Canal schooner to make stop in Waterford
Lake Champlain Maritime Museum’s replica 1862 canal schooner Lois McClure will be in port at Waterford on Saturday and Sunday July 8 and 9, for the 2017 Legacy Tour commemorating the Erie Canal Bicentennial with a celebration of waterways and trees. Construction on the Champlain and Erie canals was begun 200 years ago on July 4, 1817.
Visitors can board the schooner free of charge to explore the 88-foot long boat and view a special exhibit explaining how white oak and white pine have been essential for centuries in boat building and in the forest ecosystem.
The Lois McClure was built starting in 2002 by the maritime museum’s shipwrights and volunteers on the Burlington, Vt., waterfront from plans by naval architect Ron A. Smith. Studied for the replica creation were two shipwrecks of 1862-class canal schooners, OJ Walker and General Butler, which are now part of the Lake Champlain Underwater Historic Preserve System accessible by any SCUBA diver. The replica ship is shown in photo above alongside circa 1900 photo of P.E. Havens. See full itinery at http://www.lcmm.org/. Travel conditions are weather-dependent, so the schedule may change.
The ship’s visit will coincide with the Waterford Harbor Farmers Market, which takes place every Sunday until October.
The replica schooner, based at Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, is making 35 stops as part of a 100-day journey to Buffalo and back to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Erie and Champlain canals and teach the values of forest stewardship and reverence for wood. Visiting students will engage in hands-on activities exploring forest ecosystems, the history of forestry, different uses for wood products, and the crucial role the forest plays in fostering clean water, soil health, and rich habitat.
Schooner Lois McClure will transport a crop of seedlings to be planted in communities along the schooner’s route in partnership with the NY DEC Trees for Tribs program which promotes the protection of tributaries and of water quality through the establishment and restoration of stream-side forest buffers.
The schooner is named in honor of Lois McClure, who, along with her husband Mac, has been a major contributor to this and many other worthy community projects in the greater Burlington, Vt., area.
By its opening in 1825, the new navigable waterway included 18 aqueducts to carry the canal over ravines and rivers, and 83 locks, with a rise of 568 feet from the Hudson River to Lake Erie. New York’s vast canal system, the largest in America, has a $400 million economic impact from tourism alone, said Brian Stratton, New York State Canal Corp. director. The 2017 World Canals Conference is scheduled for Sept. 24-28 in Syracuse, bringing together hundreds of canal operators, historians and enthusiasts from all parts of the globe including Europe and China.
Gloria MazurePost Author
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