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National Museum of the Great Lakes and The Sandpiper Collaborate for Ultimate Great Lakes History Day

 The National Museum of the Great Lakes is partnering once again with The Sandpiper tour boat for Ship & Shore: The Ultimate Great Lakes History Day. This summer, on Saturday, July 6 and Saturday, August 3, visitors can purchase a special ticket that combines full access to the National Museum of the Great Lakes with a scenic trip along the Maumee River aboard The Sandpiper.

“The Ship & Shore experience provides an immersive way to explore Great Lakes history all day long,” said Ellen Kennedy, Director of Museum Operations at the National Museum of the Great Lakes. “Guests will enjoy full access to our family-friendly exhibits and museum boats. Mid-day, they will embark on a trip along the Maumee River aboard The Sandpiper, visiting spots like the Port of Toledo. The tour departs and returns from the museum docks.”

During the Maumee River tour, visitors will engage with the award-winning “Port of Toledo: Then and Now” exhibit. This interactive exhibit uses QR codes onboard The Sandpiper, allowing cruisers to delve into the rich history along the Maumee River. The QR codes provide images and information, enabling visitors to visually compare the historical and current views of the river.

Tickets for “Ship & Shore: The Ultimate Great Lakes History Day” can be purchased in advance at nmgl.org or by calling 419-214-5000. Day-of tickets will be available only if space permits. For additional information, visit nmgl.org/events.

Event Highlights:

  • Ultimate Great Lakes History Day: July 6 and August 3, 2024
  • Full Museum Access: Explore the museum’s family-friendly exhibits, the 617-foot Col. James M. Schoonmaker Museum Ship, and Museum Tug Ohio
  • Maumee River Tour: Board The Sandpiper at 1 PM for a two-hour guided tour, featuring the interactive “Port of Toledo: Then and Now” exhibit.
  • All-Day Exploration: The museum opens at 10 AM, with the last chance to board museum ships at 4 PM.

Tips for Visitors:

  • Start Early: Arrive around 10 AM to maximize your visit.
  • Plan for Lunch: Food is not included; consider bringing a picnic to enjoy in the Maritime Park before the Sandpiper tour.
  • Dress Comfortably: Wear comfortable shoes and weather-appropriate attire.

Experience Great Lakes history first-hand, from tugboats and freighters to local industry in action. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to explore the National Museum of the Great Lakes and the Maumee River on the same day.

Capt. Scupper's Crew Life

Captain Scupper’s Crew Life Introduces Pre-teens to Great Lakes Shipping Careers

On Saturday, June 8, the National Museum of the Great Lakes welcomes back the program Captain Scupper’s Crew Life, presented by The Andersons. This unique event invites children aged 8-12 to join our junior Schoonmaker crew for an engaging and educational tour exploring the various jobs onboard a lake freighter.

“Captain Scupper’s Crew Life is a wonderful opportunity for children to dive into the world of Great Lakes shipping and discover the fascinating careers that keep this vital industry moving,” said Ellen Kennedy, Director of Museum Operations at the National Museum of the Great Lakes. “We are thrilled to bring back this enriching experience this year.”

Event Highlights:

  • Experience a Day in the Life: Discover the daily routines and responsibilities of crew        members on a lake freighter.
  • Career Exploration: Learn about the various careers and the essential work that supports the Great Lakes shipping industry, both historically and today.
  • Education and Fun: Enjoy an educational yet entertaining activity designed for school-aged visitors and their parents/guardians.

Additional Details:

  • Registration: Required and FREE for members (children who are part of a family or grandparent membership) or included with the price of museum-ship combo admission. Day-of signup is only available if space permits.
  • Schedule: Saturday, June 8 at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m. 
    • The program is also offered on Saturday, August 10 at the same times.
  • Group Size: Each group is limited to 15-20 participants.
  • Supervision: This is not a drop-off program; children must be accompanied by a parent or adult caregiver.

This program is available for free to individuals who qualify for Museums For All— an access program at the National Museum of the Great Lakes where those receiving food assistance (SNAP benefits) can gain free or reduced admission using their SNAP EBT card. 

Learn more about the program and register at nmgl.org/events.

