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A little Ct boating history

Old 08-28-2010, 08:45 AM
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Connecticut River Museum
Maritime History of the Town of Essex, Connecticut
by
J. Stuart Rankin, Jr.

Winner of the First Prize awarded by the
Dauntless Club to the students of Pratt High School
ca 1930


The British Raid of 1814
Probably the most disastrous event that could have happened to the ship-building industry here in Essex, was the war of 1812. During the war, while the British fleet was cruising around Long Island Sound for the sake of blockading New London harbor, the commander suspected that there was a plot among the shipbuild-ers of Potipaug to destroy this fleet. Therefore, on the evening, of April 7, 1814, two or three vessels of the squadron anchored off Saybrook Bar and dispatched two launches, each carrying nine to twelve pound carronades and fifty men, and four barges containing twenty-five men each, under the command of Lieuten-ant Coote, or Coutts, as it is some-times spelled. The party was provided with torches and other instruments for burning the shipping. They were discovered by the lighthouse - keeper, but as there were no American troops in the vicinity, he could do nothing to help the luckless citizens. Because of a strong, northerly wind and the freshet, they did not reach their des-tination until four o'clock in the morning. Landing, they marched to Mr. Jim Hayden's and stacked their guns. Then they divided into squads and set about their work of destruc-tion. Nearly all of the citizens were awakened by the glare of burning ships. Everybody was afraid that they were going to be killed, many fleeing to Centerbrook, but it was soon made clear that the people were not to be molested.

The main body of the troops proceeded to burn the vessels at the different yards and those an-chored in the lower and upper coves. At Mack's landing the owners put out the fires on the ships and lit bonfires to deceive the plunderers. The Haydens and Starkeys were notorious Tories. "One of the Starkeys owned a store on Main street, and as the British marched up the street, he placed decanters of rum upon his porch. Bowing low, he said, "Help yourselves, gentlemen, help yourselves." The British commander whipped out his sword and with one stroke swept every decanter off the porch saying, "I can buy all the drink that I want for my soldiers."

A vessel belonging to Mr. Judea Pratt of New York was saved because he gave a Masonic sign, and Lt. Coutts, recognizing it, ordered the ship to be left untouched. Jeremiah Glover, who had a sloop anchored in South Cove, begged the British not to touch it. They agreed, on the condition that he pilot them back to their ships.

About ten o'clock in the morning the British set sail down the river with a brig, a schooner, and two sloops. As the wind shifted to the southeast, they set fire to all the boats except the schooner, which they an-chored about a mile and a quarter below Hayden's Point. A number of militia gathered on the bank, and planting a nine pounder, opened fire on the schooner. The British took to their barges and pulled down the river, with Captain Glover cowering in the bottom of one of them! Near-ly a year later about eleven graves were found on Plum Island, and these were believed to have been dug by Lt. Coutts, to bury those killed while rowing down the river. "The burning of the shipping at Essex was a wanton piece of destruction and I regret having had to do it." Thus said Lieutenant Coutts some years afterwards. The loss amounted to not less than $160,000. Since that disastrous event comparatively little shipping was done.

"The names, values, and owners of the ships burned during the raid are:

Brig, Cleopatra; 170 tons; value $6,750; owners, James Hill, Noah Starkey, George Stannard's heirs.

Schooner, Emblem; 160 tons; value $6,200; owners, James Hill, A. Conklin, Elbert Belam, G. Stannard's heirs, G. W. Pratt.

Sloop, Neva; 76 tons; value $1,800; owners, Ebenezer Hayden, Jesse Hind, Richard Hayden, Augustus Jones, Jr.

Sloop, Emerald; 55 tons; value $2,400; owners, John Pratt, Jr., Joel Pratt's heirs, Ambrose Pratt's heirs.

Ship, Osage; 34 tons; value $8,500;

Brig, Hextor; 375 tons; value $15,00; owners, William Hall, Dodd and Robbins, Ansel Treat.

Brig, Amazon; 310 tons; value $4,000; owner, W. C. Hall.

Brig, Felix; 300 tons; value $11,000; owner, J. E. Lyman.

3 sloops - names not mentioned.

1 pleasure boat - Ebenezer Hayden.

1 work shop - S. M. Hayden.

Ship, Guardian; 317 tons; value, $13,000; Owners, Hayden, Starkey, Richard Powers.

