Back in 2007, volunteers from the Mathews Maritime Foundation began teaching children from Thomas Hunter Middle School and the Mathews Boys & Girls Club the art of model boat building.
Saturday, June 29, 2019
Friday, June 28, 2019
In July of 2006, the Maritime Foundation moved its museum to the current location at 482 Main Street, Mathews Courthouse. The museum displays donated and loaned maritime artifacts, photos, and memorabilia. We recognize that these memories will be forgotten if not preserved! An official Open House for the museum was held the following February celebrating the heart of Mathews, its water.
Also in this year, the foundation held its very first Heritage Day, and produced its first Mathews Maritime Calendar, which featured on its cover the "Ellen Marie" built by L.R. and Alton Smith.
Thursday, June 13, 2019
Our first ever family boatbuilding event was held for a week in July 2005. It was held in conjunction with Wooden Boat Magazine's 3rd Annual Family Boat Building Week.
Family and friends worked together with a professional boat builder to build a Bevins skiff, a 13 ft. flat bottom wooden skiff, that they could take home with them once complete. The boat was in kit form with all pieces and parts pre-cut and ready for assembly.
Open to anyone, families and friends acquired boat-building skills, but also cooperation, developing a strong sense of pride in each other as they got to see the value of each person's contribution to the task. "It's not 10 families building 10 boats, but 10 families seeing to it that 10 boats get built."
Monday, June 10, 2019
The boat donor program got its start in 2004 thanks to the generosity of the people of Mathews and the surrounding area. The program received 11 boats, and sold 7 of them, raising $6,575. Newly donated boats were stored at the Gwynn's Island Boatel, owned and operated at that time by David and Patty Fitch. Shown in our boat donor photo are Joe Ortiz and Jack Galbraith. The Foundation also received national recognition in Chesapeake Bay magazine the same year.
Here it is, the video by Adam Vrooman, Mathews County Maritime Legacy. Adam created the video for the Mathews Maritime Foundation back in 2003, while working to reach Eagle Scout.
Transferred from VHS tape (thank you Dave Machen) it pops, crackles and jumps, but is still such a good project, we had to include it.
Back in 2003, Adam Vrooman, working to earn his Eagle Scout rating, created the Mathews Maritime Foundation’s very first video titled "Mathews County A Maritime Legacy". This outstanding project explores the county's prominent waterways, boat-building families, types of vessels built, and ties local landmarks and events to our maritime timeline. The video is still a wonderful example of why the Maritime Foundation exists. Thank you Adam.
Investigation into the history of the boat-building industry of Mathews County was conducted by trained archaeologists, Ned Lawless and Wyatt Vrooman. They started working around 1999, from records in Wyatt’s possession that indicated areas in the county where shipways had been in operation. At that time they identified a dozen or so sites, but had not done extensive digs at any of them. And so, in 2001, official digs began. One such site was located on Blackwater Creek.
Ned and Wyatt were the founders of the Mathews Maritime Foundation.
In the year 2000, as a newly established Mathews Maritime Foundation, we received grants from the Treakle and Owens Foundations and the Mathews Market Days Committee.
How grateful we are to these two organizations for giving us that jumpstart.
And, also, the Mathews residents that believed that our county's maritime history was too often overlooked. It's because of them, their interests, ideas, their vision, that we exist. Thank you!
In 1999, Amy & Wyatt Vrooman, Ned & Dia Lawless, and Jim Wood incorporated the Mathews Maritime Foundation.
This non-profit organization would be dedicated to preserving, protecting and displaying examples of the rich and extensive maritime heritage of Mathews County through research, conservation, documentation and education. Originally the foundation had a long-term goal of establishing a living history museum and shipyard that accurately depicted the lives of individuals participating in the Mathews shipbuilding industry during the 19th century.