MEMBER UPDATE: National Coast Guard Museum Recognizes AWO Members for Their Contributions

NEW LONDON, Conn. (October 29, 2015) – The National Coast Guard Museum Association today recognized the members of the American Waterways Operators, the national trade association for the tugboat, towboat and barge industry, for their contributions to support construction of the nation’s first and only National Coast Guard Museum. AWO’s roughly 350 member companies own and operate tugboats, towboats and barges and provide marine services on the inland waterways, the Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf coasts, the Great Lakes, and ports and harbors throughout the United States.

AWO’s Board of Directors has encouraged every member of the association to make a contribution to the museum. To date, $1.66 million in contributions have been received from AWO member companies, including Kirby Corporation, Ingram Barge Company, AEP River Operations, American Commercial Lines, Canal Barge Company, and McAllister Towing.

Adm. Jim Loy, USCG (ret.), 21st Commandant, and a member of the NCGMA Board of Directors, said he was thrilled by the commitment of support from AWO members. “AWO and its members’ 100 percent participation will inspire the maritime community and ensure the success of the National Coast Guard Museum,” Loy said.

The National Coast Guard Museum Association’s goal is to raise a total of $100 million over the next five years so the museum can be open to the public in 2020. Plans are underway as the project has moved from concept to design.

“AWO members rely on the Coast Guard to keep our nation’s waterways safe, secure, and efficient arteries for essential maritime commerce,” said AWO President & CEO Thomas Allegretti. “We are proud to support construction of the first-ever National Coast Guard Museum to showcase the fine work of the Coast Guard and the importance of maritime transportation to our nation.”

AWO Chairman of the Board David Sehrt, Senior Vice President and Chief Engineering Officer of Ingram Barge Company, urged all AWO members to join Ingram in supporting construction of the museum, calling it “a worthy project that is long overdue, and one that Ingram is happy to support.”

“We are so thankful for the generosity of AWO and its members,” said Rear Adm. Richard M. Larrabee, USCG (ret.) of the NCGMA board. “These donations will help us achieve significant project milestones over the next few years. We are honored to have AWO’s support behind us.”


About the National Coast Guard Museum Association

The National CG Museum Association, Inc. – a 501 (c)(3) Non-Profit Charitable Organization – was formed in 2001 to raise funds and apply for and administer federal and state grants for the sole purpose of  acquiring land, designing, constructing, developing exhibits and turning over to the US Coast Guard a national museum in the City of New London, Connecticut. For more information, please visit

About The American Waterways Operators

The American Waterways Operators is the national advocate for the U.S. tugboat, towboat and barge industry, which serves the nation as the safest, most environmentally friendly, and most economical mode of freight transportation. AWO members operate on the rivers, coasts, Great Lakes, and harbors of the United States, moving vital commodities safely, reducing air emissions, water pollution, and highway congestion, protecting homeland security, and providing family-wage jobs for tens of thousands of Americans. AWO promotes the long term economic soundness of the industry and works to enhance its ability to provide safe, efficient, and environmentally responsible transportation. For more information, please visit

Regions for a National Fisherman Database

In his continuing work on a fisheries database Ben queries fellow CAMM members:

In discussions with people at the recent Museum Small Craft workshop and with others, it is apparent that we should have some regional way of coding records. We can often identify a region where we can’t be more specific about geographic location for a fishery. Question is what we should use as regions. 

We can go with current Coast Guard districts, nice and simple. Would that be enough?

Or I can work up a finer grain system. 

What do people think?

Contact Ben at <>.

CAMM Conference Call for Session Proposals Now Online

Program session at last year's CAMM Conference

Program session at last year’s CAMM Conference

CAMM Program Chair Paul Fontenoy is now accepting session proposals for the upcoming CAMM conference at the Kalmar Nyckel Foundation’s new Maritime Center in Wilmington, Delaware, April 25-27, 2016. The conference has been extended to three days this year to allow for more opportunities to showcase current projects and share expertise!

Session proposals should be about topics of interest to maritime heritage professionals. Deadline for submission is January 15, 2016. Please use the online PDF form located on our annual conference web page or go directly to the form at Save your completed form and email it to Paul at <>.

You don’t have to be on the staff of a CAMM institution to attend the annual conference or submit a proposal; however, you must be affiliated with a CAMM institution to apply for a Leonard Rennie Professional Travel Grant.

Submitted by Candace Clifford, October 28, 2105

Antique Boat Museum Seeks Experienced Executive Director

The Antique Boat Museum (ABM), the largest freshwater nautical Museum in the world, requires a full time Executive Director effective June 1, 2016. Situated on the St. Lawrence River in the beautiful 1000 Islands in upstate New York, ABM has grown exponentially in the last fifteen years, and the Board of Trustees is conducting a national search to identify outstanding leaders who have demonstrated executive experience, imagination, and vision to lead the Museum through the next decade of growth as it becomes an international museum.

The Executive Director oversees a dynamic institution with a talented and committed staff of 40 full-time and part-time employees, an operating budget of approximately $1.6 million $200 thousand in annual capital projects, $23 million of assets, a 4.5 acre river campus with five new exhibit buildings and an extraordinary collection of over 320 antique boats. The successful candidate should have exceptional interpersonal and communication skills, demonstrated success in fund raising and building strategic partnerships, and financial management experience. She or he should have not-for-profit experience either with an educational or cultural institution, and have an affinity for the mission of the Museum and its unique setting in the 1000 Islands of the St. Lawrence River.


Mystic Seaport Seeks Senior Vice President for Curatorial Affairs

The Senior Vice President for Curatorial Affairs is Mystic Seaport’s chief curator, responsible for the leadership, vision, strategic direction, development, management, and administration of all activities relating to one of the Museum’s core assets – its collection of art, artifacts, and watercraft – and for the exhibition of the collection. The position leads the planning and execution of Mystic Seaport’s interdisciplinary collecting and exhibiting strategies, with a dual focus on experiential and digital access.

Full job announcement: Mystic.JobDescriptionVPCuratorialAffairs

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