“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Nanjemoy in Charles County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

Points of Interest

Points of Interest Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), August 14, 2020
1. Points of Interest Marker
1. Launch Point
A boat ramp is located within Mallows Bay Park for small craft (shallow water) access to the Potomac River. It is open from 5:30 AM to dusk year-round.

2. Accomac
the only steel-hulled vessel in the Mallows Bay-Widewater area. She serviced the ferry route between Cape Charles and Norfolk, Virginia until she suffered a fire and was permanently taken out of commission. About 1973, the ship was hauled to the southern perimeter of Mallows Bay and abandoned.

3. Benzonia
Launched into the Columbia River in Washington in 1919 and named after a town in Michigan. For a short period Benzonia was engaged in the war effort, but was sold to Western Marine and Salvage Company in 1922. In 2003, she was moved by Hurricane Isabel and in 2013, a mysterious fire took hold in her stern section.

4. Mono
Mono was among the 94 U. S. Shipping Board steamships in the celebrated "Tidal Wave" of national ship launching on July 4, 1918. She was put to work on the San Francisco-Hawaiian Islands "Pineapple Run." Mono was among the last of Matson's wooden
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ship fleet to be prematurely retired, until she was sold for scrapping. She appears to have been among the last vessels to be permanently ensconced in Mallows Bay since at least 1929.

5. Yawah
Yawah is document as making at least one European voyage, to Genoa, Italy, in late 1919. Laid up in the James River during the Great Ship Tie-up of 1920, she was eventually purchased at auction by the Western Marine and Salvage Company for scrapping, and moved to the Potomac River soon afterwards. Yawah is entirely submerged at low tide.

6. Casmalia
Named after a locale in California, Casmalia's career, like those of her sister ships was short. Today, she lies at the extreme northern end of Mallows Bay beside an unidentified wooden steamship, both sitting on their keels in sand usually awash and submerged.

7. Grady's Spit
At the northern extremity of the Mallows embayment, several ship remains have created a landmass known as Grady's Spit, which provides a welcomed landing destination for the weary paddler to get out and stretch legs on a small beach. Use caution, as the beach is usually covered with driftwood at the high tide mark as well as iron and wood projections from the from the wrecks lying beneath it. Swimming from the spit is not recommended due to the submerged debris in and around the beach areas.

Points of Interest Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), August 14, 2020
2. Points of Interest Marker
Bayou Teche

On July 4, 1918, she was one of 94 ships to take to the waters in the greatest single day's ship launch in world history. Bayou Teche made several voyages to Havana, Cuba, Galveston, TX, and Bordeaux, France.

9. The Three Sisters
The Three Sisters is a group of three wrecks: Dertona, the "Heron Wreck", and the Moosabee. Dertona was briefly in the coasting trade. The "Heron Wreck" is named for the frequent sightings of Great Blue Herons on and about the site. The Moosabe carried timber logs to Europe from 1919 until 1922.

10. North Bend
Note: only minimally visible even at low tide.
Named after a town in Oregon, this the earliest US Shipping Board wooden steamer completed and certified during the Emergency Fleet program. She was placed in the trade between the Pacific Coast and the Hawaiian Islands, carrying general merchandise and sugar.

11. The Flower Pot Wrecks
Here lies the remains of two unidentified US Shipping Board WWI wooden hulled cargo steamships. Both wrecks are overgrown with vegetation and fire damage is evident around the stern and throughout some of the exposed hull areas.

12. SS Afrania
Engaged to make at least one known trans-Atlantic voyage to Rouen, France, from which she sailed on her return voyage for Norfolk, VA, in 1919.
Points of Interest Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), August 14, 2020
3. Points of Interest Marker
Afrania lies resting on her keel and is partially submerged.

13. SS Boone
Named by the wife of President Woodrow Wilson, Boone was launched in 1918 in the presence of 3,000 spectators. Her career, like many other vessels built hastily for WWI was brief, and she was sold for scrap in 1922.

14. Burning Basin
Note: these wrecks will not be marked with numbered buoys
The Bethlehem Steel Corporation built a salvage basin during World War II to recover metal from the abandoned ships in Mallows Bay. Now known as the Burning Basin, the opening of the gateway was 48 feet across, and wide enough to permit passage of the widest steamship hull.

15. The Barge Wreck
This wooden barge with iron fittings was used by Bethlehem Steel during the creation of the Burning Basin. It was likely used as a work platform and for hauling dredge spoil, cargo, and scrap during the disposal operation.

16. The Sea Scout Wreck
Oral tradition suggests this boat may have been a US Coast Guard patrol vessel or a US Navy patrol torpedo boat sold out of service after World War II.
Erected by Charles County Tourism Board.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce
Great Blue Heron sign nearby image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), August 14, 2020
4. Great Blue Heron sign nearby
War, World IWar, World IIWaterways & Vessels. A significant historical date for this entry is July 4, 1918.
Location. 38° 28.149′ N, 77° 15.814′ W. Marker is in Nanjemoy, Maryland, in Charles County. Marker is on Wilson Landing Road, 0.8 miles west of Riverside Road (Maryland Route 224), on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1440 Wilson Landing Rd, Nanjemoy MD 20662, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Mallows Bay (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); a different marker also named Mallows Bay (about 300 feet away); Archeology Reveals Outbuildings (approx. 1.8 miles away); Life Cycle of a House (approx. 1.8 miles away); Memories of Douglas Point (approx. 1.8 miles away); Minister's House, Family Farm (approx. 1.8 miles away); Unique Environment (approx. 1.8 miles away); Washington's Farm (approx. 2.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Nanjemoy.
Credits. This page was last revised on August 16, 2020. It was originally submitted on August 14, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 208 times since then and 66 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on August 14, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.   4. submitted on August 16, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.

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Dec. 9, 2023