Author Archives: CAMM

About CAMM

Administrator, Council of American Maritime Museums

CAMM Welcomes Lowell’s Boat Shop as Newest Member

During its October 8, 2015 meeting, the Council of American Maritime Museum (CAMM) Board approved the Lowell’s Boat Shop’s application for membership. They are delighted to welcome this maritime museum and educational facility to the CAMM community.

Courtesy of Lowell's Boat Shop

CAMM’s newest member is located in Amesbury, Massachusetts. Courtesy of Lowell’s Boat Shop

Located in Amesbury, Massachusetts on the North bank of the Merrimac River, Lowell’s Boat Shop was established in 1793. According to their website it is the “oldest continuously operating boat shop in America and is cited as the birthplace of the legendary fishing dory.  . .  . skilled craftsmen continue to build wooden boats in the Lowell tradition on the property purchased by founder Simeon Lowell in the 1700s. The oldest buildings remaining on the site are combined Greek revival structures that were built in the early 1860s: the downriver shop by Simeon’s grandson, Hiram Lowell, and the adjacent Morrill and Flanders boat shop that was moved to the site by Hiram’s son, Fred E. Lowell.  In the 1940s, Ralph Lowell, the last of the Lowell family to own the business, further expanded the building at each end with the additions of the Office and the Paint Room.”

Designated a National Historic Landmark in in 1990, the Boat Shop has been run as a non-profit working museum since 1994. In January 2007, the Boat Shop was purchased by Lowell’s Maritime Foundation whose mission is “to preserve and perpetuate the art and craft of wooden boat building and promote the history of Lowell’s Boat Shop and its environs.”  Lowell’s continues to build its full line of dories and skiffs for oar, sail or power.  Innovative educational programs and exhibits are offered to the public throughout the year, and rowing is available seasonally.

National Museum of American History – Member Update

Hawaii Artifacts Featured in National Museum of American History Website
New Book, Shipwrecked in Paradise explores Story of Cleopatra’s Barge in Hawai‘i

Courtesy Texas A&M University Press

Courtesy Texas A&M University Press

Hawaiian artifacts on loan to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History from the ship Ha‘aheo‘ Hawai‘i for research and conservation have returned to the state and some are on view at the Kauai Museum in Lihu‘e. The knowledge gleaned from underwater exploration of the ship last owned by King Kamehameha II (Liholiho) is now in a new book, Shipwrecked in Paradise, by Paul F. Johnston, the museum’s maritime history curator. The book, published by Texas A&M University Press, traces the story of the yacht’s life in Hawai‘i, from her 1820 sale to Liholiho to her 1995 to 2000 discovery and excavation. In addition to the book, Johnston has created a comprehensive website containing the full artifact catalog and a chronology of the ship’s life and movements between 1820 and 1826.

Courtesy National Museum of American History

Courtesy National Museum of American History

Johnston led a team of divers who located, surveyed and excavated the wrecked ship, after receiving the only underwater archaeological permits ever issued by the state of Hawai‘i. The artifacts from the excavation shed light on the little-documented transitional period from Old Hawai‘i to foreign influence and culture. Although Liholiho ruled Hawai‘i for only a few short years, his abolition of taboos and admission of the Boston Christian missionaries into his kingdom planted the seeds for profound changes in Hawaiian culture.

The 1,250 lots of artifacts from the wreck contain the only known material culture from Kamehameha II’s monarchy, shedding light on the poorly documented transitional period from Old Hawai‘i to the modern age of intense foreign influence. Johnston’s account also covers the stark logistical realities of fieldwork in underwater archaeology, the bureaucratic frustrations of obtaining permits, the mix of tensions and camaraderie among crewmembers and the background presence of landmark family events.

