Explore lake history, archaeology, and ecology through new exhibits, special programs, and hands-on learning this summer at Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, open for the season as of May 24.
In the new exhibit Steamboats of Lake Champlain, learn about the colorful career of Lake Champlain steamboat pioneer Captain Jahaziel Sherman of Vergennes and his wife Harriet Daggett Sherman. Experience some of the world’s earliest steamboats and learn how nautical archaeologists continue to locate, learn from and preserve Lake Champlain’s many shipwrecks.
Enjoy music, dance, storytelling and special hands-on activities for children at Abenaki Heritage Weekend, presented at the Museum by the Vermont Abenaki Artists Association on June 22-23. Learn from conversations with Abenaki scholars, culture bearers, and leaders. View the new film Nebi: Abenaki Ways of Knowing Water, produced by Lake Champlain Sea Grant and UVM Extension working with members of the Abenaki community.
Get out on the lake with the Maritime Museum! Friday, May 31 is Launch Day, a community-wide celebration as the 20th student-built rowing gig joins the museum’s fleet of Champlain longboats. The museum’s fleet is used by the Community Rowing Club for twice-weekly practices and summer racing events. Sign up for a seat or bring your own (human-powered) boat for the three-mile Challenge Race at the Museum on June 30. In July and August, visit replica 1862 canal schooner Lois McClure at Lake Champlain ports to celebrate the International Year of the Salmon. On-water tour options include the daily museum/lunch/cruise or a visit to one of the lake’s many shipwrecks, with real-time video stream by Remotely Operated Vehicle.
The museum offers summer learning adventures for all ages, including camps in lake ecology, robotics, and boat building for students grades 2 to 12; kayak building and on-water expeditions for teens; and workshops in blacksmithing, bladesmithing, and bronze casting for teens and adults. The museum also offers in-depth professional development courses for educators and other curious learners, with graduate credit available through Castleton University.
Reconnect the past and present on Aug. 1 as visiting scholars take a new look at the legacy of Samuel de Champlain. On August 17-18, join 18th century living historians reenacting events on Lake Champlain during the American Revolution at Rabble in Arms Weekend. Explore a military camp, meet the gunboat crew, and see cooking and artillery demonstrations.
The Lake Champlain Maritime Museaum is located at 4472 Basin Harbor Rd., Vergennes. (802) 475-2022.