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Posted April, 2017
Spring Has Sprung at the RFM!
It’s blustery and very cold right now, but that’s not deterring 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.
The public opening was SATURDAY, APRIL 1st at 10:30am. We’re now open on weekends (except Easter Sunday) until May 1st. Then we’re open Tues-Sat 10:30-4:30pm, Sun 1-4pm
“RFM” in maritime signal flags!
Hurricane Lee Arrives!
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, nick-named “Hurricane Lee” by the town council and employees of Culpeper, VA, 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.
At the upcoming Annual Membership Meeting on February 26th at Festival Halle, Lee regaled us with her vision for the next 30 years – and explained how this wonderful Museum will strive to become “the best small community museum in the Northern Neck.”
Museum Receives $12,000 Grant
The Reedville Fishermen’s Museum has been awarded a $12,000 grant from Dominion Resources, parent company of Dominion Virginia Power. The grant is 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. This year, Dominion is awarding $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 will use the funds to repair and equip the 1911 skipjack, the Claud W. Somers, and ready her to pass upgraded U.S. Coast Guard certification. Shawn Hall, the museum director, says this would permit the sailing vessel to carry up to 16 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)
Posted May 9th
Volunteer Docents Needed!
The Reedville Fishermen’s Museum needs some help from our local area followers here on Facebook. We are in severe need of new docents to man the gift shop and guide our visitors through the museum. During museum open hours, these volunteers are the only ones who keep it open! 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 too difficult to learn. We are very short of available people due to losses through health issues and others who have passed. Please contact the museum office at 453.6529 if you would like to join our wonderful volunteer force! Thank you so much.
**This memorial will be unveiled and dedicated on Saturday, May 28th, at 2 pm. The public is welcome to attend this very important event. Limited seats will be available for relatives of those honored on the monument. Please feel free to bring your own chairs for sitting on the museum lawn during the service.**
This project is 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. 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.
Posted April 18th