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Sunday, September 11 • 12:30pm - 1:30pm
Walden-Not A Boat, A Time Machine.

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Walden, a 16' traditional lapstrake cutter, is a replica of what I believe was the smallest ship's boat carried by the USS Massachusetts in April of 1850, when the Massachusetts became the first American, and the first propeller driven, steamship on the waters of the Salish Sea. Through Walden I will tell the story of the Massachusetts and her crew. Why should people today care? Ultimately it was American steamers that influenced the Salish Sea the most, and the screw propeller proved to be the most effective way of transmitting the power of an engine to the water...look at Point Hudson, Boat Haven, Port Townsend Bay or Admiralty Inlet...almost all of the vessels you see have screw propellers today. Steamboats facilitated travel and commerce, encouraging settlement of non-indigenous peoples, but they also aided in the destruction of the environment and the way of life of Native Americans. Although my project focuses on the Massachusetts, Walden can play many roles and is not merely a boat...she is a time machine. She can slip back to the 1790s and accompany Vancouver, she could have been carried in 1841 by the US Exploring Expedition under Charles Wilkes, she could have been used by other 19th Century American ships or ships in the service of the Hudson's Bay Company, she could have been tied up in a creek to help people get around the Sound, and she is also a great boat in the present. I would like to make folks who attend the Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival aware of this incredible and influential history that few people know about today.

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Michael "Tug" Buse

Walden Project
Michael “Tug” Buse was born and raised on the Salish Sea and is fascinated with its maritime history. He has taught American History and Mass Communication in Iowa, South Carolina, and Shenyang, China, in addition to Washington State. He currently lives in Port Townsend where... Read More →

Sunday September 11, 2022 12:30pm - 1:30pm PDT
Discovery Stage

Attendees (2)