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Medford Ship building Notes

The Brooks History of Medford gave a (presumably) complete list of five hundred and thirteen Medfordbuilt vessels, including the year 1854. Mr. Usher in his later work (1886) gave the names of twenty-four builders of five hundred and sixty-four vessels of all styles, but gave no names of owners, style or tonnage.

Prior, however, to his publication there appeared in the Mercury of April 1, 1882, the following, which is also presumably correct, though it lacks the owners' names.

Built by James O. Curtis:—

1855BarqueYoung Greek500 tons
1855ShipConquest1100 tons
1856ShipSilver Star1200 tons
1856ShipFlying Mist1200 tons
1856ShipBold Hunter900 tons
1856BarqueYoung Turk350 tons
1857ShipBunker Hill1000 tons
1857BarqueLizzie500 tons
1857WildGazelle480 tons
1858ShipNautilus550 tons
1858BarqueCurib212 tons
1858ShipIndustry80 tons
1859Barque Mary Edson368 tons

[p. 51]

1859SteamshipCambridge900 tons
1860BarqueRebecca Goddard475 tons
1860ShipMermaid500 tons
1860SteamerYoung Rover417 tons
1861ShipCutwater850 tons
1862ShipSomersetshire1035 tons
1862BarquePearl500 tons
1862SteamshipD. C. Molay1300 tons
1863ShipNesutan826 tons
1864SteamshipFall River932 tons
1865ShipHoratio Harris1100 tons
1866BrigNelly Hastings550 tons
1867BarqueJohn Worster600 tons
1868ShipSpringfield1000 tons
1869ShipCashmere900 tons

Built by Joshua T. Foster:—

1855ShipPleiades600 tons
1855ShipLuecothea950 tons
1856ShipAddie Snow1000 tons
1856ShipHesperus1020 tons
1858ShipTemplar800 tons
1859ShipMogule800 tons
1860ShipMatilda875 tons
1860ShipPunjaub760 tons
1860BarqueMogul500 tons
1861ShipQuisnell1012 tons
1862ShipAgra875 tons
1862ShipTangore916 tons
1863ShipNepaul935 tons
1863ShipCosamundal600 tons
1863ShipEastern Belle1030 tons
1867ShipMistic Belle755 tons
1868ShipDon Quixote1174 tons
1869ShipJ. T. Foster1207 tons
1873ShipPilgrim650 tons

Built by Hayden & Cudworth:—

1855ZZBarqueZephyr40 tons
1855ShipElectric Spark1200 tons
1855ShipGoddess280 tons
18ZZZShipThatcher Magoun1200 tons
18ZZZShipGoodspeed280 tons
18ZZZBarqueCaptain Paine512 tons
1866ShipHenry Hastings

[p. 52]

Enumerated in the earlier list of five hundred and thirteen was one not named and ‘not sold.’ Adding the fifty-five above listed gives a total of five hundred and sixty-eight, or four more than the total given by Usher (page 427). The queries arise, what was the name given the one ‘not sold,’ built by Captain Foster? Assuming the Usher totals correct, what the names of those four, and who the owners?

From the names given we might infer that some were built for the East India trade.

The ‘half models’ of six are preserved in the Historical building. One of these is that of the Avon, built in the short time of twenty-six days—a privateer in 1815. Another reminder of the vanished industry is the rigged model of the ‘Syren’ (see Register, Vol. XXII, p. 76) and a photograph of the same lying at wharf. Besides these we have the framed photo of the ‘Ellen Brooks,’ and a faded photo of the steamship Cambridge, of the above list. The last ship built in Medford was by Captain Foster in 1873, and Mr. Woolley's excellent water-color is also framed and hangs in the society's assembly hall, and the artist's story of the launching and brief history of the ‘Pilgrim’ in Vol. XVI, p. 71, of the Register. Also in Vol. XXI, No. 1, may be found the view of the wreck, and story of the ‘Living Age.’ Further than these there is little to tell us of Medford's once famous industry.

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