimately owning no fewer than four propeller driven steamboats including Water Lily, Little Nellie, Victor, and Alexander. With the success of their early vessels, Louis encouraged Philomene to obtain her pilots license. The Burlington Free Press and Times of May 5, 1887 reported that she was “undoubtedly the first woman to receive a pilot’s license in this country, if not in the world." The Daniels Boat Line was a constant sight on the Otter Creek towing canal boats, and on Lake Champlain taking passengers on day trips.

Captain Phil was not your average steamboat pilot with her long skirts, gold jewelry, and fancy hats. Despite her appearances she was more than capable of taking care of herself. “Once, when a young man’s behavior began to annoy her and the other passengers, she simply pushed him overboard. When he came back on board, dripping wet in his good clothes, he and the other passengers had a lot more respect for their captain.” (From “The Captain Wore Petticoats” by Jane Vincent, Historic Roots April 2000.)

Learn more about Captain Phil and the Daniels boats in the Nautical Archaeology Center at the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum.

Phone: 802-475-2022