Mr. Editor: Very few of your readers are aware of the extent to which ship-building was carried on in this place after the close of the Indian war, which began in 1791 and ended in 1795.
In the year 1800 the business was commenced here by several persons. The first vessel built was the brig St. Clair. In 1801 she went out under the command of Commodore Abraham Whipple (I will furnish you hereafter an account of her first voyage to the West Indies.)
Several Ship-yards were established here, about the same period. Among the first was that of Benjamin Ives Gilman, which was on the west side of the river, a little above the site of the building known as the Lock Works.
Mr. Gilman's master builder was James Whitney, of Baltimore, who resided in Harmar many years, and died there.
Another Ship-yard of equal importance was established on the east side of the Muskingum, by Col. Abner Lord. This was situated a short distance above where the Phoenix Mills now stand. Mr. Lord's master-builder was W. W. McGrath.
Another was established by General Edward W. Tupper, and occupied the space at the foot of Putnam street long known as the landing.
Charles Green Esq., known as one of the early business men of Marietta, built one or more vessels near the foot of Monroe Street. It was for him that the St. Clair was built.
Several vessels were built by Colonel Joseph Barker, about six miles up the Muskingum.
A sudden termination was put to this business by the passage of the "Embargo Law," in 1808.
Ship-building was resumed by the "Marietta Ship Company" in 1844. The master-builder was Ira Ellis, of Portland, Maine.
I enclose to you a list of the vessels built here previous to the embargo. The list was furnished to my father, Ichabod Nye, by James Whitney. A list of vessels built by the "Marietta Ship Company" I will send hereafter.
Marietta, Mar. 18, 1881. A. T. N.
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Pt. Harmar, April 10th, 1833.
Col. Ichabod Nye - Dear Sir:
Enclosed you will find a list of all the vessels built in Marietta with the names of owners, builders and commanders &c.
Brig St. Clair 110 tons, Charles Greene & Co., built by Stephen Devol in 1800, commanded by Commodore Whipple.
Ship Muskingum, built by J. Devol for B. I. Gilman, in 1801, 200 tons, Capt. Crandon.
Brig Eliza Green, built by J. Devol for Charles Greene in 1801, 130 tons, Capt. Hodgkiss.
Brig Marietta, by J. Whitney for Abner Lord, in 1802, Capt. O. Williams, 150 tons.
Brig Dominie, by S. Crispin for D. Woodbridge, Jr., 1802, Capt. Lattimore, 140 tons.
Schooner Indiana, by J. Barker for E. W. Tupper, in 1802, Capt. Merrill, 80 tons.
Brig Mary Avery by D. Skilinger for G. Avery, 1802, Capt. Prentiss, tons 150.
Ship Temperance, 230 tons, built by James Whitney for A. Lord, in 1804, Capt. Williams.
Brig Orlando, built by J. Barker for E. W. Tupper, in 1803, say 160 tons, Capt. Miner.
Schooner Whitney, built by J. Whitney for A. Lord.
Schooner McGrath, built by J. Whitney for A. Lord, in 1803, Capts. Williams & Wilson, 70 tons.
Brig Ohio, 170 tons, built by J. Devol for McFarland & Co., in 1804, Capt. Rose.
Brig Perseverance, 170 tons, by J. Whitney for B. I. Gilman, in 1805, Capt. Wilson.
Ship Rufus King. 300 tons, by J. Whitney for Clark and B. I. Gilman, in 1806, Capt. Clark.
Two Gun Boats, by T. Vail for E. W. Tupper, in 1806.
Ship Tuscarawa, 320 tons, by W. McGrath, Marshall S. Jones for A. Lord, 1806.
Ship I. Atkinson, by W. McGrath for A. Lord, 320 tons, 1806.
Brig Hope, by A. Miller for Charles Green, 120 tons, 1806.
Ship Francis, copper fastened, 350 tons, by J. Whitney for B. I. Gilman, Capt. Wilson, 1807.
Ship Robert Hale,300 tons, by J. Whitney for B. I. Gilman, Capt. Holden, 1807.
Brig Golet, 120 tons, by W. McGrath for A. Lord, Capt. Sennet, 1807.
Brig Rufus Putnam, 150 tons, by W. McGrath, Col. Lord, Capt.
Schooner Belle, 103 tons, by J. Whitney for Gilman and Woodbridge, Capt. Boyle, 1808.
Schooner Maria, by J. Whitney for B. I. Gilman, 70 tons, 1814.