July 10, 2005 Lois McClure
Ship's Log


After attending Boston University for a bachelor's degree in Archaeology, Sarah Lyman learned to SCUBA dive and began at the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum as an intern in the Conservation Lab. This is her fourth year at the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, where she works as an archaeologist and educator. Sarah is a full-time crew member aboard Lois McClure on the Grand Journey.

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Many Thanks to our Sponsors, without whom this trip would not have been possible:


July 10, 2005

On July 1, 2005, Lois McClure and her tugboat C.L. Churchill passed through their first lock, Lock 12, at Whitehall, NY. It was a momentous occasion, the first time a boat of this type had done so in 100 years. The schooner tied up to the wall on her port side, with the tugboat at her starboard hip. Art and I stood by in the inflatable boat, waiting to lend assistance if necessary. The gates closed and the lock began filling with water, and the three boats rose in unison. After only a few minutes, thousands of gallons of water had rushed in, meeting the level of the other side, and the gates opened. With a gentle pull on the starboard bow with the inflatable to ease us off the wall, we were on our way to the dock in front of the Skenesborough Museum.

On Saturday night, the town of Whitehall and many of its residents threw our crew a party! It was a warm reception, with folks bringing their favorite dishes and desserts, combining to make a feast. The famous songs and guitar playing of George Ward accompanied this decadent buffet. The outpouring of support from the town was wonderful; we thank those that offered us rides for our errands, ice, everyone's general hospitality, and the use of the wonderful facilities at the pavilion.

During the night, the dam at the 220-acre Hadlock Pond broke, releasing millions of gallons of water in a few hours. It displaced hundreds of people from their homes, and closed roads in Fort Ann. Fortunately for us however, the waters rose less than a foot, controlled by the upstream dams and locks.

Over three days of visitation, we saw more than 1000 people. Many shared with us family stories of life on the canal, of relatives that worked on canal boats, or operated tugs on the Hudson River. It is stories like these that fuel our research and understanding of this time in history. We are very much looking forward to our next visit to Whitehall on October 16 - 17.


Come see live demonstrations on boat building techniques and boat handling as local and regional builders display their hand-crafted boats all weekend. Boats of all styles - kayaks, canoes, guideboats, sailboats and row boats - will all be on display, with many available for purchase and on-water test drives!
Bring the whole family and take part in our annual Duct Tape Regatta, where you'll design, build and race your own cardboard boat, all held together with duct tape. Construction is from 11:00-1:00 with the regatta at 1:30 on Saturday.
Or participate in the Challenge Race, a 3-mile rowing and paddling event, held on Sunday.
Don't miss this family friendly event. Food will be available on site, with picnic areas around the grounds.

Phone: 802-475-2022