Committee members credit Hordeman, Costello with making return possible
Members of the 50th Anniversary Committee on Thursday, in one of their final acts, officially dedicated a restored three-mast model schooner and its new display case in front of a large crowd at the Ocean Pines Yacht Club.
Community originators Boise Cascade originally donated the boat to Ocean Pines in 1975. The model then took a long voyage on its way back to public display, according to committee members Sharyn O’Hare and Jenny Cropper-Rines.
Cropper-Rines, who chaired the committee that oversaw a year-long celebration in 2018, said the ship’s homecoming was “basically the culmination of our 50th year.”
“We used the money that we had left from our fundraising efforts to have this case built,” she said.
She recognized committee event chairs, who Cropper-Rines credited with raising the funds for the display case. They included O’Hare (committee co-chair, gala chair), Carol Ludwig (committee co-chair, parade chair), Debbie Bennington (Family Fun Day chair), Vicki Harmon (Beach Bash chair), Don McMullen (golf tournament chair), Tim McMullen (racquet sports tournament chair), Terri Mohr (cocktail party chair), Cheryl Jacobs (sock hop), and Marlene Ott (historian).
O’Hare said Boise Cascade gave the boat to Ocean Pines during the opening of the first Yacht Club, on Memorial Day weekend in 1975. Its exact origin is unknown, but it’s believed to have been built around 1955.
“I have done research trying to find out who built it, who made it, who gave it – and we have no idea,” O’Hare said. “It’s our mystery – we don’t know who physically made it, but it is obviously handmade.”
O’Hare said the ship has “been everywhere” on its way to installation at the new Yacht Club, including a stay at the Beach Club in Ocean City.
“The last place was upstairs in the bar [of the old Yacht Club],” she said. “As you know, the Yacht Club was due to be torn down … and this was probably the last wedding that was going on upstairs. They must have been having a heck of a good time because, with all the dancing – or it could’ve been the ghost of ‘Tuffy’ Mumford who was unhappy about his building being torn down, we’re not sure! – but the wall came down with the shelves and everything broke.
“The ship broke, the glasses broke, the bottles broke, it was a mess,” she continued. “Our staff, as they would’ve, they just put everything in dumpsters [and] they took it outside, not realizing the importance of this ship.”
O’Hare said Mark Hordeman, Marty Clarke and his late wife, Donna, then fished the ship from the dumpster.
“They knew the importance of this and rescued it,” she said. “A big thanks to them … they rescued the boat, took it back, and Mark, who is a wonderful craftsman, restored this.”
O’Hare said it was important that the boat finally have a permanent place to settle. Enter the 50th Anniversary Committee and Public Works employee Joe Costello.
“I’ve been talking to dear Joe Costello … for years about designing something and he had something in mind,” she said. “Finally, when we had the leftover money [from 50th anniversary events], the committee members and chairs all decided this is where we wanted to put the money, to give this wonderful ship a permanent home.”
She and Cropper-Rines presented Costello with a token of the committee’s appreciation, adding, “We couldn’t do this without Public Works.”
“It’s here now [and] I’m telling you – they aren’t moving this again! It’s not going anywhere,” O’Hare added with a laugh. “This is quite the statement and it is the oldest artifact that we have in Ocean Pines, so I’m really glad it has a permanent home.”
Association President Doug Parks called the 50th Anniversary Committee “the gift that keeps on giving.”
“Their understanding of the importance of this artifact [and] their focus on making it something that we can cherish, both now and in the future, is a testament to the commitment they had to not only the 50th anniversary celebration … but the ongoing celebration that we’ll have when we think about the work they put in, in order to put this where it is today,” he said. “Congratulations to all those involved.”
General Manager John Viola added the boat “truly represents Ocean Pines” and the 50-year history of the community.
“A big hand of applause for the 50th Anniversary [Committee],” he said.
Just prior to the official ribbon cutting, Cropper-Rines surprised O’Hare with a gift, thanking her for all the work she put in.
“You kept this in the back of your mind for a long, long time,” she said.
“I wasn’t giving up!” O’Hare added.
The boat and its new permanent case is on display near the main bar of the Ocean Pines Yacht Club on 1 Mumford Landing Road, in Ocean Pines.
To view a video of the dedication, visit https://youtu.be/7kSN0NtFYCI.