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Cardboard Boat Museum draws visitors to New Richmond

NEW RICHMOND, Ohio (Bob Herzog) -- New Richmond is like a lot of river towns. There's always something to do on the water. In fact, for over two decades, cardboard boats have met annually in a battle for buoyancy in the Cardboard Boat Regatta.

"You have to take tape and cover every crack you see," said Tommy Lemon, Cardboard Boat Museum Curator.

Lemon has won his fair share of races and works now to make sure these corrugated crafts are preserved. "My wife wanted all my boats out of the garage. I had about 11 boats in the garage, hanging everywhere. They were hanging from the ceiling and she said, 'You gotta get these things outta here.'"

Or it could be that he just wanted to maintain matrimonial harmony. Whatever the reason, though, the Cardboard Boat Museum opened in 2007, drawing in visitors from all over the world.

"We had a guy from Germany one day and he says 'Do you mind if I sign it in German?' So he signed it in German. I said, 'How do I know what it says?' He says, 'Wait until the next person that speaks German comes by to translate.' I still have it in there. I still don't know what it says," explained Lemon.

So Tommy takes pride in the tape and paint that goes into keeping those boats afloat. And the people of New Richmond take pride in the unique things-- like the Cardboard Boat Museum-- that help keep this town afloat.
"I actually had somebody at a gas station I was visiting down the street a couple days ago say, 'That race has really put New Richmond on the map, hasn't it?' said Ray Perszyk, the organizer of the New Richmond Cardboard Boat Regatta

Perszyk understands the importance of having a drawing card-- even if it's cardboard.

"The big challenge in a little town like this is to pull people off the highway, that don't know we're here.  And this kind of thing allows us to pull people off the highway and expose them to what real life is like in small town America."

In New Richmond, hope floats... on cardboard. That's life in a river town, something that's So Cincinnati.

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