The Boyer Family Shad Shack - Havre de Grace, MD
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member bluesnote
N 39° 32.430 W 076° 05.191
18S E 406635 N 4377323
Quick Description: A unique boat on display at the Havre de Grace Maritime Museum in Havre de Grace, Maryland.
Location: Maryland, United States
Date Posted: 11/4/2021 12:31:54 AM
Waymark Code: WM1580M
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Alfouine
Views: 0

Long Description:
The plaque says, "This fishing houseboat dates from c. 1900, and measures approximately 8 feet wide by 20 feet long. It is a simply constructed wooden "scow" similar to a barge with a small one room un-insulated house (or shanty) atop the base. These boats were used to house watermen (fishermen) temporarily when their fishing grounds were too far away for them to return to their homes each night. They were also called shanties, arks, scows, or houseboats, depending on where they were built or used. Our shad shack belonged to Fritz Elliott, likely the builder.

In other areas of the Chesapeake Bay watershed these boats had different uses. A Potomac River ark, for example, was more likely to house a business, like a barbershop, general store or a bar. These types of boats were also used in New Jersey waters.

The boats were first towed by sailboats known as gilling skiffs, and later by motor boats, to fishing grounds, and then pulled up onto the shore, where they served as temporary dwellings for the duration of the fishing season. In shallower waters these were poled. These watermen used gill nets or drift nets, which were laid out from the gilling skiffs with the ends secured to small wooden floats on which lanterns were mounted. In the days before gasoline engines were installed in these skiffs, three men rowed the boats and a fourth laid out the nets. Fishing was better at night as the fish could not see the nets in the dark water, so at night entire sections of the Bay were dotted with the lights from the lanterns at the end of the nets.

Once widely in use in the Chesapeake Bay region between 1900 and 1930, these boats were replaced by larger boats; watermen could return home at night or could live in better comfort in larger, better equipped cabins.

Our shack's pole is displayed across from the receptionist desk in the lobby on the Museum. Examples of gill nets and fishing lanterns are located in our Working Boats of the Bay Museum gallery area.

This boat is included in the Maryland Historical Trust Invenory: Boyer Fishing Shanty, Harford County, MD-HA-935. Sources: Handwritten notes of H. Osborn Michael dated June 18, 1961. Documents loaned by Susan Osborn; and Tales of the Lost Ark, Jody Argo Schroath, Chesapeake Bay Magazine, June 2, 2015."
Is there a tour: No

If boat is a garden what was planted in it: Not listed

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