Thursday, May 11, 2006

A Boat in Downtown Dover

A Shallop
An exhibit on 17th Century Delaware opened at the State Archives Building today. As part of the opening celebration, a replica of the boat Captain John Smith used to explore the Chesapeake Bay was (dry)docked outside the old part of the Archives Building today.

Smith used a boat like this -- about 30 feet long and built in two pieces for shipping across the Atlantic -- to explore the Chesapeake and many of its tributaries 400 years ago.

Some researchers recently used GIS tools to study John Smith's logs, map out his travels, and figure out that Smith and his crew came far enough up the Nanticoke River to have entered into what is now Delaware. So, of course, we now claim him as one of our own.

I love boats; especially wooden, sailing-type boats. I love the rigging, and planking, and ropes. So, of course, I took a small series of photos.

1 comment:

Nancy Willing said...

I had a chance to visit with Newark's famed historian, Jim Owens a few months before he passed this year.
We sat at his kitchen table and looked at the assemblage of maps and other research I had concerning the Cooches Bridge area and its long story back in time.
The Iron Hill was mined for Iron..that brought the Welsh-Swedes and Finns who Penn lured here to keep the then wild western elements at bey.....The Minqua Indians had set up a fort on the Iron Hill (they were the Susquehanna Iroquois) even to the later 1600's.
My theory is that the 12 mile radius made from New Castle was REALLY all about the 12 miles to the Iron Hill marker and PA Piedmont (the natural land marker dividing the Iroquois from the Algonquin and Christiana watershed,territories set long before the white man and fur trade).

ANYWAY, Jim Owens sat looking at my copy of the John Smith map of the Chesapeake and he pointed to the cross atop a hill near what is now Newark and Jim said...I think Smith got to the Iron Hill and that this is the Iroon Hill.

Excitedly I agreed that I had thought the very same thing...

Now there will be a National Smith Trail...here's to James Owen and historians all!!

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