Maritime Museum launches new boat, new season

Months of planning and work in the boat shop at the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum went public May 20 with the launch of the newly built 32' rowing gig dubbed Harvest Moon.

Seven students and three staff members from the Diversified Occupations Program at the Hannaford Career Center in Middlebury worked full time for five months during the winter with museum staff and volunteers to build the vessel. Harvest Moon joined LCMM's fleet of 10 other student-built rowing gigs serving over 500 youth in team-rowing activities throughout the year.

The museum opened its doors for the 2010 season May 22.

The season started with a bang-literally-with the second annual "Hammer-In," an event for regional blacksmiths.

Experienced and beginning blacksmiths gathered at LCMM's new Rinehart Blacksmithing Arts Center to exchange information and expand their knowledge and skill with featured instructor Brian Anderson.

Anderson, a professional blacksmith with long experience, has worked at everything from custom construction projects, to jewelry making, to gunsmithing. (The museum offers additional blacksmithing courses for adults and teens during the summer months.)

Museum visitors of all ages are welcome to tour the museum grounds to visit the 18th-century style forge and discover examples of ironwork on board replica 1776 gunboat Philadelphia II and schooner Lois McClure, in port at the museum's North Harbor.

Last month's Hammer-In was chosen as a State of Craft Showcase event, celebrating Vermont's craft traditions. The State of Craft is a multi-year collaborative initiative of the Vermont Crafts Council, the Bennington Museum, the Vermont Folklife Center, and the Vermont Division for Tourism and Marketing to document, preserve, and interpret the history of the contemporary crafts movement in Vermont.

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