Know Your Ships book signing 12 - 3 pm

Meet the Editor & Publisher of “Know Your Ships” at the National Museum of the Great Lakes

The National Museum of the Great Lakes looks forward to welcoming Roger LeLievre, the editor and publisher of the “2024 Know Your Ships: Guide to Boats & Boatwatching on the Great Lakes & St. Lawrence Seaway.” Join us on Sunday, June 9, from 12-3 pm to get your author-signed copy of the latest edition (available in soft cover and spiral-bound versions) and engage with the expert behind this comprehensive guide.

 “Having a maritime expert like Roger engage with our visitors enhances the experience for the beloved boat nerd community and provides a unique opportunity to dive deeper into the world of Great Lakes shipping,”  said Ellen Kennedy, Director of Museum Operations at the National Museum of the Great Lakes.

“Know Your Ships” is an essential guide for both casual boat watchers and serious enthusiasts of nautical commerce. This edition provides vital statistics for hundreds of vessels, including freighters, tugs, barges, Coast Guard cutters, cruise ships, and saltwater visitors. It also offers insights into the cargoes they carry, their loading and unloading processes, the locks, canals, and waterways they navigate, and the meanings behind their whistles and stack markings. 

In addition, the event will feature a special appearance by renowned cartoonist and illustrator Don Lee. Lee is offering personalized freighter caricatures to visitors and signing copies of his children’s book, “Boats Can’t Jump.” Don Lee Signature Series stickers and magnets featuring the Col. James M. Schoonmaker Museum Ship and the Museum Tug Ohio will also be available for purchase and signing.

Don’t miss this unique opportunity to meet LeLievre and Lee, and to enhance your understanding and appreciation of the vessels that navigate the Great Lakes. For more information, visit our website at nmgl.org.

National Museum of the Great Lakes Unveils Two Traveling Art Exhibits

The National Museum of the Great Lakes is excited to announce the launch of two traveling art exhibits, designed to spread the museum’s mission and showcase its extensive collection of maritime art throughout the Great Lakes region.

Great Lakes Masters

The first exhibit, Great Lakes Masters, is currently on display at the Hoover Auditorium in Lakeside Marblehead, OH. The exhibit features some of the finest works from the museum’s collection, highlighting the rich history and evolution of naval painting on the Great Lakes.

Location: Hoover Auditorium, Lakeside Marblehead, OH

Dates: Now through June 16

Hours: Wednesday to Saturday: 7 PM – 10 PM

             Daily: 10 AM – 2 PM (during ticket office hours)

About the Exhibit:

Naval painting dates back thousands of years to ancient civilizations. On the Great Lakes, this art form flourished during the Industrial Revolution as artists documented the thriving shipping industry. The exhibit showcases works from the late 19th century to the present, illustrating the evolution of maritime art and its enduring realism.

“We are honored to present the Great Lakes Masters exhibit, which beautifully captures the rich history and significance of maritime life on the Great Lakes. These pieces of art tell the tales of time, offering stunning depictions of ships, sailors, and the waters they navigated, bringing to life the vibrant history of our region,” said Carrie Sowden, Director of Research and Archaeology at the National Museum of the Great Lakes. “Each artwork is a testament to the enduring beauty and legacy of the Great Lakes, preserving the stories of those who lived and worked on these waters for future generations to appreciate.”

An Artist at the Water’s Edge: A Century of Marine Art by Alexander Burns Cook

The second exhibit, An Artist at the Water’s Edge: A Century of Marine Art by Alexander Burns Cook, celebrates the life and work of the renowned Great Lakes Marine artist.

Location: The Heritage Museum and Cultural Center, St. Joseph, MI

Opening Reception: Friday, May 31, 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM

Exhibit Dates: Opens Saturday, June 1

About Alexander Burns Cook:

Cook, a WWII veteran, maritime enthusiast, and philanthropist, dedicated his life to capturing the essence of life on the Great Lakes through his artwork. The exhibit celebrates what would have been his 100th birthday (he died in January 2024 at 99 years old) and showcases a variety of his works, from cartoons to murals.

