If you have driven past the museum in the last six months, you might have noticed a “boat” being built on the front lawn. Intended to replace the old Marie Therese which had adorned the museum grounds for years until it became unsafe, this newly constructed boat is based on the classic Chesapeake Bugeye. What exactly is a “bugeye?” A double-ended workboat developed after the Civil War to dredge oysters on the Chesapeake. Solomons is known as the bugeye capital of the world because so many of them were built here. Our own Wm. B. Tennison is a converted bugeye, her masts and sails were removed, then she was equipped with an engine and operated as a buyboat, and later adapted in the 1970’s for passengers instead of oysters.


The new bugeye is being built by the Patuxent Small Craft Guild (PSCG), volunteer members who are responsible for maintaining the museum’s small craft collection. PSCG is one of the clubs for museum members comprised of boat enthusiasts that enjoy building, restoring, sailing, and rowing traditional Chesapeake water craft. The bugeye design was chosen because it closely resembles the logo of the Calvert Marine Museum. Guild members paid for materials with funds from canoe raffles, boat building classes, toy boat building, and other activities, and have done 99% of the work under the direction of Boatwright George Surgent. Although designed to look like a traditional workboat, this bugeye is not seaworthy. Rather, it is designed to serve a variety of land-based functions and will be used to teach young children during summer camps, decorate the grounds, and even serve as a bar during concert season.


The “Guild Guys” as they are called, have had a great time working together on the boat every Tuesday and Saturday. Now that the boat is nearing completion, she needs to be named. The museum will offer the naming rights of the boat, for as long as it is in use, to the highest bidder. Show the 70,000 + visitors that come to the museum each year how much you love your wife, children, grandchildren, or even your dog and name the boat after them. If you are interested in more information or would like to place a bid, please call 410-326-2042, ext. 17. The name submitted by the winning bidder is subject to approval by the museum and must be appropriate for public display. This is a tax-deductible donation.