Winnie Estelle was built in Crisfield, Md., by Noah T. Evans in 1920 and operated on the lower Chesapeake Bay for more than 50 years, carrying fish and oysters purchased directly from watermen and taking them to city markets or to big seafood packing houses for sale. A native Smith Islander and occasional boatbuilder, Evans named Winnie Estelle for his two daughters.
Winnie Estelle’s last Chesapeake owners were Smith Islanders Watson Marie Marshall, known as “Shug,” and his son Eugene “Gene” Marshall. They bought Winnie Estelle in 1960 and frequently took the vessel across the Bay to pick up fish scraps for rendering, to sell oysters, or to travel to the waterfront fish market in Washington, DC. When sold by the Marshalls 1975, Winnie was taken to the Caribbean as a cargo boat and, year later, was rebuilt for use as an island trader, carrying lumber from Honduras to Belize, and later as a charter boat in Belize.
Today, Winnie takes students out for educational programming, and CBMM guests and private parties out for Miles River cruises. In early 2012, Michael Whitehill of Centreville, Md., purchased the boat, which was donated to CBMM in 2014 by an anonymous donor.
Built: 1920, Crisfield or Smith Island, Md., by Noah Evans
Length: 64 ft., 9 in. (19.78 m)
Beam: 16 ft., 3 in. (4.97 m)
Draft: 3 ft., 6 in. (1.09 m)
Winnie Estelle, buyboat, 1920. Collection of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, St. Michaels, Md. Gift of an anonymous donor. 2014.0014.0001.