New Exhibit on the Burlington Waterfront


Contact: Eloise Beil, Director of Collections and Exhibits
802-475-2022, x107; eloiseb@lcmm.org

Burlington, VT – Starting June 20, the Burlington Waterfront will feature a special attraction: Lake Champlain Maritime Museum’s new interpretive exhibit, Maritime Burlington! In a festive “big top tent” setting on Perkins Pier at the foot of Maple Street, the exhibit serves as a porthole to history for visitors and area residents, and a discovery resource for LCMM’s new Lake Adventure Camps.

The exhibit Maritime Burlington presents highlights from LCMM’s nautical archaeology fieldwork and historical research encourages exploration and discovery. “We are very excited to be greeting the public right where so much history happened,” says Executive Director Mike Smiles. “The lake’s first steamboat, Vermont – and the second commercially successful steamboat in the world – was launched right here on the Burlington waterfront in 1808.” Changing views of the Burlington waterfront invite us to travel through time, seeing the breakwater, lighthouses, steamboats, canal boats, railroads and the cargoes that shipped in and out of the Champlain Valley, all helping to shape the city. The exhibit also includes stories of former slaves for whom the historic waterway served as a corridor to freedom. Visitors can use a working replica of a nineteenth century crane to lift cargo into a small-scale canal boat. On weekends, there will be live demonstrations of maritime skills such as shaping spars, ropework and rigging.

Several boats from LCMM’s fleet will also add color to the waterfront at Perkins Pier: MV Baldwin,which will host Saturday Shipwreck tours in July and August; and “Champlain Longboats,” the student-built rowing boats used for community rowing, regional racing events, and On Water Ecology tours. Schooner Lois McClure and her companion wooden tugboat C. L. Churchill will also be in port, although the schooner is not available for boarding in 2015 while preparing for restoration work this fall.

The exhibit is open daily from June 20 through August 23, and then Wednesday through Sunday through October 12, 2015. “Our first Lake Adventure Camps in Burlington start June 22, so you will see lots of young adventurers exploring the area with us,” says Deputy Director Erick Tichonuk. “Week-long camps on the waterfront and in Vergennes run through August 14 and there are still a few places open.” A formal ribbon cutting at the exhibit will be announced shortly.




Lois McClure was built by LCMM shipwrights and volunteers on the Burlington waterfront in 2001-2004, based on two shipwrecks of 1862-class canal schooners discovered in Lake Champlain. This authentic replica has no means of propulsion other than sail, so 1964 tugboat C. L. Churchillprovides power. Launched in 2004, Lois McClure has completed eleven journeys. Over 5,200 miles on the region’s inland waterways have carried the schooner south to New York City, west to Buffalo and Lake Ontario, and north to Quebec City, engaging people in history and archaeology at every port. More than 220,000 visitors in 220 communities have stepped on board. This replica vessel has been the most effective outreach program LCMM has ever conducted, and a leader in the world of Maritime Museums.

The Maritime Burlington exhibit, 2015 Lake Adventure Camps and restoration of schooner Lois McClure are made possible thanks to the generous support of sponsors including Burlington Parks, Recreation, and Waterfront, Lake Champlain Transportation, Seventh Generation, Merchants Bank, Dan Landau, the McClure Family, and the Lake Champlain Basin Program. This project was funded in part by an agreement awarded by the Great Lakes Fishery Commission to the New England Water Pollution Control Commission in partnership with the Lake Champlain Basin Program. NEI WPCC manages LCBP’s personnel, contract, grant and budget tasks and provides input on the program’s activities through a partnership with the LCBP steering committee.


Lake Champlain Maritime Museum is located on the shore of Lake Champlain, seven scenic miles from historic Vergennes, Vermont at 4472 Basin Harbor Road, across from the Basin Harbor Club. A museum that makes a difference, LCMM brings underwater discoveries and lake adventures to the public in exciting and imaginative ways. New, hands-on “60 Minute Experiences” are offered daily. The Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. through October 11, 2015. LCMM Members and children 5 and under receive free admission. For more information call (802) 475-2022 or visitwww.lcmm.org.