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Harbor History Museum Welcomes Shipwright Nate Slater

Gig Harbor, WA, September 19, 2011

The Harbor History Museum is proud to announce that Nate Slater has been signed as lead shipwright for the Shenandoah Restoration Project. Nate brings almost 20 years of shipwright experience to the project, including work on several historic vessels. He is well known in the South Sound for his shipwright skills, having worked on Gig Harbor fishing boats and the Sea Scout vessels Charles N. Curtis and Odyssey.

Nate grew up around a shipyard; his family owned Marine Industries Northwest in Tacoma. The shipyard was established in 1976 by Nate’s father Don Slater and was recently sold to Vigor Marine.

Nate is very comfortable in a teaching situation and looks forward to creating programs relating to the Shenandoah for visitors of all ages. Not only is Nate a shipwright, he’s an artist and sculptor as well, earning a BA in Fine Arts from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 1991. He looks forward to bringing his artistic eye to the project, as well as interacting with museum visitors. Community involvement is one component of the project, which will provide volunteers the opportunity to work alongside Nate during restoration.

“We are very excited to have Nate on board with this project,” says Vicki Blackwell, Museum Curator. “We know this restoring the Shenandoah is something the public has been anticipating, and we’re excited to get started.”

The Shenandoah was launched at the Skansie Ship Building Company in 1925. The 65-foot purse seiner was built for Gig Harbor fisherman Pasco Dorotich. In 2000 the vessel was gifted to the museum by long-time owner Tony Janovich. Stabilization of the boat was completed by Coastal Heritage Alliance in 2009. The goal of this first restoration phase is to provide visitor access to the deck and wheelhouse.

The Shenandoah Restoration Project is funded through a Washington State Capital Projects for Heritage grant. Anyone interested in volunteering can contact Vicki Blackwell, 253-858-6722 ext. 5 or e-mail

The Gig Harbor Peninsula Historical Society dba Harbor History Museum was founded in 1963, and opened a museum in 1973. The mission of the Harbor History Museum is to create opportunities to experience the heritage of the greater Gig Harbor communities. We do this by collecting, preserving, and sharing this area’s history. The museum is open Tuesday – Sunday, 10am – 5pm, except major holidays.

Contact:  Jennifer Kilmer 253-858-6722