Category Archives: News

Eric Applegarth retires from CBMM


Photo courtesy Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum

Long-time Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum employee Eric Applegarth of Claiborne, Md. recently retired after 28 years of service. Applegarth worked as the Exhibits Specialist at CBMM, creating diverse props, art, and structures from his various creative talents, including woodcarving, metal-working, and painting.

Connected to the Eastern Shore and the Chesapeake Bay through a long line of heritage and through personal interest in what the Bay has to offer, Applegarth joined CBMM in 1988 after a few years of part-time work.

“Eric’s impact can be seen in virtually every corner of CBMM, from the perfectly cluttered decoy carver’s shop in our Waterfowling exhibition, to the metal outline mannequins in At Play on the Bay and the carved wooden faces and hands of the crew on the skipjack E.C. Collier in Oystering,” says CBMM Chief Curator Pete Lesher. “Eric’s cheerful willingness to do absolutely anything that needs to be done, his self-deprecating humor, and his sunny demeanor made him the most beloved member of CBMM’s staff for more than a quarter of a century.”

In his retirement, Applegarth will spend time in Claiborne, Md., and in New Haven, Ct., with his wife Michelle Zacks, an associate director at Yale University. With hopes to continue his passion for art and carpentry, Applegarth plans on volunteering with New Haven’s local museums and will stay connected to CBMM through continued work on exhibitions.

“I’ve really enjoyed the challenge of creating non-technical interactives to continue the story line of CBMM’s exhibitions,” says Applegarth. “I’ve also enjoyed the time that I’ve spent growing up along the Chesapeake, doing the things I love—from trapping muskrats, to boatbuilding, and working with watermen.”

Submitted by Tracey Johns, CBMM, September 29, 2016

USS Monitor Center receives IMLS grant

Newport News, VA – The Mariners’ Museum is one of 206 museums in the U.S. and three in Virginia to be awarded an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Museums for America collections grant. A highly competitive program, the USS Monitor Center’s proposal was chosen from a pool of 548 applications; the $27,823 grant will be matched with non-federal funds.

“Museums play a vital role in their communities supporting experiences and inquiry for people of all ages, fostering civic engagement, and serving as stewards of collections that represent the nation’s cultural, historical and scientific heritage,” said IMLS Director Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew. Matthew stated that this federal support will help museums all over the country, “enabling their highest level of public service.”


Conservation of the USS Monitor’s revolving gun turret will be monitored by a new electrolytic reduction (ER) computer monitoring system made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Photo courtesy of The Mariners’ Museum.

This grant will allow the Museum to purchase, install, and operate a new electrolytic reduction (ER) computer monitoring system to support the conservation of the iconic revolving gun turret from the USS Monitor, housed in the USS Monitor Center’s Batten Conservation Complex.

Will Hoffman, senior conservator/conservation project manager said, “The use of ER is a major part of  the turret’s conservation treatment; which involves the use of electrochemistry to breakup corrosion and free trapped chlorides embedded within the object’s surface.  To determine the effectiveness of the process and identify when adjustments need to be made, the artifact is constantly monitored through the use of a computer system. However, the hardware and software of the current system have become obsolete and technological support is no longer available. The new system, funded through the grant, will allow our conservators to get better real-time data and enable more accurate tracking of the treatment process over time. The resulting data can then be shared to expand the body of conservation knowledge that exists within the field, benefiting conservation and museum professionals around the world, as well as visitors to The Mariners’ Museum, and public audiences reached by lectures and web content.”

About IMLS: The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. Our mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Our grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive.

Submitted by  Jenna Dill, The Mariners’ Museum, September 29, 2016 

Call for Session Proposals Now Available

The CAMM Board has begun an earlier timetable for conference planning this year. The deadline for session proposals has been moved up to December 2, 2016, so that speakers have plenty of time to get necessary travel approvals after their December 16th notification of acceptance. Please submit sessions with topics of interest to the CAMM community by downloading the online form.

legos carrie Pete

2016 education session included a Lego workshop

San Francisco Maritime NHP, our conference host, has announced that the conference hotel will be the Argonaut Hotel located on Fisherman’s Wharf within walking distance of all conference activities. The Argonaut is offering a special rate (the normal government rate) of $267 plus tax. This special rate will only be available until they run out of the contracted rooms, or March 27, whichever comes first. Call the hotel at 800-790-1415 to make your reservation and request the Council of American Maritime Museums Annual Conference rate.

