Dorch­ester presents Her­itage Awards

Dorchester Star - - Front Page - By VIC­TO­RIA WIN­GATE vwingate@ches­pub.com Fol­low me on Twit­ter @vic­to­ri­adorstar and on In­sta­gram @dorch­ester.star.

CAM­BRIDGE — Lo­cal her­itage champions were hon­ored Thurs­day, Sept. 22, for go­ing the ex­tra mile to pre­serve and pro­mote lo­cal her­itage in Dorch­ester County.

The awards were pre­sented by the Heart of the Chesapeake Coun­try Her­itage Area Man­age­ment Board at the an­nual Her­itage Awards event.

CAM­BRIDGE — Lo­cal her­itage champions were hon­ored Thurs­day, Sept. 22, for go­ing the ex­tra mile to pre­serve and pro­mote lo­cal her­itage in Dorch­ester County.

The awards were pre­sented by the Heart of the Chesapeake Coun­try Her­itage Area Man­age­ment Board at the an­nual Her­itage Awards event.

Dan Cada was pre­sented the In­di­vid­ual Achieve­ment award for his ex­ten­sive vol­un­teer work with the Richard­son Mar­itime Mu­seum and the Dorch­ester Skip­jack Com­mit­tee.

“Over the past two years, he has demon­strated lead­er­ship and or­ga­ni­za­tional skills vi­tal to main­tain­ing the safety and phys­i­cal in­tegrity of the Nathan,” said Lou Hy­man, pres­i­dent of Dorch­ester Skip­jack Com­mit­tee Board of Di­rec­tors. “Dan’s com­mit­ment to the Nathan, as well as pro­fes­sional at­ti­tude and crafts­man­ship, is critical to main­tain­ing this vi­sion and keep­ing the youngest skip­jack on the Chesapeake Bay.”

“You all know that a project like main­tain­ing a wooden boat isn’t done by one per­son,” said Cada. “There’s at least two dozen hands in this crowd right now that have worked on that boat, that have scraped and sanded and made it look re­ally nice. We’ve kept it in the con­di­tion that the Coast Guard not only de­mands, but also ap­pre­ci­ates that we have done. This be­longs as well to all of those folks.”

With a his­tory in build­ing ships for the Navy, Cada said he knew lit­tle about wooden boats upon his ar­rival in Dorch­ester County, but Bobby and Harold Ruark taught him a great deal. He said he works on the Nathan of Dorch­ester in their honor.

Jay and Su­san Mered­ith were pre­sented the Or­ga­ni­za­tional Ex­cel­lence award for the restora­tion of their fam­ily farm prop­erty.

“We were very care­ful in our se­lec­tion, and I think we made a per­fectly won­der­ful se­lec­tion,” said East New Mar­ket Mayor Caro­line Klein. “Jay and Su­san Mered­ith were nom­i­nated for this award for their painstak­ing ef­forts to pre­serve and faith­fully re­store the farm once owned by Thomas Mered­ith and its re­lated build­ings, in­clud­ing the Buck­town Vil­lage Store, which is as­so­ci­ated with Har­riet Tub­man and open to the pub­lic. The Mered­iths can look back with great pride over a fam­ily legacy re­stored.”

The colo­nial-style home sit­u­ated on the prop­erty was first built in 1790, and the store was built in 1800.

“I met Jay when I was 16, and that’s all he ever wanted to do in life,” said Su­san Mered­ith. “I’d just like to thank ev­ery­one in­volved in giv­ing us this award. I am truly hum­bled. Our fam­ily is to­tally in­vested.”

J.M. Clay­ton Com­pany was pre­sented the Busi­ness Friend award for the com­pany’s con­tri­bu­tions to area her­itage over many gen­er­a­tions.

