My great grandfather purchased a cabin up here in Alexandria, Minn., back in the early 1900s. … I’ve been raised around water from both my grandparents, and the other grandfather had a place in Canada, so I’ve always been around boats.

Almost 40 years ago, I started refinishing my grandfather’s wooden fishing boat. So, I’m still working on that one. But I have had great interest in the old boats and purchased a wooden boat up in Canada—my first Chris-Craft—and now I have a Shepherd boat, which was made in Canada. … I just love what they call “fast furniture”—they’re old and smelly, and I enjoy doing it.

I was very fortunate to be invited [and elected] to join the board of Minnesota Lakes Maritime Museum here in Alexandria. [The museum] is one of the nation’s most outstanding collections of interactive history. … In Alexandria last week, we had our museum’s annual boat show. I think we had 35 boats and 1,000 people on shore looking at these things. It’s quite an active hobby, quite an active group both locally here, from Minnesota and all throughout the United States.

There are pictures of my grandfather back in the 1920s on wooden launches [and] wooden fishing boats ... I just love the history of that and the beauty … Some of them are exquisite and amazing designs. There were hundreds, if not thousands, of boat manufacturers back in the 1930s and 1940s. These boats were usually designed to only last maybe five to six years before they fall apart. It’s kind of rare to find them.—Aveya Hannan