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Press Release

Hull Lifesaving Museum’s Ed McCabe is a Local History Hero

Release Date: May 19, 2004
Contact: Lory Newmyer
Contact Phone: 781-925-5433
Contact email: [email protected]

In recognition of his significant contribution to promoting and preserving history in Hull, MA, the Bay State Historical League has named Edward P. McCabe a Local History Hero. McCabe is the Maritime Program Director of the Hull Lifesaving Museum. Founded in 1903, the Bay State Historical League is a non-profit organization that offers professional development programs and services to persons and organizations working to promote the preservation and presentation of history throughout the Commonwealth. In 2001, the Bay State Historical League created the Local History Hero Award to honor those who “make history” in their community -- people who make a difference in their community, use history in exciting ways, or reach out to engage new audiences in local history.

When in 1978 the once renowned Point Allerton U.S. Life-Saving Station was facing imminent destruction, Ed was one of a small community group that came together to restore both the building and the town of Hull’s awareness of its sing ular lifesaving heritage. From the museum’s earliest days, Ed recognized the need to effectively communicate the relevance of the lifesaving station’s history to current and future generations. His unique vision of “skills as artifacts” worthy of preservation, care, and perpetuation, has made the museum a national leader in responsive, accessible, community-based programming. The “Skills, Courage, and Caring” that were embl ematic of the lifesavers’ deeds are now the inspiration and outcome of the museum& #8217;s work, which i ncludes programs for young people on the S outh Shore and year-round after schoo l and summer job t raining programs for under-served and at-risk greater Boston youth.

Over the past 25 yea rs, Ed’s infectious blend of passion for history and excitement for the future has allowed the museum to reach broad and diverse constituencies, while placing equal emphasis on historic preserva tion and educational outreach. In 1996 the museum co-founded, w ith the National Park Service, the U.S. Lifesaving Ser vice Heritage Asso ciation, creating a nation al forum for research, knowledge, and preservation. As the museum’s Maritime Program Director, Ed McCabe has been the primary force in the United St ates behind the revival of traditional open-water rowing boats as a teaching and character development tools for young people. Ed is responsible for bringing the Pilot Gig to the United States as the central boat design in that educational movement. He is also the chief designer and senior teacher in the museum’s community outreach programs that directly serve over 400 youths annually, creating programs and curricula that have been recognized for their excellence by the U.S. Department of Labor, the Department of Environmental Management, the Mayor of Boston, and the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Since 1978, over 30 sister programs have evolved throughout the United States (and in Cork County, Ireland) that model themselves directly on the museum’s - and Ed’s - work in this arena. His impact on the lives of the children of our region has been astonishing.

Ed McCabe was awarded the honor at the Bay State Historical League’s Annual Conference on May 25, 2004, in Lexington, MA. To learn more about the Lifesaving Museum and Ed McCabe’s work, visit the museum’s website:

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