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‘Lorachris’ to highlight festival Pierwalk attractions


by Bill Powell
Special Events Director
Deltaville Maritime Museum

Do the opulence and elegance of the watercraft of yesteryear get you starry-eyed and misty? Then cast yourself back in time over 100 years with the beautifully hand-crafted Victorian-era launch, “Lorachris,” by Urbanna-area resident Ray Rodgers. The boat will be on display Saturday, October 10, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Deltaville Maritime Museum Pierwalk at the Holly Point Art & Seafood Festival.

Named after Rodgers’ two daughters, Rachael and Chris, and their close friend’s daughter, Lori, “Lorachris” took over 20 months to design and build. Rodgers selected an Elliot Bay steam launch as his base design, and using skills honed as a designer for Atlantic Metals in Topping, added a cabin and the other missing elements. With the exception of those parts too heavy or awkward for one man, he personally crafted and installed every piece of this elegant craft.

Rodgers will be at the October 10 festival to show off his craft and answer any questions.

The Pierwalk will be humming at this year’s festival. The proud “Crocketeers” of “F.D. Crockett” restoration are “strutting their stuff” as well. With the engine installed, the pilot house in her proper place, and the mast in, “Crockett” is looking much more like a real buyboat these days. John England and his hardy crew of volunteers will be on hand.

Jon Brauns and Quigg Lawrence, new owners of the Deltaville-built converted buyboat “Iva W” have graciously consented to have her on full display for the festival. Currently being “gussied up” and undergoing maintenance and repairs in preparation for her appearance at the Urbanna Oyster Festival, “Iva” is a stately craft that always brings “ooo’s and ahh’s” from her visitors.

The 52-foot drystack Tangier crabber “Cynthia Lou” and her captain Freddy Wheatley and wife Cindy will be back this year. This hardy Deltaville-built deadrise workboat and her captain will come directly from her crabbing grounds on late Friday afternoon to the museum’s waterfront on Mill Creek. Wheatley loves to talk with all comers about his experiences on the Bay with “Cynthia.”

Also on the dock will be the skipjack “Virginia,” the Potomac River Dory “Lillian B,” and several Wright skiffs for rowing. “Explorer,” the museum’s replica of Captain John Smith’s 1608 Bay exploration shallop, will be on hand to give visitors rides and “that 17th-century rowing experience.” Those colonists did this for how many days? Kaptain Krunch will be on board to make the experience a memorable one.

Some, but not all, of the boats at the Pierwalk will be available for boarding. Please wear boat or tennis shoes if you plan to board. The floating dock will be available for those who attend the festival by water. A water access guide to the museum is available online at the museum’s website or at the museum.

Deltaville Maritime Museum and Holly Point Nature Park is at 287 Jackson Creek Road and on Mill Creek in Deltaville. Signs on Route 33 directs motorists to the museum or just turn right across from the NAPA store. Visit for more information or call 776-7200.

posted 09.30.2009

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