Category Archives: Skipjacks

Skipjack, fertilizer sack, mule, boy. Repeat.

As many as four or five two- and three-mast sailing vessels at a time were often tied up at the Denton wharves.  I often had the job of leading the mule forward to lift the bag out of the vessel’s hold, and backing him up again to drop the bag onto the wharf and to lower the tongs back into the hold for another bag. You get the picture – the mule and the boy – back and forth all day until the last bag was out of the hold.

Continue reading Skipjack, fertilizer sack, mule, boy. Repeat.

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Maggie Lee is dead, Jake.

I know, I know . . .   She still shows up in the Registry of National Historic Landmarks.    But I tell you, Jake, Maggie Lee died 10 years ago in West Denton!   I have police photos to prove it.


The Chesapeake Bay skipjack Maggie Lee is listed in the Registry of National Historic Landmarks.  Here is how she’s described by the Maryland Historic Trust:

This vessel is a 51′ long two sail bateau, or V-bottomed deadrise centerboard sloop, commonly referred to as a skipjack. She was built in 1903 in Pocomoke City, Maryland, for the oyster dredging fleet. She has a beam of 16′, a depth of 3.8′, and a net tonnage of 8 register tons. …  Maggie Lee is of interest as being one of the older skipjacks still dredging in the Chesapeake fleet. She was built in 1903 in Pocomoke City, Maryland, following traditional Bay-area design and construction methods. She has worked in the oyster-dredging fleet since her building. The vessel is one of the 21 surviving working skipjacks to have been built previous to 1912.

Continue reading Maggie Lee is dead, Jake.

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