ST. MICHAELS — The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum has recently welcomed Michael Rogers of Trappe, as a shipwright, along with three professional shipwright apprentices to work on the 2016-2018 log-hull restoration of the historic 1889 bugeye Edna E. Lockwood. Joining Mr. Rogers on the project are apprentices Spencer Sherwood of Newport Beach, Calif., Lauren Gaunt of Pleasant Ridge, Mich., and Michael Allen of Barrington, R.I. The two-year restoration project is being managed by CBMM Boatyard Manager Michael Gorman and Shipwright J. Maris (Joe) Connor, rounding off a dedicated team of shipwrights, apprentices, and volunteers.
CBMM’s professional shipwright apprentice program is underwritten through philanthropic support, and provides recent wooden boatbuilding school graduates on-the-job training through the restoration and maintenance of the largest collection of Chesapeake Bay watercraft in the world. All Edna Lockwood apprenticeships take place over one year, with the opportunity to renew for a second year through the project’s completion.
The team is restoring CBMM’s queen of the fleet and National Historic Landmark Edna Lockwood by replacing her nine-log hull, in adherence to the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Historic Vessel Preservation. All work takes place in full public view at CBMM’s waterfront campus in St. Michaels, now through 2018.
“The opportunity to restore a log hull of this size and of such historical value is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the restoration team and the people who come to watch the process underway,” commented Mr. Gorman. “Our shipwright apprentices will be learning skills that they will teach to other shipwrights as they move along in their careers, ensuring this unique Chesapeake building technique is preserved.”
Mr. Rogers brings experience as a self-employed shipwright and schooner captain to the project. As a past owner of the bugeye Jenny Norman, which he also re-built, Mr. Rogers is looking forward to constructing and shaping the logs for the Edna Lockwood project, as well as working alongside his colleagues and apprentices in a teaching atmosphere. He studied physics at St. Mary’s College, and has lived in Baltimore, Maine and now Trappe. His first connection to the Chesapeake Bay came from sailing in the Baltimore Harbor.
With experience on the Saving Sylvia II restoration project in Wilmington, N.C., Mr. Sherwood is looking forward to learning more about traditional boatbuilding techniques while a Seip Family Foundation Shipwright Apprentice at CBMM. Mr. Sherwood attended Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C. and Cape Fear Community College in Wilmington, N.C., where a professor first introduced and connected him with the Chesapeake Bay.
Ms. Gaunt was first introduced to the Chesapeake Bay through the Great Lakes Boat Building School in Cedarville, Mich. Her boatbuilding interests began while studying art at Michigan’s Kalamazoo College, and later as an intern at the San Diego Maritime Museum. While interning, Ms. Gaunt helped with the San Salvador project, the construction of a historically accurate working replica of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo’s flagship San Salvador. CBMM’s Edna Lockwood will be Ms. Gaunt’s first historic restoration project. Ms. Gaunt is a Seip Family Foundation Shipwright Apprentice.
“My wife, Alexa, and I are thrilled to support the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum by sponsoring the Seip Family Foundation shipwright apprentices,” said CBMM Board Chairman Emeritus Tom D. Seip. “We can’t wait to see Edna Lockwood’s historic restoration as it progresses, and the new skills these apprentices will learn from the project and hopefully pass on to others.”
RPM Foundation Shipwright Apprentice Michaels Allen is experiencing his first connection with the Chesapeake Bay. With a background in arts administration at the University of Maine in Farmington, and boatbuilding at The Carpenter’s Boat Shop in Pemaquid, Maine, Mr. Allen looks forward to the milling of the loblolly pines that will be used for Edna’s hull. Mr. Allen also brings three years’ experience as a boatbuilder and carpenter from the nonprofit WaterFire Providence, in Providence, R.I.
“The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum is a very special place and RPM Foundation is delighted to support CBMM’s apprenticeship program,” said Diane Fitzgerald, president of the RPM Foundation. “We learned about CBMM through one of RPM’s Ambassadors, Bud McIntire — a boat-builder and a car guy! The weekend of our visit — Sept. 23-25 — was the perfect juxtaposition of RPM’s automotive and maritime focus, as we enjoyed the St. Michaels Concours at CBMM, and the grand opening of the Classic Motor Museum in historic St. Michaels.”
The Edna Lockwood historic log-hull restoration project is expected to take 25 months, with work on the logs now underway and completion of the vessel in late 2018.
Built in 1889 by John B. Harrison on Tilghman Island for Daniel W. Haddaway, Edna Lockwood dredged for oysters through winter, and carried freight — such as lumber, grain, and produce — after the dredging season ended. She worked faithfully for many owners, mainly out of Cambridge, until she stopped “drudging” in 1967. In 1973, Edna was donated to the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum by John R. Kimberly. Recognized as the last working oyster boat of her kind, Edna Lockwood was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1994. Edna is the last historic sailing bugeye in the world. More about the project, including progress videos, is at www.ednalockwood.org.
Established in 1965, the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum is a world-class maritime museum dedicated to preserving and exploring the history, environment, and people of the entire Chesapeake Bay, with the values of relevancy, authenticity, and stewardship guiding its mission. Serving nearly 70,000 guests each year, CBMM’s campus includes a floating fleet of historic boats and 12 exhibition buildings, situated in a park-like, waterfront setting along the Miles River and St. Michaels’ harbor. For more information, visit www.cbmm.org.