H Lee White Maritime Museum, NY Sea Grant Bringing NY Lighthouses and Lifesaving Exhibit to 2018 NYS Fair

Tibbitts Point Lighthouse; courtesy of Scott Day/Cape Vincent Chamber of Commerce
Tibbitts Point Lighthouse; courtesy of Scott Day/Cape Vincent Chamber of Commerce
Tibbitts Point Lighthouse; courtesy of Scott Day/Cape Vincent Chamber of Commerce
Tibbitts Point Lighthouse; courtesy of Scott Day/Cape Vincent Chamber of Commerce

SYRACUSE, NY – Oswego West Pierhead Lighthouse is one of more than 70 lighthouses across New York State that still exist as working beacons, museums of America’s maritime history, a hostel or overnight stay.

All of New York’s existing lights will be featured in the “Path Through Maritime History: Lighthouses and Life Saving” exhibit at the August 22 – September 3 Great New York State Fair in Syracuse.

Visitors through the new exhibit will discover the fascinating history and lifesaving service of unique structures still standing from Long Island to Lake Erie, the Finger Lakes, in New York City, and along Lake Ontario, the St. Lawrence River, Hudson River, and Lake Champlain.

“This exhibit endeavors to promote New York’s historic lighthouses as significant heritage tourism destinations with information on how people can visit and support each site,” said exhibit designer Michael Pittavino, curator, H. Lee White Maritime Museum, Oswego.

New York Sea Grant, the Central New York Boating Industries Association, Central New York Boat Show, Great Lakes Seaway Trail National Scenic Byway, and Great New York State Fair are sponsoring the exhibit that includes:

. interactive searchable kiosk with 70-plus lighthouses

. interpretive panels, including a STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics-based look at how lighthouses function, and a glimpse of Lighthouse Lifesaving Stations as the forerunner of the modern U.S. Coast Guard service

. recognition of NY’s female lighthouse keepers

. maritime artifacts including the uniform of a Syracuse man involved in the ill-fated rescue attempt of fellow U.S. Coast Guardsmen in 1942 at Oswego West Pierhead Lighthouse and a small collection of items used at Galloo Island Light built in 1820 on Lake Ontario

. NY Clean and Safe Boating exhibit and mini-lessons with U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary personnel

. an underwater “fish cam” and the real-time remote sensing weather data buoy courtesy of the Great Lakes Research Consortium

. daily 2-4 p.m.: try operating an underwater drone with the Great Lakes Research Consortium and ESF: College of Environmental Science and Forestry students

. boat building demonstrations of a strip-built kayak with boat builder Rich Bush discussing his techniques daily 11 a.m. – noon, 1-2 p.m., 3-4 p.m.; sponsored by H. Lee White Maritime Museum at Oswego

. Name That Boat contest: daily winners receive family pass to H. Lee White Maritime Museum, overall winner receives the dory built at last’s year State Fair, and

. Labor Day, 10:30 a.m. boat launch into the State Fair Pond.

“The fair and its pond in the New York Experience festival grounds provide a perfect showcase to highlight New York’s maritime history and waterfront tourism resources in a fresh, fun, outdoor setting to encourage travel statewide and a resulting positive economic impact for our coastal communities,” said Acting Director Troy Waffner.

The Great Lakes Research Consortium, H. Lee White Maritime Museum, Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Lake Champlain Sea Grant, Oneida Lake Education Initiative, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, and Empire Dock and Lift are providing exhibit artifacts and hardware, funding, and staffing support.

“There is no better venue than the Great New York State Fair to put the unparalleled history and modern-day maritime resources of New York State on display and engage the public in experiences unique to New York’s waterfront,” said New York Sea Grant Great Lakes Coastal Recreation and Tourism Specialist David G. White.

For ticket information, directions, and more details about the 2018 Great New York State Fair, visit nysfair.ny.gov

For more details on New York Sea Grant’s maritime history programming, visit www.nyseagrant/davewhite.

New York Sea Grant is a cooperative program of Cornell University and the State University of New York, and one of 33 university-based programs under the National Sea Grant College Program of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

For updates on New York Sea Grant activities statewide, www.nyseagrant.org has RSS, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube links.