Category Archives: News

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.

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

Early Bird Discount Extended for ICMM Conference

The “Early Bird Discount” for registration for the upcoming ICMM Conference has been extended until August 31. It appears that the U.S. has two representatives on the program. Stuart Frank, New Bedford Whaling Museum will be speaking at the “Shared HIstory” session and James Delgado, US Maritime Heritage Programme (NOAA) will be part of “Connecting the Past and Present: Maritime Archaeology.”

CAMM President Dave Pearson and Vice-President Greg Gorga will also be attending. We look forward to their report!

More Press on the Maritime Heritage Grants

Tim Runyan shared a link to Denise Krepp’s op-ed article, “The Real Facts about Maritime Heritage Grants,” in the MARITIME EXECUTIVE. Her article is a response to the MARAD administrator’s column “A Fair Accounting of the Maritime Heritage Grant Program” that appeared in yesterday’s AMERICAN SHIPPER.

Tim also reported that the STORIS Act now has six sponsors including Rep. Don Young (R-AK) who served in the U.S. Coast Guard. Although progress is being made,Tim encourages folks “to write their senators and representatives, visit local offices to express their support for STORIS.”

August 4, 2015

New Coast Guard Cutter James to Visit Home of Her Massachusetts Namesake

USCGC JOSHUA JAMES is named for the famous keeper of the Point Allerton Lifesaving Station, Hull, Masschusetts.

USCGC JAMES is named for the famous keeper of the Point Allerton Lifesaving Station, Hull, Masschusetts.

The new US Coast Guard Cutter James, at 418 ft., the largest class of strategic defense ship in the Coast Guard fleet, will visit Hull waters this Sunday, August 2nd. Named for Joshua James, the most famous and celebrated lifesaver of the US Life-Saving Service, and captain of the Point Allerton Station from 1889 to 1902, now home to the Hull Lifesaving Museum, the James is one of the newest Legend class of long-range national security cutters designed to operate anywhere around the globe. Following her sojourn in Hull waters the ship will proceed to Boston for a private commissioning ceremony on August 8th.

Excerpted from a press release submitted by Connie Leung, Hull Lifesaving Museum, July 28, 2015