Museum News

MOVING FORWARD IN 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.

This entry was posted on Thursday, April 11th, 2013 at 3:12 pm and is filed under Directors Announcements. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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