September

20

Maumee Valley Comes Home

Posted Sep 20th, 2016 by Christopher H. Gillcrist  Category: Arts & Entertainment, Community Interest

 

(Toledo, OH) The Maumee Valley is coming home. Not the actual schooner which sank in November of 1900 in Lake Erie, but a rare Vincent D. Nickerson watercolor of the vessel will be on display at the National Museum of the Great Lakes on its “Recent Acquisitions” wall. The Maumee Valley was built by local shipbuilder F. E. Bugbee in Perrysburg, Ohio in 1868 and carried cargo on the Great Lakes for thirty-two years before her tragic loss with all life in 1900.

Contemporary reports of the loss of the Maumee Valley describe the boat going aground off Long Point and members of the crew clinging to her masts in a terrible storm before succumbing to the elements. Another interesting fact concerning her career is that is that Toledoan Mary R. Peck is listed as the boat’s owner in 1891. It is rare to find a woman as the sole owner of a Great Lakes vessel in the 19th century.

The artist, Vincent D. Nickerson, operated mostly out of Cleveland between 1870 and 1900 painting on commission from owners and captains of Great Lakes vessels. It is thought that Nickerson painted hundreds of ship portraits over his lifetime but the exact number is not known. He is considered one of the great 19th century ship portrait painters on the Great Lakes. The National Museum of the Great Lakes owns fourteen of his original watercolors. A working sketch of the Maumee Valley is archived at the Center for Archival Collections at Bowling Green State University in the Historical Collections of the Great Lakes. This collection holds over 250 of Nickerson’s working sketches.

The Maumee Valley was donated to the museum by the children of Nelson J. Faris in his memory. Mr. Faris had visited the museum many times when it was operated in Vermilion, Ohio. Nickerson was commissioned to paint the Maumee Valley by Capt. Orlean Elkana Bullock, who owned and skippered the vessel between 1895-1899. Capt. Bullock’s wife, Lillian, gave the painting to her daughter Lillian, who gave the painting to her son, Nelson J. Faris. Christopher Gillcrist, Executive Director of the National Museum of the Great Lakes stated: “Besides the quality of painting and the fact that it has a local connection to Lake Erie and northern Ohio, it is extremely exciting to receive a donation of such a work that has actually stayed in the family from its original owner—-a Great Lakes Captain to boot!”

The Maumee Valley will be on display on the “Recent Acquisitions” wall at the National Museum of the Great Lakes, 1701 Front Street Toledo, Ohio. An article about the Maumee Valley will appear in the winter issue of the museum’s quarterly journal Inland Seas® which is scheduled to be distributed to members in January of 2017. An “Unveiling” will be held at 10:30am on September 22, 2016 at the museum with members of the donating family present.

The National Museum of the Great Lakes is owned and operated by the Great Lakes Historical Society. Founded in 1944, the Great Lakes Historical Society has been striving toward its mission to preserve and make known the important history of the Great Lakes.

What: Unveiling of the watercolor, Maumee Valley by V.D. Nickerson

When: Thursday, September 22, 2016; 10:30am

Where: National Museum of the Great Lakes 1701 Front Street Toledo Ohio 43605

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Christopher H. Gillcrist - National Museum of the Great Lakes

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