New Virtual Experience Highlights New York’s Maritime Heritage
Great Lakes Boating & Marine Trades - Press Release

The evolution of recreational boating in New York State is a featured theme on the H. Lee White Maritime Museum of Oswego Virtual Exhibit Experience. Credit: Graphic courtesy of HLWMM.

Dave White, New York Sea Grant, Recreation and Tourism Specialist, P: 315-312- 3042, E:

Michael Pittavino, H. Lee White Maritime Museum of Oswego, E:

Kara Lynn Dunn, NYSG's Great Lakes Freelance Publicist, E:, P: 315-465-7578

Lighthouses, Shipwrecks, Recreational Boating, Naval Battles and More

Oswego, NY, June 29, 2020 - H. Lee White Maritime Museum at Oswego and New York Sea Grant have announced a freely accessible Virtual Exhibit Experience freely that showcases New York State’s lighthouses, shipwrecks, naval military battles, and 100 years of freshwater boating. Teachers may contact the museum for assistance in using this resource in classrooms in the fall.

This online maritime heritage resource is a spinoff of New York State maritime-related educational exhibitry and programming developed by a multi-partner collaborative coordinated by New York Sea Grant for use at the Great New York State Fair from 2014 through 2019. H. Lee White Maritime Museum Curator Michael R. Pittavino developed the online tour with eight theme areas. 

“The Path Through Maritime History exhibits echo all New Yorker’s shared heritage associated with our many waterways. We are excited that they are now virtually available for people anywhere to discover and enjoy,” said Pittavino.

Virtual visitors to the site will learn fascinating details about a diverse range of events, people, ships and activities: what caused some of New York’s many shipwrecks, who was the first female lighthouse keeper in 1826, who was H. Lee White that a museum is named for him, what was the Saratoga Campaign of 1777, and what did a Captain’s cabin look like during the Age of Sail on the Great Lakes. 

The Cruising through the Ages section explores the rise of recreational boating in 20th century America, from wooden boat building to aluminum and fiberglass construction.

New York Sea Grant Coastal Recreation and Tourism Specialist Dave White says, “This virtual tour is a new way to encourage interest in New York State’s fabulous maritime heritage, how that contributed to America’s development, and its significant value to the coastal environment, communities, and economies.” 

The H. Lee White Maritime Museum at Oswego is named for H. Lee White, who was born in 1912, attended Hamilton College and Cornell University, became a lawyer, and achieved the rank of U.S. Navy Commander by the end of World War II.  By the time of his death in 1969, he led the second-largest fleet of commercial cargo vessels in the world. This 501(c)(3), not-for-profit museum is provisionally chartered by the New York State Board of Regents to promote, protect, enhance and collect the maritime historical resources and to creatively engage and inspire through educational, cultural and innovative experiences focused on Lake Ontario and its connecting waterways. Learn more at

More Info: New York Sea Grant

New York Sea Grant (NYSG), a cooperative program of Cornell University and the State University of New York (SUNY), is one of 34 university-based programs under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Sea Grant College Program.

Since 1971, NYSG has represented a statewide network of integrated research, education and extension services promoting coastal community economic vitality, environmental sustainability and citizen awareness and understanding about the State’s marine and Great Lakes resources.

Through NYSG’s efforts, the combined talents of university scientists and extension specialists help develop and transfer science-based information to many coastal user groups—businesses and industries, federal, state and local government decision-makers and agency managers, educators, the media and the interested public.

The program maintains Great Lakes offices at Cornell University, SUNY Buffalo, SUNY Oswego and the Wayne County Cooperative Extension office in Newark. In the State's marine waters, NYSG has offices at Stony Brook University in Long Island, Brooklyn College and Cornell Cooperative Extension in NYC and Kingston in the Hudson Valley.

For updates on Sea Grant activities: has RSS, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube links. NYSG offers a free e-list sign up via for its flagship publication, NY Coastlines/Currents, which is published quarterly. Our program also produces an occasional e-newsletter,"NOAA Sea Grant's Social Media Review," via its blog,

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