Exhibit Highlights:

  • Personal journey of Cook’s 90-year artistic career
  • Deep connection to maritime life and the Great Lakes
  • Diverse collection including cartoons, murals, and more

“We are thrilled to share Alexander Burns Cook’s extraordinary legacy with the public,” said Chris Gillcrist, Director Emeritus at the National Museum of the Great Lakes. “This exhibit not only honors his artistic achievements but also highlights his lifelong dedication to preserving and celebrating the maritime heritage of the Great Lakes.”

Visiting Information:

The Heritage Museum and Cultural Center Hours:

  • Thursday and Friday: 2 PM – 7 PM
  • Saturday: 10 AM – 5 PM
  • Sunday: 12 PM – 5 PM

Contact: Chris Gillcrist at glhs1@nmgl.org or 216-956-9734

For further details on both of these exhibits and high-resolution images, please contact Ashley Streichert, Marketing and Communications Manager at the National Museum of the Great Lakes, at ashley.streichert@nmgl.org or 419-460-8181. 

An Artist at the Water's Edge a Century of Maritime art from Alexander Burns Cook

Explore a Century of Marine Art by Alexander Burns Cook

The National Museum of the Great Lakes is proud to announce the opening of “An Artist at the Water’s Edge: A Century of Marine Art by Alexander Burns Cook.” The traveling exhibit celebrates the life and work of Cook, a noted Great Lakes Marine artist, WWII veteran, board member, and philanthropist of the Great Lakes Historical Society. 

The exhibit opens at The Heritage Museum and Cultural Center in St. Joseph, Michigan on Saturday, June 1 in honor of what would have been Cook’s 100th birthday this past April 16th.  The public and media are invited to an opening reception on Friday, May 31 at The Heritage Museum and Culture Center from 6:30 – 8:30 pm.  Cook lived in St. Joseph from age 7 to 25 and considered the community to be his first home.

Cook, who spent nearly a century living by the water’s edge, began his artistic journey almost 90 years ago. His deep connection to the water is evident in his artwork, influenced by his childhood investigating tugboats along the St. Joseph River, sailing across Lake Michigan with his father, and later observing commercial freighters in Cleveland, Ohio while employed as a cartoonist at the local newspaper. Even as a volunteer curator at the Great Lakes Historical Society, Cook’s fascination with water remained a significant influence in his life and work.

Visitors will have the opportunity to explore Cook’s century-long life and his profound connection to the waterside through his remarkable artwork. The exhibit showcases a diverse collection of Cook’s pieces, from cartoons to murals, capturing the essence of the Great Lakes and the maritime life that has inspired him throughout his life.

“We are thrilled to share Alexander Burns Cook’s extraordinary legacy with the public,” said Chris Gillcrist, Director Emeritus at the National Museum of the Great Lakes. “This exhibit not only honors his artistic achievements but also highlights his lifelong dedication to preserving and celebrating the maritime heritage of the Great Lakes.”

The Heritage Museum and Cultural Center is free to the public and open Thursdays and Fridays from 2 to 7 pm, Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm, and Sunday from 12 to 5 pm. If you have questions about the exhibit, please contact Gillcrist at glhs1@nmgl.org or 216-956-9734.

Capt Scupper's Songfest Multiple Dates

Maritime-Themed Music, Movement, and Reading Children’s Program Returns to Museum

The National Museum of the Great Lakes is gearing up for another summer of family-friendly fun! On Saturday, June 15, the museum welcomes back Capt. Scupper’s Songfest: Maritime Music and Movement. These engaging events will take place at 10:30 a.m. on three Saturdays (additionally July 20 and August 17), with activities and curriculum designed for children up to 6 years old. Each session invites little ones and their caregivers to dive into classic maritime songs with 30 minutes of music and movement, followed by a period of discovery in the museum’s interactive “Port of Play.”

Ellen Kennedy, the NMGL’s Director of Museum Operations, expressed enthusiasm about the return of this popular event. “We are thrilled to welcome back Risa Beth Cohen from Sing into Reading as our lead instructor for the Songfest sessions,” said Kennedy. “Parents and children alike adore the blend of music, movement, literacy, and maritime themes. It’s a delightful way to introduce young minds to the wonders of the Great Lakes.”

Risa Beth Cohen, the Founder and Creative Director of Sing into Reading, brings her extensive experience in early childhood education to the program. Since earning her M.S.Ed. from Bank Street College, Cohen has specialized in music and movement education, enriching the lives of children across the country, including New York City public schools and West Side Montessori in Toledo.

