Rock Hall Marine Restoration & Heritage Center (RHMRHC) located in the historic Rock Hall Clam House, launched 2016 with a January 12th visit from the Rock Hall Elementary 5th Grade students, teachers and parents. The students visited the heritage center, which is housed in the historic Rock Hall Clam House, Tuesday, January 12th. Students experienced a full slate of hands-on activities highlighting life on the water, particularly fishing and boat building. The students were split into two groups with one group building old-fashioned boat bailers, which they took with them at the end of the day. The group learned nautical terminology and had an informal lesson on fishing boats, using a model of a skipjack to illustrate the differences between that and modern-day workboats. Meanwhile, the other group was busy stripping the deck of a Cricket boat built by Stanley Vansant in Rock Hall in 1920. There are very few wooden boat builders left, so experiencing that kind of work was an important element of the children’s visit.
In February with 3 B's Captains School held a license course at our facility. Captain John Sharp instructed the course and tested 5 students who successfully completed and obtain their captain's license. Please follow these links for the stories:
In April a Rock Hall built 1975 Benson DuVall 31 Chesapeake Classic was donated to RHMRHC. Benson "Mr. Benny" DuVall built thirteen boats from 24' to 32' feet in Rock Hall in the 1970's. They were constructed of wood for fishing charter party and pleasure use. Mr. Benny was not only a fisherman, boat designer and builder. He was a member of Kent County Board of Education from 1963 to 1980, serving as President of Board for ten years, a founding member of the Board of Trustees for Chesapeake College for seven years, Kent County Board of Recreation & Parks for five years. Mr. Benny also served ten years on the Rock Hall Town Council, as a member of the Planning Commission for six years and a member of the Board of Zoning Appeals for six years. He was a member and past master of the Mason’s Chester Lodge A.F. & A.M. #115 and a member of Rock Hall United Methodist Church. In 1975 he finally took the time to build himself a 31' boat that he named Orca and would use for fishing and taking family members and friends out on the Bay. Mr. Benny later sold Orca. Her name would be changed to June Bug and she would leave Rock Hall.
For the entire story on Mr. Benny and Orca please follow this link.
In May an Open House was held and guests and patrons enjoyed a day of music, local artwork, audio recordings, story telling and historic Rock Hall and Chesapeake vessels. The featured artist of the day was Marc Castelli. Food and refreshments included beer, wine, beverages, crab soup and catfish baskets.
Wendy Gilbert, Features Editor for Upper Bay Boating
Published "Another Gem In Rock Hall's Watery Crown Rock Hall Marine Restoration & Heritage Center" "If you want to make your town attractive to boaters, tourists and locals, you might need to take a page our of Rock Hall's playbook. Established in 1707, Rock Hall is home to award-winning marinas, marine service businesses, restaurants fishing and sail charters and is a favorite destination among Chesapeake Bay boaters."
Please follow this link to read the article.
Worton Elementary 1st Grade Students, teachers and parents had a working visit and a lunch of crab soup, fried fish and bread. Students learned basic boat painting and wood working techniques, line handling, nautical terms and a traditional Chesapeake song.
In June, the Worton Elementary 1st Grade students, teachers and parents had a visit and enjoyed a lunch of crab soup, fried fish and bread. Students learned basic boat painting and wood working techniques, line handling, nautical terms and a song about the Chesapeake Bay.
JJuly, August and September were spent working on projects, Orca and hosting visitors and tour groups.
In October RHMRHC participated in the Waterfront Enhancement Tour and Workshop as part of the Rock Hall Waterfront Master Plan. The tour and workshop focused on three areas that emerged as having the strongest interest from the initial Town of Rock Hall public meeting held in August 2016 and through the community on-line survey: Preserving and maintaining opportunities for water dependent businesses, enhancing the waterfront to attract more visitors, managing the waterfront to increase economic activity through heritage, and nature-based tourism and improving linkages to Rock Hall’s Main Street and nearby attractions.
For the full story please follow this link.
In November RHMRHC announced a fundraising raffle for a Mr. Goldy Vansant 16' Garvey. Mr. Goldy Vansant has been building his last boat, a 16 foot garvey, with apprentices Scratch Ashley, Liz Smith and other members of Rock Hall Marine Restoration and Heritage Center. This last Goldy Vansant boat is almost complete and will be raffled off for the benefit of our facility and operations.
Only 300 tickets will be sold at $20 a piece and the winner will be announced no later than July 4, 2017. Mr. Goldy Vansant is a famous Rock Hall Master Boat Builder who constructed many working and transport vessels for individuals and municipalities.
Please follow this link for story and pictures.
Please follow this link for raffle ticket information.
Our Fall Open House was held on November 5th and featured a crab soup cook off, oysters, Austin Walmsley models, the log canoe Mary Julia Hall and music.
RHMRHC began participating in the Maryland Grow Oysters (MGO) program in collaboration with the Chester River Association, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science's Horn Point Lab, the Oyster Recovery Partnership, and Washington College.
RHMRHC is wrapping up 2016 with continued fund raising efforts and have raffle tickets, name boards, books, photos and donated materials for sale. Our group are all volunteers, receiving no financial compensation from any individual, government, group or agency. RHMRHC operates as a nonprofit organization under Mid-Shore Community Foundation.
We currently rent spaces, pay expenses and operate in the Historic Rock Hall Clam House on Rock Hall Harbor. This facility is owned by Maryland Food Center Authority.
Donations and all funds raised go directly to our rent, expenses, operations, facility and vessel care, restorations and maintenance, equipment, educational, captain's license and children's programs.