The Big Lift and Beyond

The story of saving an historic ship and putting her in a setting worthy of her past and the crews who served abord her.

In 1999, the Lightship Overfalls, encased in seven feet of mud, rusted away in Lewes, Delaware’s harbor. Could she be saved? Anybody with any sense could see that she was too far gone and the resources just weren’t available. That was when a small group rejected the conventional wisdom and attempted the impossible. Progress was slow at first but as the ship’s appearance improved momentum built and community support kept pace. Thirteen years, over 85,000 volunteer hours and a capital expenditure of $1.2 million later, she was designated a National Historic Landmark. Now the ship floats proudly in her slip as one of the icons of the town that prides itself on its special relationship with the sea.

This document tells the story of how the impossible is merely a minor inconvenience to determined people on a mission.

43 pages text and photos, 81/2 x 11 printed, soft cover publication.

Dave Bernheisel of the Overfalls Foundation is the author. Dave has been an active member of the Overfalls Foundation since the year 2000.  Throughout that time he has been a member of the Dirty Hands Gang and a regular ship guide.  In addition he served a term as Vice President and two terms as President as well as chaired several of the Foundation's regular and ad hoc committees. 

This, the third, edition has been laid out by Jim Tracy specifically for internet viewing. Thanks Jim! Copies of this publication are available at the Overfalls Ship's Store for $15.00, during the tour season