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Heritage of local boat builders remembered

The history of Gloucester and Mathews counties revolves around the Chesapeake Bay and those who worked its waters for generations.

Those old enough to recall the days when buyboats came in and out of the harbors will tell you that many of the vessels were crafted by local boatbuilders. Today, there are those who work to keep the history of these artisans and their boats from being forgotten.

The Guinea Heritage Association has done its own work to preserve the history of watermen. Last fall, GHA ran a Facebook promotion, asking the community to send in pictures and stories of the old boats and watermen of Guinea. Many members of the community answered the call, sending in photos of not only boats but paintings and boat models, as well. One such boat was the Ella K.

GHA board member Hamilton Williams is somewhat of an expert of that old buyboat. The boat was built in 1918 by the well-known Smith family for John King, who was the uncle of Hamilton’s first wife. Over the years, ...

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