By Associated Press - Thursday, June 2, 2016

CHICAGO (AP) - The Chicago Maritime Museum has a new permanent location for the thousands of artifacts it uses to guide visitors through history stretching from Native American canoeists and French fur traders to steam-powered vessels and recreational sailing.

The museum will open to the public Saturday at its new location in the Bridgeport Art Center on the Bubbly Creek branch of the Chicago River.

Museum Vice President Dirk Lohan says the institution aims to be recognized as the leading authority on the Chicago area’s waterways and their historical significance.

Since 1982, the museum has amassed more than 6,000 artifacts, including watercraft, models, books and art.

Museum President Jerry Thomas says the collection tells the story of how Chicago’s docks welcomed European immigrants and helped slaves escape to Canada.

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