Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Sam Green had seen it many times while he was paddling down the Oconee River at Blackshear's Ferry, but only when the water was low. He knew what it was, but he couldn't quite figure out how to get it out of the river. Sam thought to himself, why don't I take it out and make it into something for my Eagle Scout project. So, with the aid of his father and several friends, Sam carefully lifted out the visible portion of the old abandoned ferry boat and went to work. When he finished his project, Sam graciously donated his project to the people of Laurens County. Today at the Dublin-Laurens museum, you can see the result of historic preservation at its best.

Sam Green, son of Randy and Pam Green, is busy playing soccer, going to school, and getting ready to graduate from Trinity High School later this month, before attending Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in the fall. He started his project a year ago, but had to wait when his busy schedule caused him to miss the rising waters of the winter. Then on the first day of February earlier this year, Sam was finally able to bring a portion of the old boat ashore for the first time since the county stopped operating the ferry after the use of motor vehicle bridges at Dublin and Ball's Ferry made the service obsolete in the late 1940s.

"The challenge was that the water was deeper than we thought," Sam recalled. "The biggest challenge was fighting the elements," Sam's father Randy said. Finding the boat buried deep in the silty mud, digging it out became an impossible task. Then the Greens enlisted the aid of Mickey Baker, who furnished a pump to literally wash it out of its watery grave. Friends Andrew and Eric Eck lent a hand too.

Sam and his friends were able to secure about twenty boards, some usable and others too far disintegrated to be of any use. Sam had gotten the idea for a bench while visiting Don Thompson's store. The first order of business was to dry the boards. Jake Dean helped to saw the boards and Phillip Morris planed them into just the right thickness and width. After three months, Sam presented his bench, which includes a storage compartment beneath a hinged seat, to Scott Thompson, Director of the Dublin-Laurens Museum. The bench will become a part of the museum's permanent collection and will be part of the featured exhibits during the celebration of Dublin's bicentennial beginning in 2012.

And, there's still more. For good measure, Sam placed an original board inside the storage compartment. And to say thank you to those who helped him in the project, Sam asked Dublin attorney, Judge Johnny W. Warren, to finely craft ink pens made from the wood of the old ferry boat, which thanks to Sam will be preserved for many generations to come.

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