Events Calendar
Wooden Boat School Update
Eco Tour Encounters
A Library Partnership
Big Anchor Recording
The Apalachicola Trader's Canoe

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Events Supported in Part By
Winter Tours 


Did you know that Apalachicola is the sunniest city in the Sunshine State, boasting more sunny days per year than Key West, Orlando, and Miami? We've been putting our great weather to use this winter, continuing to run many estuary cruises, working waterfront tours, and sunset cruises.  The photo below was taken this week on an estuary cruise. There were more than half a dozen bald eagle sightings during the tour. Click here to read more about our trips.


Book a cruise online and get 30% off when you use promo code "webstore."



Events Calendar


The Dog Island Shipwreck Survey, by Dr. Chuck Meide, Director of LAMP (Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program) in St. Augustine  

February 9, 2013 at 7:00 p.m.

Dr. Chuck Meide will talk about his work on the Dog Island Shipwreck Survey.  Dr. Meide is an underwater and maritime archaeologist and currently the Director of LAMP (Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program), the research arm of the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum located in St. Augustine, Florida. He earned BA and MA degrees in Anthropology with a focus in underwater archaeology in 1993 and 2001 from Florida State University, where he studied under George R. Fischer, and undertook Ph.D. studies in Historical Archaeology at the College of William and Mary starting the following year. 


Dr. Meide has participated in a wide array of shipwreck and maritime archaeological projects across the U.S., especially in Florida, and throughout the Caribbean and Ireland. From 1995 to 1997 he participated in the search for, discovery, and total excavation of La Salle's shipwreck, La Belle, lost in 1686. In 1999 he directed the Dog Island Shipwreck Project, and between 2004 and 2006 he directed the Achill Island Maritime Archaeology Project off the coast of County Mayo, Ireland. Since taking over as Director of LAMP in 2006, he has directed the First Coast Maritime Archaeology Project, a state-funded research and educational program focusing on shipwrecks and other maritime archaeological resources in the offshore and inland waters of Northeast Florida.  Dr. Meide has served on the Board of the Institute of Maritime History since 2005, and was named Vice President in 2009.


Click here for a short video of Dr. Meide discussing maritime archaeology, produced by the Florida Public Archaeology Network.


$5 donation includes lecture followed by shrimp boil on the docks.  Sponsored in part by the Franklin County Tourist Development Council.


Build a Canoe!   
February 15, 2013

The Plywood Canoe is a great boat building project for families or groups of 2 to 4 people. When completed, the canoe is 15' 3" in length with a 31 ˝" beam. It can be paddled with kayak or canoe paddles. Inexpensive to build using ordinary tools and materials, the canoe gives everybody access to boat building and a boat. The course runs three days with an optional day of painting on the fourth day.  This boat is built using plywood sheets and dimensional lumber and uses many of the techniques used in building larger boats including lofting. This boat is suitable for one adult, and adult and child, two children, or an adult and a couple of dogs.


The AMM will provide all of the materials, tools, and instructors to keep you and your friends and family on the right course. We will build up to three boats in a weekend and group size is limited to four.  
We have a great calendar of boat building classes coming up in the new year, for a variety of small vessels.  Click here for more information.


Build a Stand Up Paddleboard

February 18, 2013


Under the guidance of our boat builder, you can construct a great paddleboard from plans and materials obtained from Chesapeake Light Craft. Construction time is six days. At the end of the session you have a fiberglassed paddleboard that is ready for finishing, which takes about two weeks.  Visit our website for more information, or register online (enter one "passenger" per group).  Click here to watch a five minute video on fiberglassing a paddleboard in our boat shop, produced by Robin Vroegop. 

Build a Kayak

February 25, 2013


The Wood Duck Kayak is a beautiful, versatile, easy-to-use recreational kayak.  With a big cockpit and ample stability, the emphasis is on comfort.  But these boats really paddle well.  The Wood Duck is built from a kit, with precision-cut panels ready to go. Puzzle-joints and pre-drilled stitching holes make for fast and accurate assembly with no carpentry skills required.  Sheathed in fiberglass inside and out, the Wood Duck will withstand real-world abuse and will bounce over submerged stumps without harm. The boat can carry a heavy payload in the fore and aft compartments, enough for picnicking, camping or a whole lot of fishing gear. The boat is constructed from okoume plywood throughout.  This is a beautiful tropical wood, prized for its grain, light weight, and workability. Click here for more information, or register online (enter one "passenger" per group).



Build a Rowing Shell

March 4, 2013


La Florida and the Maritime World of Juan Ponce de León, by Peter Cowdrey, Exhibit Research Specialist at the Florida Historic Capitol Museum

March 9, 2013


Sea Music by the St. Pete Shanty Singers!  A program incorporating history and maritime music of significance to the Apalachicola River and Bay.

April 20, 2013 


Apalachicola in the Civil War, by Ken Johnston, Executive Director of the Civil War Naval Museum

May 17, 2013


Civil War Living History Weekend

May 17-19, 2013


Wooden Boat School Update
Our Wooden Boat School Director Ron Dierolf at work in our shop.

