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Kalmar Nyckel Shipyard

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1987 established. Christina River at 7th St., east of Fort Christina Park

Looking ahead to the 350th anniversary of Swedish settlement in Delaware, the Kalmar Nyckel Foundation purchased land beside Fort Christina Park (WL2)—appropriately, a former shipyard—and set out to reconstruct the vessel that brought the first twenty-four Swedes in 1638. Master shipbuilder Allen Rawl and naval architect Thomas Gillmer researched the historical appearance of the three-masted, Dutch-built pinnace Kalmar Nyckel (“Key of Kalmar”) and ordered 50,000 feet of purple-heart wood from South America for the frame. The keel was laid in 1990, and the $4.3 million craft was launched seven years later, a living laboratory of seventeenth-century sailing. It has nine miles of rigging. The shipyard is used for public instruction in carpentry and other trades.

Writing Credits

W. Barksdale Maynard


What's Nearby


W. Barksdale Maynard, "Kalmar Nyckel Shipyard", [Wilmington, Delaware], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Delaware

Buildings of Delaware, W. Barksdale Maynard. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2008, 86-86.

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