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Lewes, Delaware
Jim's Towing Service
February 28, 1997     Cape Gazette
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February 28, 1997

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14 - CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, February 28- March 6, 1997 Lightship Continued from page 1 by audio-gauging. His report in- dicates less than 50 percent of original thickness remaining in some areas of the hull," he wrote in his letter. Asked about the situation, EI- liott said the Overfalls's future isn't just a matter of coming up with the money for an overhaul and maintenance of the 115 foot vessel. "Yes," said Elliott, "it would take $300,000 to $500,000 to get the vessel to a boatyard in Philadelphia, Baltimore or Nor- folk to be hauled, scraped and painted. But equally as important are the people hours necessary to make all the arrangements. It would be a tremendous undertak- ing and the Historical Society Board of Directors doesn't feel that when the whole situation is reviewed that the financial or peo- ple resources are available." Elliott said he would be glad to go over the entire situation with anyone or any organization that might like to take over the Over- falls. Late Obituaries Emotion vs. fact "Once you sit down and sepa- rate emotion from fact it becomes clear that.getting the Overfalls back in shape and keeping it up would be a tremendous undertak- ing. Our [Historical Society] an- nual operating budget is $40,000 and the Overfalls could easily take every bit of that. And we have all of our buildings and other grounds to think about." Elliott said he has spoken with museum officials from the Intre- pid Museum in Manhattan, New York, where the aircraft carrier In- trepid is docked. "There's a young fellow there who has taken it upon himself to save derelict ships. He contacted us some time back. He acts as a go between to try to find Organiza- tions to keep these ships up. He said there may be a museum in New England that would like to have this ship. The Overfalls still has its main engines and auxiliary generators - all its original equip- ment. The problem is it's rusting away. It can't last here much longer without some help. It could get past my regime and I could pass the problem on to someone else and be done with it but I'm trying to so something now that would save it. But it needs work and it's not cheap work that's needed." Other than letting the Oveffalls sit in its slip and continue rusting away, Elliott said an option could also be towing it to the nearest shoal and sinking it for a reef. "I know people don't want to hear that but that's what happened to another that deteriorated in New Jersey due to lack of mainte- nance. The man at the Intrepid Museum fretted over losing that lightship - there are only about 14 left in the nation - but my under- standing is there was little left of the vessel." Elliott said there have been ear- ly suggestions that the Overfalls could be brought back up to steaming condition and sent north under its own power. Towing permit sought Elliott said he has made prelim- inary inquiries to the Army Corps of Engineers about moving the vessel from its slip and to the Coast Guard about a towing per- mit. "We don't know yet if we will be able to do that," said EI- liott. "I do know the vessel floats on an extremely high tide. It draws 13 feet and has a beam of 26 feet. But its topsides are cor- roding and its interior is in bad shape as well. I gave a couple of tours this summer and it was em- barrassing. Our resources aren't great and it's tough to keep it up." The future of the Lightship Overfalls makes for interesting discussion in the Elliott house- hold. George's wife Trenny, presi- dent of Lewes Chamber of Com- merce, said she doesn't like the talk of the lightship leaving Lewes. "It's an important part of the canal area and it's a tourist at- traction," said Trenny. "I'd hate to see it leave." Trenny's father, Dr. James E. Marvil, spearheaded the effort that brought the lightship Overfalls to Lewes in 1973. As a founding member and first president of Lewes Historical Society, Dr. Marvil took great pride in the Overfalls and hosted a number of parties on the decks of the vessel beneath rigging festooned with colorful flags. "I'm sure there will be lots of criticism about our decision to find someone else or another Discharge Continued from page 11 of Marine Studies Professor Kent Price. Price also serves as the chairman of the board of the Cen- ter for the Inland Bays. "In my professional opinion, eliminating phosphorous loading from the Rehoboth treatment plant would significantly reduce the nuisance sea weed," Price said last summer after the bloom of excess sea weed. "A possible solution would be to connect the RehobOth Waste Water System to the new West Rehoboth treatment plant and make all the treated waste- water part of the land irrigation system that the West Rehoboth Plant is using. In land irrigation the phosphorous would be taken up by cover crops and none would get into the bay system. That would lead to cleaner, less turbid water which would allow for the return of good bay grasses like eel grass and widgeon grass and the return as well of marine animals like bay scallops and many of the fishes that used to be in Rehoboth Bay, but have been gone now for more than 20 years," according to Price. group to take over the vessel," said Elliott. "But it would take a Herculean effort to get the Over- falls back into decent shape and keep it that way." Overfalls refers to a shoal off the Delaware Bay mouth marked for years by a lightship that first Francis J. Duggan, Dewey restaurateur Francis J. "Duke" Duggan, age 62, long one of the most colorful characters in the resort area, died Wednesday, Feb. 26, 1997, at the Veteran's Administration Hospi- tal in Elsmere following a long ill- ness. Born in Philadelphia, Pa., Dug- gan gravitated to the Delaware coast in the late 1940s, when Dewey Beach was a weather-beat- en hodge-podge of modest beach cottages and fishing shacks. He was one of the original life- guards of the Dewey Beach Patrol and later worked as a bartender for Harry Shand at the legendary Bottle n' Cork. His family eventually pur- went on station in 1890. The last vessel marking Over- falls shoal was taken off station and replaced with a large buoy with horn and light in 1961. The vessel went to another station on the West Coast. The vessel now known as the chased the Starboard Restaurant in Dewey Beach, and throughout the 1960s and 1970s Dug- gan held court there in Hemingway- DUGGAN esque fash- ion, regaling rapt patrons with his wry observa- tions and boisterous tales of life at the beach. For countless summer visitors, no trip to the beach was complete without an audience with the "Duke of Dewey", deep within the rowdy recesses of the Starboard bar. Later, in keeping with the versa- tility of his multi-faceted nature, Duggan departed seasonally from his beloved beach to teach mathe- matics at Salesianum School in Overfalls spent most of its work- ing life along the coast of Cape Cod anchored on shoals known as Cornfields, Pollock Rip and Boston. After Boston, the vessel was de- commissioned and given to Lewes Historical Society in 1973. Wilmington and to coach their swimming team to several cham- pionship seasons. He was a grad- uate of Villanova University in Philadelphia. Throughout his life, he main- tained a great affection for playing the ponies, plying the local water- ways, and sharing the wealth of his exuberant personality on the sunny shores of Florida. He had been vacationing there when he was stricken with the fi- nal stages of his illness and was flown to the hospital in Elsmere earlier this week. He is survived by his wife, Car- ol of Lewes; a son, Michael Dug- gan of Landenberg, Pa.; a sister, Mary McLaughlin of Wilmington; and two grandchildren. He will be cremated in Wilm- ington with a private ceremony and his passing marks the end of an era in Dewey Beach. ---Geoffrey B. Vernon EXPIRES MAR. 6th SPECIAL OF THE MONTH MID-WINTER'S FIXER UPPER SPECIAL At BescM Furnltureyou'll find the furnishing Ideas you're look- Ing for to "fix-up" your living, fatally or great rooms. Now through March 6th this once-a-year special spotlights the best knoma brand mines flA-Z- BOY, cR. England/ costa0. For Free Southern Sussex Hospitality Btm:lm FumtbJ Is conveniently located on RT. 9 between Georgetown and Lewes. west of RT. 30. Btc  presents a complete com- pierrot of home (and office) furnishings for any size walleL Bem: Fmltu ... where newcomers to the area. budget conscious shoppers, communl- t.y builders and homemakers have all been satisfied every.year since 1965. 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