Shipwrecks of the Great Lakes Seaway Trail

“Shipwrecks of the Great Lakes Seaway Trail” is the focus of a new exhibit and a noted speakers series that will run from May 17 through September 20 at Seaway Trail Discovery Center in Sackets Harbor, NY.The exhibit – open daily from 10 am to 5 pm – will feature an interactive underwater-simulated learning program courtesy of Pennsylvania Sea Grant, a series of interpretive panels, underwater photography displays, and a collection of reclaimed ship’s anchors on loan from French Creek Marina of Clayton, NY.The noted speakers series includes deep water divers, underwater photographers, historians, an author, a dive charter captain and an ROV designer-builder. The evening program series begins Thursday, May 17, at 6:30 pm at the Seaway Trail Discovery Center with divers and underwater technology innovators Dan Scoville and Jim Kennard. Scoville and Kennard, both electrical engineers, discovered what may be is the oldest commercial vessel found underwater off the southern shore of Lake Ontario. The Milan is a wooden schooner built in 1845 and sunk near Oak Orchard in 1849. Both of the ship’s masts are still in place. Scoville built a remote-operate vehicle (ROV) to view the ship that rests at a depth of 200 feet.The full speakers schedule is:… Thursday, May 17, 6:30 pm, Discovering Shipwrecks & The Milan with Dan Scoville and Jim Kennard … Thursday, May 31, 6 pm, The David Mills, Oswego with Phil Church, Oswego Maritime Foundation and an underwater consultant, diver and photographer … Thursday, June 28, 6 pm, The Eagle Wing, Clayton with Wilburt C. Wahl, Jr., French Creek Marina, Clayton … Thursday, July 19, 6:30 pm, Local Wrecks & Lore, Gary Gibson, Historian … Thursday, August 2, 6 pm, The Wreck of the St. Peter, Pultneyville with Mark Peckham, New York State Historic Preservation Office… Thursday, August 16, 6 pm, Underwater Images with David Doubilet, a National Geographic Contributing Photographer-in-Residence, author and member of the Royal Photographic Society and the International Diving Hall of Fame – the Clayton Opera House will host this program for Seaway Trail, Inc. … Thursday, August 30, 6 pm, The Islander, Alexandria Bay with Captain Ken Kozin of Thousand Islands Dive Excursions, Clayton … Thursday, September 20, 12:30 pm, Haunted Shipwrecks of the Great Lakes Seaway Trail with Frederick Stonehouse, Great Lakes historian, author, and 2006 recipient of the Association for Great Lakes Maritime History Award for Historic Interpretation. Jefferson Community College will host this program for Seaway Trail, Inc. (students receive free admission). New York and Pennsylvania Sea Grants; TGI Fridays, Watertown; Day’s Inn-Denny’s, Watertown; French Creek Marina, Clayton; Key Bank; and the Social Cultural Committee and Hospitality & Tourism Student Organization of Jefferson Community College, Watertown, are the sponsors of the Shipwrecks of the Great Lakes Seaway Trail exhibit.To extend this maritime heritage theme Trailwide, Seaway Trail, Inc. has already begun installing shipwrecks and diving interpretive panels along the byway. The first unit, featuring the shipwrecks of the Eastern Basin of Lake Erie, can be seen in Dunkirk, NY. These maritime history theme panels are part of a multi-theme Seaway Trail signage system with units spanning the byway’s 518 miles in New York and Pennsylvania.Seaway Trail, Inc. and the Seaway Trail Foundation operate the Seaway Trail Discovery Center at the corner of Ray and West in Main streets in Sackets Harbor. The Center is in the former Union Hotel built in 1817-1818 and owned by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. For more information, go to www.seawaytrail.com or call 315-646-1000.

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