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Lecture Series & Schedule

img-2129.jpgSaturday April 30: 11:00 a.m. - Noon 

Vince Martonis - antique bottle expert and lecturer

Lecture title: "Old Bottle Baggage"

The Fascinating, Weird, and Convoluted History of Some Old Bottles. The psychic remedies of a Lily Dale "Clairvoyant Doctress." Mark Twain, the Underground Rail Road, Sears & Roebuck, and a patent medicine. Dr. Eleanor Burnside's Cancer Institute and her Purifico bottles.

After 37 years teaching college English and 33 years as historian for the Town of Hanover in Chautauqua County, Vince Martonis continues to devote much of his time to historical displays and programs. He worked 22 summers with the Buffalo Museum and taught college-level courses at the Hiscock Mastodon Site. For the last 15 summers, he has dug dinosaurs in Montana and copy-edited 3 professional papers on finds, including a new species of dinosaur. He has collected old bottles and pottery for over 40 years and is an expert at identifying old shards.

Saturday, April 30: 1 - 2 p.m.

Scott McKenzie - Assistant Professor, Geology; Paleontology Director Mercyhurst University

Lecture title: “Finding Beach Gems”

Join Scott and his mezmorizing charm as he discusses rare and unusual (real)! gems found on Lake Erie. In addition Scott will captivate you with his 'GIANT' collection!

Scott McKenzie teaches geology and oceanography at Mercyhurst University. He is interested in identifying odd fossils, bones and curiosities that appear on local beaches. Scott publishes articles in scientific journals on geological topics and does talks on dinosaurs and meteorites around the country.

Saturday, April 30: 3 - 4 p.m. 

Jerry Skrypzak - author and historian

Lecture title: "The Evolution of the Port of Erie" 

Jerry's presentation will take a look at the changes that Erie's waterfront has experienced from frontier town, naval base, transportation hub, freshwater fishing capital of the world to tourist attraction.

Jerry Skrypzak, president of S.O.N.S. of Lake Erie and member of the Erie County Historical Society board of directors, Jerry recently co-authored the book, "Fortune and Fury: A History of the Commercial Fishing Industry."

Sunday, May 1: 11 a.m. - Noon

Richard LaMotte - author and sea glass expert

Over the past 10 years renowned sea glass author Richard LaMotte has presented information from his award-winning book Pure Sea Glass. Now his newly released book, The Lure of Sea Glass, explores topics not previously covered in his first work. His lecture will include a brief overview of the key secrets of sea glass prior to discussing and displaying images from the new book. Three specific areas will be presented. One is what creates the strong emotional bond so many have to this unique collectible. A second profiles various collections from around the U.S. including one from Erie, and a third part introduces some very unique shards from the Mid-Atlantic region that holds extraordinary history and significance. Guests are encouraged to bring in a few of their own shards for review and exploration.

Sunday, May 1: 1 - 2 p.m.

Captain Jamie Trost - project manager for The Porcupine

Lecture title: "Schooner Porcupine: The Schoolship for Presque Isle Bay"

The Bayfront Maritime Center is creating a modern representation of Porcupine, one of the first schooners built in Erie, to engage students in unique programming. Porcupine's programs will focus on the ecology of Presque Isle Bay, the STEM aspects of developing transportation on the Great Lakes, and over two centuries of Erie's maritime history.

A native of Erie, Jamie Trost has spent most of the past 18 years combining education and sailing aboard Tall Ships. He grew up sailing Presque Isle Bay and Lake Erie and from an early age was fascinated by Erie’s War of 1812 History. He holds a 500 Ton Ocean Masters License and has been Captain for eight Tall Ships, including the War of 1812 Privateer replicas Lynx and Pride of Baltimore II. During his seven years with Pride II, Captain Trost was the architect of the ship’s first underway educational programming, and also sailed her into Erie for both the 2010 and 2013 Tall Ships Events. He joined the Bayfront Maritime Center in March as Project Manager for the Schooner Porcupine, the Schoolship for Presque Isle Bay.