Visitors’ first view of the steamboat Ticonderoga, rising up behind Shelburne Museum’s campus of historic buildings, is an unforgettable experience. The restored 220-foot steamboat is a National Historic Landmark and the last walking beam side-wheel passenger steamer in existence.
Built in Shelburne in 1906, the Ticonderoga (fondly known as the “Ti”) operated as a day boat on Lake Champlain, serving ports along the New York and Vermont shores until 1953. In 1955, it was moved two miles overland from the lake to Shelburne Museum in a remarkable engineering effort that stands as one of the great feats of maritime preservation.
Today, the Ticonderoga portrays life on board in 1923. The ship’s carved and varnished woodwork, gilded ceilings, staterooms, grand staircase, and dining room evoke the elegance of steamboat travel. Visitors can freely explore the Ticonderoga’s four decks, massive engine, pilot house, galley, and crew’s quarters; special guided tours are also offered daily between May 1 and October 31.
Find out more about the Ti by watching the film about its relocation, which is shown on board, and by picking up a copy of the book Ticonderoga: Lake Champlain Steamboat, which is available at the Museum Store.