The Apalachicola Maritime Museum's Wooden Boat School is teaming up with Project Impact to create a boat building program for local youth.  The goal is to provide the opportunity for program students to build boat models and full-size boats while learning new skills in accordance with the Project Impact STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) objectives.


Project Impact provides academic enrichment opportunities for children and teens. The program helps students meet state and local standards in core academic subjects, such as reading and math; offers students a broad array of enrichment activities that can complement their regular academic programs; and offers literacy and other educational services to the families of participating children.  After school services are provided free of charge and include homework help, targeted tutoring, educational enhancement, recreational activities, and field trips through the academic year with a full-time program in the summer weeks. The Director is Faye Johnson.


The spring session of the boat building program will launch in March with creating models of a full-size boat to be built during the summer session.  It will also provide an introduction to nautical terms, knots and rope work, measuring, boating theory (displacement, buoyancy, etc.), scaling and the use of computer spreadsheets, and planning the full-size boat, which will be built in June.  During the summer session, more advanced topics including geometry and lofting will be incorporated. Our Wooden Boat School Director Ron Dierolf teaches mathematics at Gulf Coast State College, has experience working with youth as a former Outward Bound Instructor, and is a retired Engineer. Combining these experiences with his love of building boats, and Faye Johnson's successful work with the youth in the Project Impact Program is an ideal fit. The youth will be involved in all phases of the project from start to finish, and will also practice valuable skills such as project planning and teamwork. We can't wait to see the kids having fun with this hands-on learning experience.  The summer session will end with the finished boat splashing in during a launch ceremony and celebration.


We are also hosting an array of boat building courses open to the public, in which you can sign up to build a boat and take it home with you at the end of the class. The complete list of boat building course offerings for the next several months has been added to our website.  The opportunities to build your own small craft include a stand up paddleboard, a rowing shell, a canoe, a kayak, and the Passagemaker Dinghy pictured below. Visitors are always welcome at the shop, so come by and see what is being created!  You can also reach us at (850) 653-2500, or send us an email for more information.



Our Wooden Boat School Director, Ron Dierolf, and volunteer Caryl Collier discuss the Passagemaker Dinghy under construction at the museum.  When finished, this boat can be rowed or sailed.


An example of a completed Passagemaker Dinghy under sail.


ecoEco-Tour Encounters
by Capt. Peter Burgher
Primary Captain and Museum Volunteer



What are you going to see on a river trip? Well, that's hard to say with precision because every trip is different. We may see some creatures twice in a row, then not see them for another month. Consider the following which we have seen in the last few months. 


There are almost always eagles and ospreys. When eagles are getting ready to mate, you can see their marvelous ballet in the air which precedes their coupling. Ospreys like to feed 

on live fish caught near the surface of the water. With the invasion of salt water due to drastically decreased river flow, there are many more little baits for them to snatch up. Soon they'll be feeding babies in nests on channel markers along our trips.


We try to coach guests where to look for alligators. Recently one group sighted a seven foot monster, so we swung around for  pictures. He was so big you could only see his middle until he slid off into the shallow water by the grasses. Remember that ten years equals one foot, roughly, so he was an old timer. In warm weather we see the swallow tailed kite, but surprisingly one soared over on a 55 degree day - beautiful. Spring and summer brings several lilies and irises in profusion. And don't forget April Tupelo tree blossoms. The fragrance is like a perfume studio.


Kingfishers, cormorants, and anhingas are seen from time to time. With the salt water infusion, several tarpon sightings and very large redfish have been seen. The weird looking alligator gar - an ancient holdover - is seen occasionally.  Sign up for one of our tours and experience the beauty of our native flora and fauna for yourself. 





A Library Partnership

by Caty Greene, Apalachicola Municipal Library 


Librarian Caty Greene.

The Apalachicola Municipal Library is pleased to be joining with the Apalachicola Maritime Museum to create a joint bibliographic collection. The expanding library collection of the Museum will soon be cataloged through the library's automation system, Apollo by Biblionix. Online access to the catalog will cover the books in the Maritime Museum, but Museum visitors and researchers will also be able to look at the collection of Florida and other books at the Apalachicola Municipal Library, our city's small independent library.


Books which are allowed to be circulated will be able to be checked out of the system by individuals who are registered as library patrons. Signing up will be possible at either site.


In the future, working with the portal to OCLC, the world's largest online catalog, known publically as WorldCat, research will be done to expand the Museum's library, and strengthen the Apalachicola Municipal Library's Florida Collection. This effort will enhance both collections.


The Apalachicola Municipal Library enjoys every opportunity to work with the Apalachicola Maritime Museum, and this is the best project we have embarked on yet. Stay tuned for the roll-out later this year.  Special thanks to volunteer Caryl Collier for taking a lead role in this project.


