Category Archives: Ships

National Museum of the Great Lakes Ready to Open

New National Museum of the Great Lakes with museum ship S.S. Col. James M. Schoonmaker. Photo by Candace Clifford

New National Museum of the Great Lakes with museum ship S.S. Col. James M. Schoonmaker. Photos by Candace Clifford

P1100197 lorescollectibles loresThe new National Museum of the Great Lakes, Toledo, Ohio, combines the Great Lakes Historical Society’s extensive collection of artifacts with various interactive exhibits for different age levels. Kids can stoke a steamship boiler with artificial coal while adults can track commercial shipping on a computer monitor. Hundreds of artifacts, ranging from a second-order fresnel lighthouse lens to tourist collectibles from passenger vessels, are distributed throughout. The amount of material is a little overwhelming but the interpretive panels are designed so that a person can take in only the major points or pause to read more detailed information.

Lifesaving exhibit

KELLEYS ISLAND, the oldest lifeboat used by the U.S. Life-Saving Service on the Great Lakes

Although located on the Maumee River near Lake Erie, the museum interprets all the Great Lakes with four exhibit themes: Exploration & Settlement, Expansion & Industry, Safeguard & Support, Shipwrecks & Safety. As you enter, a short film gives an introductory overview with dramatic lights and sound effects.

Outside, the museum ship S.S. Col. James M. Schoonmaker will impress you with its enormous size. It was the largest freighter on the Great Lakes when built in 1911 by Great Lakes Engineering Works in Ecorse, Michigan. Its capacity of 15,000 tons was a dramatic increase over other existing freighters’ capacity of 3,000 to 12,000 tons.

front loresSchoonmaker carried coal, iron ore, and other cargo from Duluth to Cleveland and other ports for the Shenango Furnace Company. Sold to Interlake Steamship Company in 1969, she was renamed Willis B. Boyer in honor of a former chairman of the board. Sold in 1971 to the Cleveland Cliffs Iron Company, Boyer was retired in 1980 after 69 years of service.

Opened to the public in July 1987, Boyer became a visitor attraction on the Toledo waterfront. Recently restored and then rechristened Col. James M. Schoonmaker on July 1, 2011, one hundred years after her original christening, the freighter has been repainted in her original colors of the Shenango Furnace Company.Schoon detail lores

The official opening of the National Museum of the Great Lakes will be April 26, 2014. Two days later, representatives from maritime museums as far away as Astoria, Oregon; Santa Barbara, California; and Houston, Texas; will be on hand to celebrate and support the new facility as part of the annual conference of the Council of American Maritime Museums (CAMM). Maritime museums included on the program include Michigan Maritime Museum; Split Rock Lighthouse, Minnesota; Mystic Seaport, Connecticut; Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, Washington, D.C.;  Maine Maritime Museum; The Mariners’ Museum, Virginia; and Chesapeake Maritime Museum, Maryland.


Sail Training International Announces 2014 Conference

The venue and dates for the International Sail Training & Tall Ships Conference 2014 are now confirmed.

The conference will be held in the Spanish city of A Coruña, on Friday 14 and Saturday 15 November.

The city of A Coruña is well known to the sail training community, both as a strategic safe haven on the north west corner of Spain and as a regular host port for The Tall Ships Races. The city has been a host port on eight previous occasions and will once again welcome The Tall Ships fleet in the summer of 2016.

More information

Objects Available from Puget Sound Maritime Historical Society

Below is a list of objects approved for deaccession by the Puget Sound Maritime Historical Society (PSMHS), located in Seattle, WA. PSMHS holds legal title for all of these objects, and each one is available for transfer to an appropriate institution. We are willing to transfer to permanent as well as education collections. Some objects may be in poor condition.

For more information or if your institution is interested in a particular item, please contact Jessica Bellingham at by January 15, 2014. Items will be transferred on a first-come, first-served basis. Please include the accession number when inquiring about an object.

Thanks very much for your time, and we hope you find something that interests you & your institution!

• PS103 – Wooden name board from schooner “Tongass.” 70” long.

• PS304 – Piece of teakwood; relic from schooner “La Natalie.” 3”x3”x8”

• PS901.7a-i – Set of 9 spline weights for drafting, lead with brass hooks

• PS1057 – Mock-up of boiler front built for an engine room exhibit

• PS1061.1 – framed ink drawing/joiner plans for SS Kansas City, which became the S.S. Alaska

• PS1067.1 & .2– Marine engine, Lathrop. Standard model 4 cycle, 2 cylinder, with instruction booklet. Mounted on wood stand on wheels.

