ELIZABETH, NJ – The A.J. Meerwald, New Jersey’s official Tall Ship, will dock at the Waterfront Pier and Marina, July 15-17, for tours and sails, the Elizabeth Destination Marketing Organization announced this week.
The appearance of the A.J. Meerwald calls attention to the role the city’s waterways played in history, in particular in the Revolutionary War. “Elizabeth was right in the center of early battles in the Revolutionary War,” said Freeholder Bette Jane Kowalski. “The first British ship was sunk here. Alexander Hamilton visited Boxwood Hall. There is a walking tour of Elizabeth. There is so much to see.”
Councilman Manny Grova said, “Henry Hudson explored this waterway. George Washington sailed the Arthur Kill. The first submarine was built here.”
Noreen Bodman, executive director of Crossroads of the Revolution National Area, called events like the Tall Ship’s visit a celebration of New Jersey’s history. “It connects us. Together we can say this is our history.”
Built in 1928, the A.J. Meerwald was an oyster schooner, constructed in Dorchester, New Jersey. It served as a fire boat in World War II, and then fell into decline. It was rescued in 1988 by the Bayshore Center at Bivalve and restored. Since 1995 it has served as a teaching vessel and more than 6,000 students and 1,000 non-students 1,000 non-students have participated in its educational programs.
The Bayshore Center also runs week-long summer camps for students 13 to 17 years old. One will sail out of Liberty State Park in Jersey City and the other out of Barnegat Bay and will sail out to the ocean. For more information, contact www.bayshorecenter.org.
For reservations to sail the A.J. Meerwald, July 15-17, visit www.GoElizabethNJ.com/Sail.