Merrimac SwStr - History

Merrimac SwStr - History

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(SwStr: t. 635; 1. 230; b. 30', dr. 8'6"; s. 11.5 k.; cpl. 116;
a. 2 30-pdr. P.r., 4 24-pdrs, 2 12-pdrs.)

After a successful career as blockade runner, Merrimac a sidewheel steamer purchased in England for the Confederate government in 1862, was captured by Iroquois off the coast of Cape Fear River, N.C., 24 July 1863. Purchased by the Navy from New York Prize Court 10 March 1864, Merrimac commissioned at New York 1 May 1864, Acting Master William P. Rogers in command. After joining the East Gulf Blockading Squadron in June 1864, she was ordered to cruise in the gulf. She captured Cuban sloop Henretta .sailing from Bayport, Fla., with cotton for Havana. However, late in July yellow fever broke out among Merrimac'.s crew and she sailed north to allow her crew to recover. Upon arriving New York she debarked her sick sailors at quarantine, and got underway for a cruise in the northwest Atlantic as far as St. John's Newfoundland.

Early in 1865 Merrimac was reassigned to the East Gulf Blockading Squadron. She got underway for the gulf early in February, but encountered extremely bad weather which forced her to stop at Beaufort, N.C., on the 7th and at Charleston on the 12th. Underway for Key West the next day,Merrimac ran into still worse weather which she fought until turning north on the 14th to seek the first port. On the afternoon of the 15th Acting Master William Earle ordered the crew to abandon ship after its tiller had broken, two boilers given out and the pumps failed to slow the rising water. That night, when the crew had been rescued by mail steamer Morning Star, Merrimac was settling rapidly as she disappeared from sight.

There are 51 census records available for the last name Merrimac. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Merrimac census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

There are 2 immigration records available for the last name Merrimac. Passenger lists are your ticket to knowing when your ancestors arrived in the USA, and how they made the journey - from the ship name to ports of arrival and departure.

There are 12 military records available for the last name Merrimac. For the veterans among your Merrimac ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

There are 51 census records available for the last name Merrimac. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Merrimac census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

There are 2 immigration records available for the last name Merrimac. Passenger lists are your ticket to knowing when your ancestors arrived in the USA, and how they made the journey - from the ship name to ports of arrival and departure.

There are 12 military records available for the last name Merrimac. For the veterans among your Merrimac ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

Merrimac SwStr - History

The coal mining era was ending in the New River Valley , in Appalachian Virginia, by the mid-twentieth century. Now, highways, shopping centers, and new housing subdivisions are changing the area, leaving few traces of mining to educate younger generations about their cultural heritage. Only the foundations of industrial buildings and houses mark the sites of once-active mines and mining communities. This was the situation at the site of the former Merrimac Mine, a mine made famous because its coal was used to power the ironclad Merrimac in its Civil War sea battle against the Monitor. The Merrimac Mine closed in the 1930s. In the 1990s, a rails-to-trails project turned the old railroad tracks that ran through Merrimac into a modern

Merrimac Coal Mining Heritage Park Project,

- A RU Applied Anthropology Class Working in Partnership with the Montgomery County Planning Office and the regional Coal Mining Heritage Association of Montgomery County

- Development of a Consulting Report, Coal Mining Heritage Park, Montgomery County, Virginia: Study, Plan, and Recommendations (2000). Click here to read the report Coal Mining Heritage Park Consulting Report .pdf

- A doption of the Plan by the County Park Dedication Held September 2000

recreational trail named the Huckleberry Trail. As hikers and bikers passed along the trail, all they saw were brambles and weeds covering the foundations of the industrial complex and the mining community nearby.

A university-community-regional partnership was formed to solve this problem at Merrimac – to revive it as a mining heritage park. The "Coal Mining Heritage Park Project" began in Spring 1999 with the formation of a four-way partnership linking Radford University's Anthropology Program with the Montgomery County Planning Office (the Merrimac property owners), the community-based Coal Mining Heritage Association of Montgomery County, and the state archaeologist in the region's heritage preservation office.

The research/teaching partnership served as the foundation for a Fall 1999 Applied Anthropology class project. The class, working under the professor's direction, assumed the role of an applied anthropology consulting team and was charged with tackling a real-life assignment in applied anthro-planning. The team's challenge was to design a place/space at Merrimac that would be used both for community recreation and heritage education. As part of the process, the oral history data collected in the "New River Valley Coal Mining Heritage Project" was put to work for the heritage interpretation aspects of park planning.