• PS1128 – Elto outboard motor

• PS1129 – Outboard motor

• PS1138.25.1 & .2 – 2 woven provisioning baskets

• PS1151.1 to .9 – Jacob’s ladder (5 treads) and 8 wood rigging blocks

• PS1162 – Weatherproof uniform “liberated from Navy Sea Bee camp on Iwo Jima”, including overalls & hooded top.

• PS1204.38 – Commemorative dish for launching of MV Rabenfels of Hansa line.

• PS1232.3 – Iron eye fitting on wooden knee beam from “Star of Bengal”

• PS1235 – Boatswain’s metal handheld whistle

• PS1409.80 – Model door lock with knob & latch assembly mounted on wooden display stand

• PS1409.114 – Document or letter holder, used by ship’s purser to index bills, etc.

• PS1409.139 – Gold shoulder loop from Imperial Japanese 7th

• PS1409.214 – Miniature model of English fishing cutter – 4.5” long

• PS1409.216 – Box full of loose ship model pieces

• PS1409.239 – Miniature ship model made of a turkey breast bone

• PS1422 – Scott Atwater outboard motor.

• PS1425 – Outboard motor, Johnson Motors, Waukegan III

• PS1998.40.1 to .9 – Radiophones, handsets, radio direction finders, etc. Note that only 8 are available – PSMHS will be keeping one of these. All are slightly rusty.

• PS2000.12.7 – Anchor chain

• PS2000.27 – 373 Navigational charts in 12 tubes, world coverage

• PS2000.30.1 to .6 – Scale, weights, pressure gauge, zinc anode, box end wrench

• PS2000.37 – Sport fishing rod & reel.

• PS2000.42.4 – Deadeye and iron wire shroud end on wood deadeye from sailing vessel “America.”

• PS2000.42.5 – Wood planking fragment from sailing vessel “America”

• PS2001.37.3 – Bottom action winch for small sailing yacht, Merriman Bros., Boston

• PS2001.51 – Miscellaneous maritime-themed baseball caps in unknown condition.

• PS2001.57.1 – Copper gunpowder canister, copper pitcher form with two handles

• PS2001.57.6 – Medal “Ships for Victory”, bronze with red, white, and blue ribbon.

• PS2001.60.1 – Polarstar immersion suit in unknown condition

• PS2002.28 – Large model of Todd Shipyard diorama

• PS2002.29 – Wooden steering wheel from the SS “Baranof”, 72” diameter

• PS2003.1.4 – 8 blue glass canning jars

• PS2003.9 –Fabric & wire anchor signal in unknown condition

• PS2004.10 – Radar display simulator for navigation training

• PS2004.22 – Wood casting pattern for rocker arm of Nordberg engine

• PS2005.1.6 – Framed bill of landing/manifest for ship “Audubon” from NY to San Francisco

• PS2007.17.2 – Broken diorama of 3-masted schooner on wooden base

• PS2007.17.3 – Broken diorama of brigantine on wooden base

• PS2007.17.4 – Broken diorama of four-masted barkentine on wooden base

• PS2007.25.1 – Print of S.S. “Master”

• PS2007.27 – Bronze searchlight, 19” diameter

• PS2008.1 – Steam pump – direct acting, duplex, painted green.

CHARLES W. MORGAN Voyage – Call for Proposals

Mystic Seaport Director Steve White provided the following details:

I want to let CAMM members know about an upcoming opportunity to travel onboard the Charles W. Morgan during her historic 38th Voyage next summer. This will be the first time in 80 years this National Historic Landmark vessel will leave Mystic, Connecticut. The second oldest American ship afloat, the Morgan will voyage to seven New England ports including New Bedford and Boston, and spend several days on or near Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary.

We are seeking proposals for onboard participants from a wide range of backgrounds and skills – including scientists, artists, teachers, historians, playwrights, museum professionals, anthropologists, maritime archaeologists, whaling descendants, musicians, and writers. Each 38th Voyager will spend one night and the following day onboard the vessel, with a small group of other 38th Voyagers, the captain, crew, and a few additional guests.

This is a public-history project, so we seek proposed projects that will represent many different perspectives, reach different audiences, and find innovative ways to use the Morgan as a platform for recording, analyzing, interpreting, and sharing various aspects of the 38th Voyage. We encourage proposals that explore the wider local, national, and global stories to which she so strongly connects (see the Call For Proposals for the core project themes we’ve identified).

