The Schooner Lois McClure Archiving Project

In 2001, Lake Champlain Maritime Museum initiated the Canal Schooner Replica Project with the goal to understand our region’s unique 1862-class sailing canal schooner; how it was built and operated; and the economic, cultural, and personal impact the canals had on our region and people. Working with four shipwrights, over 200 volunteers, historians, and archaeologists, we built a full-scale replica of an 1862-class sailing canal schooner. Since its launch in 2004, the replica sailing canal schooner Lois McClure has toured the region bringing this history to local communities around Lake Champlain and connecting waterways.

After 20 years of service, the replica canal schooner Lois McClure will retire in October 2023. The Lois McClure has been an integral teaching tool, floating exhibit, and uniquely public project connecting with thousands of people in the region. For our team of historians, boat builders, and archaeologists, it is important to us that we use the next two years before we retire the Lois McClure documenting our replica project into a living archive. We have launched this Schooner Lois McClure Archiving Project to preserve everything we have learned and experienced through this project, conduct oral history interviews, and invite everyone to participate.

Through oral histories, archival and archaeological review, and your own memories and stories, we can create this archive. This will help us better understand our region’s 200-year history from the opening of the canals to the replica Lois McClure. It also gives us an opportunity to celebrate this replica and the people who built it.

The Lois McClure will be open at the Museum for the 2022 and 2023 seasons, from May to October. Exact season dates and hours when you can visit will be posted at

Get Involved & Participate

The more people who participate in The Schooner Lois McClure Archiving Project, the better it will be. How can you get involved?

  • If you have a favorite memory, photo, or video that you want to share and make a part of this project, submit it to the Memory Box. You can submit as many memories as you would like!
  • If you have family stories, photos, or documents from life on the canals, you can also submit them to the Memory Box.
  • If you volunteered on one of our many tour seasons or participated in the original build, we want to hear from you. Share your memories in the Memory Box and contact us if you are interested in participating in the Oral Histories.
  • If you have suggestions or ideas for this project or the future, submit them to the Suggestion Box.
  • If you have further questions, please check out our FAQ page for more information.

Use the links below to get involved:

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