The project design started with a series of orientation sessions, including tours of the Merrimac Mine site in which former miners, county planners, and the state archaeologist oriented the research team to the layout and history of the site and the planning considerations. It also included a visit to a heritage park to gain visual examples of park layout and

Photo above: Merrimac Mine, circa 1922 (courtesy of Mr. Fred Lawson).

facilities, and the ways that signage, outdoor exhibits, and reconstructed buildings are used for historic interpretation. Research included the mining oral histories along with literature on heritage preservation and tourism, park planning, and applied anthropology.

The project became a magnet for community participation. The research team organized two community meetings for the purpose of gaining citizens' input and participation in the park planning. It also mailed a survey to residents in the area, asking for input on activities and amenities for the park. Mining association members, school teachers, senior citizen groups, railroad buffs, residents living near the proposed park, and a wide variety of Huckleberry Trail user groups became involved in the community meetings and offered further input. The research team acted in the role of a liaison between the community and the county government.

The team worked to strike a good balance between public use and protection of the archaeological record at the site. As the final step, the team prepared a consulting report, Coal Mining Heritage Park: Study Plans, and Recommendations, with the following scope and coverage:

· Presentation of an overall design for the park (see below) and recommendations for phasing-in the park's development

· Recommendations for mining heritage education through signage, a self-guided walking tour around the mine site, outdoor interpretive exhibits, a replicated miner's house, a mining museum and visitors center, and heritage-based educational activities such as archaeology schools for community participants to foster public awareness of site and heritage preservation

· Ideas for a system of low-impact trails and a community recreation area that includes picnic shelters, a playground constructed with a mining theme, and an open-air pavilion for staging community events

· Ideas for nature-based education, including a signage and a nature education center housed along the old railroad line in a caboose

· Discussion of facilities and conveniences needed to make the park user-friendly, including restrooms, drinking fountains, trail benches, parking, security, and accessibility for disabled and elderly visitors.

The Merrimac Journal Transcription Project

When the Journal arrived at the Custom House in August 2020, it was examined by Susan Tamulevich, Executive Director, and Laurie Deredita, librarian, who noted its fragile condition. Despite the temptation to start reading it, they decided that it would be prudent to handle the manuscript as little as possible. After an article appeared in the Day of New London, it became clear that there was a lot of local interest in this New London-based whaling journal and that it would be useful to have a transcription of the pages publicly available. To this end, Susan took photographs of each of the pages so that a transcriber could work from the images rather than the pages themselves. Eventually, it was decided to “crowdsource” the task of transcribing to volunteer “scriveners.” With the Custom House closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, it seemed like the perfect project for people interested in maritime history but stuck at home. All of the sending, receiving and editing of documents would take place electronically.

Susan’s call for volunteers received local and national media attention and she was nearly overwhelmed with responses from people all over the country and abroad who wanted to try their hand at transcribing. In early January 2021 she began to send out the page assignments and instructions to the volunteers. Within days, Laurie started receiving the completed transcriptions from the volunteers and she began to post the texts, side-by-side with the corresponding photographed pages from the manuscript, on an online website called Voyage of the Whaler Merrimac, created on the Omeka platform. By February 2021 the transcription part of the project was complete but the editing process took another two months until we decided that it was good enough.

    • Read the Merrimac journal →
    • Learn about the 1844–47 voyage of the Merrimac on →
    • Learn about the 1851-54 voyage of the General Williams on →
    • Visit the New London Maritime Society Custom House Maritime Museum →

    “It was not until Edwina Badger gave us the Merrimac journal last August that a true pent-up passion for New London’s whaling legacy became evident. Nothing prepared us for the flood of community support that materialized when the museum announced the project of transcribing the journal as a community event. Within weeks, we had 80 ‘citizen scrivener’ volunteers at it. Armed with a simple transcription ‘key’, they blew through the 156 hand-written pages in a matter of weeks, faster than we ever would have imagined.”

    —from “A PASSION FOR WHALING” by Susan Tamulevich, Executive Director, New London Maritime Society

    Working Warriors: Ben Beaulieu ’24 Makes History as Newly-Elected Merrimac Selectman

    Ben Beaulieu ’24 has made his mark, only one semester into his Merrimack journey. He arrived in August as the vice president of Rebel Media Group LLC , and just this month was elected as a selectman for the town of Merrimac, Massachusetts. Ben’s extensive experience with radio on and off-campus has prepared him to pursue his bachelor’s in communication and media, as he spends his free time working for his hometown. We sat down with Ben recently to discuss all his latest accomplishments, his time at Merrimack so far, and what advice he has for fellow students.

    DAN ROUSSEL: Ben, congratulations on becoming a selectman for Merrimac! That’s a huge deal. And we’re so glad you decided to chat with us about it! Why did you decide to run for office, and at such a young age?

