Category Archives: Announcements

Amazon SMILE Program

The purpose of the Amazon SMILE program is to allow Northwest Seaport to receive donations from the AmazonSmile Foundation when customers make “qualifying purchases” on the AmazonSmile Site and have selected a Registered Organization to benefit from those Qualifying Purchases.  Check it out and pick Northwest Seaport as your designated non-profit!

https://smile.amazon.com/ch/91-0774742

Swiftsure and Shipwright Featured in Ballard News Tribune

Brian Johnson Plank horizontal web

Photo by Shane Harms of Ballard News Tribune

‘A boat builds a community, and a community builds a boat’

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Heeling in Time: Swiftsure a beacon in maritime history

Two Ballard News Tribune stories share Swiftsure’s stories and the story, passion, experience and vision for the lightship, a beacon of Lake Union.

Ballard shipwright keeping the trade alive after nearly 40 years (reprinted with permission)

By Shane Harms
06/10/2014
Stepping aboard Swiftsure, (Lighthouse No. 83), a 109-year-old Coast Guard Lightship, is like stepping into a floating time capsule slowly undergoing a metamorphic rejuvenation.

Onboard a lone figure is at work fitting 500-year-old Doug Fir deck pieces around the huge smokestack. The shipwright listens to Tango music that riots in the bright-lit canopied dome that protects the Swiftsure from the elements while the deck is restored.

Swiftsure Project Shipwright, Brian Johnson, almost 60, is an inquisitive man. He lives in Ballard, and dances the Tango and is a martial artist. But, mostly, Johnson knows boats.
Johnson has been working with boats all his life. He built his first vessel at the age of five. It sank, but the experience spurred a life long love of boats and an ingenuitive passion for the maritime industry.

Northwest Seaport, owner of the Swiftsure, have asked Johnson to use his shipwright expertise in rebuilding the deck — just one piece in an ongoing restoration puzzle.

“I’m a commercial fishermen and a shipwright — you can’t get anymore Norwegian than that. … I’ve been on and off boats for 40 years either on them breaking them or underneath fixing them,” said Johnson.  read more…

Cover June 26 Ballard News-Tribune Shane HarmsBy Shane Harms
06/26/2014

Heeling in Time: Swiftsure a beacon in maritime history

Northwest Seaport, a maritime heritage organization, is restoring a 109–year-old Lightship (No. 83) called Swiftsure.

The Swiftsure is to become a floating museum, and in their effort to revive the ship, they hope to discover the rich, nuanced layers of history the ship contains and also share the lore of bygone days with the public by having them actively participate in the project. Swiftsure is open to the public and floats at the Historic Ships Wharf at Lake Union Park.

According to Nathaniel Howe, the Vessel Manager & Nautical Archeologist for Northwest Seaport, 179 lightships were built between 1820 and 1952, and of those, 17 remain, half of which have become floating museums.

Built in 1904, Swiftsure was first forged in the Carnegie steel furnaces in New Jersey. That same year, America gained control of the Panama Canal and engineers started the daunting challenge of opening the earth for naval passage. Indeed, the Swiftsure was fabricated from an era of unprecedented strides in engineering and industry.  Read more…

Northwest Seaport wins Historic Vessel Preservation Award

Historic Seattle Vessel Preservation Award 2014 Swiftsure

Northwest Seaport was honored to received the 2014 Historic Vessel Preservation Award and wish to thank Lake Union Drydock Co. for their support.

The Historic Vessel Preservation Award (presented by Historic Seattle) goes to Northwest Seaport Maritime Heritage Center and its supporting partner for blending maritime history, education and public outreach through the restoration of the heritage vessel and museum, Lightship No. 83.

Historic Vessel Preservation Award (PDF)
Lightship No. 83, “The Swiftsure”
South Lake Union Pier
Supporting Partners: Northwest Seaport Maritime Heritage Center (owner);  Lake Union Drydock Co. (restoration support).
Award was presented May 13, 2014.

