Sep 13, 2008

Thwarted Plan...

My great-grandfather George Neddo built canal boats in his Whitehall, New York, boatyard.  The history of these commercial vessels is celebrated at the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum in Vergennes, Vermont.   I had planned to visit there this weekend, but when I heard that hurricane Ike might be causing gasoline shortages, I decided not to go.

One attraction of going to Vergennes is to go aboard the Lois McClure.  The Lois McClure is an accurate reproduction of the kind of canal boats George Neddo built.  She combines the size and shape of an 1860's canal boat (88 feet by 13 feet) with a schooner sailing rig that was used to cross open water.

The boat was named after Lois McClure, the widow of the late J. Warren McClure, newspaper owner and well-known Vermont philanthropist.   The McClures are legendary in Vermont for the  millions they have contributed to charities in their state and beyond.

The canal boat has been used as a traveling museum, recently touring a number of ports in Canada (Fitting, I might add, since the Neddos were really the Nadeaus, who had moved from Canada after George Neddo's father was charged with treason as a member of Papineau's Army in the 1830's. But that's a story for another time, eh?).

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