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Inductees - 2011

The Delaware Maritime Hall of Fame inducted its 2011 class during a banquet October 8 at the Lewes Yacht club. A record crowd of 165 people attend.  It was one of the best HOF's ever with speeches from the inductees containing many salty sea stories and intimate details of their lives.

The following were honored for their many contributions to Delaware's historic maritime tradition which has shaped the state's fortunes for centuries.


George Elliott

George Elliott

 

George Elliott was born in Gumboro, Delaware in 1937 and grew up in Laurel. He married Trennock Marvel of Lewes. During a time of transition and growth, he championed the saving of the derelict historic Overfalls Lightship. He acknowledged that the Lewes Historical Society needed to locate an outside group to accomplish this. George had a very personal commitment to the lightship’s restoration and served on the Board of Directors of the Overfalls Foundation as its treasurer and as manager of the Overfalls Ship Guides.

After graduating from U.S. Naval Academy in 1959, he served in the U.S. Navy for thirty years. His naval career was distinguished by commanding three ships, receiving numerous decorations including two Bronze Stars, serving two years in combat in Viet Nam, and retiring with the rank of Captain in 1985. During his naval career he earned a Master’s degree in International Affairs from George Washington University and studied at the Naval War College.

Under his leadership as its president, George elevated the Lewes Historical Society to one of the most respected city historical societies in the state of Delaware. He introduced a computer/software system to catalog and track the society’s historic maritime history collections, managed the refurbishment of three historic house museums, installed a permanent executive director, proposed an endowment fund, and transferred ownership of the historic Overfalls Lightship to the Overfalls Foundation, who restored the ship and secured its status as a U. S. Landmark. It is because of Capt. Elliott’s dedication to preserving our maritime history, museums, and landmark that he is being inducted into the Delaware Maritime Hall of Fame.


Charles Epifanio

Charles Epifaio

 

Charles Epifanio was born in New York in 1944. He joined the University of Delaware College of Marine Studies faculty in 1970 upon receiving his Ph.D. from Duke University. Although he has worked with bivalves and fish, his passion is the blue crab which supports major fisheries from New Jersey to Texas. The blue crab fisheries in bays along the mid- Atlantic coast were once believed to be separate entities with larvae produced remaining in the bay of origin, so the fisheries in those bays were managed independently. After two decades of research on the Delaware Bay and Atlantic coast, Dr. Epifanio demonstrated that the larvae were transported to the open ocean from where they may or may not return to their natal estuary. For example, there is likely mixing of larvae from Delaware Bay and Chesapeake Bay. Some get transported long distances. He determined that variation in river discharge and wind patterns controlled the year-to-year variation in recruitment of young crabs. Dr. Epifanio and colleagues employed mathematical models to simulate larval transport under a variety of discharge and wind conditions allowing them to simulate effects of extreme weather events such as hurricanes and potential impacts of climate change on blue crab populations.

Dr. Epifanio has held several administrative positions at the College of Marine Studies, including Director of the Marine Biology-Biochemistry Program, Associate Dean of the College, and is currently Interim Director of School of Marine Science and Policy. He is an Endowed Harrington Professor of Marine Science, recipient of the University Graduate Mentoring Award, and has published over 120 articles in scientific literature.  


Laurence Knapp

Laurence Knapp

 

Laurence Knapp was born in Lewes and graduated from Lewes High school. After graduation, he joined the U.S. Marine Corps and was honorably discharged following service in Korea in 1953-54. He was a member of the Pilots’ Association for the Bay and River Delaware, served on its Board of Directors, and was chairman of the apprentice training program. He is a member of the Lewes Historical Society, volunteers as a docent at the Cannonball House, and volunteers on the Project Liberty Ship, John W. Brown. His superior piloting skills were relied upon by many members of the maritime community.

In 1967, Capt. Harry Rowland, owner of Wilmington Tug, selected Capt. Knapp to assist him with docking and sailing of ocean-going vessels at the Port of Wilmington and other docks on the Delaware River. From the time he started until present, Larry has handled approximately ten thousand ships. According to Hick Rowland, “The success of Wilmington Tug and growth of the Port of Wilmington is due in no small measure to the skill and hard work contributed by Captain Knapp.” The Port of Wilmington is vital to commerce in the State of Delaware. Without skilled pilots to ensure safe passage of ships from the mouth of the bay to the northern part of our state, the state’s commerce would surely suffer. Capt. Knapp has been inducted into Delaware Maritime Hall of Fame in recognition of his outstanding maritime career.