Cleopatra’s Barge, built in Salem, Mass., in 1816, was the first oceangoing yacht built in America. After the death of its owner, the yacht was stripped of its finery and sold at auction in 1818. In 1820, Liholiho purchased it for more than a million pounds of sandalwood, a commodity prized in the China trade. He changed the name in 1822 to Ha‘aheo‘ Hawai‘i,  (Pride of Hawaii). Two years later, it wrecked on a reef in Hanalei Bay. It sat on the ocean floor for 170 years, its exact whereabouts a mystery until the 1990s.

In addition to his curatorial duties at the museum, Johnston is secretary of the Council of American Maritime Museums and serves on the board of directors for 10 other archaeological organizations. Shipwrecked in Paradise will be available beginning Oct. 14, and the richly illustrated book retails for $39.95. More information is available from Texas A&M University Press.

Submitted by Melinda Machado, October 5, 2015

SSHSA Announces Launch of Ship History Center

Extensive archive now available to researchers by appointment.

Photo courtesy of SSHA

Photo courtesy of SSHA

The Steamship Historical Society of America (SSHSA) is celebrating its 80th anniversary this year by offering unprecedented access to its vast archives. With the official opening of the Ship History Center in Warwick, R.I., the organization’s entire collection is now housed under one roof and accessible to researchers.

“This is an exciting time for us and we are pleased to finally have this wealth of knowledge available for study,” SSHSA Executive Director Matthew Schulte said. “The information we have gathered over the years helps us understand not only where we’ve been, but where we are heading in the future. We hope that there are plenty of researchers out there who can take advantage of it.”

Photo courtesy of SSHSA

Photo courtesy of SSHSA

The SSHSA archive comprises hundreds of thousands of images, artifacts, periodicals, artwork, official records and memorabilia that help tell the extensive history of engine- powered vessels, their passengers and their crews. Until recently, these items were stored in warehouses ranging from Long Island to Baltimore.

Last October, the society – which also publishes the quarterly magazine, PowerShips – moved into a building formerly used by the New England Institute of Technology. Since that time, it has consolidated its collection, finally bringing the last of it together this spring. While the goal is to be open for the general public in the near future, additional staff, volunteers and funding are needed before these hours can expand beyond research appointments.

SSHSA 29“This Ship History Center is something that we have been working toward for years, and it is satisfying to see us take this first step,” Schulte said. “But we also know that the work doesn’t stop here. Our goal is not just to appeal to the amateur and professional historians, but to everyone interested in this fascinating segment of American history.”

The move comes as the organization looks to broaden its role as an educator and steward of maritime resources. In recent years, it has launched the online Image Porthole, which has helped identify pictures of thousands of ships from around the world and worked toward uploading portions of its collection so they can be shared instantaneously around the world.

Photo courtesy of SSHSA

Photo courtesy of SSHSA

Future goals include the development of an educational program that will help students connect the revolutionary progress that steamship technology made in the 19th century with the technological advances of today.

The SSHSA was founded in 1935 in a Manhattan apartment by seven amateur steamship historians. Eighty years later, it has grown to become the world’s leading organization on the history of engine-powered vessels, with close to 3,000 domestic and international members in more than 40 countries.

To schedule a visit, please contact us at (401) 463-3570.

Submitted by Bryan Lucier, SSHSA

Museum Small Craft Association Annual Meeting

Museum Small Craft Association Annual Meeting

Monday, October 5 – Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, St Michaels, Maryland

The 2015 Museum Small Craft Association Meeting will be held Monday, October 5, and Tuesday, October 6, at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in Saint Michaels, Maryland. Museum small craft professionals and others who share an interest in small boat conservation and restoration, skills preservation, documentation, history, interpretation and research are invited.Presentations and discussions on a variety of small craft and museum related topics will include:

