Sunday, December 10, 2017
News Roundup

Heritage Village Jubilee: Sailing into the future by celebrating the past

LARGO

It started with Honey and a group of sailors who wanted to preserve a little history.

Honey is a Snipe, a racing sail boat made from juniper, that was built by Clark Mills in 1947 for his childhood buddy, Francis Seavy.

Although he was barely 30 when he crafted Honey's hull, Mills was already known for his expertise in boat building and in the years to come, the Mills name would eventually be synonymous with the Optimist Pram, a small boat originally made for young sailors to use on Clearwater waterways. When he died in 2001, more than 200,000 children worldwide had learned the basics of sailing on his design.

For more than 40 years, Seavy and Honey raced and won dozens of regattas throughout the United States and the Caribbean. After Seavy retired from racing, he gave the boat to his nephew, Gene Fleming, a former commodore of the Clearwater Yacht Club. Fleming contacted Heritage Village offering the Mills creation to the living history museum.

However, Heritage Village did not have anywhere to store it.

Undeterred, Fleming began making inquiries, asking fellow sailors to help pay homage to Pinellas County's relationship with boat building by joining forces in finding a home for Honey.

As sailors talked, more enthusiasts climbed on board, including Mike Jones, a boat builder and former home builder who grew up in Tarpon Springs. He met with the director of Heritage Village, who also heard from Ed Proefke of Proefke Contractors and Ed Hoffman of Hoffman Architects. The builder, the contractor and the architect all wanted to offer their services for free as Fleming and many other sailors along with the Pinellas County Historical Society gathered donations. They knew Honey's permanent home would cost more than $60,000, and Heritage Village was the perfect place.

Four years and $80,000 later, Honey is finally in her new home.

On Saturday, the public is invited to a housewarming of sorts. During the 37th annual Heritage Village Country Jubilee, the Pinellas County Historical Society will hold a ribbon-cutting for the McKay Creek Boat Shop, which will house not only Honey but several other boats designed by Mills, including a 1948 Optimist pram, a Windmill and a Sun Cat.

The boat shop's name comes from McKay Creek, which runs between Heritage Village and its next-door neighbor, the Florida Botanical Gardens, according to Jones, who worked in the early 1980s inside Clearwater Bay Marine Ways, a boat business started by Mills. "We designed the boat shop after Clark Mills' (original shop) in Dunedin,'' said Jones. "We found an old photo and Clark's dimensions. Ed Hoffman studied that.''

Jones stressed that this is just the starting point of the project. "Maritime history in this area is so rich. We are starting with Clark Mills who is so highly respected in this area, but there is much more. For example, the 1800s in Tarpon Springs with the Greek boats that influenced the area's builders as well.''

Seavy passed away in 2013. His wife, Naomi, 89, will attend the ceremony with Fleming.

"She was a big part of the Honey," Fleming said. "She kept scrapbooks, and Heritage Village will display them. They are filled with every clipping of every regatta, a phenomenal record, and she is amazed at what has been done.''

Along with the ribbon-cutting, the Jubilee will also include a bluegrass jam sponsored by Charlie Bill's Banjos, a model train display, the Florida Chapter Morse Telegraph Club, the Largo Historical Society, the Friends of Largo Nature Park birds of prey and arts and crafts vendors.

Contact Piper Castillo at [email protected] Follow @Florida_PBJC.

   
Comments
Veteran 3B Evan Longoria as uncertain as anyone about Rays’ plans

Veteran 3B Evan Longoria as uncertain as anyone about Rays’ plans

LAKE BUENA VISTA — Uncertain with all the talk about potentially rebuilding if the Rays would go as far as trading franchise cornerstone 3B Evan Longoria?So is he."I don’t know what to think, really,’’ Longoria said via text message Sunday night as t...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Sunny day floods become new norm

WASHINGTON — The tide watchers start patrolling whenever the celestial forces align. From coast to coast, hundreds of tide watchers come out with their cameras to record the latest ‘‘king tides,’’ brief episodes of tidal flooding that could become th...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Tiny snowmen appear in Florida as Sunshine State gets snow

Tiny snowmen appear in Florida as Sunshine State gets snow

The "Welcome to Florida" sign in the northwest part of the state was covered in light snow as winter weather dipped into the Sunshine State. It was part of a winter storm that hit the Deep South over the weekend and left thousands of people without p...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Florida professional wrestler arrested, charged with battery of his wife, also a professional wrestler

Florida professional wrestler arrested, charged with battery of his wife, also a professional wrestler

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Wrestler Rich Swann is being held without bail in a Florida jail after he was arrested and charged with battery and false imprisonment. Swann, who is 26 and a former WWE cruiserweight champion, was arrested Saturday. According to ...
Updated: 3 hours ago

Updated: 3 hours ago
Getting around Cuban customs control

Getting around Cuban customs control

HAVANA, CUBA — Ernesto Machado will never forget that cold morning in 1968 at José Martí International Airport in Havana, when an immigration official seized his parents’ gold wedding bands and ripped up his passport."This is property of the revoluti...
Updated: 4 hours ago
FSU beats Tulane in Tampa, stays unbeaten in basketball

FSU beats Tulane in Tampa, stays unbeaten in basketball

Updated: 5 hours ago
Struggling Florida citrus growers face tough decisions

Struggling Florida citrus growers face tough decisions

WINTER HAVEN — Although the 2017-18 citrus harvest has barely begun, growers are already planning for the 2018-19 season, and they have critical decisions to make in the coming months that will affect next season’s crop and perhaps others in years to...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Bucs-Lions journal: Backup lineman was most unlikely of targets

Bucs-Lions journal: Backup lineman was most unlikely of targets

TAMPA — The Bucs’ unlikely comeback to erase a 14-point deficit in the fourth quarter was capped by the most unlikely of targets. Tampa Bay tied the game when Jameis Winston threw a 2-yard pass to 305-pound Leonard Wester, a backup lineman who lined ...
Updated: 5 hours ago
New normal: Firefighting at Christmas; U.S. homeless population increases 1st time since 2010; Athletes, celebrities rally for bullied boy; more in U.S. news

New normal: Firefighting at Christmas; U.S. homeless population increases 1st time since 2010; Athletes, celebrities rally for bullied boy; more in U.S. news

CaliforniaNew normal: Christmas firefightingA flare-up on the western edge of Southern California’s largest and most destructive wildfire sent residents fleeing Sunday. Fire crews saved several homes as unpredictable gusts sent the blaze churning dee...
Updated: 6 hours ago