When Jane Hartge was in High School, she was a writer for the Daytona Beach News Journal, covering the waterfront of Daytona Beach. She lived with her family onboard on the "Tupentide", a motor cruiser docked at the Halifax River Yacht Club. Jane loved the water and boats. She was intregued by the construction in the large sheds on the Halifax River as most boatyards at that time were strickly for repair and storage due to the depressed resort economy. Jane got to know "Cappy" Captain Leroy Smith, Buster Chadwick, and the Francis Mathews family during the construction of the "Gay Jane". She was impressed by the quality of the materials that arrived at the yard on the Florida East Coast Railway and the quality of construction. Jane specifically remembers the installation of the engines in the "Gay Jane". Jane states that "the power plans installed in the Gay Jane were not contracted to the Marine Engine Company, but layed out and put in place by Captain Leroy. Most yachts this size would have had an Oiler and engine room telegraph. Captain Smith designed the Gay Jane with direct bridge controls for his own control." Jane also stated in a letter of late that "You may rightly suppose that Captain L.H. Smith was a beloved family friend and the Gay Jane was as much his as that of anyone associated with her thereafter...and that must include you".
Jane has been a major influence in our pursuit of historical facts on the "Gay Jane". What a delightful person! Thank you Jane for all you have offered.
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