Mystic in New London County, Connecticut — The American Northeast (New England)
Oyster Sloop Nellie
Length on deck: 32’ 4”
Beam: 12’ 9”
Draft: 2’ 4”
Nellie represents hundreds of sailing oyster boats used in New York and Connecticut waters.
She fished from Port Jefferson and Patchogue, Long Island for 10 years before John Ryle bought her to dredge for oysters near Stamford, Connecticut. She was one of nearly 350 sailing craft licensed to work Connecticut’s natural oyster beds in 1900.
Along the Connecticut shore, oysters have settled over thousands of years to form natural beds. Dredges were the most productive tools for catching oysters. To protect the beds, Connecticut prohibited dredging under power on its natural beds from 1881 to 1969.
As demand for oysters grew, oystermen learned to cultivate oysters in undersea “farms.” Natural beds were public property, but sea bottom without oysters could be held as private property. Private beds were used for spawning new crops (often using “seed oysters” dredged from natural beds) or for growing oysters to market size. On private grounds, oystermen could use powered vessels to dredge. After Ryle outfitted Nellie with a gasoline engine about 1914, she would have worked as a dredge boat on his 78 acres of private oyster ground.
The Friends of the
Erected by Mystic Seaport.
Location. 41° 21.65′ N, 71° 57.929′ W. Marker is in Mystic, Connecticut, in New London County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Greenmanville Avenue (Connecticut Route 27) and Bruggeman Place, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Located in Mystic Seaport. Marker is at or near this postal address: 75 Greenmanville Avenue, Mystic CT 06355, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Noank Well-Smack Emma C. Berry (here, next to this marker); Western-Rig Dragger Florence (within shouting distance of this marker); Master Shipbuilders (within shouting distance of this marker); Eastern-Rig Dragger Roann (within shouting distance of this marker); Propeller Steamer Sabino (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Training Ship Joseph Conrad Reproduction of Nantucket Island’s Brant Point Lighthouse (about 500 feet away); Lewis House (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Mystic.
Also see . . . Mystic Seaport, The Museum of America and the Sea. (Submitted on September 8, 2013, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.)
Categories. • Waterways & Vessels •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 8, 2013, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut. This page has been viewed 407 times since then and 13 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on September 8, 2013, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.