Please see the Call For Proposals for details – we’ll accept proposals from Dec. 1 through Dec. 31.

Email with any questions.

Best regards,


U.S. Senate Passes Resolution Commemorating the Charles W. Morgan

Measure Recognizes National Importance of Historic Whaleship’s Launch July 21

Mystic, Conn. – Today the United States Senate passed a resolution celebrating the July 21, 2013 launch of the Charles W. Morgan, the second oldest vessel in the United States and the world’s last remaining wooden whaling vessel.  Connecticut Senators Richard Blumenthal and Christopher Murphy led the resolution in the Senate. Following a nearly five-year, multimillion dollar restoration, the Morgan will be launched on Sunday in preparation for her first sail in over 80 years.  In the summer of 2014, the Morgan will embark on her 38th Voyage to ports of call up-and-down the New England coast.  The July 21 launch is a critical milestone in this ambitious and world-class endeavor.

“I am overjoyed by the restoration and launch of the Charles W. Morgan,” Blumenthal said. “Through the partnership and cooperation of many organizations across multiple states, we are able to preserve a National Historic Landmark for current and future generations to enjoy, and set sail a living testament to the American ethos of hard work and perseverance. I look forward to attending the Charles W. Morgan’s launch ceremony.”

“Senator Blumenthal and I are proud to honor the Charles W. Morgan whaleship with this Senate resolution,” Murphy said. “The Morgan is an important part of Connecticut’s historic whaling industry, and I’m so grateful to Mystic Seaport for its impressive restoration work to help preserve the last remaining wooden whaleship in the world. I’m also thrilled that the Morgan’s voyage next year–a collaborative effort between 22 states–will focus on raising awareness on environmental protection, and bringing attention to how we can protect our planet’s whale population. I can’t wait for the voyage to begin, and I’ll support its educational efforts along the way.”

Organizations in more than 22 states have contributed labor, materials, and expertise to the Morganrestoration making her 38th Voyage a remarkable national achievement.   As an example of the scope of contributions to the Morgan’s restoration, families in Biloxi, MS, donated 200-year-old live oak trees felled in Hurricane Katrina as a way to continue the legacy of these famous trees.  Other states are hosting satellite exhibits or have built smaller whaleboats to accompany the Morgan.  Stephanie Meeks, President of the National Trust for Historic Preservation explained, “The excitement generated by the Charles W. Morgan’s 38th Voyage is a testament to the power of history to engage and inspire us. It demonstrates the value of saving the tangible fabric of our shared experience and revitalizing it for contemporary times and new uses.”

The 172-year-old ship is a National Historic Landmark and an icon for the maritime heritage community.  David McCullough, renowned historian and author, added, “The Charles W. Morgan is one of America’s greatest treasures. To explore the Morgan is to experience our country’s maritime past in a way no book or lecture can ever hope to match.”

Whereas the Morgan was once a renowned whaler, her 38th Voyage will recast her as a scientific and educational vessel.  “Whaling in the 19th and early 20th centuries ultimately proved unsustainable economically as well as for whales as a species,” said Daniel J. Basta, Director of NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries.  One of the Morgan’s most important destinations will be Stellwagen Bank off of Boston, once a hunting ground and now refuge for whales.  “Sailing through Stellwagen’s waters is key,” said Basta. “The Morgan will sail again, now with a mission to raise public awareness of the importance of protecting our nation’s oceans and its species, and of whale watching as a sustainable business.”

Steve White, President of Mystic Seaport, thanked the Senators for their efforts, saying, “We are grateful to our representatives in the United States Senate for recognizing the importance of the Morgan’s restoration and 38th Voyage to the State of Connecticut, to the nation, and to the world.  Mystic Seaport is grateful to our partners in the 22 states who have and continue to make essential contributions to the success of this endeavor.”

Launch of CHARLES W. MORGAN Video Stream

From Steve White at Mystic Seaport:

Mystic Seaport will be offering a live video stream of the launch of the Charles W. Morgan on Sunday, July 21. We welcome you to use the stream as you see fit. The ceremony starts at 2 p.m. EDT and should last approximately an hour. It will be a switched video feed with multiple cameras and a professional director. Once the ceremony is over, the entire event will be available for on-demand viewing.

We will have a link to a page hosting the feed on the home page of our website

Alternately, the video stream vendor, Livestream, has a page as well: