Crown Point: Historic Canal Schrooner Tour on Lake Champlain

Young visitor at the wheel ofLois McClure
©Lake Champlain Maritime Museum
By Diane Chase

Part of the Farm, Forestry and Fishery Tour, the 88' wooden schooner Lois McClure and Urger tugboat will offer free tours from 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 on October 15-16 at the Crown Point Pier. This tour has been raising awareness of the importance of "sustainable agriculture, responsbile foresty and clean, healthy waterways."
This weekend the historic wooden schooner, Lois McClure will make her last stop for the season at another historic location, Crown Point Pier, located on the water just below the Champlain Lighthouse. Those visitors of history; rejoice, lovers of ships; unite and budget watchers; celebrate. This tour is free.

Lois McClure under sail, 2004
© Lake Champlain Maritime Museum
According to the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum the Lois McClure is a replica of an 1862 class sailing canal schooner. She is modeled after two shipwrecks in Burlington Harbor, the OJ Walker and General Butler. Dive and Maritime Research teams were able to document those two wrecks and the building of the Lois McClure is the result.

Also in attendance this weekend will be the original tugboat Urger. According to the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum this tug was built in Michigan in 1901 as a commercial shipping vessel. In the 1920s she entered the New York State Canal fleet where she hauled boats throughout the canal system. She was retired in the 1980s and is now a teaching vessel.

Visitors this weekend will be able to learn about the steering mechanisms, anchors and what materials were hauled by these historic vessels. Interpreters will be available to answer questions about the vessels as well as what it was like to grow up aboard a canal schooner.


Deck Plan of Lois McClure
© Lake Champlain Maritime Museum
Lois McClure, Urger and the crew will be at Crown Point Pier this weekend, rain or shine. If this event is missed the next event to view the historic schooner may be the Lake Champlain Bridge opening on May 19-20, 2012.

Directions to the Crown Point Camp Site from I-87 (the Adirondack Northway) take Exit 31. Take Route 9N east to Westport. Turn south as Route 9N merges with Route 22. Follow Route 22/9N to Port Henry. Drive an additional four miles to Bridge Road. Turn onto Bridge Road and follow signs for the Champlain Lighthouse and Crown Point Camp Site, 784 Bridge Road. During the season there is usually a parking fee for day use. That should not apply at this time.

All photos are used with permission of the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum,

© Diane Chase, author of Adirondack Family Time: Tri-Lakes and High Peaks (Your Four-Season Guide to Over 300 Activities) for the towns of Lake Placid, Saranac Lake, Jay/Upper Jay, Wilmington, Keene/Keene Valley which is available online or bookstores/museums/sporting good stores. Diane is currently working on the second guidebook in the four-book series of Adirondack Family Activities.

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