Maryland

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.

Maritime Day Expo at Pier 13

Volunteers from the JOHN W BROWN were at this year's Maritime Day Expo. This annual event hosted by NS SAVANNAH and other maritime organizations is held at Pier 13 in Canton.  Armed Forces Day and National Maritime Day  fall in the month of May and it is a great way to celebrate those days. There were several ships to visit including the NS SAVANNAH, an Army Tugboat, an Army Corps of Engineers vessel, a Coast Guard vessel, a fire boat and a NOAA survey boat. The crews on each were happy to talk about their ships and to listen to us talk about ours! There were lots of other fun things to see and do and some good food to eat too.

 

We  love to say hello and had lots of people stop by to enjoy the day with us. Here are some pictures of some of the BROWN's volunteers working and enjoying the day.

The NS Savannah dedicated the #2 lifeboat as an Armed Forces memorial.   Each Armed Forces branch was honored and a representative from each branch carried their service flags up to the lifeboat.  The BROWN's crew represented two branches in the ceremony.  Mike carried the flag for the Navy and Liam carried the flag for the Merchant Marines.

Baltimore has a long history as a working port.  Many different companies and organizations were represented at the event.  Some companies were offering jobs, some represented the history of the port and others  were educating the public.  An incredible amount of goods and people move through Baltimore each year. For more info about commodities in Baltimore, click here.  Whether you're curious about working in the industry or interested in services offered by the industry you'll find it here.

A special pool is filled with water for model enthusiasts to race their vessels. These radio controlled boats are fun to watch. If you've never seen one or would like to know more this is the place to ask questions. If you ask nicely you may even get a turn at the controls.

The TEACH FLEET was built by Commodore Wilbert McKinley to promote careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). The TEACH FLEET consists of almost 200 Lego ship models of every type from tugboats to aircraft carriers. This display is a crowd favorite! The BROWN also has a STEM program and this year 3 students finished the program in May.

There are vessels of all types at the Expo. Diesel powered, nuclear powered, radio powered and steam powered. The crews of each ship welcomed visitors and patiently answered all kinds of questions.

We enjoyed all the Maritime Expo had to offer and are already looking forward to next year.

We enjoyed all the Maritime Expo had to offer and are already looking forward to next year.

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.

May 9th's Living History Cruise - A Great Time & Some Special Guests

The JOHN W BROWN hosted the first Living History Cruise of the season this past May 9th.  Typically a crew favorite, this was the Veteran's Cruise to honor those that served. We also had some special guests on board including a Bethlehem-Fairfield Shipyard worker who made his first weld on the JOHN W BROWN and lots of Liberty Ship Veterans in town from all over the country for the AMMV (American Merchant Marine Veterans) convention.

Chester, who will celebrate his 100th birthday in two months, came on board with his hard hat. He was more than happy to show crew members just where on the BROWN the first weld he made is located. He was a pleasure to talk to and he enjoyed being the center of attention. General Bradley stopped to talk with him and The Manhattan Dolls even sang a special song just to him.

Morris Harvey National president of American Merchant Marine Veterans was our guest speaker. The group was in Baltimore for a convention and a bus load of attendees were happy to be able to come on the cruise.

Lloyd graduated from  Kings Point  class of 1946 and was the 2nd mate on board liberty ships. He came up to the Flying Bridge to meet our 2nd mate and the captain.

Lloyd graduated from Kings Point class of 1946 and was the 2nd mate on board liberty ships. He came up to the Flying Bridge to meet our 2nd mate and the captain.

Dr. Fred Lewis was one of two winners this cruise of the auction to take a turn at the wheel.

The Manhattan Dolls entertained guests throughout the cruise. The Ultimate Abbott and Costello Tribute Show, with Scoops of course, explained the fine details of horse racing and baseball player's names much to the delight of guests. The Calliope Barbershop Quartet roamed the decks and serenaded lucky ladies bringing smiles to all their faces. They also kept guests entertained as they waited in line to disembark. As a matter of fact they serenaded crew members before they even got on board. What a great way to start the day!

Reenactors enjoy sailing with us and interacting with our guests.

You will see people dancing. Once the music starts they can't keep their feet still.

Guests take time during the day to wander the ship on a self guided tour. The ship and crews quarters are maintained the way they would have been in 1941 and we have multiple museums and museum spaces to investigate. After a foggy start to the day, we had perfect weather to spend time on deck too. There are great sights that are part of the cityscape and some that are unique to each cruise.  Fort McHenry stands proudly at the mouth of the Inner Harbor and Fort Carroll by the Key Bridge.  The planes from the air show are a cruise highlight.  We had an osprey, complete with fish, fly over in between the planes and we passed a car carrier, which is a sight considering how big they are!  Passengers got to see the USS Savannah docked at Pier 13.  Finally one of the Moran tugs that brought us back to the cruise terminal greeted us in style with their water cannons.

Whether it's your first time sailing with us or you visit us many times we always see you smile. And knowing that our guests enjoy themselves makes us smile. Thank you all for joining us!  Next cruise is coming in June and we still have tickets available. 

Whether it's your first time sailing with us or you visit us many times we always see you smile. And knowing that our guests enjoy themselves makes us smile. Thank you all for joining us!  Next cruise is coming in June and we still have tickets available. 

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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