This replica of a boat shop has been designed to celebrate the importance of coastal living and recognize the practical and recreational nature of boating in our county’s history. In addition to forthcoming exhibits, the Society has also started to preserve the memories of those involved in boat building along Pinellas County.
The Boat Shop is based on the description of Clark Mills’ Boat shop in Dunedin. The main work area where the boats will be displayed is 24’ X 40’, with a side room that is 12’ X 40’. As a new building in the Village of historic structures, it is designed to be complementary to the existing buildings. It is framed out of southern yellow pine, with board and batten siding and a “tin” roof for that traditional “Cracker” look.
We had the official ribbon cutting ceremony during the annual Country Jubilee on October 24, 2015. Thanks to the hard work of our volunteers and the generosity of our donors, the McKay Creek Boat Shop is a reality. The McKay Boat Shop is a major accomplishment and a great addition to Heritage Village in which everyone involved can take pride.
Our first exhibition will be focused on Clark Mills and his boats. There will be a couple of prams from the early days of the Optimist Pram story and example of a Windmill, the boat Clark designed to be the next step for young sailors. The original Sun Cat will be on display after being kept in storage for a number of years. And of course joining them will be Honey, the 1947 Clark Mills built Snipe, which Francis Seavy sailed for almost 50 years, winning the Snipe nationals in 1951.
We are building our permanent collection of Pinellas County marine artifacts to be a comprehensive reflection of maritime history reflecting the integral part it has played in our county’s history. In keeping with the mission of Heritage we will be planning for interactive educational exhibits to engage all ages in marine skills and history. We are actively seeking more stories, photos, and artifacts to help create an all-inclusive history of the nautical life of Pinellas County. Thank you for helping us reach this mile marker. We hope you will continue to support us with funds and information as we begin to develop the exhibits.