There are many other hotels in Fisherman’s Wharf, from basic to luxury, within walking distance of the Park. A hostel is located just west of the Park, also within walking distance.

Parking is very limited so car rentals are discouraged.

The three-day (April 19-21, 2017) registration rate of $195  will cover all sessions, breakfasts, two box lunches, evening reception, and final dinner.  The one-day rate is $110. Optional field trips are planned for Saturday, April 22, 2017, and possibly Tuesday, April 18. Registration will start January 2, 2017. Rennie travel grants are available to staff at CAMM member institutions.  See our annual conference webpage for the application.

USGS Research Vessel Polaris Up for Auction

Since 1966, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has been conducting ship-based scientific studies aboard the Research Vessel (R/V) Polaris.  It is bittersweet to announce the end of an era for the R/V Polaris with USGS but an exciting opportunity for yet another page of history to be added to the vessel under new ownership.


Photo of R/V POLARIS from USGS website

GSA will conduct an auction for the R/V Polaris which is scheduled to run from September 19, 2016 to October 4, 2016.  To access the auction site, visit and search under the category “Boats and Marine Equipment”. 

Submitted by Robbyn Jackson, September 16, 2016

Member Update – New Exhibit on Polynesian Voyagers

Newport News, VA – The Mariners’ Museum and Park’s newest exhibition Polynesian Voyagers opens on Saturday, October 1, 2016, in conjunction with Hokule‘a’s second visit to Hampton Roads. This exhibition will feature the time-honored navigational skills of the Polynesian navigators who relied on their knowledge of waves, winds, stars, and nature instead of modern instruments.


Courtesy of The Mariners’ Museum

In collaboration with Hawaiian educators, the Hokule‘a crew and staff, and the Polynesian community, this new exhibition is designed to evoke the feeling of what it is to be a voyager. Guests will encounter displays demonstrating the origin of the Polynesian culture and community and how they are inherently maritime focused. With an emphasis on navigational techniques that precede technology, the exhibition will guide visitors through the story of exploration and settlement of the vast Pacific islands.

Polynesian Voyagers will feature the traditional supplies and methods encountered on a Polynesian voyaging canoe, and guests will be able to listen to Polynesian chants that would have been used in ancient times to share history among civilizations without a common language.

Hokule‘a will return to Newport News in mid-October. The double-hulled voyaging canoe will be brought to The Mariners’ Museum by truck where she will then go through general maintenance and repairs. There will be opportunities for Museum visitors to interact with Hokule‘a crew members and see the canoe up-close. Times and dates will follow in another release once Hokule‘a’s schedule is finalized. Tentative date for her arrival to the Museum is October 14, but this is subject to change.

The Mariners’ Museum and Park would like to thank the City of Newport News and Virginia Foundation for the Humanities for sponsoring Polynesian Voyagers.

Submitted by Jenna Dill, The Mariners’ Museum, September 12, 2016

NHHC Seeks Museum Curator

This position is located in the Curator Branch, Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC), at the Washington Navy Yard.  The Curator Branch is responsible for the management of Navy properties of historical and inspirational value, including artifacts, shipboard equipment, ordnance, uniforms, photographs and memorabilia.  This responsibility encompasses acquiring, accessioning, preserving, storing, accounting for and distributing to eligible recipients the properties in the Navy’s historical collection.

For full job announcement see

Submitted by Jeff Bowdoin, Deputy Head, Curator Branch, Naval History and Heritage Command on September 16, 2016

CAMM Seeks New Administrator

There is still time to apply for this position . . .


CAMM is seeking a new administrator. This is a part-time, contract position.

The job objectives include:

1) To facilitate and enhance the performance of CAMM’s board by providing continuity; facilitating communications between Board members and the general membership; and implementing the initiatives of the board and officers.

2) To increase CAMM’s level of service to its members through improved and centralized communications between and among the members and the governing board, facilitating the sharing information and expertise among the membership and opportunities for them to network with their colleagues.

3) To help grow CAMM’s membership through outreach, recruitment and improved levels of service.

For full job description see CAMM Administrator Job Description 2016. Anyone wishing to be considered for this position, should email a resume and cover letter to Greg Gorga, CAMM President, at

Submitted by Greg Gorga, August 17, 2016

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