Monday, June 28, 2010

The Gundalow is coming

I am on the Board of the Gundalow Company, which is a non-profit located in the Seacoast whose mission is to promote and protect the maritime history of the area.

Dover has a strong maritime tradition which is interlinked to our Milltown history. The goods created at the mill were shipped around the world via the Cochecho and the many types of boats that sailed on it; including gundalows.

A gundalow is a long flat shallow draft boat which sailed under wind power or with long oars. The majority of the propulsion came from the tides and currents. Gundalows were used around the Gulf of Maine and its river tributaries for much of the 18th century.

The Gundalow Company operates the Captain Adams a replica gundalow. This ship is used for educational purposes mainly and makes the rounds of seacoast communities during the summer. This week, the Captain Adams is docked in Dover. I had the pleasure of helping to crew the Adams up the Cochecho from Prescott Park in Portsmouth this Saturday. When I say crew, I use the term loosely.

The Adams is going to be docked at Henry Law Park from later today through the early part of next week. There are many activities planned onboard, including some that are coordinated with the Childrens Museum of New Hampshire.

Dover is lucky to have the Gundalow come visit for more than a few days. This luck also involves effort and time put in by the Chamber of Commerce who saw the value of the Gundalow as part of the upcoming Fourth of July activities. The gundalow is open to the public for a nominal donation and is well worth your time to come and visit. To see a list of activities, please click here.

What does all this have to do with planning? Well beyond the basic community history aspect, I believe that one of the best ways to plan for the future is to see what worked and what didn't in the past. Gundalows represent that effort. In the pre-oil time frame, transportation of goods was a much different activity. I believe it is one that we should become familiar with because in the long run we need to take advantage of the education we are getting from the Gulf oil catastrophe and other oil limitation cues to remember that we have a finite resource and that we need to plan for alternatives.

1 comment:

  1. Stump the Librarian! I will be in HLP adjacent to gundalow dock on July 1 during Children's Museum event. Will have a couple old Dover maps showing river and mills, waterfront in 19th century, so if you have a Dover history question, come on by!