Skip to Main Content

Maryland's National Register Properties

Photo credit: Peter Gedeon, Undated Photo
Inventory No.: T-516
Date Listed: 2/13/1986
Location: Mill Street, St. Michaels, Talbot County
Category: Object
Period/Date of Construction: 1889
Architect/Builder: Builder: John B. Harrison
NHL Date: 4/19/1994
Description: EDNA E. LOCKWOOD is a 9-log sailing bugeye (double-ended multi-log hulled oyster dredging vessels with two masts and three sails), official number 136088, homeported in St. Michaels, in the same county where she was built by master boat builder John B. Harrison on Tilghman Island in 1889. LOCKWOOD is 53'-6" long, has a 15'-3" maximum beam, and a 2'-7" draft. Her wide beam and shoal draft are ideally suited to dredging oysters from the waters of the Chesapeake Bay. Her most significant feature, her log bottom, is original to 1889. The keel log is 6" thick, tapering to 2 1/2" thick at the tops of the outermost or wing logs. The logs, four on each side of the keel log, are fastened together with wrought iron bolts. The overall shape of the hull is round bottomed, with a sharp stern making her double ended. The hull is framed and planked above the logs to add freeboard. A wooden centerboard allows better handling to windward under sail. The centerboard is pivoted at its lower forward center to allow it to be raised and lowered in the well of the centerboard trunk as water depth and wind conditions allow. Deck beams of pine, sided 3" and molded 5", spaced out on 2' centers, support the hatches, mast steps, and deckhouse. The main hatch is located amidships between the masts, and a cabin is located aft of the mainmast. Cabin and hatch coamings are of oak drifted to the heavy deck beams and to heavy oak flooring attached to the keel log. Hatches are of cedar while cabin planking is of 2" pine. LOCKWOOD is rigged with two masts which support a simple rig of three triangular leg-of-mutton sails. Both masts, stepped in boxes of oak framing fastened to the keel log, are raked at an angle of approximately 15 degrees. Originally LOCKWOOD was outfitted with hand-powered oyster dredge winders, which were fastened to the deck aft on each side. Sometime before 1910 the hand winders were replaced with power dredge winders. Also prior to 1910 a "patent stern," wheel steering gear, and power dredges were added. Significance: EDNA E. LOCKWOOD is the last Chesapeake Bay bugeye to retain her sailing rig and working appearance, and is the only unaltered representative of the fleet which once harvested the Chesapeake oyster fishery. Her maritime architectural significance is vested in her multi-log hull, one of the largest in existence. Log construction is derived from Indian log canoes, and has been called the only truly indigenous hull form in the United States. Her commercial significance begins with her design tailored to oyster dredging. LOCKWOOD dredged every oyster season from 1889 to 1967. During this period she witnessed both the height of oyster harvests in the United States and a two-thirds decline in the fishery by the time of her retirement. In the summer LOCKWOOD and most other bugeyes hauled produce and lumber from the Bay watershed to urban markets such as Washington, D.C., Norfolk, and Baltimore. With the decline of the oyster populations and with transportation of produce being taken over by trucks, most bugeyes were abandoned or converted to power. EDNA E. LOCKWOOD is the only survivor of her type which has preserved her sailing rig and working appearance. Today LOCKWOOD represents an unusual log or "chunk" style of shipbuilding technology practiced nowhere else in the world. LOCKWOOD exemplifies the characteristics of the type. She was designed with a shoal draft and centerboard for working the shallow waters of the Chesapeake, and with broad beam for the dual tasks of handling the large oyster dredge gear and stowing oysters for transport to shucking or canning houses.


Return to the National Register Search page