August 31, 2007

Ship's Log - Herkimer/Little Falls


Adam Jarrett is a multimedia developer and recent graduate of Champlain College in Burlington, VT.

Originally from Swanton, VT, he has an adventurous spirit, interest in digital art and videography. Now, thanks to the crew of the Lois McClure, he has developed an interest in maritime history.

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Photo by Elisa Nelson
Angled Bridge

Herkimer, August 31, 2007 -
The crew assembled Friday morning, a little after nine, or 'ninish' as Captain Roger Taylor would say. Two minivans had already been loaded with chalkboard signs and plastic display stands which had been taped together (a temporary solution to the damage done by the storm in Syracuse.) The vans were driven ahead by Sarah Lyman and Duncan Hay.

Ian Hay rejoined the crew for the first time since Seneca Falls. The humidity finally broke and the sky was clear. A calm breeze was welcomed by the relaxed crew. Erick grinned from ear to ear, happy to have returned from the successful re-launching of the Philadelphia II in Vergennes, VT. He and Captain Taylor reviewed the safety procedures with the boat's newest volunteer Gerry Desmarais from Williston. Also joining the crew was Walt Morrissui, co-producer of Explore, a local television show.

Photo by Kerry Batdorf
Lock Gates Open

After descending one lock we arrived in Little Falls. Sarah and Duncan greeted us. They had already set up the information panels and pitched the retail tent. In less than one hour Lois was moored, her store open for business, and the gangway assembled. The crew was working like a well oiled machine, but not too well oiled, or cargo would be slipping from their fingertips.

Lunchtime approached and after having their fill of tuna fish sandwiches Roger and Erick set out by van to scope out our future accommodations in Canajoharie. Later that afternoon the crew regrouped and opened from 3-6 PM. We welcomed 342 visitors aboard.

As the sun went down Erick and Dale grilled up some steaks for dinner. Canal town spirit was in the air that night! Children danced in dizzying circles to the sounds of the Moss Back Mule Band. Parents talked and tapped their toes to the tunes, eagerly awaiting the fireworks display. The crew also eagerly awaited the fireworks, huddled together at the bow. Ian, already in his sleeping bag, claimed a spot by the forecastle hatch. The fireworks were over before 10 PM and the rest of the crew scattered to find their own bunks for the night.

Photo by Kerry Batdorf
Cabin Light

As the sun rose Saturday morning it was clear that we had been given the gift of another beautiful day. The crew ate breakfast and sipped coffee while going about the daily routine of converting our 2007 dining room into an 1862 cargo hold. Cereals were hidden in a crate of coal, and the breakfast table was converted into a stack of lumber.

Photo by Kerry Batdorf
Little Falls Building

The boat was open to the public by 10 AM and two new volunteers joined the crew. Paul and Paula Fowler, two McClure enthusiasts joined us as interpretors and to go on our journey toward Canajoharie.

Generosity Abounds!

Thank You!

Renee Scialdo Shevat , Sue Sciver and Gems Along the Mohawk/Herkimer Diamond Mines for providing a delicious evening meal and restroom facilities during our stay.

Herkimer County Chamber of Commerce

City of Little Falls

Little Falls Canal Celebration

Little Falls Elks Club

Little Falls Rotary Club

Phone: 802-475-2022