Thursday, January 27, 2011
New Working Boathouse in Toledo
Toledo, Oregon is the home port for Doryman's Mistral and an epicenter of wooden boat activity every August. This little coastal mill town has a lot of civic pride and many community efforts are driven by cadres of volunteers.
Such is the nascent community boat building project recently launched by the Port of Toledo. Not long ago, within living memory, Toledo had a thriving waterfront business community. Not so today. With the decline of the fishing and timber industries, small towns up and down the Oregon coast find themselves reinventing their business model, often spawning efforts that mirror entrepreneurial exploits of the past.
The new boat house will be a working commercial shop under lease to local shipwright, Rick Johnson. It will also be the epicenter of a community outreach program involving boat building and maritime arts, currently spearheaded by Andrew Linn. Here's one of Andrew's charges coming back from exploring the neighboring slough...
...Volunteers are the catalyst.
Below; Andrew Linn is giving Josh some boating tips and local Port of Toledo management is in the background assessing progress.
In the interior shot we see a group of volunteers (some Coots stopped by) installing wiring to the finished building. (yes, the temporary lighting is a string of Christmas lights!)
That's Rick in the foreground.
Tools are beginning to show up, donated by local well wishers. A number of boats have been donated to the project already, some of them needing restoration or repair.
Tomorrow, Doryman will be visiting the storage sheds to survey and make assessments of potential restorations.
We hope to get local parents and their children involved in the coming months so we will get a chance to build some new boats and teach some old fashioned maritime skills that have all but disappeared from this old waterfront town.