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Posted June, 2017
Summer Has Sprung at the RFM!
It’s blustery and very cold right now, but that did not deter the hardy staff, board and volunteers in their quest to get the Museum and its campus all “ship shape” for the 2017 season.
We opened to the Members & Media so they could preview the new exterior way-finding signage, color schemes, and “tweaks” to the displays and long-term exhibits. New this season: KidsKorners, nine hands-on interactives for children young and old – these units are there to helps kids “discover” the spirit and adventures of the lower Chesapeake Bay, and Cockrell’s Creek. So far the reaction from parents, grandparents and kids has been very positive!
We’re now open Tues-Sat 10:30-4:30pm, Sun 1-4pm for the “season”
“RFM” in maritime signal flags!
Six Months In…
Lee Langston-Harrison, a veteran museum professional with forty years experience in the field, arrived in the office on Monday, January 23rd with the fierce winds coming up the coast in one of our many winter storms. Langston-Harrison has moved to Reedville to set up housekeeping and her office… she’s rarin’ to go, and welcomes one and all to stop by for a visit.
Change, it seems, isn’t always welcomed. And in the five plus months Lee’s been in charge, there hasn’t been complete smooth sailing at the Museum. However, Langston-Harrison is determined to listen, learn, and, when needed, alter her course of action to honor the past, while moving the institution forward. Residents, colleagues, docents, volunteers, Board members, and staff are welcome to stop by and talk!
Museum Receives $12,000 Grant
In 2016 The Reedville Fishermen’s Museum was awarded a $12,000 grant from Dominion Resources, parent company of Dominion Virginia Power. The grant was part of Dominion’s annual competitive program to support environmental projects that protect and preserve natural habitats, improve open spaces, make nature accessible or educate the public about environmental stewardship.
In 2016 Dominion awarded $1 million in environmental grants through its philanthropic arm, the Dominion Foundation. “We are proud to support the Reedville Fishermen’s Museum as they work to protect natural resources and make its community more livable and enjoyable,” said Hunter A. Applewhite, president of the Dominion Foundation. “It’s very rewarding to support their efforts because they align well with our mission to conserve and promote the health and beauty of the environment in the places we call home.”
The museum used the funds to repair and equip the 1911 skipjack, the Claud W. Somers, and readied her to pass upgraded U.S. Coast Guard certification. Shawn Hall, the former museum director, stated that this would permit the sailing vessel to carry up to 15 passengers, in addition to her all-volunteer Captain and crew, and to serve as a sea-going platform for a variety of education modules. “It is a tremendous opportunity for the museum to have the Somers back in full service and at the same time, expand our educational programs. We are deeply appreciative of the support from the Dominion Foundation” says Hall.
The Somers, listed on the National Register of Historic Sites, will enhance the museum’s public education programs that include the heritage of Chesapeake watermen and their boats, the history of the oyster, crab and menhaden fisheries and the biology and ecosystem of these important species. Captain Gerhard Straub is excited that the Somers will provide the public (visitors, school groups and private charters) with not only an exciting tour on the Bay but also hands-on skills and experience. The museum’s education committee chair, Dr. Kim Schmidt, says “The Dominion grant will enable us to promote environmental stewardship by presenting lessons from the past, inspiring an appreciation of the watermen and the Bay and motivating the public to respect and protect both.”
Left to Right: Pete Kauneckas (Museum Boat Shop Chair), Becky Haynie (Museum Volunteer, Retired Dominion Employee), Cindy Balderson (Manager, Dominion Foundation), Bruce Soles (Dominion Construction Supervisor), James Beazley (Dominion State & Local Affairs), Bill Brent (President of Museum Board), Gerhard Straub (Claud Somers Captain), Dr. Kim Schmidt (Museum Education Committee Chair/Board Member), Jacob Hayden (Dominion Local Supervisor – Lively), Anita Powell (Dominion State & Local Affairs), Sue Lindsey (Museum’s Living Shoreline Garden Manager)
ATTENTION VOLUNTEERS! Interested in History?
Volunteer Docents Are in Great Demand!
The Reedville Fishermen’s Museum needs some help from our local area residents and friends. We are in need of new docents to man the gift shop and guide our visitors through the museu and its campus. Shifts are only 3 1/2 hours long. There are two docents per shift and two shifts per day. If you can spare time to volunteer for one or two shifts per month, it would make a huge difference! You can even pick which days of the week you would like to help. Complete training is provided and it is not difficult to learn.
Please contact the museum office at 453.6529 if you would like to join our wonderful volunteer force! Thank you so much.
This memorial was unveiled and dedicated on Saturday, May 28th, 2016 at 2 pm.
This project was a cooperative effort between the Reedville Fishermen’s Museum and the Kilmarnock Museum. More than 70 names of watermen who have perished while at sea are inscribed on the monument. Extensive research was conducted to establish the names listed. As new entries are identified, they will also be added to the memorial. This is the first of its kind on the Northern Neck and is a long overdue recognition of those brave souls who gave their all in pursuit of the menhaden, the fish which provided has provided a living for many generations of Northern Neck watermen. The monument features an obelisk almost 8′ tall, with names engraved into the black granite on the four sides of the lower shaft. The base will have the quotations shown above. It will be prominently featured on the street side of the museum, just off the gravel parking lot adjacent to the Walker House. More information and photographs will be added after the unveiling and dedication.