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Marblehead Transportation Company Records

Marblehead Transportation Company Records

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Open Finding Aid

MARBLEHEAD TRANSPORTATION COMPANY RECORDS, 1879-1900





Collection Summary

Repository:The Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum 132 Essex Street Salem, MA 01970 Phone: 978-745-9500 Fax: 978-531-1516
Creator:Marblehead Transportation Company
Title:Marblehead Transportation Company Records
Dates:1879/1900
Quantity:2 linear feet (2 boxes)
Abstract:The Marblehead Transportation Company records document the daily activities of a Marblehead, Massachusetts, ferry business operated by the Tucker family.
Collection Number:MSS 208

Series List


Scope and Content Note

The Marblehead Transportation Company records document the daily activities of a Marblehead, Massachusetts, ferry business operated by the Tucker family. Consisting of accounts books and passenger lists, the volumes provide lists of items purchased for the business and the numbers of passengers by operator ferried across to Marblehead Neck.


Historical Sketch

The first man to operate a ferry in Marblehead [Massachusetts] harbor was Philip B. Tucker, a direct descendant of the Samuel Tucker who won great fame as a naval commander during and after the Revolution. His ferry was a large catboat (an open, broad-beamed boat with a single mast and sail). When needed, he supplemented the catboat with dories in which people rowed themselves around the harbor. Tucker also operated a chandlery, delivering all sorts of supplies from coal to food to resupply the large yachts. He called his enterprise the Marblehead Transportation Company, and his base of operations was Captain William Blackler's Salt House. The road to the salt house was named Ferry Lane, and everyone referred to the ferry landing as Tucker's Wharf. Some of the greatest names in yachting history and at least one president (Grover Cleveland) landed at Tucker's Wharf.


A steam ferry named Escort, probably Tucker's, was wrecked on Marblehead Neck on June 8, 1882. It was replaced with two steam launches, and when Tucker died on October 15, 1900, other men were ready to take over the business.


Yachting boomed after World War II, the Transportation Company prospered, and a whole generation of Marbleheaders were introduced to the water in a new way, working on the docks, on the yachts and in the ferries servicing the harbor as well as fishing.


But in the 1970s, yachting began to change, and as the proprietors of the Marblehead Transportation Company aged, the company's fortunes began to fade. By 1992, the Transportation Company was bankrupt, its principal asset, a waterfront lot, had been irresponsibly contaminated with oil and gasoline.


Index Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in Philcat. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons, or places should search the catalog using these headings.

Ferries
Transportation
Marblehead (Mass.)
Account books

Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

This collection is open for research use.


Administrative Information

Copyright

Requests for permission to publish material from the collection must be submitted in writing to the Manuscript Librarian in the Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum.

Preferred Citation

Marblehead Transportation Company Records, MSS 208, Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass.

Provenance

This material was donated by Benjamin R. Chadwick in 1985 (acc #85029).

Processing Information

Collection processed by Prudence K. Backman, November 1986. Updated by Tamara Gaydos, December 2015.


Related Material


Sorlien, Peter. "The History Of Tucker's Wharf." The History Of Tucker's Wharf. Marblehead Magazine, 2007. Web. 18 Dec. 2015. http://www.legendinc.com/Pages/MarbleheadNet/MM/Articles/TuckersWharf.html


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