Long-time Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum employee Eric Applegarth of Claiborne, Md. recently retired after 28 years of service. Applegarth worked as the Exhibits Specialist at CBMM, creating diverse props, art, and structures from his various creative talents, including woodcarving, metal-working, and painting.
Connected to the Eastern Shore and the Chesapeake Bay through a long line of heritage and through personal interest in what the Bay has to offer, Applegarth joined CBMM in 1988 after a few years of part-time work.
“Eric’s impact can be seen in virtually every corner of CBMM, from the perfectly cluttered decoy carver’s shop in our Waterfowling exhibition, to the metal outline mannequins in At Play on the Bay and the carved wooden faces and hands of the crew on the skipjack E.C. Collier in Oystering,” says CBMM Chief Curator Pete Lesher. “Eric’s cheerful willingness to do absolutely anything that needs to be done, his self-deprecating humor, and his sunny demeanor made him the most beloved member of CBMM’s staff for more than a quarter of a century.”
In his retirement, Applegarth will spend time in Claiborne, Md., and in New Haven, Ct., with his wife Michelle Zacks, an associate director at Yale University. With hopes to continue his passion for art and carpentry, Applegarth plans on volunteering with New Haven’s local museums and will stay connected to CBMM through continued work on exhibitions.
“I’ve really enjoyed the challenge of creating non-technical interactives to continue the story line of CBMM’s exhibitions,” says Applegarth. “I’ve also enjoyed the time that I’ve spent growing up along the Chesapeake, doing the things I love—from trapping muskrats, to boatbuilding, and working with watermen.”
Submitted by Tracey Johns, CBMM, September 29, 2016