Jay Martin: Professional maritime historian hired for Maritime Museum

Historians in the News

The Lake Pontchartrain Basin Maritime Museum in Madisonville has appointed a new executive director, the first in the museum's history who is a professional maritime historian with experience in grantwriting.

Jay Martin, who most recently worked as a park ranger performing historic re-enactments at the De Soto National Memorial in Bradenton, Fla., will start his new job at the beginning of May.

Martin has a Ph.D. in history from Bowling Green State University in Ohio, where he wrote his thesis on life aboard North American commercial sailing vessels in the 19th and early 20th centuries. According to his resume, he was executive director of a World War II maritime memorial in Tampa, Fla., for almost three years and director of the Wisconsin Maritime Museum for four years.

"I can say we're just tickled to death about him accepting the job," said Jay Blossman, president of the museum's board of directors. "We're looking forward to his expertise at the Maritime Museum. It's a great addition to the facility."

With an annual budget of around $200,000, the museum has never had the resources to hire an executive director with a background in the field. Southeastern Louisiana University, the museum's research partner, has agreed to split the cost of Martin's salary as well as provide him with benefits, in return for which Martin will teach classes or do other work for the school.

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