July 24, 2020 (Toledo, Ohio) – The National Museum of the Great Lakes is pleased to announce, in collaboration with the Toledo Zoo, a small temporary exhibition entitled “What’s in a Name”. This exhibit, housed in the Reflections Gallery of the Aquarium at the zoo, is part of a larger collection of Great Lakes ships nameboards and tell the stories of the ships as well as who and why they were named.
The nameboards range in size from 8’ to 13’ long and each would have been attached to the vessel’s pilothouse.
“Boats have had proper names since ancient times, but the nameboards displayed here only came into prominence after the evolution of the pilothouse in the 1840s,” says Carrie Sowden, Archaeological Director at the National Museum of the Great Lakes and one of the exhibit curators. “One of the more interesting namboards is that of Alex D. Chisholm. Formerly known as the William P. Snyder, and the fleet mate of NMGL’s 617-foot museum ship Col. James M. Schoonmaker.”
This temporary exhibit is an expansion of NMGL’s collaborative efforts throughout the Toledo community. “Since we first arrived in Toledo six years ago, NMGL has been working to be neighbors and friends with other cultural organizations in the community,” said Kate Fineske, Communications and Development Director for NMGL. “This is just the beginning of some of the great collaborative efforts we hope to build in the years to come.”
Originally scheduled to open in April, the Toledo Zoo and NMGL held off on installation until both entities reopened. The plans call for the exhibit to remain at the Toledo Zoo through December. The exhibit is included with zoo admission.