Friday, January 29, 2010

Shipbuilding


Here's a shot of the marsh looking towards the bay at Aaron's Beach. Every time I come here I see something different. This place always puts me at ease (except in the summer time when horseflies and fiddler crabs are rampant).

Recently I stole a friend's copy acquired a copy of the book "Mathews County Panorama: A Pictorial History of Mathews County 1791 - 1941" by the Mathews County Historical Society. It's jam packed with morsels of history and delicious old pictures.

(For the time being, let's not dwell on the fact that pictures are not normally delicious, let's just say that as I write this I'm starving and could probably eat an old picture, no problem. Update as of Thursday night: No, I cannot eat an old picture. I will not be eating again until the year 2014. 2014 also represents my current weight thanks to a little thing called meals and incidentals expenses which are all covered as part of my business travel .)

Below is an excerpt from the chapter "Sea and Soil - Our Pride and Wealth," page 9, which talks about the county's strong roots and prominent role in the shipbuilding industry:

"Mathews County was well established as a shipbuilding center in 1791 and remained so well into the 1830s and 1840s. This was not a new phenomenon but an industry which had grown steadily since the mid 1700s. Prior to that, the evidence suggests that Kingston Parish had produced watermen and an extensive local maritime industry by 1690.

In 1777, Mathews men built, on Pepper Creek, the largest ship in the Virginia State Navy. By 1790 as many as twelve ships a year (over20 tons each) were being built in the county. This maritime industry and the necessary transport of materials to support it created a surplus of food and goods in the county. The demand for Mathews vessels increased as wars abroad and at home (between 1792 and 1815) used the fast small ships produced here."

Mathews has a foundation and museum dedicated to preserving the county's maritime heritage. Click here for a link to the Mathews Maritime Museum. Below is what their About Us page has to say:

The Mathews Maritime Museum, owned and operated by the Mathews Maritime Foundation, is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation dedicated to preserving the maritime history of Mathews County, Virginia.

The framework of the Foundation grew out of the interest, ideas, and visions of a few Mathews residents who believed that the county's rich maritime history is often overlooked. In January of 1999, the Foundation incorporated and began steps toward accomplishing its long term goals; a living history museum and a shipyard accurately depicting the lives of individuals participating in the shipbuilding industry during the early 19th century.

The Foundation's future... picture this...
As you walk down the oyster shell paths you are taken back to an earlier time, a time when Mathews County was sustained by the artisans of the shipbuilding trade. You are greeted by the sights and sounds of a 19th century Chesapeake Bay fishing village alive with blacksmiths, coopers, sail makers, shipwrights, and others. Relax, enjoy, and participate while friendly costumed interpreters lead you on a journey through the maritime and cultural history of Mathews County.

Our logo is the schooner "EXPERIMENT", built on the East River in 1808. It is typical of the more than 2,000 seagoing vessels built in Mathews during the 18th and 19th centuries
.


I confess I've never been to the museum but plan to remedy that this year. Perhaps we'll add it and the Gwynn's Island Museum to the Blog Fest 2010 tour.

It's Friday!

23 comments:

Mathews Mark said...

There is nothing finer than a Chesapeake Deadrise running up the bay. The men and women (and wifes they work just as hard}that keep these boats working have earn my respect. there are very few left. GOD BLESS THEM. Most of the boats that are left were built local. Owens,Diggs,Deagle,Row,Edwards,Haywood,Hudgins, just a few names of the great boat builders of Mathews. I get teary eyed Just thinking about the last one heading down the bay. I hope I don't see it in my life time! Give me the names of the work boats you have been on,seen or what ever, You will be hard pressed to fine one named after a guy.My grand daddy says its bad luck.well I see the Seagull comin,Guess I will talk to him before he flies away from the storm. Stay out of the ditches. MM

ghostless said...

With all the fancy new boats out there, my husband would love to have an old Chesapeake Deadrise. I had to look it up on Google to see what he was talking about. I would love to tour the museum. Thanks for pointing it out.

Mathews Mark said...

Last conversation with the Gull: Seagull: Hay ass@#@#@ how is the party going. Mark: its not (smoke rising in the back ground) and don't call me ass@##@!Seagull: sorry ass@#@#, bad storm comin got to go north. Mark: NORTH i though you flew south to get away from storms. Seagull: not this one 6-12 inches comin out of the south worst one in years, may have some ice also.Mark: what are you a weather man know? Seagull: just as good as the one on tv. You better tell your fat friend CBW to get home or what is left of her home.Mark; What did I tell you about the word "FAT" an women.Seagull: oh yea (BAM)///// seagull laying dead from a shotgun blast. Mark: Hi Ann Marie, nice shot. I tried to tell him to fly you north,but he had to mess with the goose again. Mark: you could have waited until he paid me the 20 he owed me. (BAM)//// Mark shot in the leg . Damn girl you are serrious about getting up north, here have a glass of wine ( some left from CBW's party). ///////////////////////////////////thats it for the seagull.Get ready for 6-12 in snow. Question: why do all of the no driving people (people that can't drive worth a Damn, for you northerners) head for the local watering hole in the middle of the storm? MM

Meg @ Soup Is Not A Finger Food said...