(text from program) Lightship No. 83 was one of four original lightships to serve along the Pacific Coast with primary assignments at Blunts Reef, San Francisco and Coast Guard District 13. The vessel relies on a two-boiler steam engine with an indicated horsepower of 325 for propulsion. Originally, the vessel had a centralized stack between two masts with a concentration of oil lamps in each head to serve as lanterns.

Historic Seattle Preservation Award Ceremony Program 2014Lightship No. 83 was constructed in 1904 by the New York Shipbuilding Company in Camden, NJ and delivered to Cape Mendocino, CA, to serve as the first floating lighthouse at the Blunts Reef lightship station, the ship’s namesake from 1905-1930. The primary function of the vessel was to occupy a station a few miles from a point of access to a port center and serve as a floating beacon to incoming and outgoing ships. In 1930 Lightship No. 83 was transferred to and renamed “San Francisco.” It occupied a lightship station beyond the Golden Gate Bridge until 1942 when it was withdrawn and reclassified as a WWII examination vessel after the installation of a coastal defense gun. Following WWII, Lightship No. 83 returned to the San Francisco lightship station. From 1951-1960 Lightship No. 83 was stationed in Coast Guard District 13 and renamed “Relief.” The ship served Umatilla Reef, Swiftsure Banks and Columbia River lightship stations.

Lightship No. 83 was decommissioned by the Coast Guard in 1961. In 1968, it was purchased by Northwest Seaport (then known as Save Our Ships). It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1989 and in 1996, the vessel was given the name of the most proximate lightship station, “Swiftsure.”

After three months of extensive restoration in drydock, the Swiftsure was re-launched in August of 2013 in South Lake Union, where it currently serves as a floating museum showcasing the oldest surviving lightship on the West Coast. Restoration efforts included replacing the wooden deck; restoring the electrical system; rigging; removal of hazardous materials; and removal of the deteriorated wheelhouse, radio house and wood weather deck.

The hull was cleaned, reinforced, and painted with the distinctive Coast Guard Red color. The restoration provided a unique opportunity for distinguished shipwrights, Nautical Archaeologists and volunteers to work hand-in-hand to maintain the ship in a manner that preserves its historic functionality while ensuring its preservation for future generations. Volunteers are afforded the opportunity to learn and continue the practice of the maritime trade that is so pertinent to coastal areas of the Pacific Northwest. The restoration of the Swiftsure is a valuable model for linking the past, present and future in a manner that is both active and educational.

NOTE:  Northwest Seaport was honored to received the 2014 Historic Vessel Preservation Award and wish to thank Lake Union Drydock Co. for their support.  For a full list of awards, visit Historic Seattle.

President’s Message April 2014

Andrew Bennett Northwest SeaportApril 25, 2014

Dear Northwest Seaport Supporters and Volunteers,

After serving on the Board of Directors for the past five years, I have been given the chance to lead Northwest Seaport for the next two. In this role, I stand on the shoulders of my predecessors and will continue the process of growing the organization that has been underway since I came aboard.

Northwest Seaport 50 Years

Thanks to Joe Shickich, president when I joined the board, we were able to preserve the memories, history, and construction details of the schooner WAWONA. Thanks to our maritime heritage partners, WAWONA artifacts continue to educate people about the importance of our shipping and fishing industries. In addition, the documentation procedures developed by Northwest Seaport have set the standard for other maritime museums around the world that cannot afford to keep all of their historic vessels afloat.

More recently, we have invested over $1M in grants and matching funds to preserve the hull and abate the lead and asbestos on Lightship 83. We have started installing her new deck and are embarking on a capital campaign to complete her restoration. This success has been due in large part to the commitment of Immediate Past President Shannon Fitzgerald. Shannon made sure we got the most from our money and took on the monumental task of completing all the grant paperwork when we lost our project manager.

