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Boulden's Store

Historic New Castle, DE
30 Bromley Road
Pittsford, NY 14534
Phone: (503) 308-0500

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Victorian Revival Vintage Lighting

Mad Dog Primer

Event & Conference Details     

Event & Conference Details
Go Back Print  
Discovering the Art of Wooden Boatbuilding

May 2 - June 11, 2022

April 14, 2022 (Salem, MA) – Have you ever watched a beautiful schooner at sea and wondered how she was built? Have you thought about the skills that went into building the Gloucester fishing fleet of the past and wondered if these skills are still practiced today? Have you looked at Friendship of Salem berthed at Derby Wharf and speculated how to build a modern tall ship? 

Join Essex Heritage, the National Park Service, Lowell’s Boat Shop, Essex Shipbuilding Museum, and Maritime Gloucester for an interactive programming series about the Art of Wooden Boatbuilding. This five-part series will explore the principles behind the design and construction of traditional wooden boats, while also giving participants the opportunity to experience hands-on practices at several traditional boatbuilding establishments on Boston’s North Shore.  

Attendees will gain an understanding of the concepts of building and fitting out a boat, and the context behind why this was such an important industry on the North Shore for hundreds of years. Participants will leave with some translatable skills in woodworking and shaping. 

“Historically, wooden boatbuilding has been a huge piece of the local economy and we are thrilled to offer this exciting series as part of the National Park Service Field Institute,” said Annie C. Harris, Essex Heritage CEO. “This unique experience will provide an opportunity to try your hand at traditional boatbuilding methods in several of the most historic boat yards in Essex County.”

The program will start with a FREE virtual lecture, presented by traditional boatbuilding experts, Justin Demetri and Harold Burnham. Justin Demetri is an author, historian, and Director of Visitor Services at Essex Shipbuilding Museum. He has researched and written extensively into the maritime history of the region, including Essex County. Harold Burnham is an 11thgeneration master shipbuilder, designer, and mariner who continues the shipbuilding trade using traditional methods. He is a 2012 National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellow. Harold designed and built the Gloucester Schooner Thomas E. Lannon and the Pinky Schooner Ardelle, as well as the Schooner Fame out of Salem. He is currently involved in the rehabilitation of the Sylvina W. Beal, the oldest existing auxiliary knockabout fishing schooner in North America and one of two known existing Maine-built fishing schooners, at his boatyard in Essex.

“Looking out my attic office window at the timber piling up, the shipyard and river below it is hard to believe that nearly 400 years later shipbuilding is still an important part of our economy and culture here on the North Shore,” remarks Harold Burham. “I am looking forward to participating in The Art of Wooden Boatbuilding workshops with the Essex National Heritage Area and with some of the institutions and individuals who have helped to keep this important part of our heritage alive and present for our generation and the next.”

The lecture will be followed by four (3) workshops on Saturdays from May-June. The workshops will be held at maritime sites within the Essex National Heritage Area (Essex County, Massachusetts) – namely at Lowell’s Boat Shop in Amesbury, at Maritime Gloucester’s working waterfront on Gloucester’s Inner Harbor, and in Pedrick’s Storehouse next to the replica tall ship Friendship docked at Salem Maritime National Historic Site. Optional “add-on” activities will be available to sign-up for at each site the day of the workshops.

Series Dates:
May 2 at 7:00pm – FREE virtual lecture with Justin Demetri and Harold Burnham
May 14 at 9:00am – “Rigging a Tall Ship” at Salem Maritime National Historic Site
Mat 21 at 9:00am – “Building a Dory” at Lowell’s Boat Shop
June 11 at 9:00am – “The Haul Out” at Maritime Gloucester

Rates: (Discounts for members of Essex Heritage, Maritime Gloucester, or Lowell’s Boat Shop)
Lecture on May 2 - FREE
Each individual workshop session - $85/person
Optional activities for each session - $20/person

For more information or to register online visit or call (978) 740-0444

About Essex Heritage and the Essex National Heritage Area
Essex Heritage is the non-profit organization that manages the Essex National Heritage Area by developing programs that enhance, preserve and encourage recreation, education, conservation and interpretation projects on Boston’s North Shore and the Lower Merrimack River Valley. The Essex National Heritage Area is comprised of the 34 cities and towns of Essex County, MA. For more information, visit or call (978) 740-0444. 

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Essex County, MA
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