Man restores rowboat made in Central Lake more than a century ago

Chris Dobrowolski

CENTRAL LAKE — Decades before Jim Campbell was even born, his great grandfather made a big purchase for his family.

Campbell’s great grandfather, Herbert Shotwell, saw a double ender rowboat for sale while driving through the countryside in 1942. Shotwell purchased the boat for $60 — a large amount of money at the time — and the family used it frequently every summer on Clam and Torch lakes until the early ‘60s when the boat’s ribs rotted and some of the cedar planks began to split and leak.

Now, however, Campbell has brought the watercraft back to life in his spare time, restoring the 18 ½-foot boat over the past four years. The plan is to launch the boat this summer and then preserve it for display.

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