Monday, June 22, 2009

Wooden Boat Show

This past Saturday, the museum showed off it's skiff (wooden row boat), and presented to the public, the Urban Boat Works Program. The public was very receptive and excited for us. Among other programs presented at the boat show were the Philadelphia Canoe Club, Academy of Aquatic Sciences, the US Coast Guard Auxiliary , and multiple showings by the Independence Seaport Museum. A few wooden sail boats were available for viewing, and a few brave souls sailed on the Delaware, with barely any free board. Overall, it was a good day. Now, if mother nature brought the sun out, more people would've shown up. But those who did had fun, as did I.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Won't you be our neighbor?

The Waterfront South Neighborhood is fortunate to have the Heart of Camden community development group spearheading plans for the revitalization of this historic neighborhood. Guiding recent development activities is the Waterfront South Neighborhood Redevelopment Plan funded by the N.J. Department of Community Affairs. This dynamic and imaginative plan was developed by H.of C. with ample citizen input. It calls for new and rehabilitated housing, parks, a communty center, a new theater, new businesses and now with the coming of light rail service to the community, this community will become a transit-oriented village, so beloved by urban planners and ecologists because of their low carbon footprint.  Also featured in this neighborhood plan is our maritime museum which will provide a strong institutional anchor on Broadway,  and a valuable educational and recreational resource for Camden school children and their families.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

We're going to be at Penns Landing!! Come and See our Skiff!

This Sat. June 20th the museum is going to be showing off the skiff, built by a team from Urban Trekkers. The boat will be used as an example for a group of high school students who will be building their own skiff this summer.

The Wooden Boat show will be held near the Admiral Dewey Ship, at the rear of the Independence Seaport Museum from 12-4. See you there!

Symposium on the Feasibility of a Maritime Museum in South Camden

On March 31st Emeritus Professors Michael Lang and John Giannotti gave a presentation to Rutgers faculty about the Camden Shipyard and Maritime Museum and the new Henson statue, designed by Giannotti, that graces its front yard. The presentation stressed the museum’s relationship to extensive community development activities sponsored by the Heart of Camden Inc. in the Waterfront South neighborhood. This event was co-sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Regional Center for the Humanities at Rutgers-Camden (MARCH) and the Science Preparation Alliance of Rutgers and Camden (SPARC).

Rutgers faculty and students have been involved in various aspects of this museum during its formative years, with several current faculty members serving on its Board of Trustees. Lang, a retired Professor of Urban Studies and Public Administration, serves as the museum’s director. Additional support has been extended by the School of Business, as well as professors, staff and  students in the Graduate Criminal Justice Program, the Rand Institute and the Urban Studies Program.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Henson Presentation at Independence Seaport Museum

Susan Mudry, our Youth Outreach Coordinator, was a featured presenter at a large educational workshop for Philadelphia school teachers held in May at the Independence Seaport Museum at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia. Her presentation was on the life and times of Matthew Henson, the mariner who is honored by a statue at our museum. This represents the third time a represenative of the museum has been invited to offer a presentation about Henson to Philadelphia’s school teachers at the Independence Seaport Museum. In addition, the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers invited a representative from our museum to speak on Henson at their annual convention last year.  The event at the Independence Seaport Museum was coordinated by Bill Ward, the museum’s Director of Education.


Delaware River Day was held on Sunday, May 24, 2009. Delaware River Day was a FREE event with fun and interactive activities such as free kayaking, life jacket fitting, fashion shows featuring the latest in water related gear, and demonstrations, musical entertainment, free face painting for the kids, fishing, and vessel tours. Delaware River Day includes participating maritime organizations from PennsylvaniaNew Jersey and Delaware and is the only event of its kind in the area this season.  There was great interest in our wooden boat building workshop and our boy scout troop. Ms. Susan Mudry represented the Camden Shipyard and Maritime Museum at this event.

