The “Magic” was originally built on St. Mary’s Square, St. Michaels, Maryland in the Spring of 1894 by Charles Tarr, also of St. Michaels. She was built for a building contractor by the name of William Banning of Tunis Mills, Maryland. Mr. Banning used her for a work/pleasure sailing boat until sometime in the early 1910’s, at which time he had a small motor installed in her. The entire time that Mr. Banning owned her, she was not named. It was not until 1924 when he sold her to Mr. George “Capt. Bob” Wilson for $250 that she was named. Mr. Wilson named her for the boat that won the America’s Cup the first time after the Cup was put up for competition. Along with Lowndes and Graham Johnson, the designers and builders of the first Comet sail boat, “Capt. Bob” took on the task of changing her back to a racing/sail canoe. The first set of sails the “Magic” had were of 250 drill sail cloth and were extremely heavy. In the early 1950’s, a new set of sails were made of Egyptian cotton sail cloth, and the complete sail plan of the boat was also changed. Basically she was not changed again the mid-1960’s, when the sail was changed to a lighter material - Dacron. Also in the late 1960’s the “Magic” developed a considerable amount of rot in her bottom. Capt. Bob undertook the job of cutting the rot out and replacing one of the original logs. Capt. Bob sailed the “Magic” from 1925 to 1963, and, in that time, he won the Miles River Yacht Club’s Governor’s Cup the first year it was presented in 1927 and eight more time thereafter.
In 1964 Capt. Bob turned the “Magic” over to his oldest son, George, Jr., who continued to sail the boat until 1970. During the seven years that George sailed her, he also won the Governor’s Cup once.
In 1971 George turned the boat over to his younger brother Jimmy, who continues to sail her today. Jimmy has won the Governor’s Cup five times, including 1975, which was exactly 50 years to the day from the time his father had first won the trophy. Since Jimmy has owned “Magic”, he has completely fiber-glassed her hull, re-decked her, put new masts in and changed her sail plan around a little.
At one time or another, all five Capt. Bob and Mrs. Tunis’ children have sailed on the boat, and a couple of times, all of the children have been on board together.