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Maryland's National Register Properties

Photo credit: A.E. Witty, 05/1984
EDMEE S. (log canoe)
Inventory No.: T-499
Other Name(s): Ex-Cecelia Mae
Date Listed: 9/18/1985
Location: Mill Street , St. Michaels, Talbot County
Category: Object
Period/Date of Construction: 1930s
Architect/Builder: Builder: Oliver Duke
Related Multiple Property Record: Chesapeake Bay Sailing Log Canoe Fleet (MPD)
Description: EDMEE S. is a 48'-4" sailing log canoe owned by the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum and sailed in canoe races on the Eastern Shore. Log-built with carvel-fitted rising planks, in the Tilghman style, she has a 31'-7" length on deck and a beam of 7'-7". The canoe was built in the 1930s by noted builder Oliver Duke but never raced until acquired by the Museum in 1980. She now races under No. 22, with a crew of 9 to 11 people. EDMEE S. was built of 5 pine logs, topped with carvel-fitted rising planks in typical Tilghman fashion. She has washboards, forming a half-deck around the cockpit, set on cut-out, sawn hanging knees, and partial stern seats. Double-ended, she has a sharp, somewhat hollow bow with a modified longhead and a sharp, steeply raking stern. The rudder is carried outboard at the stern on pintles. A wood outrigger, or bumpkin, painted white with a metal backrest, extends about 4' over the stern. The canoe has a certerboard set well forward, let into the squared-off bottom log. Her overall shape reveals a rounded chine with little or no flare to the topsides. The canoe is rigged with two adjustable masts, set raked well aft by means of chocks. The foremast is set into a square cut out of the foredeck, while the mainmast is stepped through a thwart reinforced with a vertical bracing frame and an upper horizontal brace. Sails are of white dacron and include a fore, main, jib, and kite. The boat sometime carries a striped staysail but does not have a square sail. The bowsprit, square and tapering, is rigged with a wire bobstay and bowsprit shrouds. The boat carries three springboards for balance when sailing. There are cleat railings on either washboard. Significance: This vessel is significant as being one of the last 22 surviving traditional Chesapeake Bay racing log canoes that carry on a tradition of racing on the Eastern Shore of Maryland that has existed since the 1840s. In addition, it is a surviving representative of the oldest indigenous type of boat on the Bay--the working log canoe--which was developed in the 17th century by early European settlers from the aboriginal dugout canoe. EDMEE S. is significant as having been built by noted canoe builder Oliver Duke during the revival of interest in log canoe racing during the late 1920s and early 1930s. She is also of interest for now being owned and raced by the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum at St. Michaels. The vessel had an interesting history of never having been raced. Soon after the outbreak of World War II she was left in Jim Richardson's boatyard near Cambridge and remained there in dry storage for 20 years until she was restored by Richardson for Bill Combs. Combs, a member of the board of the Museum, helped the Museum acquire the boat, which was re-named EDMEE S. after his wife. The vessel's original name was CECILIA MAE. During her 20-year stay at Richardson's, the boatbuilder used her to haul sand to build his home on LeCompte Bay and to take his family "Sunday sailing" with a shortened rig. In 1982 the Museum did further restoration on the vessel, but the hull remains fiberglassed.


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