Local News

August 7, 2009

Lois McClure making the rounds on Lake Champlain

Historic replica touring Lake Champlain for quadricentennial


In this area, the Lois McClure will make stops at the Westport Marina today and Saturday as part of the Westport Heritage Festival and then at Wilcox Dock in Plattsburgh Tuesday and Wednesday.

Public tours of the boat are free to the public. Hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Westport and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. in Plattsburgh.

A visit is also scheduled for Crown Point Sept. 18 to 20 as part of the Festival of Nations.

The Day Peckinpaugh, a 1920s-era canal boat, will also be in Plattsburgh Tuesday and Wednesday for public tours.

PLATTSBURGH — It was one of those perfect days — bright sunshine, gentle breeze and temperatures in the mid-70s.

Roger Taylor, captain of the Lois McClure, uttered commands into his portable two-way radio as the sailing canal boat inched away from the Essex Marina dock shortly after 9 a.m.

Powered by the tugboat C.L. Churchill and a smaller inflatable power boat — affectionately named "Oocher" by the McClure crew — the Lois McClure headed toward open water and its next port of call at Port Henry.


The historic replica of vessels that sailed Lake Champlain 150 years ago and its 16-person crew were beginning another voyage in a summer-long series of visits to Lake Champlain ports in honor of the quadricentennial celebration of Samuel de Champlain's arrival on the lake in 1609.

"It is absolutely joyous to bring this boat to communities and to share this history with the public," said Arthur Cohn, director of the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum and captain of the tugboat.

"We're so very fortunate to be able to bring history to people in such an enjoyable and pleasurable fashion."


He said the Lois McClure has been to 100 ports and opened its decks to 150,000 visitors since setting sail in 2004.

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