Category Archives: Member Updates

Member Update – National Coast Guard Museum Association



President George H.W. Bush and Former First Lady Barbara Bush join members of the Board of Directors of the National Coast Guard Museum Association, Inc., in announcing $4million in private support for the museum.  From left to right, JD Power III, Susan Curtin, Jimmy Coleman, Jr., Former Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta, Richard J. Grahn, Sen. Catherine Cook, and John S. Johnson

Houston, TX (Jan. 21, 2016) – The National Coast Guard Museum Association, Inc. announced commitments of over $4 million in pledges from private and corporate sponsors during a special event at the Houston Museum of Natural Science.

The pledges for construction of America’s first National Coast Guard Museum were announced as President George H. W. Bush and other noted supporters from across the country hosted an advanced screening of Walt Disney Pictures’ production of “The Finest Hours.”  The advanced screening of the film, which chronicles a dramatic Coast Guard rescue off the coast of Cape Cod in 1952, was not a fundraising event. Instead, the invitation-only screening was intended to raise awareness about the museum. The awareness was certainly raised, marking a tremendous success.

“This wonderful event, which was focused around Disney’s exciting portrayal of one of the greatest rescues in Coast Guard history, truly emphasizes the need and generous support for our museum,” said Richard J. Grahn, President and Executive Director of the National Coast Guard Museum Association. “It’s also a testimony to the power of this and other great stories of human courage and sacrifice by uniformed members of the United States Coast Guard, which will be featured and displayed with the honor they deserve in the National Coast Guard Museum.”

The movie is based on the bestselling book, “The Finest Hours,” co-authored by Casey Sherman and Michael Tougias. Sherman attended the advanced screening and presented the evening’s hosts, President and Mrs. Bush, with signed copies of the book.

The museum, which is now in the pre-construction design phase, will be a celebration of the Coast Guard’s 225 years of service to the country, a salute to the courage and skill of its dedicated men and women, and a glimpse into its exciting and vital future, Grahn said.

The Museum used the occasion of the screening to announce the following pledges:

  • The largest pledge was made by James David Power III and the Power family foundation, Kenrose Kitchen Table Foundation, which each provided support of $1 million for the museum. A pioneer in customer satisfaction research, Power founded J.D. Power and Associates and built it into a global brand. Power served as a commissioned officer on a Coast Guard icebreaker in the Arctic and Antarctica from 1953-1957, after which he earned his MBA from the Wharton School of Business before joining Ford Motor Company.
  • Donald “Boysie” Bollinger, chairman and chief executive officer of Bollinger Enterprises and a long-time supporter of the importance of this museum, pledged $1 million in support. Bollinger is the chairman and chief executive officer of Bollinger Enterprises and the former chairman and CEO of Bollinger Shipyards Inc., established in 1946. The United States Coast Guard has called upon Bollinger Shipyards to build many of its patrol vessels.
  • The members of the American Waterways Operators (AWO), the national association of the nation’s tugboat, towboat, and barge industry, are also making significant commitments to the museum.  Commitments to date are approaching $2 million, with cornerstone pledges from Jeffersonville, Indiana-based American Commercial Lines, Nashville-based Ingram Barge Company, and Houston-based Kirby Corporation.  Local AWO member, Merichem, has recently added its pledge to the growing list of commitments from AWO member companies.  Kirby chairman Joe Pyne, American Commercial Lines CEO Mark Knoy, and Merichem CEO Kendra Lee were recognized at the event for their companies’ commitments.

Others in attendance included former Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta, the 25th Commandant of the United States Coast Guard, Admiral Paul Zukunft, and U.S. Representative Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas 18thDistrict).

The National Coast Guard Museum Association, Inc. is continuing its work to raise funds from private and corporate donations for construction of the $100 million National Coast Guard Museum on the historic waterfront in downtown New London, Connecticut.

Submitted by B.J. Finnell

Member Update –Evelyn S Preservation Completed

After a year and a half of dedicated effort, the Michigan Maritime Museum announces that the preservation of its 1939 wooden fish tug, the Evelyn S, was completed in the fall of 2015 through the good work of apprentices from the Great Lakes Boat Building School (GLBBS) and local contractors.


