- Grace Bailey - built in Patchogue, NY ~ History
Schooner Grace Bailey built in Patchogue, New York
[Researched and written by J.W. Sims in 1977]
The schooner Mattie was built as the Grace Bailey in 1882 by Oliver Perry Smith at his boatyard on the Patchogue River, in Patchogue, New York.
She was originally constructed to serve the needs of the E. Bailey and Sons Lumber Company by carrying lumber from southern ports to Patchogue. Because of Edwin Bailey's high standards and his access to fine wood, only the best was used in the construction of the Grace Bailey. Smith's boatyard was located across the river from the lumber mill. George Miller, a local sailmaker at the time, probably made the original sails. The carpenter's certificate for the Grace Bailey is dated 21 November 1882, and her first certificate of enrollment in the coasting trade was issued on November 23 of that year.
The vessel was originally named after Edwin Bailey's daughter Grace Bailey (Dowd), born in April 1882. Martha Bailey (Silsbe), a granddaughter of Edwin Bailey, who was born in 1888, must have been a favorite of her grandfather's. For in 1906, when Martha (Mattie) was eighteen years old, the vessel was rebuilt and renamed Mattie. Edwin gave his granddaughter his one-eighth share in the vessel and had Martha christen the rebuilt and renamed schooner.
In 1919 Martha Bailey reluctantly sold her share when Captain Herbert L. Black purchased the Mattie and brought her to Maine.
From 1882 through 1914 the vessel was engaged in the coasting and foreign trades, and her homeports were the Great South Bay towns of Patchogue and Sayville. Probably much of her work included carrying lumber from South Carolina to Georgia.
Some indication of her range can be ascertained from the fact that enrollment and registry documents were issued to her during this period at Patchogue, Fall River, New Haven, Providence, New York City, Baltimore, and Norfolk. During the summers of 1887 through 1890, and 1885, the Grace Bailey was registered for foreign trade and made voyages to the West Indies.
From January 1915 until March 1919 the Mattie's homeport was New Haven, Connecticut. During this period she was in the coasting trade, most likely sailing on Long Island Sound, carrying oysters and oyster shells, perhaps potatoes to New York City, perhaps sand from the quarries along the north shore of Long Island.
Enrollment documents were issued to her during these years at New Haven, New York City, Greenport, and Fall River. After this service, her homeport was again Patchogue until the end of 1919.
During these early years, the Mattie's rig included fore and main topmasts and topsails, jibboom, and flying jib. With the advent of the gasoline-powered yawl boat and hoisting engine, it became possible to reduce the size of the crew. This, in turn, brought about a light weather sail. The main topmast was removed when the Mattie became a cruise schooner. The Mattie's early deck plan included two cargo hatches between the masts and one between the mainmast and the after deckhouse.
In November 1919, the schooner Oakwoods, owned by Captain Black of South Brooksville, Maine, was accidentally rammed and sunk by the American submarine R-3 in Buzzards Bay near the Cape Cod Canal. To replace the Oakwoods, Captain Black purchased the Mattie in December 1919, and in March 1920, the Mattie's homeport became Belfast, Maine.
Captain Black received a payment from the government for his loss of the Oakwoods, and years later, after his death, it was discovered that the check had never been cashed. A search revealed the check hidden over a beam in the Mattie's master cabin.
During her time with Captain Black, and later with Captain William Shepard, the Mattie sailed as a bay coaster in Maine waters, carrying general cargo, pulpwood to Bucksport and Brewer, and perhaps coal to Maine islands. She also went farther from home, carrying boxwood from Ellsworth to Lynn, Massachusetts, salt cod from Maine ports to Gloucester, and hardwood to Boston. It is likely that she carried granite from Crotch Island to New York City for the Post Office Building and for Grand Central Station.
1882-1906 Length: 72 feet Breadth: 23.5 feet Depth: 6 feet Gross Tonnage: 68.13 Net Tonnage: 64.73 (to 1899) Net Tonnage: 58.79 (1899-1906)
SIM'S LIST OF MASTERS 1882-1937
1882-1897 Seymour Ketcham, Patchogue, NY
1897-1919 Charles F. Terry, Sayville, NY
1920-1937 Herbert L. Black, S Brooksville, ME
1920-1937 Guy Black, S Brooksville, ME