Wm. B. Tennison is a nine-log sailing bugeye hull converted to powered buy-boat, official number 081674. Tennison was built in 1899 by master carpenter Frank Laird of Monie, Maryland, at Crabb Island (now abandoned) near Oriole, Somerset County, Maryland, on a tributary of the Manokin River off Tangier Sound. Tennison was built for Benjamin P. and Rufus L. Miles of Monie, Maryland, who used her as a bugeye oyster dredge boat until 1908-9 when she was converted to power. The date of 1899 was a late one for the construction of a "chunk" or log hull bugeye. By this time logs were becoming scare and the bugeye was beginning to be replaced by the smaller, easier to operate, and cheaper to build skipjack. This late construction date in part explains Tennison's survival. Of the hundreds of sailing bugeyes dredging in the 1880s, less than 50 survived to 1938.
Hours and Fees
One-hour cruises around Solomons Inner Harbor leave the museum dock at 2:00 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday, May through October. On Saturdays and Sundays in July and August there is an additional cruise at 12:30 p.m. On Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, and Columbus Day there will also be a 3:10 cruise.
$7.00 for Adults
$4.00 for children 5-12 years
Under 5 are free when accompanied by an adult
All cruises are weather permitting. Space is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Maximum capacity is 47. Cruises sail the busy Solomons inner harbor, see Solomons Island and the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory; cruise past the U.S. Naval Recreation Center at Point Patience and pass underneath the Governor Thomas Johnson Bridge.
Solomon's Island is hardly an island at all now - the connection to the mainland is spanned by a bridge that is so small as to be almost unnoticeable. The road to Solomons from the north is Maryland Route 2 which comes south from Annapolis right to the island. But from St. Mary's County, one had to go up to Hughesville and take the bridge on Maryland Route 234 across to Prince Frederick which is a considerable journey.
It wasn't until this bridge was built that access to Solomons Island became easily possible from south of the Patuxent.
This picture was taken around 1999 after the bridge was under repair because the support columns cracked.
The Solomon's museum (Calvert Marine Museum) sponsors tours on the 1768 Colonial schooner Sultana. The Sultana is 100 feet long, and is the reproduction of the British Royal Navy ship of the same name. The original Sultana sailed on the Chesapeake before the American Revolution. It was built from the original plans and is considered one of the most authentic 18th century reproductions afloat today.
Guests will have the chance to handle the sails and steer. No children younger than 5 are permitted on the public sail.
I'm not sure if this picture is of the Sultana - I have taken a picture of her off Solomon's Island, but I can't find it right now.
Solomon's Island is one of the larger boating centers on the Chesapeake (along with Annapolis, St. Michaels, Oxford, etc.) Many people visit Solomon's by boat. Some of them go to marinas and some anchor in Back Creek (see Sports Tips). The ones that anchor can come to the museum by dinghy.
Behind the dock is the Small Boat facility at the museum.