Author Archives: CAMM

About CAMM

Administrator, Council of American Maritime Museums

CAMM Conference Preliminary Program Now Available


Photo courtesy Kalmar Nyckel Foundation, this year’s conference host.

This year’s CAMM conference, April 25-27, in Wilmington, Delaware, will be a great opportunity to interact with fellow maritime heritage professionals.  The conference website has been updated with the preliminary program. The registration deadline, April 12, 2016, is less than a month away so make your plans to join us in Wilmington!

U.S. Life-Saving Service Heritage Association’s Annual Meeting

Photo courtesy of Belle of Louisville.

Photo courtesy of Belle of Louisville.

The U.S. Life-Saving Service Heritage Association will hold its annual meeting aboard the former Life-Saving Station Number 10, now docked by the Belle of Louisville, October 6-8, 2016, in Louisville, Kentucky. The Life-Saving Service, and later the U.S. Coast Guard, had 3 floating vessels serving this station from 1881 to 1972.

For more information visit the USLSSHA website.

Call for Book Proposals – “America and the Sea” Series

The University Press of New England and the Williams College-Mystic Seaport Maritime Studies Program seek book proposals for our “America and the Sea” series. We are looking for works in three categories:

  1. Suggestions for timely reissues of forgotten, out of print American works of literary and cultural distinction, with new introductions that frame and engage the work for a modern audience.
  1. Proposals for anthologies and/or selected editions of writers’ work.
  1. Proposals for books of original scholarship or of general interest, according to the series mission statement below.

We have particular interest in underrepresented voices and “blue” environmental studies. Although the submissions deadline will remain running, first considerations begin on March 18, 2016. View this link for the full description and initial submission directions.

Submitted by Dana Hewson, Mystic Seaport




News from AIC Collection Care Network

First, there is a full program in Montreal that is of particular interest to our collection care partners during the joint annual meeting of both the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC) and the Canadian Association for Conservation (Association Canadienne pour la Conservation et la Restauration) (CAC-ACCR). The meeting is planned for May 13 – 17, 2016. To see the slate of offerings, please visit:

Second, the Journal of American Institute for Conservation (JAIC) is seeking submissions for a “Collection Care” special issue. Papers are welcome across the full spectrum of collection care activities, from communication and advocacy to technical specifications. This Journal volume seeks to represent the diverse acts of preventive conservation and the work of all of those who facilitate preservation and access. The responsibility for collection care is not limited to conservators but rather is a collaborative process among allied professionals such as facility managers, curators, registrars, preparators, collection managers, security staff, archivists, exhibit designers, architects, and maintenance staff (among others), who work together to mitigate or manage collection risks. Authors are invited to submit an abstract and article outline for consideration by the special issue editors with final article submissions due April 1, 2016. Please send inquiries and submissions to Mary Coughlin at

Submitted by Gretchen Guidess, AIC Collection Care Network

Member Update – San Francisco Maritime NHP


Step Thayer Mizzen

C.A. THAYER mizzen mast being installed. NPS photo

San Francisco, CA – Yesterday, a San Francisco-minted, 1895 gold piece, donated by the San Francisco Maritime National Park Association, was laid on the mainmast step of the 1895 C.A. Thayer. Moments later, a mobile crane at Alameda’s Bay Ship and Yacht yard deftly fitted the 109-foot, 8.4-ton “stick” through a two-and-a-half foot hole carved in her planked deck. With the installation of her masts, the National Historic Landmark vessel’s preservation is nearly complete.

C.A. Thayer will return to Hyde Street Pier later this month, where Park staff will completely rig the vessel. The newly-masted schooner will be honored at the Park’s 2016 Festival of the Sea, a free, all-day public event scheduled for Saturday, August 20.

“We’re excited to bring C.A. Thayer back to Hyde Street Pier during the National Park Service’s centennial year,” said Park Superintendent Hendricks. “I invite the public to visit Hyde Street Pier this spring and watch our historic rigging crew install wire and line on all three of her new masts.”

A “stepping the mast” ceremony is a hoary maritime tradition, dating to at least the days of ancient Rome. At one time thought to bring good luck, placing a coin (or other memorabilia) under a vessel’s mast is now as much a part of shipbuilding custom as a smashed-champagne-bottle launch.

C.A. Thayer’s History

Built at Fairhaven, on Humboldt Bay in Northern California, in 1895, C.A. Thayer alone represents the hundreds of vessels built for the West Coast lumber trade. Constructed by Hans Bendixsen, she was originally owned by the E.K. Wood Lumber Company of San Francisco. The vessel spent the early years of her career carrying Douglas fir lumber from the Wood Company mill at Grays Harbor, Washington, to San Francisco and Southern California, with occasional longer trips to Mexico and the Pacific Islands.

The schooner retired from the lumber business in 1912, but quickly found work supplying a shore-based salmon fishing operation in Alaska. She changed hands again in 1924, and was refitted for codfishing in the Bering Sea, operating out of Puget Sound, Washington. After a period of lay-up during the depths of the Great Depression, she was purchased by the U.S. Army, and operated as a barge in the Aleutian Campaign, in 1942. Following WWII, Thayer returned to codfishing, and had the distinction of making the last commercial voyage of a large American sailing vessel, in 1950.

C.A. Thayer spent several years on display as a roadside attraction in Washington State. After a refit in Seattle, the schooner voyaged under sail down the Pacific Coast to San Francisco where, in 1963, she berthed at Hyde Street Pier as part of the newly-opened State Maritime Historical Park. The vessel was transferred, with the rest of that Park’s holdings, to the National Park Service in 1977. She was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1984, and is now preserved by the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park.

Submitted by Lynn Cullivan, San Francisco Maritime NHP, February 2, 2016