Sunday, February 17, 2008


Lake Champlain speaker series to return


The Press Republican
By Jeff Meyers
February 17, 2008

GRAND ISLE, Vt. -- The Lake Champlain Basin Program will again host its popular speaker series on lake-related issues.

The series starts Thursday, Feb. 21, with a look at a recently identified sunken ship.

Adam Kane, a nautical archaeologist from the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, will present new information on the Shoreham Sloop, an 1820s canal sloop that sank in the murky waters of southern Lake Champlain near the Addison County shoreline.

"I believe it was a known shipwreck, but it was documented through the Maritime Museum Underwater Survey," said Colleen Hickey, education and outreach coordinator for the Basin Program.

"Adam has dived on the site several times and will share his findings."

The Underwater Survey, conducted in the late 1990s, was initiated following the discovery of zebra mussels in Lake Champlain to record the presence of shipwrecks throughout the lake before they were covered by mussels.

The Maritime Museum's investigations of the sloop between 2004 and 2007 yielded many new details about Lake Champlain's commercial heyday. Kane's presentation will include images from the dives.

Other talks during the four-week Love the Lake series include discussions on the fossil reefs on Isle la Motte and nesting turtles on Lake Champlain.

A highlight for the series will be a talk by Johnson State College professor Dr. Fred Wiseman on the Abenaki perspective of the 2009 Lake Champlain quadricentennial celebration.

Wiseman will summarize collaboration efforts between Vermont native communities and the Vermont Quadricentennial Commission.

"Fred is very knowledgeable about the history of native peoples and particularly the Abenaki," Hickey said.

Wiseman's presentation will be Thursday, March 6.

The series, entering its fourth year, is held in memory of former Basin Program member and Vermont state legislator Jane Potvin, a lifetime resident of Grand Isle, who died in 2004.

"She always liked to bring local islanders (from Grand Isle and surrounding Lake Champlain islands) together to talk about Lake Champlain," Hickey said.

"This gives us a chance to continue the discussion about the lake in her honor."


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