06 Aug 19:
We restored the 1880s Mississippi River Skiff BARBASHELA back in 2016 for the Beauvoir Museum, she was moved inside to her new berth during the last part of July. She is the only surviving example of a skiff from that era, commonly used as tenders for steamboats. She was designed by Captain Thomas P. Leathers of the steamboat(s) Natchez, built on the deck of the Natchez and gifted to Ms. Winnie Davis of Biloxi. One of the things added for Winnie's comfort was floorboards, most skiff of that time were working skiffs and the bottom would have been open to scoop oysters, etc. She rows great, carries well and it is a treat to run her up on a beach and step right out onto the sand. Solid cypress, originally fasted with square nails. 21 feet long, 526 pounds. We used cypress from a local mill, silicone bronze, muslin, thickened epoxy and caulking cotton to get her back ship shape over a 10 month period.
We were happy to see that she is good shape and they are still using the cradle that we designed for her, it provides great support to her rockered hull and can easily roll around on furniture dollies. She also still has her bell, we hope all the kids get to ring it.
Log of BARBASHELA.