DEDICATED TO THOSE MEN
OF CHEBACCO AND ESSEX
WHO BY THE SKILL OF MIND AND
HAND AND WITHIN SIGHT
OF THIS SPOT CREATED NEARLY
4000 WOODEN VESSELS
1650 - 1982
Essex men raising the frame of a new ship
Planking the sides of a wooden schooner
My grandfather was born in Essex, both his parents had lineages going back to the 1630s in Essex, back in the days when it was known as the Chebacco parish of Ipswich, Massachusetts. In looking at town records, census records, and town directories, these ancestors were employed as ship builders and ship carpenters. Their occupations are listed as carpenters, ship wrights, ship joiners, carvers, block and pump makers, ropemakers, caulkers, riggers, painters, blacksmiths, and also just as day laborers. In the 1850 Federal census, the three main means of employment in Essex were farming, shipbuilding and shoemaking.
Ship building is still an occupation in Essex. Wooden schooners are still being made by Harold Burnham, a distant cousin. Many of the wooden schooners operating as tourist attractions were built in Essex.
Essex Shipbuilding Museum http://www.essexshipbuildingmuseum.org/
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Copyright 2013, Heather Wilkinson Rojo