  • Schooner Hebride 2, Roger Marsters, Maritime Museum of the Atlantic
  • International Small Craft Renaissance, Lance Lee,  Scholarshipwrights
  • Monomoy Drill Boat, Al Klineberger, Dover Falls Foundation
  • Deaccession Decisions, Craig Bruns and Mark Donohue,  Independence Seaport
  • Strategic Acquisitions, Lyles Forbes, Mariners Museum
  • New Boat Shop, Michael Jones, Pinellas County Living Museum
  • Edna Lockwood Project Planning,  Michael Jones, Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum
  • Edna Lockwood Documentation, Todd Croteau, National Park Service
  • MSCA 40th anniversary, Past Present and Future of Small Craft, Moderator David Cockey
  • Howard Chapelle (1901-1975) His Legacy Today, Pete Lesher, CBMM, and others

Other activities will include a Behind the Scenes Tour of the museum’s working boat yard and the curatorial areas, and a field trip to a local boatbuilder and the museum’s offsite boat storage area. Participants will be able to report on their institutions and organizations during Museum Reports. Monday evening will feature a cruise on the Miles River aboard the museum’s buyboat, Winnie Estelle, followed by dinner at the nearby Town Dock restaurant. Lunches will be provided on both days. There will also be time for informal discussions and to tour the museum


The registration fee is $85 and includes lunch both days, the Monday evening cruise on the Winnie Estelle, and dinner Monday at the Town Dock restaurant. Guests of meeting participants will be accommodated on the cruise on a space available basis, and may join the dinner Monday evening for $35. To register send the attached form with check made out to “Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum” to: CBMM, 213 North Talbot St, St Michaels, MD 21663  attn: Richard Scofield. For payment by credit card call Patti Miller, CBMM accountant, at 410-745-4954. Please register by September 25 if possible.

MSCA 2015 Registration Form


The museum has reserved a block of rooms for MSCA meeting participants from Sunday night through Tuesday night at the St Michaels Inn (formerly Best Western St Michaels) which is 2 miles from the museum. Rate is $89.99 / night. Phone number is 410-745-3333. Ask for a room in the Museum Small Craft Association block.  St Michaels also has several other inns and bed & breakfast establishments, and accommodations are also available in Easton, approximately 12 miles from the museum. Camping on the museum grounds will not be available during the MSCA Meeting.

Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival

The MSCA meeting is preceded by the Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival which will be held from the afternoon of Friday, October 2 through mid-day on Sunday, October 4. Registration for MASCF is separate from MSCA Meeting registration, and MASCF participants may camp on the museum grounds for MASCF only. More information about MASCF and a link to online MASCF registration is available at

For more information about the meeting and the Museum Small Craft Association visit or contact David Cockey

For more information about the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum visit

Submitted by David Cockey, Museum Small Craft Association, August 25, 2015

AIC & CAC-ACCR 2016 Joint Annual Meeting & Conference: Call for Papers

The theme for the American Institute for Conservation’s 44th Annual Meeting, held jointly with the 42nd Annual Canadian Association for Conservation (CAC-ACCR) Conference, in Montreal, Canada, May 13-17, 2016, will be “Emergency! Preparing for Disasters and Confronting the Unexpected in Conservation.”

Colleagues are invited to submit abstracts that address in a broad-based way the impact of past, present, and future disasters on the protection of cultural property. In addition, papers that address confronting the unexpected in conservation whether it occurs during the treatment of an artifact or during a natural disaster are requested.

The topic can be expanded to address immediate reactions, such as the application of crowd-mapping technology to aid response efforts, or longer term developments stemming from disasters, such as the adoption of simple strategies. The unexpected may include surprises encountered along the way in any treatment and can be expanded to include all stakeholders, even future ones, who are affected by a disaster.

The review committees will be looking for abstracts related to the general theme, however other topics will be reviewed as well. In order to simplify abstract submission for all applicants, we have just launched a new online abstract submission tool! The submission portal is accessible through our abstracts page – to learn more about our Meeting Theme and read our General, Specialty, and Joint Sessions Call for Papers, visit

Submission deadline for papers is Monday, September 14, 2015. Poster abstract submissions are due Thursday, October 1st.

Learn more about the Joint Annual Meeting & Conference here:

If you have any questions, please contact Ruth Seyler at

Submitted by Katelin Lee, August 21, 2015