Schooner, Neva; 140 tons; value $4,000; owners, Hayden and Starkey, Hull & Goodman, Richard Powers.

Sloop, Mohala; 50 tons; value $1,300; owners, Asahel Pratt, Judea Pratt, Hull & Ensirld, H. L. Chapman.

Ship, Atlanta; 270 tons; value $6,500; owners, Horace Hayden, Rich-ard Hayden, 2nd.

Schooner, Black Prince; 315 tons; value $12,500; owners, Richard Hay-den, Nathaniel Lay, George Griswold.

Sloop, Comet; 30 tons; value $1,100; owners, Richard Hayden, Will Marvin, Richard Hayden, 2nd.

Sloop, Thitis; 76 tons; value $2,400; owners, Asa Pratt, Isaiah Pratt, Ebenezer Hayden, Luther Belden.

Ship, Superior; 285 tons; value $7,000.

Sloop, Washington; 100 tons; value $5,000.

and many other small boats."

The above list is copied from a list copied by Capt. Timothy Starkey in 1815.

There is another story of how the British came up the river. Dr. Benjamin Stevens used to tell of the affair and I heard it from Mr. James L. Pratt.

"The town was betrayed," he used to say, "sold by one of her own men. The British caught two fellows fishing off Poverty Island Point and commanded them to steer the fleet up to Essex. They were Essex boys, home on furlough, in their uniforms. One refused, but the other said, "What'll you give me if I do?" Colonel Coutts said, "$1,000 at Essex dock.

"Well to make a long story short, this young men had a sweetheart in the town, but he could not marry her because he was poor, and her father had set his mind on a rich man. $1000 was a sight of money in those days, and the lad got it right at the dock, same as the Colonel promised."

"Did the girl marry him?"

"No, no, she was staunch, she wouldn't look at a traitor to her town. He took himself off and never came nigh the town again, but when death drew in upon him he begged to be buried in his home town."

One ship, the "Osage", was burned in the North Cove Channel where it lay for over a hundred years. In 1922 pieces of its timber were pried up and made into the Honor Roll which is now in the Municipal Building.

When the British came up the river, they fired a cannon when off Hayden's Point. The shot went over the town and lodged in the hill just above the theater building. Mr. Will Parmelee's grandfather dug it out and gave it to him. He has had the twenty-five pound ball gilded and mounted over his steamboat dock.

Mr. William Parmele told me that when the British started up the river, a boy by the name of Smith, who lived in Saybrook jumped on a horse and raced up here to tell the news. He was called the Paul Revere of Saybrook.
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Old 08-29-2010, 07:22 PM
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Heres some more.

Lets not forget that this is where the sutphens once worked, Its only fitting that sutphens sold best here in CT.


History




1899: Financier Isaac Rice founds Electric Boat Company. The company was established to bring to completion a 54-foot submersible vessel developed by John Philip Holland.

1900: Considered the world's first practical submarine and named for its inventor, the Holland is accepted by the U.S. Navy, marking the beginning of the U.S. Submarine Force.

1911: Electric Boat acquires the New London Ship and Engine Co. in Groton, CT, to build diesel engines and other machinery and parts for submarines and commercial ships.

1914-18: During World War I and just after, Electric Boat receives orders to build 85 submarines for the U.S. Navy. The company's ELCO subsidiary builds 722 submarine chasers, while another subsidiary, the Submarine Boat Co., builds 118 Liberty ships.

1924: The Peruvian government places orders for two submarines, the first to be built at the Groton shipyard.

1934: Cuttlefish, the first submarine ordered by the U.S. Navy since 1918, is delivered. Cuttlefish is also the first welded submarine and the first submarine built in Groton for the Navy.

1941-45: Over the course of World War II, Electric Boat produces 74 submarines and 398 PT boats.

1951: The company announces its contract to build the Nautilus (SSN571), the world's first nuclear-powered submarine.

1954: First lady Mamie Eisenhower christens the Nautilus. Embarking on initial sea trials a year later, the submarine sends the historic message: "Underway on nuclear power."

1959: USS George Washington (SSBN598), the Navy's first fleet ballistic-missile submarine, is commissioned.

1960: The Electric Boat-built USS Triton (SSN586) circumnavigates the globe submerged in 84 days. The journey followed Ferdinand Magellan's route, which took three years to complete.

1960: USS George Washington embarks on its first strategic deterrence patrol carrying 16 Polaris missiles.