125 Years Arthur Foss NWS

Over the last year, we have heard from many segments of the maritime industry that there is a need to encourage more young people to consider maritime careers, both at sea and on shore. To help meet this need, we will be integrating job skills training into our restoration and educational programs and promoting opportunities with our industry and heritage partners. Our vision is to be a centrally located, highly visible gateway to maritime careers and, with our partners, provide opportunities for basic training. Being moored just outside the Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) in Lake Union Park, we are also in a great location to showcase the importance of the maritime industry to Seattle’s future, as well as its past.

To bring this vision to life, we will be working with shipyards, vessel operators, and labor to promote the industry to high schools, colleges, and the public at large; with social service agencies and vocational organizations to develop effective educational and training programs; and with the heritage and arts communities to preserve our fleet and bring it to life.

Vigor Seattle MARTIME FESTIVAL logo webI am excited to take the helm for the next leg of Northwest Seaport’s journey and look forward to working with our Board of Directors, staff, and the diverse communities of Seattle to create the place where industry, education, and heritage converge, raising all of our boats. I welcome your suggestions and ideas as we plot our course forward and I look forward to seeing you at our May events, including the Stories of the Sea contest on May 8th and the Maritime Festival on May 10th &11th.

Cheers,
Andy Bennett

President, Northwest Seaport
(View signed letter(pdf): Northwest Seaport Presidents Message April 25 2014)

Northwest Seaport LogoNew slate of officers for Northwest Seaport:

Colleen Browne, Treasurer, retired in 2009 from the Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation, where she was the Pro Parks Levy/Major Maintenance Manager. As a Capital Projects Manager at Seattle Parks, she was the lead on the Historic Ships Wharf, Lake Union Park, Luna Park, and the multi-million dollar Seattle Aquarium makeover project completed in 2007.

Shannon Fitzgerald, Secretary, is the Manager of the Coordinated Seabird Studies Group at the Alaska Fisheries Science Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, where he has been a biologist and scientist for 23 years.

Jim Flies ,Vice President, is the Quality Systems Manager for Harley Marine Services, Inc.  Previously, he served as the Academic Dean and the Dean of Students at Seattle Preparatory School, where he taught for twenty years.

 

Tugboat Documentary Premier and Tugboat Annie Plaque Re-unveiled

View new Arthur Foss documentary to learn more about its iconic American story.

View, soon, the new Arthur Foss documentary to engage in this iconic American story.

Vaun Raymond Filmmaker Seattle Art Institute

This trailer of the new film Arthur Foss: Iconic Tugboat of the Northwest, provides a taste of the exciting documentary about the 125-year old museum ship.  Full documentary will be released soon.  In collaboration with the Art Institute of Seattle’s Summer Studio Class-2013, Northwest Seaport co-produced this film.

On March 6, the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park(PDF) hosted the film’s world premiere, and Watch the Sky musicians, Northwest Seaport chantey singers and representatives from Maritime Folknet entertained the crowd with  music and chanteys, such as “A Hundred Years Ago” (written by Bob Kotta and Mariide Tune). While AIS-student and film director, Victor M. Ramos III, was unavailable, filmmaker and Art Institute of Seattle instructor, Vaun Raymond, introduced the AIS-student documentary and also shared a “the-making-of” film regarding the 2013 class efforts.

Anna Franklin with Memory Book of Captain Franklin webFilm goers enjoyed listing to stories from Franklin family members whose father and siblings captained and crewed aboard Arthur Foss.  Save Our Ships and Northwest Seaport founder, Kay Bullitt spoke briefly about the founding of this organization.  Chuck Fowler, co-author of “Tugboats of Puget Sound” shared with attendees some historical perspective of Arthur Foss and contributions to the Pacific Northwest maritime economy.

Plaque 1 Dedicated to Tugboat Annie 1940 Pioneer Spirit of Puget Sound webNearly 75 year-ago tug Arthur Foss seemed to have starred in another Hollywood sensation event, Northwest Seaport now believes.  On Oct 18, 1940 Tugboat Annie Sails Again actors Ronald Reagan and Marjorie Rambeau with Henry Foss of the Foss Launch and Tug Company presented the City of Tacoma at the city’s Roxy theater (now  Pantages Theater)  with a bronze plaque which includes the words, “Dedicated to Tugboat Annie – 1940 – Pioneer Spirit of Puget Sound.” (pictured).  

