2017 Lecture Series
The Herreshoff Marine Museum’s Annual Lecture Series brings the knowledge of established authors, sailors, and experts directly to the public. Learn from some of the best sailors, writers, historians, and accomplished individuals amongst historic Herreshoff Boats and the America’s Cup Hall of Fame. Tickets are availble online at herreshoff.org/store
or at the door the day of the event.
The 2017 Herreshoff Lecture Series is Proudly Sponsored by: Points East Magazine
, Cisco Brewers
, and Gowrie Group
Reception begins at 6:00pm
Lecture begins at 7:00pm
Tickets are $10 for Members and $18 for Non-Members
Save $8 and support the Museum. Click here
to become a member today.
Purchase tickets by phone: 401-253-5000 or online: Click Here.
January 18, 2018
Warren Barker presents: "Pedigree, Provenance, and Program: Searching for the elusive history of the restorable wreck as Launch Day looms"
In the yacht restoration business it is an understatement to say there can be a great deal of interest in the pedigree of the boat to be restored. Though the vessel may arrive looking more like a pancake than a runabout a glance at the engine or the paint behind the speedometer can set the Chris Craft aficionado into throws of ecstasy. The name Garwood can drive the recreation of a splendid mahogany speedboat from a mere pile of sticks. The loyalty of the Lawley fans can be limitless. L. Francis? - fanatical. And then there are the Herreshoffs of Bristol whose admirers seem never satisfied with “a” boat built by Herreshoff but “which” boat. If the “which” becomes “that” through the presence of a small brass plate the floodgates open to the entire provenance of the vessel with model, drawings, dates, build time, cost, and owners; the rich fabric that makes up the vessel’s story. However, as with the morning commute, there can be some murky times before getting underway if that key is missing and, with time or the boss, delay can be costly.
Quite a number of Herreshoff built boats have come through the restoration program at IYRS and, thankfully, have arrived complete with builder’s plate and/or a definitive history that can send the team through the Herreshoff archives to help bring it back to its original T. Others are not quite so fortunate and we will touch on the run down the avenues of hearsay, legend, family remembrance, or perhaps newspaper clippings to find THE boat during the race to finish it. Finally, the construction of a twenty six foot launch of truly tantalizing but elusive pedigree will be discussed to illustrate how the Herreshoff legacy can step in to save your hide even when the trail runs cold.
Warren Barker, Senior Instructor of Boatbuilding and Restoration at IYRS, remarked to a friend at Williams College that after graduation he was going home to build a boat with his father. Little did he know that over thirty-five years later he would still be building boats. During that interval he took his degree from college and further training in furniture design and construction to Maine to enter the revitalized wooden boatbuilding field, to Rhode Island to build cold molded and composite boats for sail and power, and to Massachusetts to build custom boats with his own name on the letterhead. Having taught at IYRS for well over a decade, he has realized what he saw as an opportunity to build or rebuild a myriad of boats by a multitude of designers while instilling in a new generation the passion and enthusiasm for the trade and its teachers that have carried him throughout his career.
Febuary 15, 2018
Gail MacDonald presents: "Morton F. Plant and the Connecticut Shoreline"
Gilded Age financier Morton F. Plant inherited his father’s transportation empire determined to improve his community. A dreamer eager to invest in innovative technology and grassroots community causes alike, Plant’s influence ran deep on the Connecticut shoreline prior to World War I, and his legacy remains prominent. Plant’s summer mansion, Branford House, is one of southeastern Connecticut’s iconic landmarks. He was instrumental in founding the prestigious Connecticut College. And the Shennecossett Golf Club he developed as part of his summer resort is a popular public course. Gail Braccidiferro MacDonald brings to life this important figure in Connecticut history and demonstrates his long-reaching impact.
Gail Braccidiferro MacDonald is an associate professor in residence in the journalism department at the University of Connecticut-Storrs. She is a former reporter for the Day of New London, Connecticut, and a veteran journalist whose work has been published in numerous newspapers and magazines, including the New York Times, the Hartford Courant, the Providence Journal, the Los Angeles Times, Rhode Island Monthly, American Artist and Vermont Life.
March 15th, 2018
James L. Nelson: "Benedict Arnold’s Navy"
In 1775, George Washington and the Continental Congress decided to bring their nascent revolution to Canada, expecting that the Canadians would find common cause in the struggle for independence. By 1776 the entire enterprise had collapsed into ruin, and all that stood between the shattered army and annihilation was one hundred miles of lake and a tiny fleet under the command of one of Washington’s most beloved generals, Benedict Arnold. James L. Nelson will tell the story of that year of fighting and the unlikely naval battle that resulted in American victory in the War for Independence.
Jim Nelson was born and raised in Lewiston, Maine and graduated from UCLA with a degree in motion picture/television production. Finding that despite being in Southern California, it was a damp, drizzly November in his soul, Jim took the cure Melville recommended and decided to sail about a little and see the watery part of the world. For six years he worked on board traditional sailing ships before turned thirty and realizing it would be easier to write about sailing rather than actually doing it. His career as a writer began in 1994 and he has since written more than twenty works of maritime fiction and history. He is the winner or the American Library Association/William Young Boyd Award and the Naval Order’s Samuel Eliot Morison Award. Nelson has lectured all over the country and appeared on the Discovery Channel, History Channel and BookTV. He currently lives in Harpswell, Maine, with his former shipmate, now wife Lisa and two of their four children.
June 21st, 2018
Alison O'Leary presents "So Close to Home" on the story of the German U-boats
Discover more at www.alisonoleary.com
About the Book: A hard working blue collar family from Texas was trying to get ahead in the lean post-Depression years. But when war broke out they unknowingly entered the cross hairs of a German U-boat on a killing spree right off America’s shores. A heartbreaking true story, So Close to Home takes you into both the struggle to get ahead as experienced by the Downs family and the U-boats’ race against the American war machine. Neither won. Read More...
About O'Leary: Author Alison O'Leary is a longtime journalist who has worked for newspapers from Austin, Texas to Reno, Nevada; Bath, Maine and suburban Boston. She was a correspondent for the Boston Globe for several years before completing her B.A. at Emerson College and becoming editor of The Boston Parents' Paper magazine and skirt! Boston magazine.
Writing So Close to Home was sealed the moment Alison heard survivor Ray "Sonny" Downs' sweet South Texas drawl. The intersection of a struggling American family and the German U-boat crew that would soon become desperate and hunted was a challenging proposition for these storytellers. O'Leary and Tougias combined their years of interviewing and research skills for a roller coaster tale of striving, success and setbacks.
Alison has won awards for writing and editing over the years: a 2017 Charlie Award (silver) for history writing from the Florida Magazine Association and numerous awards from the Parenting Publications of America organization for her work at The Boston Parents' Paper 2004-2007, including for travel writing in 2007.
The 2018 Lecture Series is Sponsored by: