June 7, 2016
For Immediate Release
PRESERVING THE ARK OF HUNGERFORD CREEK
The Calvert Marine Museum has received the donation of an ark, and not Noah’s Ark, but Calvert County’s own thirty-foot version. The fascinating story began in the mid-1930s when the Rev. Benjamin Lovett purchased a wooden lifeboat off the 1906-built passenger liner Mount Vernon, formerly the German Kronzprinzessin Cecilie. The Cecilie was seized by the United States when it entered World War I, and laid-up in the Patuxent River after the war as part of the so-called “Ghost Fleet.” Rev. Lovett had it brought to his summer place on Hungerford Creek, hauled it out of the water, and had a house built on top. Part of the boat was a chapel and the other part an occasional residence. Later, electrical service was added.
The Ark on the banks of Hungerford Creek became a familiar sight to boaters for the next 80 years, and went through numerous changes of ownership, until recently donated to the Calvert Marine Museum by Robert Moeller of Lusby. Moeller, a long-time Southern Maryland resident and general contractor, coordinated the relocation of the Ark and used his business connections to get donations of labor and equipment. It was a great group effort and the museum would like to thank several people involved. This includes Brett Loveless, Mark Smith, and Gary Grierson of Dunkirk Supply, for making a 40-ton crane available. Dave Abell and Sam Thompson of McCready’s Railway, who donated the use of their hydraulic boat trailer, with on-site loading help from Laurence Moeller and Andy Serb. Thanks also to Andy Serb, along with other adjacent landowners Norma and Erin Brown, Samantha White, Cathy and Andy Grahame, and Jenny and Mark Patterson, for making it possible to move the Ark through their properties to gain access to McCready Road.
The Ark will need considerable repair to reverse the ravages of time and weather, and a new cradle built to better support the hull. The museum will be looking into a long-term home for the Ark, where this unique piece of Calvert County’s maritime heritage can be appreciated. In the meantime, research into its history continues. If you have information or photographs to share, please contact Richard Dodds at the museum at 410 326-2042 ext. 31 or email at email@example.com.
CMM Photo 1 - The Ark of Hungerford Creek
CMM Photo 2 - A portion of the Ghost Fleet anchored in the Patuxent River. Visible on the deck of the Mount Vernon are the ship’s lifeboats
The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $9.00 for adults, $7.00 for seniors, military with valid I.D. and AAA members, and $4.00 for children ages 5 - 12; children under 5 and museum members are always admitted free. For more information about the museum, upcoming events, or membership, visit the website at www.calvertmarinemuseum.com or call 410-326-2042. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, Google+, Instagram and Pinterest.