Photos by Robert L. Drake
A cruise up Maryland’s serene, unspoiled Chester River takes you to Chestertown, an amazingly well-preserved town of 2,000. Imposing pre-Revolutionary War buildings from the town’s days as a colonial Chesapeake Bay port of entry line the downtown waterfront. To the south lie Wilmer Park and the maritime campus of Washington College. (George Washington was a founding donor and sat on the board.)
Front and center downtown, at the foot of High Street, is the town dock, where the schooner Sultana is berthed. A cadre of shipwrights and 100 volunteers, plus townspeople and 2,500 schoolchildren, built and launched the 58-foot replica 10 years ago. Volunteers spent 200,000 hours abuilding, following the original 1767 plans, materials and techniques (and adding modern safety equipment).