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HAL to learn more about Replica 1825 Canal Boat Seneca Chief


Wed, May 8th 2024 12:10 pm

Submitted by the Historical Association of Lewiston

The Historical Association of Lewiston’s next program, “The Launching of the Replica 1825 Canal Boat Seneca Chief,” will be presented at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 23, at the Lutheran Church of the Messiah Fellowship Hall, 915 Oneida St.

May 17 marks the completion and launching of the Buffalo Maritime Center’s replica of Dewitt Clinton’s Seneca Chief. John Montague, founder and emeritus director of the Buffalo Maritime Center, will briefly recount the circumstances and goals of the replica project, particularly with respect to project’s impact on the community and ultimately the state.

With the boat now successfully launched and now moored at Buffalo’s Canalside, Montague will share the Buffalo Maritime Center’s plans for participation in the Worlds Canal Conference in September 2025, and the boat’s subsequence voyage across the state and down to New York City for a reenactment of the “Wedding of the Waters,” which officially opened the Erie Canal in 1825.

Montague arrived in Buffalo in 1984 to set up SUNY College at Buffalo’s design history program. With two colleagues in the design department, he founded the BSC Center for Watercraft Studies in 1993. The initiative that not only developed academic programs, but also engaged in extensive community outreach. At the time of his retirement in 2006, he helped to form the current Buffalo Maritime Center, a 501 (c) (3) that focuses on the collection, research, preservation, restoration and replication of historic watercraft of the Niagara Frontier. Using boatbuilding as a vehicle, the Buffalo Maritime Center engages in community outreach programs and STEM training for young people.

While formally trained as an art and architectural historian, he has worked as a designer, film animator, illustrator and boat builder. He is author/illustrator of numerous articles and several books, including the widely used text Basic Perspective Drawing, now in its sixth edition (translated into French, Japanese and Chinese).

This community event is free and open to all, but donations are greatly appreciated to help support our museum. Refreshments will be served.

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