Today, Mariners’ formally transferred the ownership of the Albemarle Sound shad boat Ella View to Roanoke Island Maritime Museum. Ella View was built by George Washington Creef, the original designer of the boat type, on Roanoke Island in 1883.
The vessel was owned and used by the family of Josephus Berry from the date of its construction until 1964 when it was acquired for the small craft collection at Mystic Seaport in Connecticut. In 1972 Mystic began to consider transferring the vessel to an institution more closely associated with Ella View’s region of use. Originally they considered the newly formed Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum as a possible home, but in 1974 a trade was organized with Mariners’—Ella View for a New Haven oyster sharpie.
In an effort aimed at returning the boat home, Mariners’ loaned Ella View to the North Carolina Maritime Museum and Roanoke Island Commission in 1998 and Ella View was eventually placed on display in the Roanoke Island Festival Park close to the location of George Washington Creef’s boathouse. The staff at Mariners’ is thrilled to be able to return this historic vessel to its original home; a place where we know it will be loved and appreciated by not only the residents of Manteo but also by visitors from around the world to North Carolina’s famous Outer Banks.