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Thursday, October 27, 2016

CBMM Opens New Tugboat Exhibit April 21

March 6, 2012

“Push and Pull: Life on Chesapeake Tugboats,” opens as a new exhibit on Saturday, April 21 in the Steamboat Building of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum (CBMM) in St. Michaels, MD. 

The Chesapeake is a highway for tugs and barges, and for the large ships aided by tugs in port. The exhibit explores the lives of the men and women who work on these tugboats and the variety of ways tugs are used around the Chesapeake. In addition to interactive displays along with the images and stories of life on tugboats, the exhibit includes a large, compound steam engine salvaged from the 1924 C&O railroad tug, W. J. Harahan (ex-Chessie, ex-El Toro). 

Visitors will gain historical perspective on what has changed in the world of tugboats on the Bay since their first arrival, and meet some of the captains and crews who work—and sometimes live—aboard these hard-working boats.  To gather the stories of these men and women, CBMM Folklorist Michelle Zacks went aboard tugs, photographed their work, collected photographs from some of the crews, and conducted a series of oral history interviews all around the Bay.
“Push and Pull: Life on Chesapeake Tugboats” runs through 2014 and is open during regular museum hours. This special exhibit is free for CBMM members or with museum admission. For more information, call 410-745-2916 or visit

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