The story in a shell ...Oyster, that is . . . .

No pearls found here, only fine restorations

The story begins in Milford, Connecticut in 1973.  Hap Johnson at age 21 began working for Massey's Antiques, a business owned by Walter Gill.

In 1975, Hap and a partner, David Ulrich, opened the Oyster Dock Workshop in a building that was the physical location of an Oyster dock in Milford, CT. 

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Check out the below website to see more about the oyster fishermen of Milford 

http://milfordhalloffame.org/wheeler-charles-edward-shang 

The fishermen would bring in oysters and process and sell their daily catch. See below photo:

The red ranch type building on the right was the Oyster Dock Workshop in Milford CT

A closer view of the Oyster Dock in Milford, CT

In 1977, Hap and David moved their workshop to a building owned by a very interesting owner.  The owner was a veterinarian who would house PT Barnum's animals during the winter!  click here for more info on:

PT Barnum Museum https://barnum-museum.org/

While attending Franconia College in NH., during the '70s, Hap met his wife and they would frequently visit the Upper Valley. They liked the area and eventually settled in Thetford Center, VT.  

He bought the Oyster Dock property from George Packard in 1981 and moved his shop to Norwich.  He has built up his business thanks to a lot of loyal customers. Below photos show both properties.

Top two photos show the business in Milford Ct and the bottom is current location on route 5 in Norwich as it appeared in 1982  (Hap is on the right)

He specializes in repairing, restoring, and refinishing furniture to bring it back to it's original luster and condition. Here are some photos of his work shop:

Hap and his dog "Pemaquid"  next to the cozy stove.

One of his workbenches

                                                       Many tools and equipment

The refinishing station

A Sailing ship carved into a plank of wood

Another refurbishing project

Recently refinished clock

In 2015, Hap refinished the the Interior of Saint Dennis Church

Check out the web site to see a sampling of his work

oysterdockworkshop.com 

He also makes furniture and other items from scratch. 

One project involved refurbishing a 1938 Ford Woody station wagon. He spent all winter and into the spring on this project in the 1990's.  He brought it all back to bare wood and then refinished it.

First two photos on top show restoration of 1938 Ford

Below photo shows what a new one would look like.

1938 Ford Woody Station Wagon (photo credit goes to Barrett-Jackson) Slide profile # 60815


Another special project was refurbishing the sled that Admiral Byrd once used in one of his last Antarctica expeditions.

Top right is a photo of the sled restoration project

He is presently building a boat called the Maine Coast Peapod, which was designed by Joel White who is the son of E.B. White, author of the book Charlotte's Web.

Maine Coast Peapod Boat design



Check out the web site for contact info etc.

oysterdockworkshop.com 





Thanks for reading

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