Northwest Seaport and Foss Waterway Seaport Crew 2 Foss Waterway Seaport curator, Joseph M. Govednik tracked it down the commemorative plaque at the Broadway Center For the Performing Arts, who kindly loaned it for transport and display at the March 6 event.

NPS ArrowheadThe plaque was unveiled, and the audience seemed to “gasp,” one observer shared.  Viewing the plaque for the first time, Northwest Seaport Nautical Archaeologist, Nathaniel Howe, shared his belief that the plaque’s central-placed tug with “Narcissus” inscribed on its bow was in fact Northwest Seaport’s Arthur Foss tug. 

During the event, the 2014 Arthur Foss Tugboat Campaign was launched, with a donation from Fremont Boat Company.  Additionally, the grandchildren of Thea and Andrew Foss made a significant contribution to the production and distribution efforts of the documentary.  Please watch for Campaign Cards and contribute to help keep Arthur Foss alive for the next generation.

Arthur Foss Documentary World Premiere 3.6.2014 Bruce Sherman photo web
Nearly 70 Attendees at World Premiere at Klondike web Kay Bullitt founder of Save our Ships and Northwest Seaport web

Lightship Overfalls is Reborn: From a Rust Bucket to a Landmark

Lightship Overfalls WAL539 LV118 Bow Lewes Del

Lightship Overfalls WAL539 LV118 Bow Lewes Del

In 1999 the Lightship Overfalls (LV-118) lay rusting to pieces in a muddy hole in Lewes, Delaware. The community seemingly had lost hope of restoration and attempts to give her away were unsuccessful. Then, a small group of local citizens took ownership of the ailing vessel to save her from the ship breakers. The group put together a comprehensive plan to bring her back from the brink of oblivion. The plan, even with the extensive use of volunteer labor, had a capital budget of $1.2 million and the group had scant resources and no credibility.

The presentation discusses the project’s 13-year history including how the funds were raised and how the group stayed right on budget. Today, the museum ship is an award winning, National Historic Landmark, designated in 2011, and is featured in a park setting worthy of the vessel and the crews who served aboard.

Lightship Overfalls WAL539 LV118 Park Lewes, Del

David Bernheisel, Honorary Board member of the Overfalls Foundation, is a retired Federal employee and a self-proclaimed “life-long river rat.” He has been actively involved in the Overfalls Foundation since 2000, serving on the Board of Directors and in the roles of President, Vice President, and Out-reach Chair. For three years he served as a crew member of Delaware’s tall ship, Kalmar Nyckle, and completed the America’s Great Loop cruise in his own boat. He has also had international assignments with the USAID funded Farmer-to-Farmer program and as an election observer.

The Center for Wooden Boat is co-hosting event and graciously provides their boathouse as the evening’s venue.  Directions

— Lightship Work Party in the afternoon before talk. —

Future USCG Academy Cadet becomes Seaport Member

Megan Rice stands aboard LV83 and in front of a Registered National Historic Place plaque, which states: "Under the provisions of the National Historic Preservation Act of October 16, 1966, this property possesses exceptional value in commemorating or illustrating American history."

Megan Rice stands aboard LV83 and in front of a Registered National Historic Place plaque, which states: “Under the provisions of the National Historic Preservation Act of October 16, 1966, this property possesses exceptional value in commemorating or illustrating American history.”

Member Spotlight and Guest Blog:
Megan Rice became a Northwest Seaport member before she even stepped aboard the Lightship No. 83 “Swiftsure.”  Seaport staff welcomed her aboard both the lightship and tug Arthur Foss last week to discuss membership and ways to become involved with Northwest Seaport as a young adult.  During the discussion, she agreed to share her story and goal of serving the country as a naval engineering officer and designer of the Coast Guard cutter fleet.  She also writes, “I only wish I’d found out about NWS a lot sooner.”

