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Although the face of businesses and the community that supports them have evolved dramatically over the past 75 years, the charter of the Port Washington Chamber of Commerce hasn't changed at all since it was founded in 1930. The chamber always has and always will be dedicated to helping businesses thrive and grow. In celebration of its 75th anniversary, the chamber is hosting an event at the Port Washington Yacht Club on Saturday, Dec. 3.

Since Port Washington and Manhasset Bay was the scene of many famous nautical accomplishments, including the design and building of many world renowned boats, it seemed fitting to tie Port's rich nautical commercial history into the celebration. Therefore, the evening's presentation will feature a brief, yet fascinating look back at both the nautical commercial history and the Chamber's role in helping businesses succeed during its early years. While boat building and sand mining have long since been replaced as key industries in Port Washington, back in 1930 they were the lifeblood for many in the community. Today's Bay activity is reserved primarily for recreational purposes. But back then, the Bay was literally humming with the sound of custom designed boats being built, flying boats (seaplanes of yesteryear) making groundbreaking history, and barges carrying the sand that built much of Manhattan's skyscrapers and sidewalks.

The chamber will also be honoring two local historians who have dedicated an immense amount of time and energy to preserving and recounting our nautical heritage: Walter "Duke" Dayton and Ginger Marshall-Martus. Walter Dayton has served as historian of the Port Washington Yacht Club for decades and is a walking nautical history book who can recall amazing details on just about any boating-related subject. "Duke" was also instrumental in bringing together members of Manhasset Bay's yacht clubs and establishing a formal racing committee back in 1965. Today, the Cow Bay Racing Association is stronger than ever.

Ginger Marshall-Martus, daughter and niece of the owners of A&R Marshall Marine Yard, has always been involved with the Bay and boats. Like Dayton, Martus is also a nautical historian, and authored the book, Port Recalled, a comparison of the historic versus modern Port. For nearly 10 years she also published Bone Yard Boats, a national newsletter that worked to salvage old boats.

If you are interested in attending this celebration or placing an ad in the keepsake commemorative journal to show your support for the chamber, for the community, or for Duke and Ginger, feel free to contact the chamber office at 883-6566 or email pwcoc@optonline.net for details.


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