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Lake Champlain Maritime Museum

Lakeside Locations at Basin Harbor and Burlington, Vermont
Bring to life stories of Lake Champlain and its people.
~ Both sites open 7 days a week from early May to mid-October.
~ Replica schooner Lois McClure launching July 3 at Burlington,
Lake Tour Aug 21 - Oct 17
For information: phone (802) 475 2022 or website at

Lake Champlain Maritime Museum at Basin Harbor

This scenic, kid-friendly campus with twelve exhibit buildings, playgrounds and picnic areas, is the museum’s headquarters and home port of Philadelphia II, the full-sized replica gunboat from Benedict Arnold’s Revolutionary War fleet. As you tour the museum, the history of the Champlain Valley unfolds. Relics of historic shipwrecks, information from old journals, letters and documents, paintings, maps, and photographs and other artifacts are brought together in our galleries and programs. Every year, new archaeological fieldwork and historical research are added.

Over the centuries, the lake has served as fishing grounds for Native Americans, military highway for explorers and soldiers, commercial artery for merchants, mariners, and smugglers, scenic and recreational area for residents and visitors. This panorama of history is explored in the museum.

~ Lake Champlain Through the Centuries - get the big picture as you start your visit.

~ Key to Liberty: the Revolutionary War in the Champlain Valley.
Exhibition and videos show how the world-wide balance of power was changed by events that took place on the lake. Young Benedict Arnold was an American hero when his naval fleet confronted the British Royal Navy in 1776. The last historic shipwreck from his fleet was discovered by LCMM archaeologists in 1997.

~ 1776 Gunboat Replica Philadelphia II - Climb aboard this full-sized replica constructed at the LCMM and recapture the experience of the citizen-soldiers who served on the lake.

~ Steamboats and More Lake travel and trade were transformed by the
inventions of the nineteenth century. Steamboats arrived in 1809, and captured the public imagination for more than a century. After the Champlain Canal opened in 1823, hundreds of canal boats began to operate on the lake, and lighthouses were built to help them navigate.

~ Bridging Lake Champlain - The Champlain Bridge opened in 1929, linking New York and Vermont. Lake shipping could not compete. Although the bridge was eagerly welcomed, many waterfront communities declined.

~ Nautical Archaeology Center "Shipwrecks of Lake Champlain" Share the discovery of a horse-powered ferryboat, a sailing canal boat, the world’s second successful steamboat, the War of 1812 fleet, and other Lake Champlain vessels. Tour Underwater Historic Preserves with our touch-screen interactive “Virtual Diver.” At the Conservation Laboratory watch archaeologists preserve artifacts.

~ Small Watercraft Collection The Jean C. Jones Small Boat Exhibit and the museum campus feature canoes, skiffs and iceboats made or used in the region.

~ Boat Building in the Champlain Valley - The materials, tools and techniques used to build birchbark and dugout canoes, battleships, merchant vessels, canal boats, steamboats, ferries, yachts, and kayaks. Hands-on learning stations and live demonstrations.

~ Blacksmith shop - The iron industry was closely linked to lake shipping for two centuries. Live demonstrations are offered daily. Blacksmithing workshops available.

Lake Champlain Maritime Museum’s Burlington Shipyard

May and June: Launch Preparations The 2004 season at the shipyard takes off at full speed as we complete construction of replica 1862 canal schooner Lois McClure: finishing the rigging, caulking and painting the hull. At the end of June, we will lift the schooner and construct a trailer under her, then parade to the water’s edge to prepare for launching. Schooner Launch July 3 in conjunction with the City of Burlington’s Independence Day Celebration will be a grand community event from 2:00 - 4:00pm with live music and other festivities.

In July and August, Lois McClure and accompanying exhibits on the history of Burlington Bay and the canal boat era will be open for tours. As the schooner adjusts to life afloat, we’ll step the masts, and venture out for “lake trials” and ballasting. The Burlington Shipyard will host a new exhibit on Small Watercraft of Lake Champlain, and community boat building projects, courses and workshops, starting with teen kayak-building program Champlain Discovery.

September - October: Inaugural Tour of Lake Champlain. Schooner Lois McClure will visit waterfront communities with historical ties to the canal boat era. On-board school programs and public tours will highlight life aboard a canal boat, boat building techniques, canal schooner operation, and more. Special events, concerts, and lectures will also be offered. Winter quarters for the schooner will be on the Burlington waterfront. Plans are underway for the 2005 Grand Tour from alke Champlain through the Champlain Canal and the Hudson River to South Street Seaport Museum.

Family Opportunities 2004

Find exciting adventures at the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum ! Special Event weekends in June, July, and August bring history to life. Try your hand at courses, workshops and learning adventures for kids and adults in blacksmithing, boat building, maritime skills, and on-water explorations. New this year, an expanded selection of Adult & Child Learning Opportunities. Log on to for details.


Regional Information
- Crown Point Telephone History
- Crown Point History
- Penfield Homestead
- First Congregational Church of Crown Point

Area Histories
- Lake Champlain History
- The War of 1812
- Ticonderoga 1804 - 2004
- Schroon Lake 1804 - 2004
- Town of Moriah

Area Places of Interest
- Lake Champlain Bikeways
- Lake Champlain Birding Trail
- Fishing in the Adirondacks
- Adirondack Sport Fishing
- Lake Champlain Maritime Museum
- Continuing Education

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