Historic Governor Stone vessel to be rebuilt for the fourth time

Panama City

PANAMA CITY Fla. (WMBB) — After major damages from Hurricane Michael, the Governor Stone will live to sail another day. 

The Friends of the Governor Stone group now have the money to rebuild the 144-year-old vessel and are ready to bid out the work. 

The FOGs spent the last two years raising money in order to get a FEMA grant.

FEMA came through with $1.5 million to rebuild and maintain this piece of history.

President of the Friends of the Governor Stone Colleen Reilly said the ship was almost a total loss. 

“We’ve got some odds and ends pieces of wood but she will definitely have to be rebuilt from the haul up to be put into the condition that she was before Hurricane Michael,” Reilly said.

Panama City cemetery receives a historical designation

Michael was the fourth storm to capsize the Governor Stone since its original launch in 1877.

Reilly said the group worked hard since the storm, to earn a FEMA historical grant.

“The FOGs group had to raise 150 thousand dollars and we met that goal in July of this year,” Reilly said.

They raised the money through fundraising, support from local businesses, and a $5,000 donation from the City of Panama City. 

On Monday the project officially went out for bid. 

Reilly said they are hoping to start the rebuild next year. 

Although it is still historic, it isn’t the same wood that sailed the gulf in the 1800s.

“With a national historic landmark, there are certain requirements to rebuild her,” Reilly said. “We are supposed to use as much of the wood that we can that is salvageable. If we can’t salvage that wood we are to use similar types of wood.”

She said the ship is a moving museum and sharing her story is important. 

“After she is rebuilt we are going to be so excited,” Reilly said. “We’ve got a whole week of gala events that we are going to be planning for where the public and Governor Stone members can come out and cruise on her.”

The group will be accepting bids until December 31. They are hoping to select someone to do the job in January.

The friends of the Governor Stone hope to relaunch the ship on October 18, 2022 – her 145th birthday. 

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Latest Local News Video

Downtown DeFuniak Springs holds first Mistletoe Market

Here's some events to get Bay County in the holiday spirit

Christmas came early in PCB as they kick off holiday festivities

St. Andrews holds "Small Business Saturday" to encourage young entrepreneurs

Interested in what Panama City looked like 100 years ago? Now you can find out

In-person shopping is back for Black Friday 2021

More Local News

Don't Miss