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

The Shapes of Ships

 
 
The Shapes of Ships Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), January 17, 2021
1. The Shapes of Ships Marker
Inscription.  
If you were standing here during the years surrounding the turn of the 20th century, your senses would be filled with the sights, sounds and smells of a hard working waterfront. The air would be thick with the smell of cut raw timber and burning wood. You would hear sounds of chopping, cutting, pounding and nailing broken only by a shrill whistle calling skilled men of all ages and color to work, or cheering as a new ship was slid into the Pocomoke River. Filling your vision on this side of the river would be worn docks, storage buildings, and shipyards hosting half built sailing schooners, river steamships and Chesapeake fishing boats. The Pocomoke waterfront was alive with maritime trades and activity!

Three shipyards once operated here the most notable owned by E. James Tull. Since 1882, Tull built a variety of boats including big schooners, sloops, bugeyes, skipjacks, tugs, freight boats and even pleasure boats. Pocomoke also boasted marine railways where boats could be hauled out and repaired on shore. In 1883 there were 54 ship carpenters operating around Pocomoke City alone. During the Chesapeake oyster boom of the late 19th

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century, Tull's yard produced up to nine vessels a year—unmatched by any other Eastern Shore shipbuilder.

The most popular vessel built here was the sailing schooner — the tractor trailer of her day. These sea going vessels carried a variety of cargo including coal, seafood, tomatoes and locally harvested lumber, connecting Pocomoke to the far reaches of the Atlantic coast and beyond. The huge Lillian E. Kerr, the largest sailing schooner built in Pocomoke, worked until sinking off Nova Scotia in 1942.

The end of Tull's shipyard came quickly. In 1922 a fire destroyed Pocomoke's downtown and James Tull died in 1924, ending one of the most successful shipyards in the Mid-Atlantic region. Pocomoke's shipyards eventually all closed when demand for wooden schooners and steamships diminished, railroads emerged and modern shipbuilding techniques developed.
 
Erected by Worcester County Tourism.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: AnimalsIndustry & CommerceWaterways & Vessels. A significant historical year for this entry is 1882.
 
Location. 38° 4.548′ N, 75° 34.248′ W. Marker is in Pocomoke City, Maryland, in Worcester County. Marker is at the intersection of Riverside Drive and Willow Street, on the left when traveling north on Riverside

The Shapes of Ships Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), January 17, 2021
2. The Shapes of Ships Marker
Drive. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2 Riverside Dr, Pocomoke City MD 21851, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Sturgis One Room School (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); River Trades & Traditions / River Lore & Legend (about 400 feet away); Mar-Va Theater (about 500 feet away); Olive Marie Lippoldt (about 500 feet away); In Memory of the Deceased Who Served to Protect Our Country (about 700 feet away); Costen House (approx. 0.2 miles away); Pocomoke City Historic Railroad Station (approx. half a mile away); Court House Hill (approx. 2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Pocomoke City.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 19, 2021. It was originally submitted on January 19, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 202 times since then and 9 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on January 19, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.

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Feb. 23, 2024