Grant funding for the project was awarded to the City of South Haven and the Michigan Maritime Museum (MMM) from the Michigan Office of the Great Lakes, Coastal Zone Management Program, Department of Environmental Quality. Lead financial contributions to match the grant were made by Cottage Home, Inc., owned and operated by MMM board member, Brian Bosgraaf. Preservation efforts included an initial marine survey conducted by Pat Mahon, director and lead instructor of the GLBBS. Rebuilding much of the tug’s deteriorated house was a major part of the preservation process undertaken by GLBBS apprentice Hans Wagner. Painting the entire boat and re exhibiting it in a newly landscaped section of the Museum’s campus finished the project.

To enhance the exhibit, a technology station was added at the base of the Evelyn S with a video that features the history of commercial fishing in South Haven, the process of moving and preserving the tug and some inside footage of its pilot house, Kalenberg engine and net lifter equipment:

Submitted by Sandy Norris, Michigan Maritime Museum

National Coast Guard Museum Association – Member Update

National Coast Guard Museum Launches Social Media Campaign to Collect Stories from the Ranks

#mycoastguardstory hashtag announced in anticipation of “The Finest Hours,” the greatest Coast Guard rescue story ever told

New London, Conn.  (November 25, 2015) – The National Coast Guard Museum Association, Inc. has launched a new social media initiative designed to collect and share personal stories of heroism and honor dedicated to the United States Coast Guard.  The campaign gets underway as excitement builds for the release of the Disney Motion Picture, “The Finest Hours,” which hits movie theaters across the country on January 29, 2016.

The #mycoastguardstory initiative is gathering stories from current Coast Guard men and women, veterans, reservists, auxiliary members and civilians who are sharing personal experiences of how the United States Coast Guard has impacted their lives.  The tie-in to “The Finest Hours” is appropriate, as it tells the true story of the daring Coast Guard rescue attempts of crews from two crippled tankers off the coast of Cape Cod in February, 1952.

“This effort will help us tell the many stories of the Coast Guard through the eyes of those who served,” said Richard Grahn, President and CEO of the National Coast Guard Museum Association, Inc.

The National Coast Guard Museum, the first and only national museum to be dedicated solely to the U.S. Coast Guard, will be built on the waterfront in downtown New London, Connecticut, home of United States Coast Guard Station New London and the United States Coast Guard Academy.  The location was selected by the U.S. Coast Guard and the land conveyed by the City of New London in 2014.

“We are encouraging everyone to go follow us on Facebook and Instagram @uscgmuseum to share their story of what the Coast Guard means to them,” said Wes Pulver, Executive Director of the National Coast Guard Museum and former captain of the Coast Guard Barque EAGLE. “As excitement builds for the release of “The Finest Hours,” we are gathering stories from young and old, from near and far, to preserve the rich history of our Coast Guard.  By using the hashtag “mycoastguardstory,” we will start building an extensive social media library open to everyone.”

More details on #mycoastguardstory can be found at

Submitted by Jay Stapleton.

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

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

Member Update – Independence Seaport Museum

BECUNA and OLYMPIA, Independence Seaport Museum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

BECUNA and OLYMPIA, Independence Seaport Museum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Independence Seaport Director John Brady shared some good news this morning.

According to a May 15 article on

The Independence Seaport Museum announced Thursday that it had received four gifts totaling $13.9 million, more than doubling its endowment and marking one of the largest gift totals ever made to the Penn’s Landing institution, founded in 1960.

John Brady, head of the museum for four years, called the contributions “an endorsement” of the museum’s direction, which he characterized as akin to “a transformation.” 

The gifts announced were $4.5 million from newly elected board chair Peter McCausland; $4.4 million from longtime museum supporter Peter R. Kellogg; $3 million from H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest, owner of Philadelphia Media Network and publisher of The Inquirer; and $2 million from an anonymous contributor.