The Library is located in Gorrie Square at 74 6th Street. For more information, call 850-653-8435 or send an email to


Anchors Aweigh! Update on the Big Anchor Project
by Barbara Hines
Outreach Coordinator for the Florida Public Archaeology Network, North Central Region
Reprinted with permission from Barbara's blog,Shovel Bytes
Measuring an anchor in Apalachicola.  

If you have ever visited a coastal city you probably have seen at least one big anchor just laying around somewhere - perhaps in front of a business, a street median or even in someone's yard. Have you ever wondered where that anchor came from or what its story was? Apalachicola has numerous anchors just laying about all over the community. Some are sitting on private property, but many are on public property as well. FPAN, the Apalachicola Maritime Museum, the Florida Bureau of Archaeological Research and community volunteers set out to learn about these anchors and record them for the Big Anchor Project's world-wide database. It may sound a little strange, and you may be asking why we decided to do this, and we have a valid answer for you!


Think about the symbolism of the anchor for a minute. They are everywhere - flags, military insignia, business logos, etc. Anchors are an iconic symbol for anything maritime related. The anchor represents safety and stability and has been used by mariners as a symbol of such  for over 4,000 years. Many times an anchor is all that remains as a visible symbol of something that occurred at sea. The anchor may have been cut loose in an emergency or it may be resting atop an ancient shipwreck. The anchor is a lasting symbol, but amazingly very little work has been done to collect and organize data that exists about these anchors which are on display all over the world.


The Big Anchor Project is an effort to gather and organize this information. It was created by the Nautical Archaeological Society and currently contains information on over 500 anchors from all over the world! The great thing about this  project is that anybody from anywhere can participate by measuring an anchor and entering the information in the database online at Online they have very descriptive and easy to follow directions on how to do it. This information is made available to researchers that may want to study anchors and thus contribute to our understanding of these very iconic symbols. If you know of an anchor in your community or elsewhere, I encourage you to check out the Big Anchor Project and record your anchor. It is a great group project for youth and adults and you make a direct contribution to furthering the understanding of your communities maritime history. In just one days time, with a great group of citizens from all walks of life, we were able to record fifteen anchors total. It doesn't take very long to record an anchor and it is a lot of fun!


Editor's Note: You can see more photos from the Apalachicola Big Anchors Project on FPAN's Facebook page, and also the Maritime Museum's Facebook page.  Read more of Barbara's blog posts on a variety of interesting topics here.  Thanks to Barbara, Franklin Price, and the great group of interested locals and visitors who turned out to learn about and help record history!





The Apalachicola Traders' Canoe: an 18th Century Maritime Treasure      

by Paulette Moss 

Program Manager, Historic Apalachicola Main Street


A 52-foot long, historic canoe, officially recorded as the Apalachicola Traders' Canoe, was discovered in the spring of 2006, in the waters of the Apalachicola River.  The City of Apalachicola, through the Center for History, Culture and Art has the canoe on permanent display in its restored facility at 86 Water Street.  


In May 2006, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reported that a logger, Curtis Munroe, had recovered a dugout canoe measuring over 50 feet from the Apalachicola River.  State archaeology staff visited the canoe, which had been moved to a sawmill in Eastpoint.  It was then moved to a safe location where it slowly dried and underwent basic conservation.  Marks on the boat indicate that it was made using metal tools, and the shape suggests that it may have been a trading canoe that plied the river sometime between 1750 and 1800.  Analysis of the canoe's wood using radiocarbon dating corroborates this assessment.  


Dugout canoes represent an ancient Native American technology that was adapted and modified to meet the needs of the Spanish, British, and American s who occupied Florida.  Over the years the Florida Bureau of Archaeological Research (BAR) has worked with many canoes, and over 300 are documented.  The Apalachicola Traders' Canoe is the longest that has ever been recorded.  Further research should help in understanding how the canoe was designed and used.   


Several organizations and groups made this recovery and exhibition possible: Florida Bureau of Archaeological research, Department of State General Counsel, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Franklin County Sheriff's Office, Board of County Commissioners, Tate's Hell State Forest staff, City of Apalachicola, and the Franklin County Tourist Development Council.    


About the Center for History, Culture, and Art


The brick structure that houses HCA was built in 1836 to serve as a warehouse, primarily for cotton.  The facility is open to use arts activities to highlight the area's maritime history and local culture and is managed by Historic Apalachicola Main Street.


Monthly exhibits highlight the history, maritime culture and natural resources of the city and region with the seafood culture being a major influence on subject matter. 
The Center also houses The School of Art, which hosts visual arts instructional workshops featuring oils, acrylics, pastels, pencil, pen and ink, sculpture and photography. The annual series consists of instructional workshops provided by a combination of nationally recognized and local/regional teaching artists contracted to provide instruction.


The Apalachicola Center for History, Culture and Art is open to all on Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 12 noon to 5 PM.  It is located on the corner of Avenue E and Water Street.  Visit the website to learn more.


The Apalachicola Trader's canoe on display at the Center for History, Culture, and Art.
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