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Mary G. Powers: 1903

Mary G. Powers: 1903

Circa 1903. "Fishing schooner at 'T' wharf, Boston." With ice at the ready. 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.


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Sheffeyid schooner

The schooner at the left seems to be the 1891 Sheffeyid out of Gloucester, Mass as listed in the 1911 Annual List of Merchant Vessels of the United States.


A lot has been said about the shape of a dory's hull, as to its sea-keeping abilities and its capability of supporting a heavy load of both fishermen and the ground fish they caught. Both true, but here we see perfectly another key attribute of that shape -- five dories stacked like paper cups using the deck space of a single hull!

It Went Ashore

In “History of Newburyport, Mass., 1764-1905” by John J. Currier published in 1906, on page 25, he writes: “June 30, 1895, the schooner Mary G. Powers went ashore on Plum island. The vessel was only slightly damaged, and the officers and crew, consisting of twenty-three men, were saved.”

Essex built

Mary G. Powers was built in 1892 at the A.D. Story Shipyard in Essex, Mass. Designed by naval architects George A. Stewart & Arthur Binney.

Arthur Binney

Mary G. Powers was designed by a relatively little known naval architect, Arthur Binney, in 1891, and built in Essex, Mass., in 1892. So she was relatively new at the time of this photo, about 11 years old. However, I wonder about the curvature of the main boom -- doesn't look at all secure. Mary Powers was 109 by 25 by 10.8 feet register dimensions, a large vessel for the type and time period.

In Chapelle's "American Fishing Schooners" (1973) the author says 15 Binney fishing schooner designs (and some other vessels) were actually built. This was between 1892 and 1912.

Note the crewmen fishing over the rail. If someone was paying me to fish from a dory at sea, that's about the last thing I'd want to do in harbor.

$300,000 schooner

The owner of the schooner appears in an 1893 petition asking that "a channel be dredged around Jeffries Point, East Boston, to increase the market for fish."

The petition lists 19 owners together with the values of their boats. The Mary G. Powers came in at $13,000, which online calculators show as about $300,000 in 2015 dollars.

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