Space for each session is limited to 20 children with their caregivers. Class is $5 for NMGL member children and $15 for non-members, which includes museum-only admission for one adult and one child. The program free to eligible participants of the Museums for All program. Due to limited capacity, early registration is highly recommended.

For more information and to register, please visit nmgl.org/events.

Capt. Scuppers Tug Life May 11

Families invited to Explore Great Lakes History through ‘Junior Tugboat Crew’ Program

On Saturday, May 11, the National Museum of the Great Lakes brings back Captain Scupper’s Tug Life, a maritime-themed activity for preschool and early elementary-aged children to learn more about the inner workings of Great Lakes tugboats.  

“Offering unique ways to engage our youth in Great Lakes history helps us continue the legacy of our mission,” said Ellen Kennedy, the museum’s Director of Operations. “Our tug-themed day is ideal for children ages 3-10. It allows them to explore a real tugboat by stepping on board the Museum Tug Ohio and invites them to join our ‘Junior Tugboat Crew’ adventure guided by the museum’s original children’s book, The Adventures of Kitty Smoke and Her Friends.”

The hour-long activity is offered multiple times beginning at 11 am on Saturday, May 11 and then again on Saturday, July 13. It is FREE for members or included with the price of museum-ship combo admission. This program is also an eligible free program for Museums For All participants, an access program at the National Museum of the Great Lakes where those receiving food assistance (SNAP benefits) can gain free or reduced admission using their SNAP EBT card. Each group is limited to 10 kids and their grownup(s), and due to the small group learning, registration is required and advanced registration is recommended. Day of signup is only available if space remains.

Captain Scupper’s Tug Life is part of the museum’s growing youth programming including Captain Scuppers Songfest (a literacy-based music and movement class for ages 0-6) and Captain Scupper’s Crew Life activity for tweens and teens exploring Great Lakes careers. For more information on all of these events and to register to participate visit nmgl.org/events or call 419-214-5000.

WHAT: Captain Scupper’s Tug Life

WHEN: Saturday, May 11 and July 13, 2024;
1-hour programs at 11:00 am, 1:00 pm, 3:00 pm

WHERE: National Museum of the Great Lakes
1701 Front St., Toledo, OH 43605

ADMISSION: Registration Required at NMGL.org
FREE for Children 5 and under, GLHS/NMGL Members, and
  Museums For All participants
• Non-members: Included with price of museum-ship combo admission
  $17.00  Adults (18-64); $16.00 – Seniors (65+); $14.00 – Youth (6-17)

Yoga by the Boat with Parting Clouds Yoga

Embark on a Journey of Serenity with Yoga by the Boat at the National Museum of the Great Lakes

The National Museum of the Great Lakes is thrilled to announce a unique and rejuvenating event series: Yoga by the Boat. Hosted in collaboration with Parting Clouds Yoga studio, we invite participants to unite breath, body, and spirit against the tranquil backdrop of the Col. James M. Schoonmaker.

Event Details:

Dates: Saturdays – May 18, June 8, and June 29, 2024

Time: 9 – 10 am

Cost: $15 per class

Location: National Museum of The Great Lakes, Great Lakes concrete area near the Schoonmaker

Led by the skilled instructors from Parting Clouds Yoga in Maumee, Yoga by the Boat offers a harmonious blend of yoga poses and mindful breathing techniques. Participants will gracefully flow on their mats amidst the relaxing waterfront scenery of the Museum, finding peace and balance in movement and stillness.

Whether you’re an experienced yogi or new to the practice, Yoga by the Boat welcomes individuals of all ages and skill levels. Bring your own mats and join us for a blissful experience by the boat.

“We’re excited to collaborate with Parting Clouds Yoga to host a series of classes in our gorgeous environment,” said Ashley Streichert, Marketing and Communications Manager at the National Museum of the Great Lakes. “It’s a great way to combine health and wellness with the rich history of the Great Lakes.”

Following the sessions, attendees are invited to explore the Museum exhibits and board the Schoonmaker and Museum Tug Ohio at a discounted rate. Enjoy $2 off admission per person or $5 off any Museum membership. Additionally, after the May 18th session, join us inside the Museum for a meet and greet with light snacks and coffee.

