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History of Shipbuilding on North River, Plymouth County, Massachusetts

With Genealogies of the Shipbuilders, and Accounts of the Industries Upon Its Tributaries, 1640 to 1872
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L. Vernon Briggs
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The name of North River is familiar to the older generations of seafaring men and especially to the older residents of Nantucket, New Bedford, Sag Harbor, Barnstable, Provincetown, Boston and the South Shore. Great Britain was a market for a large num ber of North River built vessels before the Revolution. Prior to 1800 North River was known the world over; vessels were not designated as having been built in Scituate, Marshfield, Hanover or Pembroke, but on North River. The author has unearthed the records of over one thousand and twenty-five vessels built here, and the United States Flag was carried around the world, and among other places, to the following countries for the first time at the mast heads of North River built vessels Great Brit ain, Canada, the Northwest coast, to the Black Sea and China. The largest number of vessels built on the River in a single year that the author has found the records of was thirty in 1801, and the year 1818 shows the next largest number, twenty-four. During the five years, from 1799 to 1804 inclusive, there were built here one hundred and fifteen vessels, an average of twenty-three each year. During the ten years, from 1794 to 1804 inclusive, there were one hundred and seventy-eight vessels built here, or an average of 17 each year. The largest number of vessels found bearing the same name were Betseys and Sallys, fourteen each twelve Marys, eleven Pollys, and ten Neptunes. Times looka little brighter for the shipbuilders in general now; nine or more vessels are on the stocks at Bath, Me. Currier hasjust launched a 1200-t0n four-masted schooner at Newburyport; a similar ves sel has recently been launched at New Haven, Conn., and six or more vessels are building at East Boston. North River may yet see another vessel, and perhaps many more built upon her banks. Several of the old shipbuilders affirm that in build ing small vessels there are no obstacles but what could easily be overcome, if the men had the courage. The copied manuscript of this volume has been deposited with the New England His toric Genealogical Society, Boston.

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