I know, I know . . . She still shows up in the Registry of National Historic Landmarks. But I tell you, Joe, Maggie Lee died ten years ago in West Denton! I have 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.
Maggie Lee was described by MHT in 1987. She was one of only two surviving skipjacks that were “framed” and planked fore and aft. (The other is the skipjack Kathryn built in 1901.)
On a rainy Saturday in October 1999, Maggie Lee was towed from Tilghman Island 40 miles up the Choptank to West Denton. She was already in bad shape. Even so, it was the plan of the now-defunct Old Harford Town Maritime Center (OHTMC) to restore Maggie as part of its floating and land-side exhibit, to show how skipjacks played a role in local river trade and transportation.
OHTMC never had the resources to rescue Maggie. She was kept in the water over a few winters. Volunteers checked every few days to see that her bilge pumps were running. She kept rotting.
Around 2002, Maggie was run up onto OHTMC’s new shipways to keep her from sinking. Her carcass still lies here on the shipways.
Here is a photo timeline of
The Death of Maggie Lee
Carcass of Maggie Lee at West Denton, Md, April 2014