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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Piney Point in St. Mary's County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
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Potomac River Dory Boat

 
 
Potomac River Dory Boat Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), August 30, 2019
1. Potomac River Dory Boat Marker
Inscription.  
The Potomac River dory boat was built almost exclusively within St. Mary's County, Maryland, and appeared around the 1880s when Maryland was known as the greatest oyster-producing region in the world. Originally designed as a two-masted sailing craft, it was used for tonging and dredging oysters in the waters of the Potomac River and its tributaries. A descendant from an earlier popular flat-bottomed Potomac River craft called the "Black Nancy," this newly-designed work boat was larger, more stable, and a better sailor. Its unique design features a V-bottom, planked lengthwise instead of the usual cross-planking. The dory boat was discontinued around the 1930s. Only seven remain in existence today, three of which ware under the stewardship of the St. Mary's County Museum Division.

The "Early Times"
This Potomac River dory boat was built in 1916 at St. Patrick's Creek, Maryland by Captain William H. Thompson for Captain Garnett Arnold. Originally named "Elsie" by Capt. Arnold in honor of his youngest sister who had died as a child, this 34-foot craft was built as a sailing dory. In the early years, she was used for
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oyster dredging and transporting Capt. Arnold to work at the shipyards in Quantico, Virginia during World War I. She was later used for oyster tonging, hauling sein nets taking out fishing parties, and hauling building materials from Alexandria, Virginia. In 1974, Capt. Arnold gave the boat to his son Richard, a former St. Mary's County Commissioner. Her name was changed to the "Early Times" in honor of the old days of the river and its history. She remained in the Arnold family for almost 80 years. In 1995, Richard's widow, Evelyn, donated the Potomac River dory to the St. Mary's County Museum Division. It was restored to her original 1916 working boat design in 2003 by museum staff.
 
Erected by Maryland Heritage Area Authority, St. Mary's County Museum Division.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: AnimalsIndustry & CommerceWar, World IWaterways & Vessels. A significant historical year for this entry is 1916.
 
Location. This marker has been replaced by another marker nearby. It was located near 38° 8.205′ N, 76° 31.725′ W. Marker was in Piney Point, Maryland, in St. Mary's County. Marker was on Lighthouse Road (Maryland Route 498) 0.1 miles west of Hotel Cove Lane, on the right when traveling
Potomac River Dory Boat Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), August 30, 2019
2. Potomac River Dory Boat Marker
west. Touch for map. Marker was at or near this postal address: 44725 Lighthouse Road, Piney Point MD 20674, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this location. The Dory Boat (a few steps from this marker); Fueling Progress (within shouting distance of this marker); Military Influence (within shouting distance of this marker); Piney Point Lighthouse (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); a different marker also named Piney Point Lighthouse (about 300 feet away); Potomac River Military Testing (about 300 feet away); Bay Lights (about 300 feet away); Osprey (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Piney Point.
 
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. This marker has been replaced by the linked marker.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 5, 2022. It was originally submitted on September 4, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 207 times since then and 10 times this year. Last updated on August 3, 2022, by Sean C Bath of Silver Spring, Maryland. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on September 4, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.

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Apr. 12, 2024