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Rokeby's tiny boat poses historic puzzle

by Andy Kirkaldy 10 Feb 16:10 UTC
Rokeby Museum Director Catherine Brooks, left, furniture maker and boatbuilder Don Dewees and conservationist Rick Kerschner stand with a child's boat that was found in a museum outbuilding and is now being conserved and readied for exhibition. © Trent Campbell

A couple months back volunteers at Ferrisburgh’s Rokeby Museum were going through the historic landmark’s outbuildings, evaluating them for possible conservation work or repairs, when they made a discovery — a small, painted wooden boat, just short of six feet long and in rough shape.

A more perfect match of treasure hunters and bounty would be hard to imagine.

Among the volunteers were Ferrisburgh woodworker and longtime Lake Champlain Maritime Museum employee and volunteer Don Dewees, and another Ferrisburgh resident, Rick Kerschner, a former head of conservation at the Shelburne Museum.

After research they and Rokeby Executive Director Catherine Brooks believe that the 67-inch-long boat, with the name “Lucy” on its stern, is about 150 years old; was built in Newport, R.I.; and probably belonged to a relative of the Robinson family that prospered as farmers at Rokeby in the 1800s and were avid abolitionists, writers and artists.

To read more please go to the original article.

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