• Historic ship trekked to Olympia's Hands-On Children's Museum for new exhibit

    By: Shelby Miller


    A historic boat from the Port of Olympia found a new home Wednesday at Olympia’s Hands-On Children's Museum.

    Megan D, a 41-year-old vessel that was on the verge of being scrapped, will soon be a playground for thousands of kids.

    "There's always something new and exciting for us to do,” said mother Laura Dietz.

    "I think it's really exciting to be able to climb onto something that's that large. It's a huge boat. It's a really great opportunity for kids to really explore,” said father Mitch Dietz.

    The Dietz family brought their two young kids to the Hands-On Children's Museum to see the construction.

    "[Charlie’s] really excited. He loves boats and loves cranes, so watching this come in was a perfect blending of the both of them,” said Mitch Dietz.

    Last year, museum workers saved the wooden schooner from the port's boneyard.

    "It was very exciting to see it go from its very scary, raw state at the port many months ago to the wonderful renovation over time,” said Patty Belmonte, Hands-On Children's Museum executive director.

    Volunteers spent more than 2,000 hours renovating the old ship. They gutted the vessel and rebuilt broken-down sections.

    “Seeing this crew out here working and smiling, even though it was cold and rainy, they were always having a great time, so I think those were the first kids that were playing on this boat,” said Drew Phillips, FORMA construction owner.

    As they landed the ship Wednesday, crews were dealt sunshine and record-high heat, but it didn't slow down the 40 volunteers who spent the day digging and constructing the new site.

    “Building something special for the kids of Thurston County and the region makes us all smile,” said Phillips.

    After sailing Puget Sound for years, the ship now has a final resting spot where kids will play and learn about the region's rich marine history for years to come.



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