Erie Maritime Museum reopens after pandemic shutdown


By Greg Wohlford - Erie Times-News



Erie Maritime Museum volunteer Debby Springston describes the legend of the Lake Erie Monster, left, for a visitor on Saturday in Erie.

Erie Maritime Museum volunteer Debby Springston describes the legend of the Lake Erie Monster, left, for a visitor on Saturday in Erie.


Erie Maritime Museum visitors begin a tour Saturday. The museum, operated by the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission and supported by the non-profit Flagship Niagara League, opened on Friday for the first time in more than a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The multi-level facility is housed inside a former coal-fired electric generating plant.

Erie Maritime Museum visitors begin a tour Saturday. The museum, operated by the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission and supported by the non-profit Flagship Niagara League, opened on Friday for the first time in more than a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The multi-level facility is housed inside a former coal-fired electric generating plant.


When the Erie Maritime Museum opened Friday for the first time since the pandemic began more than a year ago, site director James Hall saw the museum in operation for the first time.

“I started (working) here on Dec. 7,” said Hall on Saturday. “I’ve been waiting for this for five months.”

The museum is currently open Friday and Saturday from 9:30 a.m to 5 p.m., as are others operated by the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission.

The unplanned downtime allowed the staff to prepare exhibits closed for more than a year.

“A lot of the electronic displays needed attention,” Hall said. “We also need to ensure the safety of all visitors, staff and volunteers as we move through the pandemic.”

History buff Scott DeMill stopped by the museum Saturday.

“I like the way the exhibits are displayed,” said DeMill, 53, of Cleveland. “It gives both sides of the British and American forces during the Battle of Lake Erie and gives some cultural information of the time.”

Later Saturday, DeMill planned to tour historical sites related to George Washington and his 1753 visit to Erie County.

Then a 21-year-old officer in the British Army, Washington completed a 1,000-mile round trip military/diplomatic mission from Williamsburg, Virginia, through French-controlled territory to Fort Leboeuf, which was located in Waterford.

Back at the Erie Maritime Museum, Flagship Niagara League volunteer Debby Springston, 72, was just glad to see visitors in the museum again.

“It’s wonderful to be back,” Springston said.

Erie Maritime Museum volunteer Debby Springston describes the legend of the Lake Erie Monster, left, for a visitor on Saturday in Erie.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2021/05/web1_20210501-AMX-US-NEWS-BACK-ON-DISPLAY-ERIE-MARITIME-2-EI.jpgErie Maritime Museum volunteer Debby Springston describes the legend of the Lake Erie Monster, left, for a visitor on Saturday in Erie.
Erie Maritime Museum visitors begin a tour Saturday. The museum, operated by the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission and supported by the non-profit Flagship Niagara League, opened on Friday for the first time in more than a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The multi-level facility is housed inside a former coal-fired electric generating plant.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2021/05/web1_20210501-AMX-US-NEWS-BACK-ON-DISPLAY-ERIE-MARITIME-1-EI.jpgErie Maritime Museum visitors begin a tour Saturday. The museum, operated by the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission and supported by the non-profit Flagship Niagara League, opened on Friday for the first time in more than a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The multi-level facility is housed inside a former coal-fired electric generating plant.

By Greg Wohlford

Erie Times-News

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