Restored Potomac Pilothouse exhibit will open in fall 2018

A conceptual drawing of the proposed Steamer Potomac Pilothouse exhibit as it will appear at the Steamboat Era Museum. Drawing by Randal J. Kipp Architecture

IRVINGTON—The Steamboat Era Museum board of directors and Pilothouse Campaign committee recently announced the installation of the Steamer Potomac’s Pilothouse in the museum during the fall of 2018.

The pilothouse is the largest remaining portion of a Chesapeake Bay steamboat and in 2015 it was named one of “Virginia’s Top Ten Endangered Artifacts” by the Virginia Association of Museums, said executive director Barbara Brecher.

This is the culmination of the work of many people as well as extraordinary support from the community in the museum’s fundraising efforts, said Brecher.

In addition to public donations, the museum received a grant from the Wiley foundation for $100,000 and a challenge grant, which was met by community support, for $50,000 from the Mary Morton Parsons Foundation.

The pilothouse was saved from demolition in 1936 by Ben and Willoughby Colonna, owners of the Colonna Shipyard in Norfolk.

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