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!

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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