A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of visiting The Chesapeake Wooden Boat Builders School in Havre de Grace Maryland. It was a chance encounter that turned into a great time. I was in town to photograph the Concord Point Lighthouse (future post) and came upon a gentleman nearby who was opening what appeared to be a boat repair shop. Little did I know that the place was an actual school where they teach the craft of building and restoring wooden boats, mainly canoes. There were canoes inside that dated to 1940 and earlier. Talk about a great find, I was like a kid in a candy boat shop. :-) By the way, the town is located on the headwaters of the Chesapeake Bay where the Susquehanna River empties into it.
Tim (the gentleman I met) gave me the grand tour of the place and told me some great stories about the school's heritage and some history regarding this craft. There were even some old photographs inside to take me back to a bygone era. Speaking of photos, I posted this multi-processed shot of Oars and Canoes a week or so ago. Not far from the corner where I found that image I took the shot below.
Each of these canoes has been restored, saved from the scrap heap where they would likely have been burned to ashes. I learned a good deal about the restoration process while there, which is quite fascinating. The school's mission is to teach wooden boat building skills from readily available materials. It's there way of preserving the maritime heritage of the upper Chesapeake Bay. This is old fashioned boat building at it's very best.
Such a pleasurable visit was this that I plan to go again sometime soon. I promised the Co-Director, Mr. Bud Gillis that I would.
As you can see and as one might expect, an operation like this calls for a little creativity to get some photos, as you're working in close quarters.
Below I converted the image above to B&W.
If you are ever in Havre de Grace Maryland, you must swing by this place. It's located just below the Maritime Museum at 100 LaFayette Street.
We'll have a look at some other shots from the school soon.
Thanks for visiting!
Photography of Interest on