Yes, let's do the museum!

Mark, I think you've got blog potential with a daily conversation with the gull.

Mathews Mark said...

By the Way regardless of what the seagull says we all no that CBW does not have a fat cell in her body!

mmm said...

MM, nice CYA on the fat cells... oops, wrong party... later dudes...

Mathews Mark said...

MMM hey brother did not no I could write did ya... I know I know you still don't ha ha!!! love ya man MM

mmm said...

Love you too Man! (God, what will all the women on this blog say, think... about that).

Keep talking to that Seagull... and, be cool bro!

Jamie said...

I've never been to the Mathews Maritime Museum... love the one on Gwynn's Island though.

Ann Marie said...

Well Mathews Mark.. I am going to have to debunk your statement of being "hard pressed" to find one named after a guy.
The Thomas E and the LR Smith (both of which were owned by my great grandfather) were named after guys.
The Thomas E was named after my great uncle Thomas Everette Owens and the LR Smith was named after the builder of the boat itself as when it was built the buyer did not know what to name it and made the statment name it what you want.. so the builder named it after himself.
So there are two right there..
How about Twin Brothers.. (named after dudes) Want me to continue?
heheheheeheheh

Ann Marie said...

HAHAHAHAHAHAAH OMG MM i actually deleted the LAST line of my post.. where it says would you like me to continue actually said would you like me to continue or just go ahead and shoot you now and I deleted it PRIOR TO READING you seagull convo LOL

Maria from NJ said...

I thought you'd appreciate this:

MY LIVING WILL

Last night, my family and I were sitting in the living room and I said to them, 'I never want to live in a vegetative state, dependent on some machine and fluids from a bottle. If that ever happens, just pull the plug.'

They got up, unplugged the Computer, and threw out my wine.

They are SO on my shit list ...

Noe Noe Girl...A Queen of all Trades. said...

It's Friday~ yay! And we are one day closer to NYC!
<><
yep Meg~MM needs to get a blog :)
ps-CBW,BHE and AM you will not believe this.....
WV....nicks!

Caution Flag said...

When I look at your pictures, I'm always surprised how flat it is there. Evidently it's not flat here or I wouldn't be noticing that.

Daryl said...

Mark, hon, you and the Gull need spell check ... or if there is a word check that would be even better...

And .. 13 days til NYC!!!!!!!!

TSannie said...

Sounds like a plan!

Brit gals call a good looking man "delicious" and particularly tasty meals "gorgeous". Go figure.

Ann Marie said...

Since it appears that MM has been ducking me all day.. (notice he disappeared as soon as I showed up) BLAM! BLAM! (reload) BLAM! BLAM!
Let's see if THAT gets his attention.

Mental P Mama said...

I think it's time for MM and bro to get their own blog....

Mathews Mark said...

AM: no not ducking you but the aim you have maybe I should be! You are right there some chesapeake's out there with guy names.I just went to Gwynn's Island to get some people ready for the storm and I saw The Three Brothers and The three Sons. Thats what I get for thinking with out coffee. I knew you would know more about this than me. Thanks for correcting Me on this. And Daryl you are right. I write like I talk sorry feel free to correct me at any time. Or maybe I can just stop writing. MM

Ann Marie said...

GASP!!! MM is threatening to leave. (aiming for feet) BLAM! BLAM! (reload) that should do it.. you go NO WHERE my shot footed friend!

and FYI I write like I talk too.

Mathews Mark said...

MPM: my brother may have his own blog ,don't no. Me never will as Daryl says no writing skills. This is just MM signin off. its been fun!

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Oh, how happy I am to be writing comments from the comfort of my very quiet home on the eve of a massive snowstorm.

Mathews Mark and Mathews Mountain Man (MMM), it's great to have you on here. You're both exceptionally talented individuals (even if one spells better than the other)who can tell a good story, and I am honored to call you friends. Also, MMM, don't worry about sharing the love. It's families who don't share the love who scare me--lots. I love your whole family, esp. Pookie. So there. It's a love fest.

Speaking of FEST, MMM needs to make a concerted effort to attend at least one part of this summer's Blog Fest. Mathews Mark is already signed up whether he knows it or not.

To everyone else - thank you for commenting, as always it's the highlight of my day.

mmm said...

Feeling the love... oh yeah.