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Thomas Point Lighthouse & Skipjack "Rosie Parks" 

by Gabrielle RogersTHOMAS~1.jpg

Thomas Point Lighthouse and Rosie Parks are two pieces of Chesapeake Bay history.  Thomas Point Lighthouse was constructed in 1875 on Thomas Point Shoal at the mouth of the South River in Maryland.  She is the only active screw-pile lighthouse remaining in its original position and is an exceptionally beautiful lighthouse.

The Skipjack in this Bottle is based on the "Rosie Parks."  "Rosie Parks" was built in 1955 by Bronza Parks and is undergoing a full, originally outfitted, restoration by the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in Maryland.  She was a oyster dredger, and an example of the traditional boats that once frequented the Bay in the Winter Months. 
Lighthouse Carved and Painted:
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The Lighthouse must be constructed in multiple pieces, so that it will be able to pass through the neck of the bottle.  The Main structure is three pieces.  Wire pegs inserted between pieces will aid in re-fitting it inside the bottle.
More Details and Pieces:
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Above:  My lighthouse is finally receiving the attractive details that make these constructions so unique.  Windows are made of paper, small black paper squares glued on a white paper.  The piles are wood with wire braces.  Notice the upper and lower railing constructed of thin wire vertical segments with thread stretched across, glued and painted. 


The main structure will be inserted in six pieces with other details being attached within the bottle.  Small wire pegs will allow me to fit the pieces together once and be securely glued. 
Skipjack, "Rosie Parks"
Work went well on the Skipjack, so well that I never stopped to take pictures until now.  She's looking like a real working sailboat.  She is fully equipped with dredge, winder and has a small pile of oysters on each side of the vessel.  Once finished, I hope she looks just like one of those tough, worn, Chesapeake Bay Boats. 
(Please note) There are not many pictures of the actual Rosie Parks available, as she is being currently restored, so it may not be an exact replica.


Above and Below, have a good look at all the details on her deck.  I plan to display her undersail and dredging with at least two men on board.  Her push boat will hang on the davits at the stern and her sails set running downwind with a nice cold, Winter breeze. 


Below: The light and skipjack together.  They may not equal, but each are as exact in their dimensions as possible.


Skipjack "Rosie Parks" clearing the Thomas Point Lighthouse on a Winter's day, dredging for oysters on the Chesapeake Bay.

 Additional construction pictures of Thomas Point Lighthouse & Skipjack

Chesapeake Bay Skipjack: Based on the design of Rosie Parks owned and being restored by the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Micheals, MD
Skipjack: Deck with "winder" and dredge. Oyster piles lying on deck.
Fully equipped for a day out on the Bay...will receive further details later.
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Thomas Point Lighthouse & Skipjack and Thomas Point Lighthouse...not complete just yet
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The lighthouse will be inserted into the bottle in at least six pieces, maybe more, and reconstructed inside.
Plans with the pieces laid out on top.
Sailing downwind...her boom is as far out as possible.
Skipjack Details: Steering box/wheel, cabin, hatches on runners, "winder," dredge, engine box, cargo hatch, full sail, lazy jacks, jib lines, number board, trailboard, railings, and pushboat.
The pushboat hanging on the stern...it just covers the hand painted name.
trailboard...if you look closely it actually does spell Rosie Parks (handpainted)
Thomas Point Lighthouse - penny for scale. Notice the flags.
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All the pieces: in total once prepared to go inside the bottle, there will be ten seperate pieces!
House section, penny for scale. The light and flag pole.
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Seems that the old keepers used a whitehall dinghy, well here she is, hand carved. And Screw-piles - lighthouse base.
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All set up! With a few finishing touches the scene is ready for the bottle.
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So here's my workspace and I am all set up and ready for the time consuming and patient work of inserting my art into this very clear, one liter bottle.
(Pieces 1 & 2) Screw pile base in.
(Piece 3) Now for the deck...you can see it squeezing past the neck.
The base is in position and glued.
(Piece 4 & 5) The main house structure is inserted in two pieces.
(Piece 6) The tower light with flags awaits positioning on the top of the lighthouse.
Heather placing the pieces.
The lighthouse is all set in place. In total there were 10 separate pieces to insert and reassemble inside the bottle including the rocks.
Now for the Skipjack Rosie Parks
The skipjack is glued in place, sails set, and the stay in glued and drying.
COMPLETE!!! 11 Separate pieces inserted 1 at a time and reassembled. Scene and Ship in Bottle - Skipjack "Rosie Parks" clearing the Thomas Point Lighthouse.
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A true picture of the Chesapeake Bay. The Skipjack clearing the Thomas Point Lighthouse, while dredging the oyster beds below.