Lake Champlain Maritime Museum Logo; Click to return to our Home Page.

For Immediate Release: August 20, 2007
Contact: Jeff Meyers (802) 475-2022 ext 125 or

Lake Champlain Maritime Museum’s Replica 1776 Gunboat Philadelphia II Featured at Vergennes Day and Rabble in Arms Living History Day

This year, history is being made at Vergennes Day on Saturday August 25, when the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum’s newly restored replica 1776 gunboat Philadelphia II is re-launched at the Falls Basin in Vergennes, VT. Launching ceremonies begin at 11, and the boat will enter the water at noon. The vessel will be moored at the park for public boarding until 2:30 p.m., and then depart along Otter Creek, enroute to her home port at the Maritime Museum.

Click the image to download a high-resolution file.

On Sunday, August 26, at the Maritime Museum’s Basin Harbor site, the newly restored gunboat will be the focus of the annual Rabble In Arms event. Crews of costumed reenactors will board the vessel for maneuvers and gunnery practice on the water. Eighteenth century mariners used anchors and ropes as well as oars and sails to quickly turn their cumbersome vessels into the best strategic position for firing while avoiding return volleys. The annual Rabble In Arms encampment on the museum grounds offers museum visitors an opportunity to meet and talk with living history enthusiasts, archaeologists, and educators with experience in building and operating eighteenth century vessels, ropework and other maritime skills, and open hearth cooking. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Activities are included with museum admission; LCMM members and children 5 and under are always free.

Launched in 1991, the Philadelphia II has had a longer working life than any of its ancestors. Museum staff and volunteers, many of whom participated in the construction and operation of the vessel, have worked with visiting shipwrights replacing the majority of the standing rigging, re-planking and caulking the hull, and cleaning and oiling the entire boat to ensure preservation of the wood.

The Lake Champlain Maritime Museum’s newly restored replica 1776 gunboat will be re-launched at Vergennes Day on Saturday, August 25 and featured in maneuvers and gunnery practice at the museum’s Rabble in Arms Living History event on Sunday, August 26.

Lake Champlain Maritime Museum is actively involved in archaeological fieldwork and historical research that continues to provide new information about the strategic importance of Lake Champlain during the American Revolution. LCMM works with local divers to survey and map the underwater battlefield at Valcour Island to learn more about the events that took place in October 1776 when Benedict Arnold’s fleet confronted the British Royal Navy on Lake Champlain. In 2006, the LCMM dive team recovered over 100 artifacts from the site. Museum visitors are encouraged to stop by the museum’s Conservation Lab, and talk with nautical archaeologists working on the preservation of these and other historical artifacts. The latest information and discoveries are presented in the special exhibit Rediscovering a Moment in History: The Valcour Bay Research Project, and the exhibit and video Key to Liberty: The Revolutionary War in the Champlain Valley.

Lake Champlain Maritime Museum is located on the shore of the lake, seven scenic miles west of Vergennes. For travel directions, more information about Rabble in Arms and other Maritime Museum activities and events visit

Additional high resolution images of the gunboat Philadelphia II can be downloaded from the Images section of the Press Room.

Lake History Adventures!

LCMM is open daily 10am-5pm, through October 14, 2006.

Discover stories of Lake Champlain’s citizens, soldiers, merchants, mariners, and boat builders. Explore 4 acres of exhibits: shipwrecks, antique boats, working blacksmith shop and hands-on history. Special this season: Photography exhibit “Boats Around the World.” Watch archaeologists in the Conservation Lab. Browse for maritime gifts, toys, books and apparel in the Museum Store. Register for Summer Courses and Workshops or On-Water Adventures. Bring a picnic or dine at the Red Mill Restaurant at historic Basin Harbor Club.

The Lake Champlain Maritime Museum is a non-profit institution dedicated to preserving and sharing the history of Lake Champlain.