The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum of St. Michaels, MD has announced Marc Barto of Wittman, MD has been named project manager for the three-year restoration of the Museum’s skipjack, Rosie Parks.
Built by Bronza Parks of Wingate, MD, Rosie Parks is one of the least altered historic skipjacks in existence, making her one of the best examples for interpretation of the fleet’s work. The three-year restoration project will be done in public view at the Museum, and is funded through philanthropic support.
As project manager, Barto is responsible for restoring Rosie Parks in accordance with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Historic Vessel Preservation. In addition, Barto will coordinate the public interpretation of the work, along with managing a corps of shipwrights, apprentices and volunteers assisting with the project.
“To work on Rosie is such an incredible privilege,” commented Barto. “It’s important for our grandchildren to come here in the future and for all of this to still be here—with the stories of our heritage and culture still being told. Rosie is a significant part of that story, and I’m honored to have her future placed in my hands.”
“We’re pleased to have Marc working on Rosie Parks,” said Museum President Langley Shook. “He has the expertise to lead her meticulous restoration, and the passion to share the experience with the public, so they not only know what work we’re doing, but why it matters.”
Barto joined the Museum as vessel maintenance manager in 2006, when he was recruited to oversee the Museum’s fleet of historic vessels. Barto has worked on the restoration and maintenance of nearly every boat in the Museum’s collection. He also administered the professional shipwright apprentice program of the Museum, working directly with more than a dozen shipwright apprentices from some of the most prestigious boatbuilding schools in the country.
A Chestertown native, Barto is a lifetime artisan who has spent more than twenty-five years restoring and building boats. He holds fine arts degrees from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and Carnegie Mellon University, and has worked in woodworking, metalworking and pottery before finding his passion as a master shipwright.
Barto’s first boatbuilding project was as an apprentice with Joe Powell of South Carolina. The result of their work was the 17’ Whitehall pulling boat, the Aubrey J. He was also mentored by renowned boatbuilder Joe Liener, and later adapted the lines from Howard Chappelle’s Melonseed skiff drawings to create a set of working plans forwhich he is widely known.
Barto has served on the board of the Traditional Small Craft Association and the steering committee of the Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival. Restoration work on Rosie Parks is set to begin in May and continue through 2014.
For more information on the Rosie Parks restoration project, visit www.cbmm.org/rosieparks.htm.