‘Mary Ellen’ one of many boats on display in Southport this weekend
SOUTHPORT, NC (WWAY) — This weekend dozens of boats will pack Southport for the Seventh Annual Wooden Boat Show. One boat, however, is on display everyday of the year.
Located outside The North Carolina Maritime Museum, the Mary Ellen is a prime example of the area’s boating history.
The boat is a Simmons Sea Skiff, which originated in Myrtle Grove, North Carolina.
From the 1950’s-1970’s, Tom Simmons and his sons built about 800 boats, including the Marry Ellen.
This particular boat came from the Cape Fear Museum.
In pretty bad shape when she arrived, a generous museum board member helped give the old boat a makeover and a new name.
“So we went out to see the boat, and he said you have to look at the stern. Well, when we did, the name on the boat is the Mary Ellen, which was named after me, which was fabulous,” said Mary Strickland, the Maritime Museum’s curator.
You can catch the Mary Ellen anytime at the Maritime Museum. You’ll also find her in area parades.