Phoenix Burning

Painting of steamboat Phoenix burning at night. Professional Development course.
Painting by Ernie Haas
Course Name:

Phoenix Burning: Case Study of a Lake Champlain Shipwreck


Chris Sabick - 802-475-2022 x110


LCMM campus and Lake Champlain


Course: July 1-3, 2019

Castleton University logo

1 Credit through Castleton University (optional)


$600 ($775 with 1 credit)

Maximum Enrollment:

Registration Closed

Course Description

Lake Champlain was a once a hot bed of experimentation for the development of steamboat technology, and the remains of some of those experiments still lie at the bottom of the lake’s cold dark waters. During this three-day course participants will have the opportunity to take an in-depth look at the earliest steamboat shipwreck in North America, the steamboat Phoenix (1815-1819).

Witches, heroines, sabotage, human error? Commemorate the 200th anniversary of an epic event with a look at the details of the story as we know it. Were the published accounts of the shipwreck fake news? Do we have the full story? Does the archaeological evidence confirm the conclusions that appeared at the time of the wreck? What was the lasting impact of this early steam-powered vessel and the dozens of steamboats the followed?

Participants will review first-hand accounts of the construction and sinking of the vessel and examine archaeological data and artifacts collected from the wreck site. Artifacts may be available for use in classroom curriculum development.