August 17, 2006
Educators' Newsletter
In this issue


Schooner Lois McClure to Embark on Northern Lake Education Tour

LCMM's replica 1862 sailing canal boat Lois McClure is setting off once again on another tour! This time, she leaves her home port of Burlington for sites in the northern portion of Lake Champlain, with a focus on education. Our goal is to reach as many school children as possible. Learn more about this dynamic and unique program.

Saint Albans, September 18 - 27
Grand Isle, October 2 - 5
Plattsburgh, October 10 - 18

Call (802) 475-2022 to reserve your space!


New CD Release!
Life on Lake Champlain: Traditional & Contemporary Songs and Stories

This is an exciting, fun, richly musical and interesting album that brings together guest musicians and tradition-bearers with the Museum’s own educators.

This CD looks back 450 million years to the fossils of tropical coral reefs found in Button Bay and Isle LaMotte, then forward through history. Listen to the Abenaki traditional Ojihozo tale about how the Lake Between the Mountains was formed, hear songs about Otter Creek, the War of 1812, horse ferries, canal boats, and ice shanties.

Eighteen pages of liner notes with song lyrics and extensive historical background of each song and tale fully illustrate the rich history of Lake Champlain. LCMM educators and interpreters are joined by renowned artists Pete Sutherland and Atlantic Crossing to complete this compilation for Lake-lovers of all ages.

Made possible by the generous support of the Barnes Foundation and the Frances R. Dewing Foundation.

Listen to a few tracks on our website.
Order your copy today by calling (802) 475- 2022. Only $15
(Mention that you're an educator, and receive 10% off!)


Horses Were Used to Power Boats?!

In 1983, the wreck of a horse-powered ferryboat was discovered in Burlington Bay. Little was known about these boats. Over the next few years of research, evidence of horse-powered ferries turned up in Ohio, Wisconsin, Nova Scotia, on the Mississippi River, New Hampshire, and here on Lake Champlain. It also turned out that the concept of animal-powered boats has been around for thousands of years; Romans in the 4th century designed a warship to be propelled by six oxen!

The first "teamboat" used in New York City was in 1814. A few years later, they appeared on Lake Champlain. These vessels had "horse whims", where the horses walked in circles, thereby turning a central post. In 1819, Barnabas Langdon invented a horse ferry that made use of the treadmill concept, where the horses walked in place while the treadwheel under their hooves rotated, in turn rotating a paddlewheel. The Burlington Bay Horse Ferry is of this type.

These vessels were well-suited for short passages and were a reliable service that was relatively independent of wind and current, compared to sailboats and rowboats. They were also free of the explosions that sometimes occured on steamboats. From about 1820 to 1850, there were approximately five horse ferry crossings on Lake Champlain.

Listen to a song about horse ferries, from LCMM's latest CD Life on Lake Champlain, featured above.

Related Field Trip: Digging Diving Documenting
Experience a half-scale version of this horse ferry mechanism as part of our 2.5-hour field trip about the process of Nautical Archaeology on Lake Champlain. Learn about the shipwrecks of Lake Champlain and how we study them; even try your hand at a simulated shipwreck site! Call (802) 475-2022 to book your field trip.

Phone: 802-475-2022