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Tour ‘Iva W.’ Saturday at the Maritime Museum

Seventy-seven years of working boat history will be open to the public at the Deltaville Maritime Museum this Saturday, Nov. 29. The 60-foot “Iva W.” built in 1929 as a buyboat by John Wright for Captain Johnny Ward of Deltaville, and restored and converted in 1998 as a floating “Bed and Breakfast,” will be available for tours from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“Iva W.” will be open for tours at the Pierwalk at the Deltaville Maritime Museum this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The original pilot house, engine room, hull, decks, shortened mast and lifting boom are still part of the craft. The sumptuous main salon, the bar, galley, master bath, captain’s quarters and fantail, all part of the conversion, will all be on view. A short “History of the Iva W.” will be available for interested parties. Museum volunteers will be on hand to answer questions.

“Iva W.” began her working career in 1929 with Captain Johnny Ward and his crew of three running her 24 hours a day, 6 days a week. They tonged oysters or fished crabs, depending on the season, bought enough extra catch to fill the decks from other watermen, and then headed north to Baltimore or Crisfield, Md., to sell. Heading back south empty, the cycle would begin all over again, not making homeport until Saturday evening. From the 1960s on, with road transportation being more reliable, she continued her career carrying and planting “seed” oysters for reef replenishment.

After her purchase and conversion in 1998 by Art Wolfe and Merrilee Ives, the “Iva W.” moved to South Florida where she pursued a more genteel career. Art and Merrilee took up to three couples on custom eco-tours lasting from two hours to two weeks. She also catered dockside parties and weddings.

In late 2007, the “Iva W.” was donated to the Deltaville Maritime Museum where she has acted as a museum ambassador to Urbanna and Tangier Island. She has also taken local groups on river cruises and participated in the DCA’s Jackson Creek Christmas Cruise.

The Deltaville Maritime Museum and Holly Point Nature Park are located in Deltaville off Route 33. Turn right on Route 660 at NAPA. The park is open dawn to dusk every day. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. through Dec. 1, and by appointment from Dec. 1 through March.

For more information, click here.

posted 11.26.2008

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