1966: Sturgeon (SSN637), the lead ship in a new class of attack submarines, is launched.

1972: Electric Boat receives contracts for the design and development of the Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarine. These mammoth 560-foot ships will be built in a modular fashion, a process pioneered by EB.

1972: The company lays the keel for its first Los Angeles-class attack submarine, Philadelphia (SSN690).

1973: The company's Quonset Point Facility in North Kingstown, RI, is established.

1974: Production begins at Quonset Point, with an initial workforce of eight trainees and a handful of management personnel.

1975: Construction of EB's $150 million land-level submarine construction facility begins in Groton.

1977: The land-level submarine construction facility in Groton becomes fully operational.

1978: Construction of EB's $120 million automated frame and cylinder facility begins at Quonset Point.

1979: Electric Boat launches the Ohio (SSBN726), the first of an 18-ship class popularly known as Tridents.

1980: Quonset Point's automated frame and cylinder facility becomes fully operational.

1989: The company begins construction of Seawolf (SSN21), the lead ship in what will be the most advanced class of attack submarine in the world.

1991: Electric Boat wins the contract to build the second Seawolf submarine (SSN22), later named Connecticut.

1994: First lady Hillary Clinton christens Columbia (SSN771), Electric Boat's 33rd and final Los Angeles-class submarine. Columbia was also the last U.S. submarine to be launched in the traditional sliding fashion.

1995: Seawolf (SSN21) is christened by Margaret Dalton, wife of Secretary of the Navy John H. Dalton.

1996: Electric Boat receives a $1.4 billion contract to design the successor to the Seawolf class, the New Attack Submarine, now known as the Virginia class.

1996: At the completion of its initial sea trials, Seawolf (SSN21) is described as the fastest, quietest, most heavily armed submarine in the world.

1997: Electric Boat teams with Newport News Shipbuilding (now Northrop Grumman Newport News) to produce the Virginia Class of submarines.

1997: The Navy commissions USS Seawolf (SSN21).

1997: Electric Boat christens the second Seawolf-class submarine, Connecticut (SSN22).

1997: USS Louisiana (SSBN743), Electric Boat's 18th and final Trident submarine, is delivered to the Navy, bringing to a close what has been described as a model military procurement program.

1998: Electric Boat receives a $4.2 billion contract to build the first four Virginia-class submarines. Construction is shared with teammate Northrop Grumman Newport News.

1998: Electric Boat delivers the second Seawolf-class submarine, Connecticut (SSN22), to the U.S. Navy.

1999: Electric Boat marks the centennial of its founding.

1999: U.S. Sen. John Warner of Virginia inscribes his initials on Virginia (SSN774) during a keel-laying ceremony at the Quonset Point Facility for the lead ship of the Navy's newest class of submarines.

1999: The U.S. Navy awards Electric Boat an $887 million contract to modify Jimmy Carter (SSN23) to accommodate advanced technology for special warfare and surveillance.

2000: The first hull section of Virginia (SSN774), the first of the U.S. Navy's newest class of nuclear attack submarines, arrives at the Groton shipyard. The 1,000-ton section was transported from Quonset Point.

2000: Electric Boat breaks ground for a $12.4 million automated steel-processing center at the Quonset Point Facility.

2001: The Quonset Point Facility's new automated steel-processing center is dedicated.

2002: Electric Boat receives a $443 million contract to design the SSGN, a conversion of the four oldest Ohio-class SSBNs into multi-mission submarines optimized for covert strike and special operations support.

2003: The Navy awards Electric Boat an $8.7 billion block-buy contract for six Virginia-class submarines, the largest submarine order in U.S. history. The contract is later converted to a multiyear purchase plan for five submarines.

2003: Electric Boat christens the Virginia (SSN774), first of its class.

2003: Electric Boat begins the SSGN conversions of the four oldest Ohio-class SSBNs into multi-mission submarines optimized for covert strike and special operations support.

2004: Electric Boat christens the Jimmy Carter (SSN23), the third and final Seawolf-class submarine, which has been modified for special warfare and surveillance.

2004: Electric Boat delivers both the Virginia (SSN774) and the Jimmy Carter (SSN23) to the U.S. Navy.

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Old 08-29-2010, 07:31 PM
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Heres another cool link If anyone has anything to add please do so:

http://www.cthistoryonline.org/cdm-c...arit_ship.html
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