Washington State can be proud that she will represent the State and her community at the United States Coast Guard Academy with the graduating class of 2018.

“Hello, I’m Megan Rice and I’m 21 years old.  My interest in engineering, the maritime industry, the U.S. military, and the Coast Guard inspired me to attend the United States Coast Guard Academy, where, as a cadet, I’ll get closer to my goal of serving my country as a naval engineering officer and designer of the Coast Guard cutter fleet.

Megan Rice holds her USCGA acceptance letter with images of USCG Barque Eagle.

Megan Rice holds her USCGA acceptance letter with images of USCG Barque Eagle.

Since my early fascination with the Titanic, I’ve immersed myself in studying ships and the art of integrating many complex systems into one functional, buoyant vessel. This passion has led me to pursue a career in naval architecture and marine engineering.

After diligently contacting over 25 local shipyards and engineering firms without any contacts in the maritime world, I became employed at Jensen Maritime Consultants. At this prominent NA&ME firm, I work in both Continue reading

Reconstructing San Salvador talk by Dr. Ray Ashley

Reconstructing San Salvador, Cabrillo’s galleon of 1542 – California’s Origin Story

Salvador Group in San Diego

Wednesday, Jan 29, 2014 at 7:00 PM aboard Steamship Virginia V at Lake Union Park

For generations the 1542 voyage of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo – the first incursion of Europeans into the waters off the US West Coast – has served as California’s origin story. This talk will provide a glimpse into the medieval world of Cabrillo, a figure shrouded Continue reading

Keeping It Alive for the Next Generation: Year End Donation

Please, make an online donation today.

Please, make an online donation today.

Please enjoy reading Northwest Seaport’s Appeal 2013/2014 letter (pdf)

Learn about this past year’s activities, successes and continuing efforts to meet our mission and dedication to the preservation, education and interpretation of the maritime heritage of Puget Sound and the Pacific Northwest.

Next, help us ensure Northwest Seaport’s 50th year anniversary in 2014 has the financial security to plan and staff youth programs for the next generation.  Your tax-free gift will be realized through the experience of these youngsters aboard our ships.

Please Donate Today

If you have already received the appeal letter and returned the donation card…

Thank You!

Vulcan Inc. Sponsors Lighting of the Lightship

Vulcan IncToday’s Lighting of the Lightship event would not be possible without the generous support from Vulcan Inc., a member of the South Lake Union business community and supporter of Northwest Seaport. Thank you, again!

Lighting of Lightship Beacon of Lake Union, Nov 30, 2013

Lighting of Lightship No. 83 “Swiftsure” (aka) Beacon of Lake Union Nov 30, 2013. Event sponsored by Vulcan Inc.

At 5:00 pm., Greet the Season attendees and South Lake Union community members gathered for an official Lighting of the Lightship 2013, the sunset tradition since 2012 when Vulcan Inc. began supporting this signature holiday event at Lake Union Park.

A short ceremony recognized lightship sailor’s contributions to the our nation through service with US Coast Guard.  Otto Loggers, Executive Director of Northwest Seaport, also shared that the Seaport will turn 50 years in 2014 and that tug Arthur Foss will also celebrate 125 years.

Northwest Seaport crew provide station-based tours under holiday lights and aboard Swiftsure's deck outfitted with catwalks.

Northwest Seaport crew provide station-based tours under holiday lights and aboard Swiftsure’s deck outfitted with catwalks.

After also recognizing the many volunteers (15+) which made today’s Open Ship education program possible and the evening’s event sponsor, Vulcan Inc., a hearty countdown ensued and finished with the crowd yelling: “Light That Lightship!” The Vessel Manager hit the switch to the hundreds of light bulbs and ship’s beacon and a rousing cheer and applause filled the Historic Ships Wharf and south end of Lake Union.

Visitors participating in the event streamed aboard the lightship which was opened only for the second time to the general public for Continue reading