The MHN Blog is a companion to the Maritime Heritage Network, a not-for-profit, comprehensive website of maritime heritage organizations, attractions, and activities in the Pacific Northwest. The blog highlights news, activities, and resources useful to the entire maritime heritage community. All views expressed are the author's own. Opposing views are welcome.

Great gift ideas at the new MHN Gift Shop!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

MHN Blog and Website to Shut Down

Thank you for visiting the MHN Blog, the companion blog to Maritime Heritage Network, which will shut down by December 31, 2010. As a result, this blog is no longer maintained. I'd like to thank all the maritime heritage organizations that have contributed to the blog's success.

For continued updates on Washington State maritime heritage issues, we recommend visiting the Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation, Lake Union Park, and Fyddeye, a leading maritime heritage website.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Public Workshops on Maritime National Heritage Area

A team of consultants writing a feasibility study for a proposed Maritime National Heritage Area is sponsoring seven public workshops to gather public input on the idea. The workshops are scheduled for late May and early June in Bremerton, Bellingham, Port Townsend, Aberdeen, Anacortes, Tacoma, and Seattle. A full schedule for the workshops is available on Maritime Heritage Network. Everyone interested in promoting the region's maritime history is invited to attend.

A National Heritage Area is a federal designation that recognizes the culturally and historically significant resources in a region and that region’s role in the nation’s history. Today, there are over 40 National Heritage Areas across the country, none of which are on the West Coast. The designation supports local citizens in preserving, sharing, and promoting the region’s heritage, and does not increase federal regulation. The proposed Maritime National Heritage Area would include Puget Sound, the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the San Juan Islands, and most of the Pacific Coast of Washington State. More details about the expected impact of the proposal is available on Maritime Heritage Network.

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Saturday, March 07, 2009

Wawona - 1897 - 2009: Rest in Peace

On March 4, 2009, the 1897 schooner Wawona was towed from its berth at Lake Union Park in Seattle to Lake Union Dry Dock for dismantling. As the old-time sailors used to say, she has crossed the bar for the final time. May she rest in peace.

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Monday, March 26, 2007

New Maritime Music Podcast

I’d like to let you know about a new podcast of maritime music associated with Maritime Heritage Network featuring Pacific Northwest, national, and international artists. The podcast is sponsored by my friend Barbara Sjoholm, a Port Townsend writer and author of The Pirate Queen: In Search of Grace O’Malley and Other Legendary Women of the Sea. The theme of the podcast, titled Female Sailor Bold, is stories on women who go to sea as men. You’ll find the podcast at

Although the podcast is not strictly a Maritime Heritage Network project (I produced it as a trade for editorial services by Barbara), I’ve used the opportunity to promote MHN and demonstrate potential web-based promotion options for maritime heritage organizations.

To listen to the podcast, which is 25 minutes long, download the audio file from the podcast page or use the RSS file to load the podcast into your media player, such as iPod. I'd love to know what you think!

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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Wawona Supporters Worry Ship Will Be Cut Up For Display

Alice Winship, a leader in the effort to save the schooner Wawona, sent out this appeal via e-mail last week:

If you would like to prevent the demolition of the historic schooner Wawona, please write, email or phone the Seattle City Council to ask that the Seattle Parks Department be required to provide space at Lake Union Park for Wawona to be displayed whole, not in pieces. Ask the City Council to tell Parks that Wawona must be preserved as a whole, either on land or on a barge, even if this requires changing the plan for Lake Union Park.

Despite our successful lobbying last Fall during the City Budget Hearings, Parks is continuing their stance that they probably would not accept Wawona as a whole in the park, only in pieces.

MOHAI (Museum of History & Industry) has hired an engineering firm to develop designs for displaying Wawona in the park, either whole or in pieces. The design report is due back in mid-March. It is strongly suspected that Parks will pressure Northwest Seaport to choose a design plan that would demolish Wawona and preserve only pieces.

Northwest Seaport decided last Fall to pursue displaying Wawona either on land or on a barge, either whole or in pieces. Displaying Wawona out of the water as a whole is acceptable to most Wawona supporters. Preserving only pieces is completely unacceptable. Pieces of the ship would not provide educational programming or any means to generate funds for maintenance. Displayed whole out of the water, she could continue to give future generations the educational programs that she has provided for the past 40 years. This historic treasure must be preserved in its entirety.

Although cost is a major argument for displaying the ship on land rather than in the water, many supporters of Wawona have come to feel that displaying Wawona out of the water, as a whole, is the best choice, even if funds were available for a complete restoration. Restoring Wawona so that she could be put back in the water would require replacing 95% of her wood. If she were preserved on land, much more of the original fabric of the ship could be kept. This wood has stories to tell. It bears the tool marks of the original builders, and the marks left by use during her long history as a lumber and codfishing schooner. Wawona is still the authentic, original vessel. Now that the only other remaining large wooden sailing ship built on the West Coast, the C.A. Thayer, has been completely rebuilt, retaining only 5% of her original wood, it becomes that much more important to preserve the Wawona as the true ship that our great-grandfather’s generation built.

Please contact the Seattle City Council as soon as possible, as time is short. Contact information for the City Council is listed below. Please contact all Councilmembers if you can, but if you cannot contact the entire list, please contact Councilmembers David Della and Peter Steinbrueck. A mailed letter usually gets the most attention, and a phone call is next best. Use email if you are short of time, or in addition to your other methods of contact.

If you would like more information, or a sample of a draft letter, please contact me.

Alice Winship

City council members can be reached at:
Seattle City Hall, Floor 2
PO Box 34025
Seattle, WA 98124-4025
The web address is

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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

OMDC Gets Port of Seattle Funding

A visitor to Maritime Heritage Network suggested posting these two important Seattle Post-Intelligencer stories about the Odyssey Maritime Discovery Center.

Odyssey asks port to keep it afloat

Maritime museum to get $3.2 million

We'd welcome any comments you might have. Click the comments link below to post. Readers can also post comments directly on the article pages.

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Saturday, February 24, 2007

Wawona Book is Officially Launched!

Nearly two dozen family and friends joined me last night at the Uptown Espresso in West Seattle to celebrate the official launch of Shipbuilders, Sea Captains, and Fishermen: The Story of the Schooner Wawona. Wayne Palsson, a board member at Northwest Seaport, which owns Wawona, gave an optimistic assessment of the vessel's future, and I read several excerpts from the book. And I sold a dozen copies! Woo hoo! There I am, in the photo, signing for a happy customer. Thanks to everyone who came out and supported me! (And thanks to Monica Evans for the photo!)

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