Welcome to the Klingel Project’s new website!

In addition to preserving the history and legacy of Gilbert Klingel, this project is dedicated to engaging with the community. We are excited to work with partners such as the Mathews Maritime Foundation (MMF), Gwynn’s Island Museum and many others who have a special interest in maritime history, education and the Chesapeake Bay.

This website is currently in it’s infancy, so please don’t forget to return and see what’s new. Here’s a general outline of future plans . . .

  1. On this website, we will be publishing comprehensive documentation of Gilbert Klingel’s life and achievements. This component will be led by his daughter, Marcy Benouameur, who is now retired from the Smithsonian Institute and living in Mathews County, Virginia. She has been compiling and organizing historical information and photographs for many years, so we are very excited about what’s to come!
  2. We will be posting articles about the Freya, which is a steel-hull sailboat built on Gwynn’s Island during 1953. Freya is one of the few surviving boats built by Klingel, and was generously donated to the MMF during 2016. She was refitted in Florida and made the voyage back to Gwynn’s Island during spring 2017. With your help, she will be fully restored and maintained by the MMF.
  3. Dave Miller of Miller Productions of Virginia is producing a documentary film “Gilbert Klingel: Man of Steel”, which will include a segment about Freya’s return home. PBS will air this film, and we will keep you updated on news and details.
  4. We are also working with young people in the community by collaborating with students at Mathews County High School and helping to establish a Sea Scouts base in the county.
  5. Finally, we thank you for visiting and encourage you to get involved or donate to our projects.

Gilbert Klingel and Ospreys

Basilisk on the Chesapeake Bay

Mathewtown, Inagua Island 1931

Inagua native woman cooking

National Geographic & Aquascope

Aquascope Chesapeake Bay

See more Klingel historical photographs.