Pyrates offering unique local history event

Ramon Rios

MILTON — History will come alive on March 14 as the Blackwater Pyrates present their annual historical event at the Imogene Theatre.

This year, the Blackwater Pyrates offer “Tales of Old Mill Town: A Story Telling Event.”

“The event features several well-known local folks who have stories to tell that reach into Milton’s past and add flavor to the historical accounts of the area,” according to the Pyrates press release.

The storytellers include Dan Stewart, Ralph Rogers, Louis Jernagan, Ken Broxson, Randy Creel, and Butch Lindsay. The event will take place at 2 p.m. at the Imogene Theatre, and is free to the public.

The format will focus on unscripted, impromptu stories of the community in an era when life moved to a different cadence. An era when cellphones did not rule and the internet did not reign as the focal points of daily existence.

The Pyrates invite the public to attend as they offer a glimpse into the stories that put a personal face on the history book accounts of the area.

Verbal storytelling from the people that actually lived the experience is becoming more popular, said Stewart, one of this year’s storytellers.

Stewart has hosted impromptu storytelling sessions at lunchtime for his law office staff every Thursday. He has been hosting the private event for three years.

“I bring politicians, military people, firemen, retired teachers,” Stewart said. “People tell their stories and everyone is local.”

Eventually, Stewart wants to go to assisted living facilities, start recording the resident’s stories and send them to the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. as a verbal history record of Milton.

The Blackwater Pyrates' three core community service missions are boater safety, river cleanup, and historical/maritime preservation. The March 14 storytelling event is in keeping with their mission of historical preservation.

In April and September, the Pyrates will conduct their annual upper and lower Blackwater River cleanups.

Their annual boater safety and Blessing of the Fleet events are scheduled for May 16.

The Blackwater Pyrates will also participate in the third annual Poker Run, which will educate participants on the lost communities of the Blackwater area. The Poker Run is planned for October.

The Pyrates also participated at the annual River Walk Arts Festival March 7-8, where they began their “duck adoptions” in preparation for annual Fourth of July Great Mill Town Duck Race.

For more information about the Blackwater Pyrates or how to join their ranks go to their website at