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Schooner visits Ogdensburg, Morristown

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MORRISTOWN — Maritime history is on display today at the village dock.

The schooner Lois McClure, an 88-foot-long full-scale replica of an 1862 canal boat, is open for free public tours from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The vessel and its 12-person crew arrived in Ogdensburg late Thursday, and it was open for tours there Saturday before coming to Morristown.

The vessel, launched by the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Vergennes, Vt., is in the midst of an 18-city summer and fall tour of New York, Vermont, Ontario and Quebec waterway communities.

“Our mission is to bring history to the community,” said Arthur Cohn, project director.

The Lois McClure is modeled after two 1862 canal schooners that sank in Lake Champlain, the General Butler and the O.J. Walker. When active, they regularly traveled the waterways between New York City, Quebec City and Montreal.

Launched in 2004, the Lois McClure has visited 250 cities in an effort to promote the shared heritage of the people of New York, Vermont and Quebec.

The communities’ reception and appreciation over the years, according to Mr. Cohn, has been no less than an embrace.

“We’ve been pleasantly surprised and in some cases overwhelmed,” he said.

The schooner is named for Lois McClure. With her husband, J. Warren “Mac” McClure, she has been a contributor to the ship as well as to many other community projects in the Burlington, Vt., area.

This year’s tour is commemorating the War of 1812 bicentennial.

For more information visit www.lcmm.org.

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