Member Update – Kalmar Nyckel Foundation

Capitol Museum Service’s installation team of Bobby Boswell and Tom Mills, with Sam Heed (in the yellow jersey), just finishing the exhibit

Capitol Museum Service’s installation team of Bobby Boswell and Tom Mills, with Sam Heed (in the yellow jersey), just finishing the exhibit

The Kalmar Nyckel Foundation (KNF) proudly announces the opening of a new permanent model ship exhibit called WATERCRAFT OF THE WORLD. This new exhibit will be a permanent feature of the Foundation’s new education center, which is part of brand-new Copeland Maritime Center, located at the Kalmar Nyckel Foundation shipyard at 1124 East Seventh Street, Wilmington, DE, 19801.

The Forney Collection, called WATERCRAFT OF THE WORLD, consists of 72 model ships and boats gathered from around the world by Bob and Marilyn Forney during 40 years of extensive travels. The collection features models from more than 60 foreign “lands” (Antarctica to Vietnam, Sulawesi to Skopelos), ship and boats from all six continents and all seven oceans, models representing originals from the 16th century BC  to the 20th century AD. The collection focuses on sailing and human-powered craft, with an emphasis on non-warships and indigenous craftsmanship.

Robert Forney, the collector of WATERCRAFT OF THE WORLD, surrounded by his three grandsons

Robert Forney, the collector of WATERCRAFT OF THE WORLD, surrounded by his three grandsons

Sam Heed, Senior Historian & Director of Education for KNF, invites you to come see this new maritime educational resource. “I’m pleased to say we opened to rave reviews, and it has been a privilege to bring this extraordinary collection to ‘kids of all ages.’ For those of us in the maritime education business, this is a special resource that can take us anywhere we want to go.”

For more information on the opening of the new Copeland Maritime Center.

You will have a chance to visit the new center and its exhibit when the Kalmar Nyckel Foundation hosts CAMM’s 2016 Annual Conference next April 25-27.

Museum Update – The Mariners’ Museum

Courtesy The Mariners' Museum

Courtesy The Mariners’ Museum

Mariners’ Museum receives National Maritime Heritage Grant for USS Monitor Conservation

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – On Monday, April 27, The Mariners’ Museum was awarded a grant for $99,900 from the National Park Service’s National Maritime Heritage Grant Program in support of ongoing efforts to conserve and exhibit artifacts from the Civil War ironclad USS Monitor.

The grant provides for the acquisition of a state-of-the-art dry ice abrasion system for mechanically cleaning wrought iron artifacts like USS Monitor‘s gun turret and engine components. The grant also provides additional funding to hire another conservation expert to help utilize the equipment.

“This grant award from the National Maritime Heritage Grant Program is a huge force multiplier for conservators at the USS Monitor Center”, said Director of USS Monitor Center Dave Krop. “We meticulously tested this technology and believe it will increase our efficiency in the lab and potentially reduce time for certain phases of artifact treatment. It is great for the entire maritime preservation community to know that the National Park Service is committed to revitalizing this important grant program.”

The Mariners’ Museum will be the only museum in the country utilizing this technology for marine-recovered archaeological wrought iron. With nearly 200 tons of artifacts, the USS Monitor Center houses the largest marine archaeological metals conservation project in the world. Home to the iconic gun turret, gun carriages and engine, the Wet Lab provides visitors with a view of the delicate process of preserving history.

“Just like the Monitor herself, The Mariners’ Museum is employing cutting-edge innovation,” said David Alberg, Superintendent of the Monitor National Marine Sanctuary. “NOAA and The Mariners’ Museum are continuing to make progress in the effort to preserve this important icon of American history.”

The USS Monitor is a well-known icon in American history and culture—a poised player in a national civil war that inevitably became a major turning point in our country. The Monitor symbolized a new way of thinking and helped to shape the future of human relations in the United States.

The Mariners’ Museum, an educational, non-profit institution accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, preserves and interprets maritime history through an international collection of ship models, figureheads, paintings and other maritime artifacts.

Submitted by Jenna Dill, The Mariners’ Museum