Find out more and register at nmgl.org/events

Hutchinson Fleet Micro Exhibit, century of Great Lakes shipping

National Museum of the Great Lakes Presents New Micro Exhibit: The Hutchinson Fleet — A Century of Great Lakes Shipping

 The National Museum of the Great Lakes is thrilled to announce the unveiling of its latest temporary micro exhibit, The Hutchinson Fleet: A Century of Great Lakes Shipping. Uncover the rich maritime history of the Hutchinson family, pioneers of Great Lakes shipping, and explore their remarkable journey from modest beginnings to becoming one of the largest shipping lines on the Great Lakes.

 

The exhibit, open from May 3 to June 30, 2024, invites visitors to discover the captivating story of the Hutchinson family’s legacy through an array of artifacts generously donated by the family themselves. From the humble acquisition of a scow schooner in 1861 to the apex of their success in the first half of the 20th century, the Hutchinsons left an indelible mark on maritime commerce, shaping the Great Lakes shipping industry for generations to come.

 

“We are thrilled to offer visitors a unique opportunity to explore the remarkable saga of the Hutchinson family and their enduring contributions to Great Lakes shipping,” said Carrie Sowden, Director of Archaeology and Research at the National Museum of the Great Lakes. “Through this exhibit, guests will gain insight into the entrepreneurial spirit of John T. Hutchinson, the strategic expansion overseen by his son, Charles L., and the continued legacy upheld by John T. Jr. with the Buckeye Steamship Co. We are honored to showcase artifacts directly donated by the Hutchinson family, allowing visitors to connect firsthand with this remarkable piece of maritime history.”

 

Visitors will learn about the 101 years of the Hutchinson & Co. — from its modest beginnings to its rise as the largest independent fleet on the Great Lakes by the 1920s — discovering how the company navigated through economic challenges and adapted to evolving industry landscapes. The micro-exhibit promises an immersive journey through time, offering a deeper understanding of the Hutchinson family’s impact on the region’s maritime heritage.

 

The micro exhibit is included with regular museum admission, providing an opportunity for all visitors to explore and learn about this influential chapter in Great Lakes history. Don’t miss your chance to witness the legacy of the Hutchinson fleet firsthand at the National Museum of the Great Lakes.

 

For more information about the exhibit and museum hours, visit nmgl.org/events.

Museum Boats open May 1

Set Sail Into History: Museum Boats Open for the Season on May 1st

The National Museum of the Great Lakes is thrilled to announce the eagerly awaited reopening of the Col. James M. Schoonmaker Museum Ship and Museum Tug Ohio for the 2024 season on Wednesday, May 1st. As the community gears up for this cherished time of year, we are excited to once again share the rich history and maritime heritage that thrives aboard our iconic boats.

 

“Our entire team and community always looks forward to the seasonal opening of our Museum Boats,” said Ellen Kennedy, Director of Museum Operations at the National Museum of the Great Lakes. “Our visitors eagerly anticipate this time of year, and we can’t wait to immerse them in the living history that our vessels embody.”

 

The boats, which undergo seasonal closure over the winter months, will be open for public tours between May 1st and October 31st. Visitors will have the opportunity to explore the 617-foot cargo ship and historic tug, gaining insight into life on the lakes through the 20th century. In addition to time aboard the vessels, guests are encouraged to explore our Museum galleries, which showcase captivating stories through stunning photography, over 300 remarkable artifacts, immersive audiovisual displays, and interactive exhibits, offering a truly unforgettable experience. 

 

“During the summer season, we will have construction crews on site working on our 5,000 square foot expansion,” Kennedy added. “The Museum and vessels will be fully open during construction with hopes of no interference with the guest experience. We just kindly ask that visitors pardon our dust during this exciting time of growth.” 

 

In addition to the boats’ opening, beginning in May, the Museum’s open hours will also increase from 6 to 7 days a week, Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

 

For those eager to embark on this journey through history, tickets can be pre-purchased at nmglstore.org or purchased upon arrival inside the Museum at the front desk. No tickets are sold on the vessels themselves and anyone boarding the ships needs a wristband. 

 

We look forward to welcoming everyone back aboard the Schoonmaker and Ohio this season!