Ahoy All! March 1881. We’re headed up river from Greenville to Tarboro aboard Captain Alph Styron’s Washington-built steam boat Tarboro. She’s the lightest draft boat ever placed on the river, drawing only 8” (yes inches) without cargo. She’ll be gathering up to 250 bales of cotton, farm products and passengers, and delivering finished goods to Tarboro merchants.
The Historic Port of Washington Project and Museum is beginning a new chapter in our development. In May we were rapidly outgrowing our spaces at 132 S. Market Street, and working with limited financial and volunteer resources. Therefore, we decided to close the Market Street location and develop a more accommodating and cost-effective distributed museum concept. We will be displaying artifacts, and promoting history presentations at the Brown Library, and the Estuarium, where directors have kindly allowed us to continue our mission. We hope this plan will allow local and visiting history fans to enjoy the information displays and artifacts at convenient locations, and for longer visiting hours than we could at our previous location.
We also continue to work toward our vision of a large comprehensive, multimedia, maritime museum facility in downtown Washington. Here we will preserve, display, and demonstrate treasured artifacts and our “living history” for all to enjoy before they are lost to private collections and fading memories. The Historic Port of Washington Project, Inc. is now incorporated in North Carolina and we have applied to the IRS for our 501(c)3 tax exempt status. This will allow us to apply for a variety of state and national grants to help us grow and share Washington’s maritime history with you, your family, and visitors. We would love to have you share your time, talent, and treasure with us and your community at whatever degree is comfortable for you. We want our programs to be fun events for presenters, participants, and spectators.
Our current initiatives include; retrieving and researching donated materials from supporting donors and their estates, identifying and documenting their details, and valuing them. How did these items contribute to our history and future? This work is being led by local historian Blount Rumley and his team of two. They would love to share this adventure with you. Please contact Blount at 252-945-4495. We also plan to create live “history moments” and other presentations at our two locations, and would love to have your ideas and participation. Please contact our VP and historian Ray Midgett, 704-813-8197 to help with this adventure.
Well, the current is getting stronger as we approach Tarboro and there are lots of snags to be mindful of so Captain Styron and crew better focus on getting us safely upriver. Rick Zablocki, HPOW President, and dreaming the role of Pilot, steam boat Tarboro. 252-945-4472