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Bivalve in Cumberland County, New Jersey — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The Schooner AJ Meerwald

 
 
The Schooner AJ Meerwald Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, April 2, 2013
1. The Schooner AJ Meerwald Marker
Inscription. The Schooner AJ MEERWALD is on the National and New Jersey Registers of Historic Places and is representative of an important vessel type, the “new style” Jersey oyster schooner. The “old style” schooner had a clipper bow rather than a spoon bow, and was much smaller with a more complex rig.

The Schooner AJ MEERWALD worked under sail while pulling a dredge to scrape oysters from the floor of the Delaware Bay. Her crews culled or sorted the oysters and piled the decks high. The oyster industry prospered due to improvements in technology including the dredge, the spoon bow design on schooners that provided a larger deck and the winder engine, which allowed the schooner to pull a larger dredge and dredge faster. The result was a greater oyster harvest.

Did you know?
Specifications:
*Gati-rigged (sails framed by wood on three sides), bald headed (lacks topmasts) with masts that are 68’ and 65’ tall, her sail area is 3,500 square feet.
*115’ from bowsprit to end of main boom.
*85’ length on deck and 22’5” beam/wide.
*Draws 6’ of water, 12’ with centerboard down, with a 6-71 Detroit Diesel engine (originally built with a 100 horsepower Standard diesel).

Chronology:
1928-Built by Stowman and Sons Shipyard in Dorchester, NJ and Commissioned by the Meerwald Family
The Schooner AJ Meerwald Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, April 2, 2013
2. The Schooner AJ Meerwald Marker
of South Dennis, NJ—named for Augustus J. Meerwald.
1942-Served in World War II as a fireboat. Crewed by the US Coast Guard, working between Philadelphia and Camden. Her masts were removed.
1947-Purchased by Clyde A. Phillips and renamed the CLYDE A PHILLIPS. Harvested oysters under power (New Jersey discontinued dredging under sail in 1945.
1959-Refitted as one of the first surf clammers to harvest clams in the Atlantic Ocean by Nicky Campbell. She worked along the East Coast from North Carolina to Point Pleasant, New Jersey for various captains mostly under the ownership of American Clam.
1980-Retired.
1986-Clam license sold to Donnie McDaniels who gave the vessel to Capt. John Gandy who planned to restore her one day.
1988-Hull sank in the Maurice River, raised by the Delaware Bay Schooner Project (now Bayshore Center at Bivalve).
1992-Lifted from river, set in cradle in makeshift shipyard at the Marino property in Bivalve.
1994-Six years of fundraising efforts allowed hiring of professional crew to begin 26-month hull restoration. Funding for the AJ MEERWALD restoration was made possible by the New Jersey Historic Trust. New Jersey Department of Transportation, many individuals and business and thousands of volunteer hours.
1995-Re-christened and launched once again as the AJ MEERWALD on September 12th.
1996-Commissioned on May
The Schooner AJ Meerwald Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, April 2, 2013
3. The Schooner AJ Meerwald Marker
12th began new life as a sailing classroom.
1998-Designated as New Jersey’s Official Tail Ship. Funding for this interpretive exhibit is made possible in part by a grant from the Garden State Historic Preservation Trust administrated by the New Jersey Historic Trust.
 
Location. 39° 13.986′ N, 75° 1.968′ W. Marker is in Bivalve, New Jersey, in Cumberland County. Marker is on High Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Port Norris NJ 08349, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Delaware Bay and River (here, next to this marker); Bivalve Oyster Shipping Sheds (here, next to this marker); Ecology in the Watershed (here, next to this marker); Steps to Harvest Oysters and Bring to Market (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Steps to Harvest Oysters and Bring to Market (within shouting distance of this marker); Maurice River (within shouting distance of this marker); All Shapes, Sizes and Materials (approx. 2.6 miles away); A Guiding Light (approx. 2.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Bivalve.
 
Additional keywords. The marker is on the property of the Bivalve Center.
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceWaterways & Vessels
 
The Schooner AJ Meerwald Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, April 2, 2013
4. The Schooner AJ Meerwald Marker
Bivalve Center image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, April 2, 2013
5. Bivalve Center
Welcome to the historic Bivalve Shipping Sheds and Wharves, Delaware Bay Museum and Folklife Center, and homeport to New Jersey’s Tall Ship, the oyster schooner A. J. MEERWALD
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on April 12, 2013, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. This page has been viewed 333 times since then and 28 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on April 12, 2013, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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