Mr. Editor: In your paper of March 24th was published a list of sea-going vessels built here previous to the embargo. After that time the business was discontinued here until 1844. In the summer of that year several of the business men of Marietta formed a company for the purpose of building ships. The company was composed of John Mills, William and S. Slocomb, Bosworth and Wells, William R. Wells, John O. Cram, and A. T. Nye, and subsequently Nye and Hayward.
Capt. Ira Ellis, of Portland, Maine, was engaged as master builder and Capt. William R. Wells as superintendent of construction. A barque of about two hundred and fifty tons was commenced, and the building proceeded through the summer and fall. She was launched in January, 1845. She was rigged here, except her sails, which were sent from Boston to New Orleans, and was named Muskingum. She was placed in command of Capt. W. R. Wells, one of the company. He was from Portland, Maine. On the first of March, 1845, she left Marietta, being towed to Cincinnati by the steamboat Wing and Wing. She was loaded at Cincinnati with pork, lard and oil cake, and left that port the middle of March. A favorable stage of water occurred and she was safely towed to New Orleans. There she received her sails and departed for Liverpool. The voyage was successfully made and the cargo discharged. She took in a return cargo for Boston, which port she reached in safety and was sold.
The next vessel built was the barque Marietta, her model and size the same as the Muskingum. She left Marietta, February, 1846, under command of Capt. William R. Wells. She took in a part of her cargo at Cincinnati and a part at New Orleans, and sailed for New York, made a successful voyage and was sold there. The business of the Company was placed under the direction of A. t. Nye at this time.
In 1847, the Company built a brig of about two hundred and forty tons. She was called the Walhonding, and went from here in charge of Jacob Cram, super cargo, and Capt. Conway, of Portland, navigator. At Madison, Indiana, the Company purchased a load of pork and lard for New York. She reached that port, sold her cargo, and returned to New Orleans for another. On her return she reached the outer harbor of New York so late that she was placed in quarantine, where she was compelled to remain some weeks, greatly to the injury of the vessel and cargo. She was sold at New York with some loss to the owners.
Three schooners were built by the Company, the America and the Grace Darling, for Mr. Kimball, of Salem, Mass., one hundred and thirty and one hundred and forty tons. They were taken out by persons sent by Mr. Kimball for that purpose. The third schooner was for a Mr. Cochrane, of New Orleans. Mr. Cochrane sent persons here to take her out.
No other vessels were built by the "Marietta Ship Company." The ship yard of the Company was on the commons, just above the mill of John Oliver Cram, now the Phoenix Mills.
Capt. Ellis afterwards built two steamboats for Capt. Owen Franks.
Capt. Ellis died in Marietta some years ago.
One other vessel was built in Marietta of which the following account is furnished me by Capt. A. B. Waters.
"The barque 'John Farnum' was built at the Point in Marietta not far from where the foundry of A. T. Nye & Sons stands. She was owned by A. B. and I. R. Waters. She was two hundred and forty-nine and one half tons. Her keel was laid in the Spring of 1846 and she was launched in February 1847. She was towed at once to Portsmouth where she took on a cargo of Indian Corn. She was measured, inspected and cleared at Louisville, Ky. Her destination was 'Cork or a Port.'
She arrived at Cork in May, 1847 during the great famine in Ireland and returned to Philadelphia in August and was sold to Potter, McKeever & Co. of that city. The Master builder was Capt. William Knox, of Harmar. Capt. A. B. Waters had charge of the vessel and cargo with Capt. George Hatch as Navigator.
Capt. Hatch was afterwards Mayor of Cincinnati."
This completes the list of sea going vessels built at Marietta.
A. T. Nye
Marietta, April 4th, 1881.