Issue: January 2001
Prop Puller

Galesville has a garden that’s unlike any other, dedicated to the area’s watermen.


    When the Galesville Heritage Society asked Joan Bell to create a piece of art to reflect the West River town’s heart and soul, you might think the artist would have relied on her tried and true metier - watercolors. Instead, she turned to heavy metal.

    Bell decided that since watermen have been so much a part of the Maryland town’s livelihood that an artistic tribute to them would be fitting. So she asked everyone she knew to contribute propellers - “Any kind I could salvage,” she says. Under Bell’s guidance, workers at Hartge Yacht Yard bent metal pipes to approximate stems of various lengths, then topped them with blossoms of props. Galesville resident Francis Moreland welded the stems into a metal base. Bell and others poured cement over that, then topped the whole base with soil and flowers - real flowers, that is. The eye-catching result is the Watermen’s Garden, which you will see if you happen upon Galesville’s waterfront park.