We have been awarded a grant from the New Jersey Historic Trust

Church Of Our Saviour

Garden State Historic Preservation Trust Fund

Capital Preservation Grant, Level II

Grant Award: $750,000 (2008)

Grant Recipient: Camden Shipyard and Maritime Museum

County: Camden

Municipality: Camden

The Church of Our Saviour is noted in the National Register nomination as “an excellent example of small-scale Gothic architecture designed by noted Philadelphia architect George W. Hewitt in 1880.”  The church campus includes a 1892 parish hall and 1912 rectory. The church historically served a congregation linked to the nearby shipbuilding and maritime industries. The buildings fell into a deteriorated condition after the Episcopal Diocese abandoned the buildings. The applicant and a local community development organization purchased the complex in 2007. 

The Trust grant will help fund structural stabilization, exterior restoration, and interior rehabilitation of the former church and parish hall for use as a maritime museum and community space.


Oral History Project

We are very pleased to announce that Dr. Tom Carroll has begun to develop an oral history project at the museum. This project will produce an archive of oral histories of the men and women who were part of Camden’s glorious maritime past. Dr. Carroll is an experienced professional in the field of oral history and is currently working on a  project related to the nuclear powered ship Savannah that was built at the New York Shipbuilding Corporation yards in Camden and is a listed national historic site. In conjunction with his current project with the museum, he will focus on people in the community who lived in Waterfront South and/or worked in the various maritime industries in the Camden region. He has already interviewed Joseph A. Balzano, CEO of the South Jersey Port Corporation and President of our Board of Trustees. The resultant oral histories will be archived at the museum and made available to visitors. Selected interviews may be made available on our website in the future. We are pleased to welcome Dr. Carroll and we are very excited about this important new project.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Camdens Shipbuilding Heritage

The Barnegat Lightship is the last remaining Light Ship built by New York Ship Co. It's duty was to help create a path that large ships and liners would take to enter a port or harbor. Much like a runway guides plane to a terminal. Neither snow, nor sleet, rain or wind could keep a light ship from doing its duty to sailors. The Barnegat currently is moored at a safe berth in north Camden, a reminder of Camden's glorious ship building past. 

Service to Country!

This Spring the museum has housed two Americorps*NCCC teams, and has an Americorps*VISTA working as its Youth Development Director. These young people have decided to serve their country domestically. They serve in the some of the most depressed areas of our nation, while making the poverty level in wages and earning the community's respect. NCCC's vow to get thing done for America; VISTAs have sworn to uphold the Constitution from all enemies foreign and domestic, and to work towards eliminating poverty in our nations inner cities, Appalachia, and other rural communities.  If you are bestowed the honor of working with or housing these youth, take them out for a cup of coffee or simply say thank you.  You will end up widening the smiles already on their faces.

Have you got the Bollards?!

Here they come.

Joe Balzano, and Msr. Doyle inspect the antique port wagon. In it's  heyday it used to take off cargo and move it around the port area. 

Monday, June 8, 2009

S. Broadway is becoming the Avenue of the Arts!

On May 31st, a peace statue was unveiled across from Sacred Heart Church. The dream realized for Monsignor Doyle. There are multiple statues honoring war and the fallen, for great reason. However, Msr. Doyle beleived there should be one honoring peace. Why not, the Good Book, tells us, "Blessed are the Peacemakers, for they shall be called Sons on God". This statue is only 1000ft, from our Henson Statue.  

Shipbuilding returns to South Camden!!

This Summer in partnership with Urban Trekkers, 6 high school students will be building a stich and glue skiff (row boat), that will be launched into Newton Creek in mid-August.
Below are picture of UT unloading the materials and the skeleton being cut out.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Matthew Henson Day on NJN

On Apr. 6, New Jersey Network did a segment of John Giannotti's scuplting of Matthew Henson and the subsequent celebration of the Centennial Anniversary of the Discovery of the North Pole by Matthew Henson and Admiral Peary.  Here is the link to view it in HD:

Matthew Henson Day

Father Michael Doyle,Sacred Heart Church
John Giannotti, Henson Sculptor

Students from Sacred Heart School.

The two Mikes behind Matt Henson.
Dr. Michael Lang, project director of the museum and Father Michael Doyle, the "Conscience of Camden" and one of our greatest supporters.

  Henson relatives