Patchogue Shipyards in 1901

Footnotes to Long Island History

Patchogue Shipyards in 1901


Thomas R. Bayles


       The shipyards of Patchogue were busy places at the run of the century, and the following account of their activities is taken from The Advance edition of July 26, 1901.

            “The Patchogue shipyards have had a busy spring season and there seems to be little letup in the press of work. The river is a busy place these days with yachts and freighters crowding its channel. At the yard of Martenus Smith, they are building a big 50- foot oyster steamer for Jacob Ockers, and rebuilding the sloop ‘Little Dayton’ for

C. S. Mott. They are so busy overhauling other craft they have but little time for contract work.

            “Gilbert Smith, who just completed Joseph Bailey’s fast and handsome yacht, has also just finished the 46-foot sloop yacht ‘Reverie’ for F. G. Bourne. Monday he finished the work of putting Masury’s yacht ‘Dite’ in good condition, and she was run off the ways with a big party on board.

            “Dewitt Conklin has overhauled at his yard since March 85 vessels of various sizes. His yards are full now and there seems to be no let up in the work. He is working on the schooner ‘Hickory,’ Captain Will Brown of Patchogue; the sloop ‘Rosabelle,’ Captain George Mosher; the catboat ‘Defiance,’ Peter Westerbeke, West Sayville: yacht ‘Pinkie,’ Captain E. E. Hawkins. His sharpies are in great demand and he has sent out 17 this season. He has a contract for a 48-foot oyster steamer for Frank Perkinson and has it under way.

            “Last week S. C. Wicks & Co. shipped the last of fourteen 16-foot racing yachts to Southampton Lake association. Workmen at this yard are hard at work on a 53-foot racing yacht for Miles Wood, and the finishing touches are just being put on the fine 48-foot fishing yawl of E. H. Peck of New York. This firm recently turned out the 22 foot yawl, ‘Lillian,’ and has the contract for two oyster steamers for William Rudolph of West Sayville. This yard has also received the contract to furnish all the life saving stations from Fire Island to New York with drill poles.

            “Reports that a school of sharks have been living in the bay were confirmed last week by Captain Anderson of Mt. Vernon, who is spending his vacation abroad his yacht in the bay. His party set out Thursday morning in search of the sharks and anchored in the channel between Bay Shore and Fire Island. A large hook attached to a rope was thrown out and after an hour’s wait they had a bite. It required the strength of the entire crew to pull in the rope, and soon it was discovered they had hooked a monster which was eight feet in length and weighed over 400 pounds. After attaching a couple more hooks to the shark Capt. Anderson towed it over to Norman Wicks’ pier, and shipped it to Mt. Vernon, where it will be placed on exhibition. A peculiar thing about the capture was the fact that several young sharks were found inside the mother, where they had gone to seek shelter. Capt. Anderson said that dog fish and sharks are the only type of fish that shelter their young by swallowing them.


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