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Inductees - 2014


David Bernheisel

David Bernheisel

 

Dave Bernheisel spearheaded a complex effort that restored the Lightship Overfalls culminating in its being designated a National Historic Landmark on September 28, 2011. The Overfalls is the only ship in Delaware to have this recognition, and the only National Historic Landmark in Sussex County. Starting in 2000, Dave was a member of the Overfalls who was directly involved in administration and board work, belonged to the Dirty Hands Gang (which did the ship’s physical restoration work), actively raised funds, gave hundreds of ship tours, and established local and national relationships to benefit the Overfalls. Thus he understood better than anyone else the administrative problems of establishing and growing the Overfalls Foundation, the mechanical challenges of ship restoration, and the seeming fiscal impossibility of bringing the ship back to life. His personal skills focused multiple teams on one overarching goal and instilled the belief that their goal could be accomplished despite the obstacles and challenges they faced. He served as board chair from 2005-2007 and 2009-2010.

Dave served in the US Navy from 1954 -1957; captained a Mainship 34 trawler 6,227 miles around America’s Great Loop from Delaware up into Canada, across to Chicago through the Mississippi to the Tennessee Tombigbee waterway, around Florida and back in 2002-2003. He was captain of the George Washington University Sailing Team; received his BBA in Business from George Washington University and MBA in International Business from Southeastern University; was an International Election Observer, traveling to many countries from 2000 to 2013.


Joshua Fisher

Joshua Fisher

 

Joshua Fisher (1707-1783) was born in Sussex County to a prominent Philadelphia Quaker family and inherited land in Sussex. As an intelligent youth, he was interested in mathematics and surveying and became skilled in navigation and coast survey.

He set up in Lewes as a hatter, trading with natives and inland farmers for beaver and for other fur-bearing animal skins and shipping excess skins to Philadelphia and England. After moving to Philadelphia, he established Fisher and Sons Mercantile Firm and a packet line between Philadelphia and London. Navigation on the bay to Philadelphia depended on local Pilots. In 1730 Fisher used an invention known as the “Reflecting Octant” to take angles at sea to determine latitude of Cape James now known as Cape Henlopen. His crowning achievement was publishing “Delaware Bay from Sea-Coast to Reedy Island” chart in 1756, which was the first accurately plotted chart of the entrance to the bay, its anchorages and channels. Copies were sent to Thomas Penn in England, the merchant and pilot subscribers, and Benjamin Franklin, despite efforts to suppress it due to the French and Indian War. It was revised in 1776 and extended to Philadelphia. This was reproduced in London, Paris, and elsewhere and used until the United States Coastal Survey of 1848.

Fisher’s work was used to settle the Penn and Calvert boundary dispute. His charts allowed Pilots to navigate the Delaware Bay thus creating a safe voyage and promoting trade and industry.


Roy W. Miller

Roy W. Miller

 

Roy W. Miller served 43 years as fishery biologist, supervisor, manager, and administrator for the Division of Fish and Wildlife within Delaware‘s Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control. Striped bass, American shad, river herring, weakfish and the horseshoe crab are among the fishery species of Delaware’s waters that have benefited from Roy’s service. As a charter member of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Striped Bass Technical Committee beginning in 1978 and later its Striped Bass Management Board, Roy played a significant role in restoring this keystone species in the Delaware River and Bay. His leadership on the Horseshoe Crab Board came at a critical time as decisions were made to rescue horseshoe crabs from overfishing.Roy’s achievements also include coordinating fish kill investigations for the State for 25 plus years, helping design an accessible fishing pier for disabled anglers at the Ted Harvey Wildlife Area, supervising completion of Lewes’s public boat ramp, initiating trout stocking in lower Delaware, negotiating settlement agreements with a utility that brought $15.5 million to DNREC for public works, and helping design the DuPont Nature Center at Mispillion Harbor. Roy published many scientific articles and taught college courses in field biology and fisheries management. Since retirement, Roy has worked as policy coordinator for the Delaware Center for Inland Bays, drafted the 2013 shellfish aquaculture legislation, and serves as the Governor’s appointee on the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. Roy is being inducted for his many contributions to maintaining healthy fisheries in Delaware’s estuaries.


Judith Roales

Judith Roales

 

Judith Roales' research and photo documentation of Delaware’s lighthouses and range lights led to her writing a series of lighthouse books, which include information about lighthouse technology, construction techniques, Fresnel lenses, stories about local keepers, and commentary on the status of Delaware’s lights. Judith’s presentations, articles, and books inspired Delaware’s Lighthouse trail, which guides interested visitors to the state’s existing lighthouses, sites of former lighthouses, and the location of lighthouse artifacts.

A longtime president of the Delaware River and Bay Lighthouse Foundation, she helped the organization become a well-organized, financially sound, prominent entity devoted to educating and promoting Delaware’s maritime history. She developed the historic materials and displays inside the East End and Harbor of Refuge Lighthouses and opened the Delaware East End Lighthouse for public tours. She made presentations throughout Delaware to schools, senior centers, historic societies, and other organizations regarding the history and plight of the Harbor of Refuge Lighthouse. Her fundraising efforts secured over three million dollars for the stabilization and repair of the National Harbor of Refuge Breakwater. In addition Judith prepared detailed documentation of the wall’s original construction materials and its repairs, which she donated to the Lewes Historical Society as a permanent record of the wall’s history.

During her career, Judith has worked as a national award-winning reporter and newspaper executive. Through her innovative leadership the Foundation created the Lighthouse Festival at Lewes Ferry Terminal and helped the City of Lewes develop the Lewes Maritime History Trail. Her efforts have helped preserve Delaware lighthouses.


C. Harwin Smith

C. Harwin Smith

 

C. Harwin Smith is known in the boating community as an educator and leader. His personal qualities have earned him great respect from his mentees and peers who speak highly of his commitment, knowledge, patience, and helpful nature. His leadership skills have been evidenced throughout a lifetime of contributions and activity in all aspects of boating and navigating. He promoted high standards in boat handling and navigation that enhanced enjoyment and safety. Having taught many classes for the Wilmington Power Squadron, he has impacted over 400 students. He used both unique classroom training techniques and on the water training on his sailboat “Stinger” to teach the art and science of navigation rather than sole reliance on electronic instruments. Harwin was born in Wilmington, DE where he spent most of his life. He is part of a rich family history involving the sea and sailing which was passed along to his children. He is married to Jane Hinton-Smith and currently resides in North Carolina.

Harwin has acquired an outstanding racing record, consistently finishing at the top of the fleet in over 800 career races. He has achieved the rank of Senior Navigator with a full certificate in the Wilmington Power Squadron and became a Commander in 1983-84. He assisted with the production of a training film which is still in use today. In addition to holding many leadership positions within maritime organizations, he also found time to donate to the Wilmington YMCA and the Boy Scouts. Harwin was awarded the National Mariners Award for the 1983 Sailor of the Year.

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