From Waters to Mariners’, The Making of a Lake

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Did you know Virginia has only two natural lakes? The rest are man-made, including our very own Mariners’ Lake! It holds the title as the first, and the oldest, project started on the grounds of The Mariners’ Museum Park. Before the purchase of the land surrounding it, The Mariners’ Lake was a salt marsh creek called Waters Creek, sometimes incorrectly referred to as Watts Creek. You can learn more about that, here! Apart from the vision of creating a maritime museum, Archer Huntington (our founder and owner of the Newport News Shipyard) and his wife Anna Hyatt (renowned sculptor), wanted to create a wildlife sanctuary. They also wanted a place to display several of Anna’s sculptures. The rural setting and proximity to the Shipyard helped to make this spot the ideal location. You can read more about why this area was chosen, here.

Although our official birthday is June 2nd, planning for the Lake and Park began months prior. In December of 1929, internal memos show that land acquisition was already being discussed and negotiations had started. In a memo from Homer Ferguson, President of the Newport News Shipyard, to Archer Huntington:   Read more

Way Back Wednesday

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1940 Hole in Great Hall-A

A couple of years ago I posted a similar picture showing this boat and hole from the outside.  You can see that here.  This is an interior shot showing our Portuguese fishing boat being moved into the building.  The boat is very large at over 50 feet long and 13 feet wide and so the only to get it into the building was to bust a hole in the wall.

This shot shoes men on the lake at Deer Park breaking ice, December 20, 1932   Read more