Inner Harbor 2016

On Wednesday March 16 the SS JOHN W. BROWN moved from Clinton Street over to the West Wall of the Inner Harbor to get some much needed community attention and to coincide with the  annual joint conference in Baltimore of the National Council of Public History and the Society for History in the Federal Government.  We also were pleasantly surprised to find out that another convention was taking place that was a natural crowd for a WWII Liberty Ship with a triple expansion steam engine... APS Physics convention.  Between tourists, locals and those in town for multiple conventions, we could share the BROWN with lots of people. 

Over 1,500 people joined us for tours while we berthed at the West Wall. It would be hard to say who enjoyed the ship more, our older visitors or our younger visitors. And then the historians and scientists all had a blast too!

We were very happy to spend four days welcoming visitors in Baltimore's Inner Harbor. 

We were very happy to spend four days welcoming visitors in Baltimore's Inner Harbor. 

Among those 1,500 visitors some of them have special ties to our ship. "Sam" Hoirup (Van Loo) works for an airline and arranged a special lay over so that she could visit the ship. Her father, William Van Loo, served as principal when the ship was used as a vocational high school in New York. That is her father on the wall behind them...the larger pictures at the top...he is the one on the right.  

Among those 1,500 visitors some of them have special ties to our ship. "Sam" Hoirup (Van Loo) works for an airline and arranged a special lay over so that she could visit the ship. Her father, William Van Loo, served as principal when the ship was used as a vocational high school in New York. That is her father on the wall behind them...the larger pictures at the top...he is the one on the right.  

Chester sailed with us last summer. He is 100 years old and he worked at the Fairfield-Bethlehem Shipyard. His very first weld as an apprentice was on the SS JOHN W. BROWN! He made a special trip to see us when he found out we would be in the Inner Harbor. We were all happy to see him again!  He will be 101 in July and plans on coming back again soon. 

Chester sailed with us last summer. He is 100 years old and he worked at the Fairfield-Bethlehem Shipyard. His very first weld as an apprentice was on the SS JOHN W. BROWN! He made a special trip to see us when he found out we would be in the Inner Harbor. We were all happy to see him again!  He will be 101 in July and plans on coming back again soon. 

This is Shannon Ray Sewell.  Her dad William Ray was an amazing modeler.  Mr Ray retired from Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab, but was in love with anything maritime related.  Not only did Mr Ray build models, but he also built his own sailboat and sailed the east coast on it with his wife.  Not long before he passed away in 2014, Mr Ray came and gave us this wonderful model of the ship, which we show off in our saloon to this day.  Shannon had to come on board the BROWN to see the model and to remember her dad in a great way.  

This is Shannon Ray Sewell.  Her dad William Ray was an amazing modeler.  Mr Ray retired from Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab, but was in love with anything maritime related.  Not only did Mr Ray build models, but he also built his own sailboat and sailed the east coast on it with his wife.  Not long before he passed away in 2014, Mr Ray came and gave us this wonderful model of the ship, which we show off in our saloon to this day.  Shannon had to come on board the BROWN to see the model and to remember her dad in a great way.  

We were thrilled to meet Pim, who writes the Museumships Facebook page, in person. He is a great supporter of ours and reminds us if the blog is a little late. It's nice to know someone is reading what we're writing!  We'll get you out here chipping paint and working on come projects before you know it, Pim!

We were thrilled to meet Pim, who writes the Museumships Facebook page, in person. He is a great supporter of ours and reminds us if the blog is a little late. It's nice to know someone is reading what we're writing!  We'll get you out here chipping paint and working on come projects before you know it, Pim!

Visitors enjoyed exploring the Tween decks. This family is looking through the window to the lower #2 hold to check out the fully restored truck, plane propeller and howitzer. 

Visitors enjoyed exploring the Tween decks. This family is looking through the window to the lower #2 hold to check out the fully restored truck, plane propeller and howitzer. 

SS JOHN W BROWN
The Engine Room Crew worked tirelessly giving tours throughout each day. 

The Engine Room Crew worked tirelessly giving tours throughout each day. 

Jack was busy greeting his many admirers. 

Jack was busy greeting his many admirers. 

Long time volunteer Peter was able to give tours to the physicists attending the convention in Mandarin Chinese. Our volunteers are a wonderfully diverse and interesting group.

Long time volunteer Peter was able to give tours to the physicists attending the convention in Mandarin Chinese. Our volunteers are a wonderfully diverse and interesting group.

Peter, in the middle, with the impromptu tour group. 

Peter, in the middle, with the impromptu tour group. 

Our members will do just about anything to get historically accurate shots.

Our members will do just about anything to get historically accurate shots.

We welcome guests to carefully explore the ship to gain an appreciation for what life was like on the ship in the 1940's.

We welcome guests to carefully explore the ship to gain an appreciation for what life was like on the ship in the 1940's.

We actually had pre-arranged for a local boy scout troop to take the trip on Saturday afternoon as we moved the ship from the inner harbor back over to Clinton Street in Canton. 

We actually had pre-arranged for a local boy scout troop to take the trip on Saturday afternoon as we moved the ship from the inner harbor back over to Clinton Street in Canton. 

John Timmons from the Maryland Port Administration was working on the 19th floor of the world trade center when he heard the tugs whistle, turned and looked to see what was going on and was excited to see a WWII Liberty Ship in the Harbor.  He also has a connection to Liberty Ships, as his father sailed on them during the war.  He had to come down to say hi, showed us the cell phone shot he took of the boat with the tugs and then invited the ship's photographers  to take a picture of the ship from his office. What a view and a great experience. 

John Timmons from the Maryland Port Administration was working on the 19th floor of the world trade center when he heard the tugs whistle, turned and looked to see what was going on and was excited to see a WWII Liberty Ship in the Harbor.  He also has a connection to Liberty Ships, as his father sailed on them during the war.  He had to come down to say hi, showed us the cell phone shot he took of the boat with the tugs and then invited the ship's photographers  to take a picture of the ship from his office. What a view and a great experience. 

We were also were excited to have so many people from the various conventions come to check out our ship. Below is a shot of some NCPH convention participants and in the bottom shot you can see Francoise Bonnelle, director of the United States Army Women's Museum along with David Hanselman, Director of the US Army Transportation Museum, who were at the convention and came to tour the ship.  Check out both museums in Virginia, if you get a chance (we've added hyperlinks to their websites, and the Women's Museum also has a Facebook page).

As you can see, we packed a lot of activities into our 4 day visit to the Inner Harbor.  We also have material for multiple future blogs.  :)  In the next month or so, we still have lots of cleaning to do, repair work and spring maintnence before out next big trip to Norfolk, Virginia in May.   Always looking for volunteers (hey, did we also say that we got two new members/volunteers on this trip? It's very cool for us!) and always working to maintain the ship.  Come back and visit the ship (yes, you can come to the ship on Wednesdays and Saturdays, which are our work days and we are open to the public) and come back and read our Wednesday blogs.   Thanks for reading, liking and sharing, to help us get the word out!   Happy Wednesday everyone! 

Project Liberty Ship, Inc is a 501(c)3 non-profit, all volunteer organization engaged in the preservation and operation of the historic ship JOHN W. BROWN as a living memorial museum. Gifts to Project Liberty Ship are tax deductible.

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