Maritime Burlington: New Waterfront Exhibit Highlights Burlington’s Nautical History

Maritime Burlington Comes to the Burlington Waterfront

June 20 brings a new attraction to the Burlington, Vermont waterfront.  Lake Champlain Maritime Museum (LCMM) features a new interpretive exhibit, Maritime Burlington in a festive “big top tent” at Perkins Pier on Maple Street.  The Maritime Burlington exhibit features highlights from the nautical archaeology fieldwork and historical research of LCMM. The exhibit encourages exploration and discovery and serves as a porthole to Burlington’s nautical history for visitors and area residents. It will also serve as a resource for LCMM’s new Lake Adventure Camps.


Maritime Burlington - Canal boats in port, Burlington, VT, early 1900s. Lake Champlain Maritime Museum Collection.

Canal boats in port, Burlington, VT, early 1900s.
Lake Champlain Maritime Museum Collection.

“We are very excited to be greeting the public right where so much history happened. The lake’s first steamboat, Vermont – and the second commercially successful steamboat in the world – was launched right here on the Burlington waterfront in 1808.” ~ LCMM Executive Director Mike Smiles


See the changing views of the Burlington waterfront over the years -the breakwater, lighthouses, steamboats, canal boats, railroads and the cargo shipped in and out of the Champlain Valley. Use a working replica of a nineteenth century crane to lift cargo into a small-scale canal boat. Weekends will feature demonstrations of such maritime skills as shaping spars, ropework and rigging.


Maritime Burlington - Looking south from Battery Street, Burlington, VT. Courtesy University of Vermont Bailey/Howe Special Collections.

Looking south from Battery Street, Burlington, VT.
Courtesy UVM Bailey/Howe Special Collections.

Several boats from the LCMM fleet will also visit the waterfront at Perkins Pier:

  • MV Baldwin will host the Saturday Shipwreck tours in July and August;
  • Champlain Longboats, the student-built rowing boats used for community rowing, regional racing events, and On Water Ecology tours.
  • Schooner Lois McClure  although the schooner is not available for boarding in 2015 while preparing for restoration work this fall
  • C. L. Churchill (the Lois McClure’s companion wooden tugboat)


Maritime Burlington Schedule

  •  June 20 through August 23: Open Daily
  • August 24 through October 12: Open Wednesday through Sunday
  • Lake Adventure Camps: June 22 through August 14



Lake Champlain Maritime Museum’s exhibit Maritime Burlington, 2015 Lake Adventure Camps and the restoration of schooner Lois McClure are made possible thanks to the generous support of sponsors including Burlington Parks, Recreation, and Waterfront, Lake Champlain Transportation, Seventh Generation, Merchants Bank, Dan Landau, the McClure Family, and the Lake Champlain Basin Program. This project was funded in part by an agreement awarded by the Great Lakes Fishery Commission to the New England Water Pollution Control Commission (NEI WPCC) in partnership with the Lake Champlain Basin Program (LCBP).


About the Lois McClure

Lois McClure was built by LCMM shipwrights and volunteers on the Burlington waterfront in 2001-2004, based on two shipwrecks of 1862-class canal schooners discovered in Lake Champlain.

Launched in 2004, Lois McClure has completed eleven journeys. Over 5,200 miles on the region’s inland waterways have carried the schooner south to New York City, west to Buffalo and Lake Ontario, and north to Quebec City, engaging people in history and archaeology at every port.

More than 220,000 visitors in 220 communities have stepped on board. This replica vessel has been the most effective outreach program LCMM has ever conducted, and is a leader in the world of Maritime Museums.


The Lake Champlain Maritime Museum

The Lake Champlain Maritime Museum is located on the shore of Lake Champlain at 4472 Basin Harbor Road in Vergennes, Vermont, across from the Basin Harbor Club. LCMM brings underwater discoveries and lake adventures to the public in exciting and imaginative ways.

The Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. through October 11, 2015. LCMM Members and children 5 and under receive free admission. For more information call (802) 475-2022 or visit

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