BELFAST — Clark & Eisele Traditional Boatbuilding invites the public to an open house to see the historic oyster schooner A.J. Meerwald, which is undergoing restoration, on Saturday, Dec. 18, from noon to 4 p.m. at the waterfront.

The event will be held in the temporary building between Front Street Shipyard and the Front Street Pub on the Belfast waterfront. Signed copies of the new book, “The A.J. Meerwald and New Jersey’s Oyster Industry” will be available for purchase.

The public is invited to join the shipwrights for a rare opportunity to see a historic schooner in the midst of a major restoration. This is the first in a series of open house events that will allow viewers to observe the progress of this project. There will be light refreshment and live music weather permitting. Signed copies of the new book “The A.J. Meerwald and New Jersey’s Oyster Industry” will be available for purchase, along with other A.J. Meerwald souvenirs.

The schooner A.J. Meerwald is New Jersey’s official Tall Ship. She is am oyster dredging schooner whose home port is in Bivalve, New Jersey. Launched in 1928, A.J. Meerwald was one of hundreds of schooners built along South Jersey’s bay shore before the decline of the shipbuilding industry, which coincided with the Great Depression.

The A.J. Meerwald was added to the National Register of Historic Places Nov. 7, 1995.

Admission to the open house is free, but donations to benefit Bayshore Center at Bivalve are encouraged.

“We are honored to be contributing the craftsmanship and talent of the Maine traditional boatbuilding community to the preservation of such a worthy vessel, and we look forward to sharing this special occasion with the public,” said Tim Clark of Clark & Eisele Traditional Boatbuilding.

Clark & Eisele Traditional Boatbuilding LLC is an independent company based in Hope, Maine. The company specializes in the construction and restoration of historic working craft of all sizes.