The Door County Maritime Museum (DCMM) is a proud member of the Council of American Maritime Museums (CAMM), an association of more than 80 institutions working toward the preservation and interpretation of North America’s maritime heritage. The 2019 CAMM Annual Conference is being held April 24-27 at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum in Manitowoc. DCMM is pleased to have two presentations on the conference agenda, by Executive Director Kevin Osgood, Deputy Director & Development Manager Sam Perlman, and Curator & Exhibits Manager Rhys Kuzdas. Conference attendees will also have an opportunity to tour the Door County Maritime Museum in Sturgeon Bay at the conclusion of the conference.
On Thursday, April 25, Osgood and Perlman will be making a presentation about the Museum’s ambitious Maritime Lighthouse Tower expansion project. The program will discuss the history of the project, from conception to the present day, and will discuss the unique focus of the exhibit concepts for the Tower. The educational program will emphasize the Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Math (STEAM) inherent throughout the maritime and marine industries. They will also address fundraising challenges faced, as well as lessons learned from working with the local community and municipal government.
The next day, Kuzdas will make his presentation on the sinking of Leathem D. Smith’s yacht, the Half-Moon, which sank off the coast of Door County in 1946. Of those aboard, only Smith’s daughter Patsy would survive the sudden gale that consumed her remaining family. The presentation charts the events leading up to, during, and after the death of a magnate of maritime industry and a rising political star. Leathem D. Smith’s was one of the most influential shipbuilding companies on the Great Lakes; when he died, the company he built also perished. The now mostly forgotten tragedy shocked the nation for a moment, but ultimately redefined the local community for generations. Speaking about his ongoing research into this pivotal moment in Door County history, Kuzdas will present the harrowing story little-known within the community of Sturgeon Bay.
On Saturday, conference participants can take a bus tour from Manitowoc to Sturgeon Bay, for a guided tour of the Door County Maritime Museum, a lunch presentation from the creative team behind the musical Windjammers from Northern Sky Theater, and a driving tour past Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding.
Speaking about the conference, DCMM Executive Director Kevin Osgood said: “We are thrilled this important national conference is being held nearby, and that the conference committee accepted both of our presentation proposals. This will be a fantastic opportunity for the Door County Maritime Museum to interact with and learn from our peer institutions.”
For more information about the 2019 CAMM annual conference, visit https://councilofamericanmaritimemuseums.org/annual-meeting/