Mary Emily Miller

Emiy Miller

 

Mary Emily Miller was born in Wilmington in 1934. She was born to a family that was active in maritime activities. Thus, she wrote an article about Frederica while at the University of Delaware, which was published by Delaware History in 1971. While at Boston University, she did her Ph.D. thesis, “The Delaware Oyster Industry,” which was also published by Delaware History in the 1970’s. Both of these articles remain valid references as illustrated by the 2007 citation of her published research articles by the U. S. District Court in the court case of New Jersey vs. The State of Delaware.

Dr. Miller has taught maritime history at Salem, Massachusetts, the Elder Hostel in Rehoboth Beach, and the Southern Delaware Academy of Lifelong Learning. She has drawn attention to long forgotten portions of Delaware’s history and its people by emphasizing local history in maritime affairs. Dr. Miller received the Methodist College Medallion, in Fayetteville, NC, which recognized her 35 years of distinguished service to teaching, The Delaware Small Business Longevity Award, and commendations on the Family Farm’s 325th anniversary. She has been an active crew member and docent for the Kalmar Nyckel, Delaware’s tall ship.

Dr. Miller has been a role model and has had a lasting impact on her students. As a philanthropist, she has provided scholarships for many of her students. Dr. Mary Emily Miller is being inducted into the Delaware Maritime Hall of Fame because of her talent as an excellent researcher, educator, and writer in the field of Delaware Maritime History.  


Hick Rowland, Jr.

Hick Rowland

 

Hick Rowland, Jr., born in Lewes, is a business owner, an entrepreneur and visionary leader who founded or co-founded several businesses and organizations which have been crucial to the success of shipping on the Delaware Bay.

Under Hick’s leadership Wilmington Tug built the first ASD A-drive “tractor tug” in the United States to address the challenge of docking the Ro/Ro car ships that called at the Port of Wilmington. These safer tractor tugs have become the industry standard in the ship assist business across the United States. Wilmington Tug operates the largest tractor tug fleet operating commercially on the U. S. East Coast. As its president Capt. Hick Rowland expanded the Wilmington Tug Company from a one-tugboat operation to the largest ship assist tugboat company of the Delaware River operating from bases in Wilmington and Philadelphia. In 1973 Hick founded Delaware Bay Launch Service to service the tankers performing lightering operations. Then in 1983, he co-founded Marine Lubricants, Inc., the largest supplier of engine lubricants to ships that call on the Delaware River.

Bringing in hundreds of ships per year, Hick saw firsthand the need to build a Seaman’s Center in Delaware. Under the Homeland Security regulations, these volunteers provide the mandatory escort for seafarers to get off the ship; otherwise, mariners would not be allowed ashore. He recruited community members, corporations, and the Port of Wilmington Maritime Society to establish the Seaman’s Center in 1990.


Harry Frazer**

Harry Frazer

 

Harry Frazer is The Delaware Maritime Hall of Fames Meritorious Award recipient. Capt. Frazer had an illustrious 34-year career in U. S. Coast Guard and was the first Delawarean to graduate from the U. S. Coast Guard Academy. Well respected for his leadership as a commanding officer, his junior officers gained confidence and experience under his guidance. In 1973, he stood on the bridge of The Lightship Overfalls as master seaman and Coast Guard representative when the historic lightship was brought to its berth in Lewes. Throughout his Coast Guard career, he was awarded nine medals.

Harry Frazer was well respected for his initiatives to improve safety on Delaware’s waters. Harry wrote a pamphlet about maritime safety titled “Your Holiday Unmarred by Accident”. He was selected to serve on several committees, whose missions were to improve lifesaving rescues, maritime safety, and the Coast Guard law of the sea. Upon his retirement Harry and his wife returned to his boyhood home in Lewes in 1971.

He had a full military honors funeral, including 27 honor guards from Arlington National Cemetery escorting his flag draped casket and a horse drawn caisson, while another seven sailors waited grave side to give a 21- gun salute.

   

** Meritorious Service Award

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