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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Richmond, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Here Stood the Trigg Shipyard

 
 
Here Stood the Trigg Shipyard Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, February 19, 2016
1. Here Stood the Trigg Shipyard Marker
Inscription. The concrete walls in front of you are all that is left of the once-bustling Trigg Shipyard. The yard employed 2,000 men and was comprised of 16 large industrial buildings on a 25-acre site with 20 acres in water, dock, and boat basin. In 1898, Richmond business man William R. Trigg, already a successful and well-known fabricator of locomotives, announced several contracts for steam torpedo boats and destroyers for the U.S. Navy.

Torpedo boats were those used to attack larger ships, first introduced in the Civil War. Destroyers, short for "Torpedo Boat Destroyers", were introduced shortly thereafter to attack the torpedo boats. On October 31, 1899, President William McKinley, his cabinet, and 30,000 observers attended the launch of the first boat, the USS Shubrick. The yard built torpedo boats, destroyers, steamers, cruisers, tugboats, dredges, and cutters until 1903 when William Trigg declared bankruptcy.

The last ship to be built, the USS Galveston, was unfinished and eventually transported to the Norfolk Naval Shipyard for completion.

Ships were laid down in a dry dock or “caisson”. The photo on the right (looking west) shows two of the largest and well-known ships, the USS Decatur and the USS Dale, being fitted out in 1900. The stadium-like structure could be emptied of water
Here Stood the Trigg Shipyard Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, February 19, 2016
2. Here Stood the Trigg Shipyard Marker
to create a protected area for construction. Opening the gate filled the caisson with water to allow ship launching into the canal. The buildings in the background supported the ship building operations.

The place in which you are now standing was once under water in a "laying up basin," an area for ships to move in and out of the caisson. The wall remnants before you (photo left) formed the ship lock shown on the map below. In the woods west of where you are standing is a long, vertical depression which may be the only remaining evidence of the huge caisson.

(captions)
Above: The retaining walls as they exist today, from east side facing southwest. (Courtesy of RRPDC)
Below: Trigg Shipyard, circa 1900 (Courtesy of the Library of Virginia)
Above: USS Decatur and USS Dale fitting out circa 1902. (Courtesy of the Library of Virginia)
Right: USS Dale in 1900. (Courtesy of Navsource.org)
 
Erected by NOAA Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program.
 
Location. 37° 31.572′ N, 77° 25.363′ W. Marker is in Richmond, Virginia. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Dock Street and Pear Street, on the right when traveling east. Click for map. Located in the Great Shiplock Park. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2803 Dock Street, Richmond VA 23223, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers.
Remnants of the Trigg Shipyard image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, February 19, 2016
3. Remnants of the Trigg Shipyard
At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Water Quality in the James (within shouting distance of this marker); Norfolk and Southern Bridge (within shouting distance of this marker); The Tidal James (within shouting distance of this marker); Welcome to Chapel Island (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); 28th St Draw Bridge / Great Shiplock Canal (about 400 feet away); Great Ship Lock (about 500 feet away); Confederate Navy Yard (about 500 feet away); Tobacco Row (about 500 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Richmond.
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceWaterways & Vessels
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 127 times since then and 8 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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