“J.M. Clay­ton is the world’s old­est work­ing crab pro­cess­ing plant, and it was founded in 1890 by Cap­tain John M. Clay­ton,” said Dorch­ester County Coun­cil­man Tom Brad­shaw. “More than 125 years later, the com­pany is still owned and op­er­ated by the Clay­ton fam­ily. To­day, Clay­tons is op­er­ated by three brothers — Jack, Bill, and Joe Brooks — and Clay Brooks, the first of the fifth gen­er­a­tion. The busi­ness is not only a land­mark on the Cam­bridge Creek, but also an icon in the seafood in­dus­try.”

Jack Brooks ex­pressed thanks on be­half of the fam­ily and said they were hum­bled to re­ceive the honor. The com­pany was also rec­og­nized for their his­tory with a 2016 Amer­i­can Trea­sures Award.

The Her­itage Awards event was held at Ruark Boat­works and catered by Katie Mae’s. Sev­eral lo­cal and state dig­ni­taries were in at­ten­dance, in­clud­ing Sen. Ad­die Eckardt, Del. Chris Adams, Del. Johnny Mautz, and county coun­cil mem­bers Tom Brad­shaw and Don Sat­ter­field.

Each award winner was also pre­sented a ci­ta­tion in honor of their achieve­ment from the Mary­land Sen­ate and Mary­land House of Delegates, pre­sented by Eckardt, Adams and Mautz.

In ad­di­tion to the awards, Direc­tor of Dorch­ester County Tourism Amanda Fen­ster­maker an­nounced the win­ners of the yearly “mini-grants” that help fund projects that con­trib­ute to lo­cal her­itage tourism.

The 2016 awardees are Cam­bridge Main Street, lo­gis­ti­cal sup­port for the 2017 Groove City Jazz Fes­ti­val; Dorch­ester County His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety, dig­i­tal trans­fer of vin­tage movies of Dorch­ester County and its peo­ple; Dorch­ester Skip­jack Com­mit­tee, sup­port for the 20th an­niver­sary 2016 Chop­tank Her­itage Skip­jack Race; East New Mar­ket Her­itage Com­mit­tee, sup­port for the 15th an­nual pro­gram in 2016, hon­or­ing the his­tory of East New Mar­ket; Friends of Black­wa­ter Na­tional Wildlife Refuge, sup­port for the 2017 Ea­gle Fes­ti­val; Har­riet Tub­man Or­ga­ni­za­tion, sup­port for the 2016 John Creighton Tree Plant­ing Cer­e­mony, hon­or­ing the late Har­riet Tub­man re­searcher and his­to­rian; James B. Richard­son Foun­da­tion, sup­port for ed­u­ca­tional pro­grams and re-en­act­ment en­camp­ment dur­ing the 2016 Cam­bridge Tall Ship Schooner Ren­dezvous; Na­tional Out­door Foun­da­tion, ad­ver­tis­ing sup­port for the 72nd an­nual Na­tional Out­door Show in 2017; and Spocott Wind­mill Foun­da­tion, cre­ation of way-find­ing and in­ter­pre­tive sig­nage at Spocott Wind­mill and Vil­lage.

PHOTO BY VIC­TO­RIA WIN­GATE

Dan Cada ac­cepted the In­di­vid­ual Achieve­ment award in honor of his many years of vol­un­teer ser­vice with the Richard­son Mar­itime Mu­seum and the Dorch­ester Skip­jack Com­mit­tee.

PHOTO BY VIC­TO­RIA WIN­GATE

Jay and Su­san Mered­ith, with their fam­ily, ac­cepted the Or­ga­ni­za­tional Ex­cel­lence award for the restora­tion of the Mered­ith prop­erty, in­clud­ing the Buck­town Vil­lage Store.

PHOTO BY VIC­TO­RIA WIN­GATE

The Brooks fam­ily, fourth and fifth gen­er­a­tions of the J.M. Clay­ton com­pany, ac­cepted the Busi­ness Friend award in honor of their long and vi­brant his­tory in Dorch­ester County.

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