Would you like to know more information about retiring the Lois McClure and the Archiving Project? Please browse through the information provided here to find answers to some of the most common questions. We will update the list as needed. If your question is not here, please refer to the contact information listed below to send your question to our team.
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When and where will the Lois McClure be open?
The Lois McClure will be open at the Museum for the 2022 and 2023 seasons, from May to October. Admission to the museum is free for all. Please check for open hours on the Museum calendar at www.lcmm.org/calendar.
Why is 2023 the last season for the replica canal schooner Lois McClure?
In 2001, we 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. Since its launch in 2004, the replica schooner Lois McClure has toured the region bringing this history to hundreds of local communities around Lake Champlain and connecting waterways.
Like its original predecessors, the Lois McClure was not built to stay on the water forever. Our replica canal schooner, however, has remained on water for almost two decades thanks to an incredible team of staff and volunteers. Recently, increasingly extensive repair needs push us beyond the goals of the replica project. With this in mind, the Museum’s Board of Directors came together to evaluate and voted unanimously to retire the replica after the 2023 season and conclude the replica project.
What will happen next? Where is the Lois McClure going?
As announced on September 21, 2023, the museum is donating the Lois McClure to the Canal Society of New York!
Our final two seasons with the replica boat give us the opportunity to reflect on a key part of the history of canal schooners in our region: how canal families handled the aging of their vessels and the impact it had on our environment, lake, and communities. Canal boat owners would have to evaluate the cost of repairs, assess valuable parts that could be re-used on a new boat, or decide if the boat should be scuttled or used for other purposes. Over the past 20 years, the Lois McClure has served as an opportunity for us to explore how repairs would be done to preserve wooden boats for longer. The retirement of the Lois McClure gives us the opportunity to explore this part of our the public history as the final chapter in our replica project.
As historians, boat builders, and archaeologists, we firmly believe that documenting this project into a living archive is important. We need to preserve our past and everything we have learned and experienced with this replica project. And through a public archiving project, we can celebrate the Lois McClure, the people who helped us build and tour this vessel, and our historical understanding of this region’s unique sailing canal schooners.
Are you dismantling the Lois McClure after it is retired in 2023?
When the Museum first announced in March 2022 that the boat would be retired, the team has spent significant time looking for a new home for the boat and assessing what retirement could mean. Initially, the plan that our team agreed to was to use parts of the boat to anchor a new exhibit that will open in 2024 and we invited the public to make suggestions for the exhibit and interested parties to come forward if they were interested in the boat.
As the home of the replica Lois McClure, it is important to us that retirement for the replica schooner honored its historical accuracy, its career educating the public about our region’s unique history, and its connection to Lake Champlain and the canals.
We are not dismantling the Lois McClure. In September 2023, we announced that the Canal Society of New York had expressed interest in the Lois McClure and after months of work between our two organizations, we are thrilled to announce that we are donating the replica canal schooner to the Canal Society.
Can you sell or donate the Lois McClure to a new home?
In March 2022, we invited suggestions and interested parties to come forward to offer a new home for the Lois McClure. We are happy to announce that after months of careful work, we have decided to donate the Lois McClure to the Canal Society of New York. Learn more about this donation here.
I have an idea/suggestion for this project or for the replica canal schooner Lois McClure. How should I send it to you?
We’d love to hear your ideas. If you have ideas or suggestions, please share them with us using our online Suggestion Box portal. All suggestions will be sent privately to the Museum team and we will read every submission we get.
Who will be interviewed as part of the Oral History Project?
We will be interviewing those involved in the canal boat project, from 2001 to today, including the archaeologists, historians, boat builders, staff, and volunteers. Interviews will start being scheduled in Summer 2022. If you were a part of the Burlington Schooner Project and are interested in participating in the oral history project, please contact us at email@example.com.
Will there be a new exhibit or experience at the Museum about canals and canal boats?
Yes! Our current goal is to have a new exhibit on canal boats and the canals open for the 2024 season. We will be incorporating findings from the Schooner Lois McClure Archiving Project into this new exhibit.
If you have suggestions for future canal boat stories, exhibits, or programs you would like to see at the Museum, we would love to hear your ideas. Submit them using our online Suggestion Box portal. If you have images, videos, or memories you would like to become a part of this project and considered for future exhibits, please share them with us using the online Memory Box portal. New exhibit information will be posted and shared on email and social media.
How can I share a story or testimonial of my experience with the replica canal schooner Lois McClure?
Yes, PLEASE, share your memories! Public and collective memory is essential to documenting history, and we would like to make it a key part of this Archiving Project. You can submit as many memories, testimonials, stories, photos, and videos as you would like using our online Memory Box submission portal.
What kind of memory can I share?
Memories take many different forms. We’d love to hear the memories and stories that mean the most to you, such as:
- A visit, tour, or experience onboard the replica canal schooner Lois McClure
- A surprising piece of history, information, or lesson you learned from one of the exhibits on the Lois McClure
- Family history or stories about the canals or canal boats
- A favorite photo, selfie, or video of or with the Lois McClure
- A poem about the Lois McClure, the canals, or canal boats
- A drawing or piece of art about the Lois McClure, the canals, or canal boats
- A scanned historic photograph or document about the canals or canal boats that means something important to you
Memories can include photos, scanned documents, videos, and/or text. You can submit your memories using the online Memory Box submission portal. Any files uploaded must be smaller than 5 MB each and text must be 700 words or less.
My question isn’t here.
We’re so sorry about that! If you have any other questions about this archiving project, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. A member of our team will respond to your question within 2 business days.