Crafted in pewter by Salisbury Fine Metal Artisans at their Easton factory, the 2019 Christmas Ornament commissioned by the Tilghman Watermen’s Museum is now available for purchase. This year’s design, the 6th in their unique collection relating to Tilghman history, features the Chesapeake Bay Skipjack.
Now designated as the last working boats under sail in the United States, skipjacks were developed in the Chesapeake Bay Region around 1890 to dredge oysters at the bottom of the bay. A boom in the oyster industry began after the Civil War as innovations in packing and transportation opened a national market. An estimated 2,000 Skipjacks were built in the region before World War II. Changing technology and declining harvests reduced the dredging fleet to fewer than a dozen by the year 2003. Tilghman is still home to several working skipjacks.
The name ‘skipjack’ refers to fish such as skipjack herring, or skipjack mackerel that leap in and out of the water. Skipjacks can sometimes resemble the fish as they come about quickly to make continuous passes or “licks” over oyster beds. Ranging in length from 25 to 50 feet, the hearty skipjack is known for speed and is powerful in light winds. Skipjacks have a shallow draft with centerboard and carry a single mast, two-sail sloop rig. The skipjack was designated the official state boat of Maryland in 1985. The oldest, Rebecca T. Ruark, built in 1886, resides in Dogwood Harbor in Tilghman and has been named a National Historic Landmark. The remaining fleet were listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Ornaments are offered for purchased for $20.00 which includes tax. They are available at the museum, located in the Lee House at 6031 Tilghman Island Road, and at the Two if by Sea Restaurant located at 5776 Tilghman Island Road. On-line purchases can be made by visiting the museum website: www.tilghmanmuseum.org, or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Phone orders will be taken at 410-886-2930.
The Tilghman Watermen’s Museum is in their eleventh year of celebrating, documenting, preserving and sharing the history, traditions, heritage and culture of Tilghman Island. The museum is open on weekends from 10:00AM to 3:00PM. Off hour tours are available by calling 410-886-2930 or 410-886-1190. For additional information, contact us by email: email@example.com or visit our website: www.tilghmanmuseum.org