Historic Lois McClure visits Whitehall Sept. 6

O ne of the region’s most historic ships is coming to Whitehall.

The schooner Lois McClure will be docked in Whitehall near the Canal Corp Visitor’s Center from 1 to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 6.

The stop is part of the “2011 Farm, Forest and Fishery Tour: Sailing for a Healthy Land and Lake.” The tour is part of a multi-organization effort, led by the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum in Vergennes, Vt., to raise awareness about the importance of sustainable agriculture, responsible forestry, and clean, healthy waterways as part of a healthy environment.

The tour which started in July will make 24 stops along Lake Champlain and the Champlain Canal before finishing its tour in Crown Point in mid Oct.

At each stop, the schooners crew will welcome aboard visitors and teach them about the importance of sustainable practices using interpretative displays and brochures and testimony from the crew.

The tour is also a tool to promote local agriculture at each of its stops and the schooner’s stop in Whitehall will coincide with the weekly farmer’s market held in the Canal Side Park.

The Lois McClure is a full-scale replica of an 1862 sailing canal boat that was constructed in Burlington, Vt. The ship is modeled after two canal schooners that sunk in Lake Champlain.

Construction of the ship began in 2002 and was completed in 2004. The hull was built from more than 20,000 square feet of white oak, almost of all of which was sourced locally.

The ship is 88 feet long with three sails, the largest of which is more than 1300 square feet.

Since its inaugural launch on July 3, 2004, the ship was made an annual tour each year stopping at ports and communities along Lake Champlain, the Hudson and St. Lawrence Rivers, and the New York Canal system.

Many of the tours have retraced the historic commercial routes that link New York, Vermont and Quebec.

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