November 2, 2005 Lois McClure
Ship's Log


Art Cohn

Art Cohn is the Executive Director of the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum. He is a professional diver and has coordinated and participated in Lake Champlain's archaeological projects for the past twenty years. Cohn is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in Maritime History and Nautical Archaeology at both the University of Vermont and Texas A&M University. He serves aboard Lois McClure as a tugboat operator and able- bodied crew member.

Juried Photography Exhibit

In May 2006 when LCMM opens for the season, we will feature a juried exhibit of photographs from the journeys of Canal Schooner Lois McClure and tugboat C. L. Churchill. Both amateur and professional photographers are invited to submit framed prints in color or black and white. Professional photographers will judge and comment on the work.
Registration forms and information for the Spring Juried Photography Exhibit will be available in January at or by calling 802-475-2022.

Quick Links...

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


The schooner Lois McClure returns home
Art Cohn

On October 19th, the canal schooner Lois McClure approached her berth at Burlington’s Perkins’s Pier with 20 knots of wind conspiring to complicate its landing. Several hundred people, including Lois McClure herself, Mayor Peter Clavelle and Vermont and Burlington officials were on hand to welcome the schooner home.

It was a truly fitting conclusion to this remarkable journey and an occasion to give thanks and reflect back on the experience. Many of the volunteers who had provided so much support and energy for the journey were there which made the home coming feel like a reunion. And of course, we give many thanks to the event's sponsors: Chittenden Bank, Burlington Free Press, Vermont Tent Company, and the City of Burlington Department of Parks and Recreation.

It was 125 days ago that the schooner Lois McClure left Burlington to begin this “Grand Journey”, the culmination of a five-year effort by the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum to preserve and share the history and archaeology of Lake Champlain and the region.

The opening of the Champlain and Erie Canals helped shape the nation, but in our time the history of the canal era has been largely forgotten. Our schooner has proven an effective window into the world when wooden canal boats were as common on our waterways as tractor trailers are on the road today.

The Lois McClure is modeled after two canal schooners that were both built in 1862 and by coincidence of history, both became shipwrecked in Burlington harbor. Raising awareness of our submerged cultural resources is a major aspect of our mission and the schooner has proven to be a very effective ambassador to the collection of wooden shipwrecks which lay on the bottom of Lake Champlain, the Hudson River and the rest of the world’s waters.

During our Grand Journey, we have visited 25 ports-of-call, traveled more than 1000 miles and welcomed over 22,000 visitors on board.

I am here today to report that the schooner worked its magic on everyone who came aboard. It engaged people of all ages and all ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds, and if you judge from the comments and feedback from visitors leaving the schooner, and the number visitors who returned with friends and family, I can say with some conviction that we provided a special learning experience for all who came aboard. For me personally, it has been one of the most satisfying experiences of my life.

It goes without saying that this Grand Journey would not have been possible without the generous support of our donors, members and sponsors. I would like to acknowledge the principal sponsors of this project:
Lois McClure and her late husband Mac and the McClure family
The farm families that own Cabot Creamery
The State of Vermont
The Lake Champlain Basin Program
The Lane Press
Lake Champlain Transportation Company
Lake Champlain Chocolates
Burlington Food Service
The Dock Doctors and Dakin Farms of hometown Ferrisburgh
The Griswold Family, Shelburne Shipyard and donors to 2005 Restoration of the C. L. Churchill
The Vermont Wood Products Council
Basin Harbor Club
Smith Barney
Honda Marine Power

This Grand Journey also required the daily dedication of an extraordinary ensemble of core crew. I can’t praise too highly the contributions of this crew to safely operate our three boat fleet and, upon reaching port, transform the schooner into a floating museum:

The competent, quiet leadership and skill of our Captain Roger Taylor
Commissary Kathleen Carney
First Mate Erick Tichonuk
Second Mate Scudder Kelvie
Educator-Ships Store manager Sarah Lyman
Boatswain Len Ruth
Ship's Carpenter Kerry Batdorf
Assistant Commissary Barbara Batdorf
Educator Liana Tennel
Tugboat Pilot Sandy Jacobs

I am pleased to number myself a member of this crew having had the opportunity to live and work on our tugboat C.L. Churchill.

Many other LCMM staff lent their skills and tireless dedication:
Mike Barbieri
Matt Davis
Joanne DellaSalla
Janet Gibbs
Michael Giorgio
Dale Henry
Adam Kane
Chris McClain
Elisa Nelson
Matt Witten

The core crew had charge of the operation but it was the volunteer crew that proved to be so indispensable. Over the four months journey, we had more than fifty volunteers sign up for at least a week of service. Some volunteers contributed multiple weeks. Their fresh energy, enthusiasm and skill at boat operations and interpreting history made the visitor experience so much more special. We simply could not have done it without them:
Robert Abell
Harry Atkinson
Bill Balling
Barbara Bartley
Barb Batdorf
Walt Borden
Diana Carlisle
Nathan Cohn
Marsha Conover
Don Dewees
Marty Dewees
Hilton Dier
Bob Dollar
Gary Fischer
Marie France Despirin
Stirling Gibbs
Ellen Gurwitz
Ernie Haas
Jeff Hindes
Churchill Hindes
Laura Hollowell
Peter Huber
Sandy Jacobs
Kris Jarrett
Joanne Juckiewicz
Krissy Kenny
Mark MacDonald
Jerry Manock
Mary Ellen Manock
Lisa Marchetti
Ralph Norton
Maureen O’Connell
Don Peabody
Shirley Renaud
R. Paul Smith
Stephen Smith
Judy Stevens
Al Stiles
Leo Straight
Bill Suiter
Jim Tabor
Larry Thomson
John Tichonuk
Emily Tichonuk
Darren Tracy
Barbara Van Raalte
Barb Woodbury
Jon Woodbury
Gwen Zwickel

So, with the schooner and crew safely home, it’s a fair question to ask ‘Where do we go from here?’

I am very pleased to announce that next year the Museum plans to spend much of our season at Burlington’s historic South Wharf, aka Perkin’s Pier.

I am also pleased to announce the publication of our newly created curriculum Canalers Afloat. It will provide teachers a menu of options to use the canal era and schooner to engage students in history, archaeology, music, art, sociology, geography and math.

In spring 2006, utilizing the new curriculum, teachers will be able to visit the schooner at Perkins Pier for spring school field trips. In the fall, we plan visit the northern lake and serve schools in Franklin and Grand Isle Counties in Vermont and Clinton County in New York. Teachers with an interest in this new opportunity are encouraged to contact the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum.

With the success of our Grand Journey to guide us, Museum planners are already exploring the possibility of a journey west on the Erie Canal and North to Canadian waters, all standard routes for a Lake Champlain canal boat. We are particularly excited about the proposed role the schooner may play as a focal point for the Quadra- Centennial celebration in 2008 and 2009.

I would like to conclude by thanking our readers for their interest in these Ships Logs, and inviting each and every one of them to become a member of our museum, or to support us with a donation. Membership has privileges such as free admission and discounts on products and programming, but perhaps even more importantly, it gives one a sense of satisfaction being part of an organization that seeks to better the world through education.

Finally, this is not the last Ships Log! Stay tuned, as we will be sending periodic updates about the schooner Lois McClure and our other LCMM news throughout the seasons.

Phone: 802-475-2022