D'IBERVILLE, MS (WLOX) - In the 20th century, sleek schooners helped build coastal Mississippi's seafood industry.
The Seafood and Maritime History Museum in Biloxi commissioned wooden boat builder Bill Holland to construct a replica of one of the classic schooners and the Glenn L. Swetman game to life.
When under sail, the schooner is a beautiful thing, a tourist attraction and an iconic symbol of our rich maritime history.
Now, the Swetman has returned to her birth place, Bill Holland's boat yard in D'Iberville.
"I've been building wooden boats for about 50 years now," Holland said as he worked on the boat.
Holland built the Swetman more than two decades ago. He said he's now giving the schooner a makeover.
"We have been on the boat for more than a year. We've been working, actually doing a major restoration. We want to bring it back to what it was or even better."
The 68 foot Glenn L. Swetman is used by the Seafood and Maritime History Museum preserve the memory of working boats that were a big part of developing the seafood industry. Holland is mindful of how important it is to keep the schooner seaworthy, as a shining example of our heritage.
"This schooner does not represent just one or two people, it represents all of us who were brought up along the Gulf Coast," said Holland.
Work will continue at the Holland boat yard for the next few months. Then the schooner will be back in the water where she belongs, giving a living history lesson