A tour guide helps paint the exterior of William A. Irvin

DULUTH, Minn. — William A. Irvin of Duluth opened for the summer season on Thursday, but getting the 610-foot vessel at Canal Park into ship shape was no easy task.

So tells us a tour guide who spent late winter and early spring helping her prepare.

Davan Scott volunteered his time to help paint the exterior when he needed to stand out on the ice.

In addition to painting, the massive hull had to be polished and cleaned before opening for summer tours.

Davan has worked there for almost 20 years and says he is always happy to help preserve the story.

“It was cold but there’s a grace period where the ice is still pretty firm but it’s warm enough to apply marine grade paint and that’s how they did it back then, they would come out right away and stand on the ice and paint the side of the ship so it’s always a unique experience especially when the ice is cracking under your feet but the most important thing is to dress in layers and try to make sure you don’t miss any spots,” Davan Scott, tour guide for the ship mentioned.

The ship is open Thursday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and during the summer the museum plans to open seven days a week for the first time since the pandemic began.

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