“A True Antarctic Hero” Museum Monday talk by Historian Charles Lagerbom

by | Jul 12, 2023

The Sail, Power, and Steam Museum is pleased to host the second in their “Museum Monday” series with Charles Logerbom telling the storied history of the research vessel, “Hero,” at 6:30pm on Monday, July 17.

Her pedigree was Maine … designed in consultation with renowned Maine Captain, Jack Crowell, and built over the course of two years in the Gamage Shipyard in Boothbay, “The Hero” was launched in 1968, designed to withstand the rigors of weather and ice in the Antarctic as a research vessel for the National Science Foundation. She lived up to her purpose and her name, working the ice filled waters from 1968 to 1984. She was decommissioned in 1984 and passed to private entities until she partially sank in 2017 after a storm in Bay Center, WA.

Built of wood, Crowell stated in his book, “I Loved This Work,” that she “was not built as an icebreaker, but as an ice-worthy ship.” He added, “I like a wooden vessel because it seems to me there is more ‘give’ – more resilience than there is to a steel vessel.”

Local historian Charles “Chip” Lagerbom received his BA in History from Kansas State University and an MA in History and Archaeology from the University of Maine. He teaches AP US History and co-teaches a Marine Studies class at Belfast Area High School.

An avid scuba diver, he has organized underwater video surveys of ship remains in the lakes of Maine. He worked in Antarctica with glacial geology research teams from the U of Maine Quaternary Institute (now the Climate Change Institute).

A published author and avid polar, colonial Maine and maritime book collector, Charles has frequently written, lectured and made presentations on cruise ships, sailing vessels and ashore about the history, life, politics and science of the Antarctic and South Atlantic as well as colonial Maine and New England maritime history. He is author of The Fifth Man: The Life of H.R. Bowers, published by Caedmon of Whitby (1999) and Whaling in Maine, published by The History Press (2020).

Charles is past Membership Chair of the American Polar Society and past President of the Antarctican Society, where he is its current archivist/historian.

The event will be held in the Wing On Wing building of the museum. Suggested donation: $5.00