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KODIAK (AP) — A historic fishing vessel has been given a permanent home in downtown Kodiak after 12 years of refurbishment and sitting in storage.
The Thelma C fished for 40 years under multiple owners before it was donated to the Kodiak Maritime Museum in 2005, the Kodiak Daily Mirror reported .
The 36-foot salmon seiner was built in 1965 by a Kodiak resident to replace a vessel destroyed in Valdez by the earthquake and tsunami the previous year.
The boat was moved to its new location on Wednesday, where it will serve as an exhibit. Interpretive panels describing the 1964 earthquake and tsunami and the commercial salmon fishery are expected to be installed around the boat by the spring, said Toby Sullivan, the museum’s executive director.
“It will talk about how the boat was built and a history of the boat, because the boat links all of those themes,” Sullivan said. “The boat was built because of the earthquake.”
A pavilion with lighting will be added above the boat, and the area around it will be landscaped, Sullivan said. An exhibit like this has been a goal of the museum for about 20 years, said Chris Lynch, a founding board member of the museum.
A site was selected, and plans were formed after the boat was donated. They originally planned to have the exhibit ready in 2014, but the project was halted when problems were found at the initial site.
“I think it will be a major addition to the downtown infrastructure. Definitely a lot of visitors come to the harbor, and they walk around and look at the boats,” Lynch said. “We already do harbor walking tours. But this exhibit will help people understand what goes on in the harbor and some of the history about Kodiak without going on a tour.”