Museum News

NEW PORT COMMISSIONERS

November 21st, 2013

New Bellingham Port Commissioners - 2013Congratulations to Michael McAuley on his re-election to the Port Commission, and to Dan Robbins on his election to the Port Commission. We look forward to a fresh start and are confident that the newly constituted commission will will steer a positive, cooperative, constructive and creative course, which will reflect credit upon themselves, the Port of Bellingham, and the Whatcom/Bellingham Community at large.

The museum looks forward to working with, supporting, and partnering with the Port in the many areas of common and mutual interest we share from the Working Waterfront to the broader reaches of Whatcom County, and beyond.

We also extend our thanks to Ken Bell and Renata Kowalczyk, for their participation in, and contributions to, this important election. We hope to see both of you in the future, both at the museum, and in continuing community activities.

All the candidates are to be commended for the high standards they observed in this election. You do yourselves and our community proud!

Sincerely,

The Board, Staff, Volunteers, and Friends of the Bellingham Maritime Museum

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BMM APPOINTS NEW DIRECTOR OF ADMINISTRATION

October 15th, 2013

Dave Courtney - Director of AdministrationThe Bellingham Maritime Museum located on Cornwall Avenue in Bellingham, WA is pleased to announce that Dave Courtney has accepted the position of Director of Administration for the museum effective October 1, 2013.

Dave Courtney is a transplant to Bellingham from Cary, NC.  The coast-to-coast relocation was as a result of a trip to Bellingham in 1999 for a good cup of coffee.  Tony’s in Fairhaven provided the caffeine.  Bellingham provided the backdrop.  Lake Whatcom provided the bait.

Dave is a twenty five year veteran of the IBM Corporation in a marketing and management capacity.  He is also an entrepreneur that created a software development company catering to retailers around the globe.  He retired as president of EDJ Enterprises, Inc. at the end of 2012 after more than twenty years at the helm.

Dave has boating in his background.  He helped his father build a sixteen foot Windmill class sailboat.  He also assisted in the creation of an El Toro sailing dinghy.  After years in the technology business, it is time to get back in the water.

Dave’s duties at the museum will cover all administrative aspects and the use of technology to better serve the customers and visitors to the museum.

Welcome aboard.

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A GIANT IN THE BOAT BUILDING INDUSTRY

October 13th, 2013

Art-NordvedtAll of us at the Bellingham Maritime Museum are saddened by the fact that we lost a giant in the boat building industry.  The remarkable life of Arthur M. Nordtvedt, age 91, came peacefully to an end on October 1 , 2013.

Art Nordtvedt was the founder of the company that became Uniflite Inc. on the south Bellingham waterfront.  In its heyday, the company employed more than 500 workers, adding military boats to its product line as the Vietnam War ramped up.

Arts commitment to the working waterfront was unsurpassed.  We won’t see his like again.

Art Nordvedt Memorial

Read more here: www.bellinghamherald.com
Read more here: www.legacy.com

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TIMELY REUNION!

August 21st, 2013

A great time was had by all at the recent Uniflite Workers and Brown Water Navy Veterans Reunion held this past Saturday, August 17th.  A modest gathering of close Uniflight and Brown Water Navy friends were in attendance.

A very special and timely appearance by Art Nordtvedt, Uniflite Founder and “Father of the PBR.”  Thank you to all who turn out for this special event.

Annual reunion of the Uniflite Workers and Brown Water Navy Veterans.
Special guest appearance by Art Nordtvedt, Uniflite Founder and “Father of the PBR."
Museum Director, Mike Granat next to Art Nordtvedt.
Art enjoyed meeting Veterans who had served on the PBR calling them "his boys."
Bellingham PBR (Patrol River Boat) used in Vietnam on display at the museum.
A good time was enjoyed by all who attended.

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UNIFLITE WORKERS & BROWN WATER NAVY VETERANS REUNION

August 12th, 2013

Uniflite Number 1The annual reunion of the Uniflite Workers and Brown Water Navy Veterans will occur on the third Saturday in August. So for 2013 it will take place on Saturday, August 17th, 11 am – 4 pm with featured guest Art Nordtvedt, Uniflite Founder and “Father of the PBR”  at 1 pm.

This will bring together members and family of “Gamewardens of Vietnam”, “PBR Force Veterans Association”, “Mobile Riverine Force Veterans”, “HA(L) 3 “Seawolves”, and other veterans from around the County, the State, and the Country, to meet the many members of our community who proudly crafted the iconic and much loved combat vessels which served with great honor and distinction at that difficult time in our history.

PBR Uniflite in production.The Bellingham Maritime Museum is located at 800 Cornwall Avenue. This event is open to the public. Admission is by donation.

Click to view EVENT POSTER.

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BMM GETS NEW LEASE ON LIFE!

