Maritime Museum’s Art Cohn to Speak at Middlebury
College on Sunken Artifacts in Lake Champlain
Arthur B. Cohn, director of the Lake Champlain Maritime
Museum (LCMM) in Panton, Vermont, will present a lecture on “Surveying
Lake Champlain: New Discoveries, Great Potential, and Significant
Challenges” on Thursday, Dec. 4, at 8 p.m. in the concert
hall in the Middlebury College Center for the Arts on South Main
Street (Rt. 30). The lecture is free and open to the public.
Cohn led a survey team in June which discovered-on
the bottom of Lake Champlain-a Revolutionary War gunboat commanded
by Benedict Arnold. Patricia L. Manley and Thomas O. Manley of
the Middlebury geology department, and Middlebury students Billie-Jo
Gauley ‘99 and Bret Thibault ‘97 were also part of the survey
team. At the time of the discovery, researchers were
using the College’s side-scan sonar system, which detected the
When the finding was announced in July, Philip Lundeberg,
curator emeritus of naval history at the Smithsonian Institution’s
American History Museum, commented to “The Boston Herald,”
“This could prove to be the most significant maritime archeological
discovery in American history in the last half century.”
Cohn said researchers recognize the urgent need to
continue locating and identifying previously unknown submerged
shipwrecks before they become encrusted with the zebra mussels
that have invaded Lake Champlain.
A professional diver and nautical archeologist, Cohn
is also on the adjunct faculty of the University of Vermont and
the Institute of Nautical Archeology at Texas A&M University.
He has served as coordinator of the State of Vermont’s Underwater
Historic Preserve Program since 1985.
The lecture will be sponsored by the Middlebury College
geology department and Atwater Commons. Please contact Trish Dougherty
of the geology department at 443-5970 for more information.