Calendar of Events

2017 Monthly Lecture Series

Our Speaker Meetings are held the third Thursday of the month, from Sept. - April, at 7pm at the Mathews Maritime Museum

March 2017 - Ed Tillett will present an overview of his work on renovating motor vessel Adonia at the next Mathews Maritime Foundation Speaker’s meeting. His 60 foot 1947 John Trumpy & Sons diesel cruiser was launched in 1947 as contract #330. The vessel’s home port is now Urbanna, VA, after spending the past 40 years on Long Island Sound. Ed, his wife and various crew spent the summer of 2016 sailing over 1,200 miles in the Chesapeake Bay and south along the Intracoastal Waterway aboard Adonia. Ed’s presentation will recount the special places that they visited, a few harrowing experiences encountered along the way, and offer insight into why a 70 year old wooden boat feels right at home on Chesapeake Bay.

Ed is an award winning film and video producer, author and journalist.

03/16/17, 7pm, Mathews Maritime Museum. Free to public.




February 2017 - The book Braving the Wartime Seas is the subject of this month’s Mathews Maritime Foundation Speaker Series. Presented by the author, Tom Schroeder, it is a tribute to the Cadets and Graduates of the US Merchant Marine Academy who died in World War II, honoring the brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice. Of the estimated 243,00 men and women who served in the Merchant Marines, it is estimated that 8,421 were killed at sea, as prisoners of war, or died from their wounds later on shore. German and Japanese submarines and aircraft sunk 1,768 ships during the war. Over 400 Cadet-Midshipmen were Kings Point survivors and they formed an exclusive club called the “Tin Fish Club.”

Mr. Schroeder, now retired, is a 1957 graduate of the United States Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, Long Island, NY, and served in the US Navy from Aug. 1957 to Mar. 1958.

02/16/17, 7pm, Mathews Maritime Museum. Free to public.




January 2017 - "Luna" Construction of an 18th century Bermuda sloop named “Luna” will be the topic as presented by Mr. John Collamore. He will describe the current construction of the “Luna” as well as the history of this “coastal workhorse” that at one time hauled goods from one port to the next and spread the day’s news. Collamore and crew intend to sail her to historic ports from North Carolina to Maryland “to be able to tell the maritime history of the colonies and the seeds of the revolution that led to our freedom.”

John Collamore , is one of seven founders and now president of the Colonial Seaport Foundation in Deltaville, VA, where he grew up sailing and started building boats.

01/19/17, 7pm, Mathews Maritime Museum. Free to public.




Upcoming Events


Introducing “Gilbert Klingel: Man of Steel” - Film Director/Producer Dave Miller will introduce his newest film project: “Gilbert Klingel: Man of Steel” on Tues., March 7 at 7pm at the Gwynn’s Island Civic League building.

Preview the upcoming PBS documentary about the sailboat “Freya” project and Gwynn’s Island boatbuilder, Gilbert Klingel. Director/Producer Dave Miller will be there to show the film trailer and talk about this project. The film will feature Gwynn’s Island and the legendary Gwynn’s Island Boat Yard built by Klingel in the early 1950’s. It will tell the story about Gilbert’s life and works and the goal of bringing his steel hulled sailboat “Freya” back to the island where she was built in 1953. This vessel will be available for future generations to learn from and enjoy. When the boat arrives at the Gwynn’s Island Boat Yard in May, we plan to have a celebration and would appreciate the ideas you may have on how to celebrate.

Local residents will appear in this documentary and our local museums, the Mathews Maritime Foundation and the Gwynn’s Island Museum are supporting our efforts. We hope you can join us on March 7 and see how you too can become involved. You will be quite amazed at what we have achieved so far but we’ll need the help of everyone to make this film a big success.

Other Chesapeake Bay films by Dave Miller include: Journey on the Chesapeake (2016) and Oysters, Boats, and Men (2013).


Prehistoric Mathews Series - 2 of 3 will be held Tues., Feb. 14, 2017, 7pm at Kingston Parish Hall, Mathews, VA. Mathews County Historical Society will sponsor, together with the Gwynn’s Island Museum, the Mathews Maritime Foundation, and the Fairfield Foundation, a 3-part series to give us a better understanding of the people who came to our shores before the English and how they settled, lived and thrived during the previous ten thousand year period.

The initial presentation in the series was by Professor Martin Gallivan of the College of the William and Mary on the subject of the Prehistoric Indians of Mathews County and the Chesapeake Bay area, in December.

This second event in series is a short lecture and artifact identification session explaining the tools of the prehistoric people in Mathews, with examples on display. Residents have been finding “arrowheads” and other prehistoric objects in the county over the years and wondering what they are and how they were used. The lecture will explain the context of the objects and how they relate to the three periods of Indian occupation: Paleoindian, Archaic, and Woodland.

The Lecture will be followed by an artifact identification session in which residents are asked to bring in the prehistoric items such as arrowheads, pottery and similar items which they have found, to be identified by a panel of experts from the Longwood University Longwood Institute of Archaeology and the Nansemond Chapter of the Archaeological Society of Virginia. The experts will be able to tell the age, function, method of creation, material of manufacture, and perhaps location of use. The information gathered at this event will be integrated into a computerized database of artifacts found in the county which will permit us to have a better understanding of who, what and when prehistoric people lived in Mathews. Although the location of the finds will be recorded, they will not be made public in compliance with the guidelines from the Virginia Department of Historic Resources.

Although attendees may not have artifacts to be identified they will be welcome to observe the process as each artifact is examined to gain a better understanding of context and what it tells us about the Prehistoric people.

The third event the in the series will be a presentation by representatives from Longwood University Longwood Institute of Archaeology presenting the findings of their recently completed Survey of the Mathews Chesapeake Bay shoreline and the changes over the years. They have been measuring the loss, and in some cases, gain of land in the historic context. They will be identifying Prehistoric sites that still exist and how they relate to the Indians of Mathews County. This presentation will held in April at a date to be announced.