May 8th, 2013

Bellingham Maritime Museum LogoThe Bellingham Maritime Museum is very gratified to have received a surge of new sponsorship which will allow it to expand its’ existing floorspace. The individuals, businesses and foundations who have come forward in support of the maritime museum all have remarked on the tremendous value that the maritime museum brings in keeping alive the great maritime heritage and culture which has formed the character and content of our seaport community.

Of particular value is the Uniflite exhibit which features the iconic Vietnam era “PBR”, the River Patrol Boat, which draws military veterans and their families from all around the country. The Bellingham Maritime Museum has no paid employees, and has received no taxpayer dollars over the years in the formation and operation of this community based organization.

The museum looks forward to continued development of sustainable programs, exhibits, and events which will lead to a permanent presence on the shores of Bellingham Bay.

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MOVING FORWARD IN 2013

April 11th, 2013

Bellingham Maritime Museum LogoBMM is finalizing a new lease agreement with the Port of Bellingham which will double the floor space the museum is currently contracted for.

This increase in leased space was made possible by generous new local funding from individual and company donors resulting from media coverage of recent negotiations and the possibility that the Maritime Museum might be forced to leave Bellingham or be closed down.

Although the footprint of leased space will double, the actual size of the museum will shrink, as the popularity of, and community support for our many exhibits, has resulted in growth which occasionally has impinged on empty contiguous space in the building belonging to the Port.

Changes going forward will include a significant downsizing of floor exhibits, reduction in the size of the Radio Controlled Model Boat Tank, elimination of several exhibits, and consolidation of others.

The museum will continue to focus on three principle areas of importance:

1:  The Bellingham built PBRs (Patrol Boat River), the legendary Vietnam era combat craft produced by Art Nordvedts’ United BoatBuilders (Uniflite) in Fairhaven for the US military. The annual reunion of the Uniflite Workers and Brown Water Navy Veterans will occur every third Saturday in August. This will bring together members and family of “Gamewardens of Vietnam”, “PBR Force Veterans Association”, “Mobile Riverine Force Veterans”, “HA(L) 3 “Seawolves”, and other veterans from around the County, the State, and the Country, to meet the many members of our community who proudly crafted the iconic and much loved combat vessels which served with great honor and distinction at that difficult time in our history.

2:  The continuing saga of our “Search for Vancouver’s Lost Anchor”. On June 9th 1792, the “Stream Anchor” from the Armed Tender HMS Chatham, which accompanied Captain Vancouver’s flagship HMS Discovery, was lost in Bellingham Channel. BMM has been deeply committed for years, to finding and recovering this only known lost artifact from Vancouvers’ Voyages of Discovery (1792). BMM has conducted extensive academic studies, a magnetometer search, and most recently a sidescan sonar search of the target area. Next will be an ROV deployment to ‘eyeball’ discovered GPS positioned contacts.

3:  Coast Salish:  ”The First Mariners of the Salish Sea”. BMM recognizes, honors, and celebrates the nations, tribes, and peoples who first sailed these waters. We appreciate the opportunities we have had to work with, and learn from, the gifted carvers who continue the creative traditions of their ancestors. Our goal is to continue to build bridges of friendship, understanding, and appreciation between our cultures.

These are challenging economic times for museums and other non profits. If the history, boatbuilding and  fishing tradition, and ‘working waterfront’ culture of our seaport community are important to you, and to following generations, then we invite your support for the Bellingham Maritime Museum.

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CLASSSIC WOODEN BOAT COLLECTION

February 19th, 2013

This coming Saturday, 23 February, 2013 between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm the Bellingham Maritime Museum will feature the last showing of the David Berg Classic Wooden Boat Collection. These craft were built by Mr. Berg from drawings which appeared in boating magazines from the 1920’s and 1930’s and are considered by many as true works of art. “Dave Berg is a modern day Leonardo Da Vinci, who creates not only masterpieces of wood construction, but also casts all the metal pieces and fittings, and even builds the trailers” says museum Director Mike Granat.

The Bellingham Maritime Museum is located at 800 Cornwall Avenue. This event is open to the public. Admission is by donation.

Wooden Pleasure Boats

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FALL RC BOAT SHOW

August 16th, 2012

Kids of all ages are invited to enjoy a Radio-Controlled and Scale Model Boat Show at The Bellingham Maritime Museum, Saturday August 31st,  2013, from 11am to 4pm, at the Bellingham Maritime Museum. Boats will set sail in the RC “pond”.

Bring your radio-controlled boat!  The event is open to the public and admission is by donation.

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UNIFLITE WORKERS & PBR VETERANS REUNION

August 2nd, 2012

The Museum is hosting a reunion of Uniflite and PBR Vets on Saturday, August 17th, from 11am to 4 pm.  This is a homecoming and gathering for the many former Uniflite workers and sub-contractors as well as Military veterans who served on the broad range of boats built by Uniflite in Fairhaven. Art Nordtvedt, founder of Uniflite will be the featured guest at 1pm

Uniflite PBR

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