Bayfield Lions restoring old sunken ship rudder as part of upcoming 75th year celebrations
The Bayfield Lions Club are going to relocate a fifteen-foot tall ship rudder found under the water in front of Pioneer Park as part of their 75th anniversary celebrations next year.
Lions member Bill Rowatt says the rudder is believed to be part of the schooner, the Marta, which was built in a St. Catherines shipyard in 1853 and sank just off the shore in front of Pioneer Park in 1892. Rowatt explains, the rudder has been sitting in front of Gozzards Boat Works in Goderich for several years, but Mike Gozzard, who was involved in finding it and bringing it out of the water, said he was definitely in favour of repatriating the rudder to Bayfield. Rowatt says they hope to have it repaired and installed by this fall.
“It’ll be the original, with a couple of replica parts embedded in it. Now once it’s done, then it’s going to be located back in Pioneer Park, right above where the original wreck of the Marta happened.”
Rowatt says the pandemic has set back the process of repairing to some degree.
“Once he gets it restored, we already have the brackets for it, so it’s simply a case of dropping the bracket into a cement footing and then you set the original rudder into the bracket.”
Rowatt adds, they’re still discussing the possibility of a suitable plaque of some kind.