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Guest Contributors...               Edwin R. Scollon
 
Ed Scollon being introduced by Art Cohn, Director- Maritime Research Institute, Lake Champlain Maritime Museum.
Ed Scollon being introduced by Art Cohn, Director- Maritime Research Institute, Lake Champlain Maritime Museum.

Address by Ed Scollon,
Co-Principal Investigator
Valcour Bay Research Project
Aboard the M/V Adirondack

Saturday June 30, 2001

Click here to return to the VBRP home page
 

 

In partnership with:
Click here to visit the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum's Web Site
 
Art Cohn
Dan CarpenterAdam Kane
Todd BissonetteRoger Harwood
Dennis O'Neil
Linda Harwood
Phil LaMarche
Rob Wilczynski
Steve Nye
Tim AubinTerry Aubin
 

I would like to thank Art Cohn and Philip Lord for giving me the freedom to take responsibility for this discovery.  Together, they provided the blueprint from which the Valcour Bay Research Project was formed.  Their continued support and direction coupled with the involvement of Lake Champlain Maritime Museum conservators and divers, Pierre LaRocque, Adam Kane, Bill Atkinson and Rob Wilczynski, assure its success.

Because the discovery of this cannon preceded any funding for its recovery and study, this project necessitated a grassroots effort - An effort that has drawn upon the volunteered skills of many.  Whatís most important for me, in these few moments that I have to share with you, is to acknowledge their many gracious contributions.

Historical material, such as this, should be protected and preserved for all to enjoy.  A primary objective of this project is the development of a stewardship ethic within the diving community.  With that in mind, the Plattsburgh YMCA scuba program was the most logical place to start.  The late Chuck LeBlanc founded the Yís program; for over thirty years, Chuck developed instructional, safety & ethical standards of the highest caliber.  Dan Carpenter, Steve Nye and Dan Rock have brought those professional standards to the Valcour Bay Research Project.  Iím certain that Chuck would be as proud of their contributions as I am.

Iíd like to thank Bill Leege, Tony Tyrell and Matt Booth for bringing their insights and experience to the group.  Long ago, they recognized the need and potential to preserve the Champlain Valleyís cultural heritage.  Together, they founded Lake Champlain Archeological Associates in the 1970ís.  I like to flatter myself in thinking that this project is a continuation of their earlier efforts.

Thanks go to brothers, Tim and Terry Aubin, for their contributions.  Terry is an Accident Reconstructionist with the New York State Police and has been instrumental in the development the projectís master survey map.  The location of each encountered artifact is meticulously recorded and plotted upon this map.  From it, we may be able to reconstruct events of this historic battle and determine the movements of the fleet.

Iíd like to thank Todd Bissonette and Jerry Forkey for their generosity.  Todd has made several trips far from his home in Lake Placid to lend a professional hand.  Jerry has often donated the use of his boat to bring divers out to the site.  Jerry also donated his photography skills and documented much of the groupís efforts last year.

Preparations for todayís recovery were made mainly through the mechanical skills, diving experience, and physical strength of Greg Durocher, Phil LaMarche and Dennis OíNeil.  Rigging the cannon for its recovery was no easy task.  It required working at depth, with an obviously heavy object, in near zero visibility and among many lines and chains.  Thanks to them for a job well done.

I would like to thank Roger Harwood and his wife, Linda Harwood, for putting the finishing touches on the final phase of this recovery effort.  Besides being a mechanical engineer, Roger is also a human engineer.  Through his patience, persistence, humor and wit Roger is able to open hearts and minds and bring people beyond their boundaries.  In a revival of the Spirit of í76, youíll find the Spirit in Roger.

A special thanks goes to historian and web designer, Jim Millard and his wife LynnJim has furthered the educational objectives of this project by leaps and bounds.  Jim has offered the use of his website, Americaís Historic Lakes, as the official home of the Valcour Bay Research Project.  I hope youíll visit his site at www.historiclakes.org and benefit from his enthusiasm of sharing the history of Lake George and Lake Champlain.  The work of the Valcour Bay Research Project is by no means complete.  I hope youíll also visit the site to monitor our progress.  Thanks too, Lynn, for tolerating my many intrusions into your home and donating the use of your talented husband.

To my wife, Lori, and my sons, Shawn and Matt, I owe my greatest thanks.  I have often vacated my duties as husband and father to disappear beneath these waters, behind a keyboard or into the eighteenth century.  Without your love and support, none of what Iíve been able to accomplish would have been possible.

The defense of Lake Champlain during 1776 drew upon the resources of the Champlain Valley, several American colonies and of a newly forming federal government.  I think itís only appropriate that we draw upon the regional, state and federal resources of today to preserve this American legacy.

I would like to thank all of you, our dignitaries and our guests, for sharing our appreciation Ė our reverence for the patriots who fought here at Valcour Island.  I hope youíll agree that these objects have great historical and educational potential.  Their recovery, preservation and display may give us some conception of the conviction and courage essential for these early Americans to stand, not only before the guns of an enemy, but behind that of their own.  They may also serve to enlighten and remind us of the many great sacrifices that were made in the pursuit of American independence.  An independence that was forged more through the mettle of men than by the metal of guns. 

Shawn Scollon  Lori Scollon  Matt Scollon
Shawn, Lori and Matt Scollon
 

Ed Scollon
Bill Atkinson
Matt Booth
Greg Durocher
Bill Leege
Pierre LaRocqueJim Millard
Dan Rock
Jerry Forkey
Lynn MillardTony Tyrell
 

 

Photos by
 Jerry Forkey, Lori Scollon
and Jim Millard


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O
ther links about Valcour Island and the Battle of Valcour within
The Lake Champlain and Lake George Historical Site

The Battle of Lake Champlain
: The American Revolution on Lake Champlain

View a copy of the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum's Official Cannon Raising Commemoration Program- Click HERE.

Also of interest: LCMM's Valcour Island Battlefield Preservation

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