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

The Start of Something Big

 
 
The Start of Something Big Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By F. Robby, January 28, 2008
1. The Start of Something Big Marker
Inscription.  This is where Eastport's famed boat building industry began. On this site in 1868, a German immigrant named Wilhelm Heller began crafting fine wooden boats. His reputation spread and business flourished. Heller's became the largest boatyard on Spa Creek serving both commerical fishing boats and pleasure craft.

After Heller died in 1916, his son Henry ran the yard. Over the next twenty years, traditional wooden workboats like skipjacks, bugeyes, and pungy schooners slowly disappeared from the Chesapeake Bay. When Henry died in 1936, the yard closed.

Later, modern boatyards moved into the area. Notice the machiner now used to haul boats from the water to get them "on the hard" for service and repairs. Text with upper left photo: Marine railways were used to haul boats ashore for repairs.

Text with main photo: In the foreground, a skipjack has been raised from the water on the marine railway. Two others are "on the hard" beyond.
 
Erected by Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network, Annapolis Maritime Museum, Four Rivers Garden Club.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in
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these topic lists: Industry & CommerceSettlements & SettlersWaterways & Vessels. A significant historical year for this entry is 1868.
 
Location. 38° 58.504′ N, 76° 28.832′ W. Marker is in Eastport, Maryland, in Anne Arundel County. Marker is on First Street, 0.1 miles Severn Avenue, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Annapolis MD 21403, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Eastport's Oldest House (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Glass Works (about 800 feet away); Murphy's Row (approx. 0.2 miles away); Three Great Boat Yards, One Location (approx. 0.2 miles away); Eastport's Old "Main Street" (approx. ¼ mile away); A Tale of Three Bridges (approx. ¼ mile away); Arnold C. Gay (approx. ¼ mile away); Commodore John Barry (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Eastport.
 
The Start of Something Big Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By F. Robby, January 28, 2008
2. The Start of Something Big Marker
Spa Creek image. Click for full size.
Photographed By F. Robby, January 28, 2008
3. Spa Creek
View of Spa Creek and the Naval Academy beyond.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 4, 2020. It was originally submitted on February 24, 2008, by F. Robby of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 971 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on February 24, 2008, by F. Robby of Baltimore, Maryland.

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Feb. 22, 2024