    BEN BEAULIEU: Running for office has been something I’ve wanted to do for a very long time. My dad tells me stories of when I was young, and I wanted to be the “mayor of Merrimac.” Learning later that there wasn’t a mayor but a board of selectmen, I set my heart on that. Amongst five candidates, we won 35% of the vote … almost 700-plus more votes than the second place candidate.

    It’s really inspiring to hear you’ve accomplished this life-long dream. And congrats again on that landslide victory! What will you be doing a selectman? What do you hope to accomplish?

    I will essentially be running the town, along with the other board members. I hope to bring commercial businesses into town that will help offset the amount of tax dollars spent on necessities in town.

    In your spare time, you’re also the vice-president of Rebel Media Group LLC! That’s an insane accomplishment, once again how did you come into this position?

    I have been running my own digital radio station since 2012, and this past February in quarantine, a few long-time friends and I came together and drafted paperwork to file an LLC. We all work virtually throughout the country, and we have approximately 15 employees from web developers, graphic designers, and programmers.

    You’ve got a lot of hustle. Has Merrimack helped with that at all? With your first semester almost finished, what skills do you have, and what do you want to keep working on?

    So far with my First Year Experience class, we visited the O’Brien Center and learned about setting up LinkedIn accounts.

    I have brought the skills of time management, communication, computer knowledge and leadership to my positions. At Merrimack, I’m looking to further these skills and to pursue opportunities that are presented to me.

    There’s always plenty of opportunities here! I’m sure you’ll keep doing great work. As we wrap up, what advice do you have for fellow students?

    For other students, my advice is to not let your age define you. The stereotype that teens and early-twenties aged people need to learn throughout college to become successful is not true. For example, during my campaign, the issue of my age came up frequently. But, having made the personal connections I made in town over the years, they had my back they knew I could do the job. If you work hard enough, you can do it. It sounds very cliche, but I took that and made it my own.

    You’re the success story of your own advice! Ben, thanks for joining us, and congratulations again on this big accomplishment. We can’t wait to see what you do next!

    Are you ready to secure an internship or employment for the fall and beyond? The O’Brien Center for Career Development is here to help you! Visit Handshake today to search for open opportunities, meet with your career advisor, and more.

    Find 6 Cemeteries within 3.6 miles of Merrimac Locust Grove Cemetery.

      (West Newbury, MA - 1.0 miles) (Haverhill, MA - 1.1 miles) (West Newbury, MA - 2.3 miles) (Haverhill, MA - 2.5 miles) (Amesbury, MA - 2.7 miles) (Haverhill, MA - 3.6 miles)

    External Links

    Find 5 external resources related to Merrimac Locust Grove Cemetery.

    • Massachusetts State Website (
    • Essex County Website (
    • Essex County Death Certificates & Records (
    • Merrimac Town Clerk Vital Records (
    • Merrimac Town Clerk Website (

    Merrimac Paper

    The unoccupied Merrimac Paper Company, once one of many paper companies located in Lawrence, burned on November 6-7, 2009. The structure is located on the South Canal in Lawrence.

    Workers at Merrimac Paper, 1910. Jack Driscoll is 4th from the right.

    Maurice Dorgan writes in Lawrence Yesterday and Today, 1918: "Merrimack(sic) Paper Company - Established in 1895 manufactures paper of all kinds weekly output, 125 tons employs, 275 weekly payroll, $5,000.00 assessed valuation of property for 1917 $295,400"

    Below is an image from the 1896 Atlas of Lawrence, Plate 12

    How Jacob deGrom went from baseball misery to the game’s top pitcher

    He looked at two batters. For the first time in a year and a half, Jacob deGrom had to delve into video to watch what he did not want to see. The Twins had overwhelmed him Tuesday: Three homers. Eight hits. Six runs. Just four innings.

    The following day he cued up his worst performance since early September 2017. Except, in his estimation, the mechanics were good. So was the stuff.

    “I was just missing in the middle.” He made the determination after two batters. “There is no reason to keep looking at this.”

    He had his answer. Bad location. In 2017, a series of poor starts moved deGrom to live in the video room, trying to unearth the minutiae that would decode his problems. Until deGrom finally discerned that some days you just don’t have it.

    If you are looking for reasons why deGrom navigated a year and a half of pitching without a clunker or how he graduated from very good to perhaps the best in the world, flushing failure is a place to begin.

    “You stunk [Tuesday] night,” deGrom self-assessed. “It is over with. Now, it is time to get ready for the next one. That is just my mindset with everything that goes on.”

    DeGrom had his streak of quality starts end at 26, leaving him tied with Bob Gibson (1968) for the longest ever. Appreciate the achievement.

    No one had done it in half a century, and Gibson did it within arguably the best pitching season ever. Now that deGrom is done the longest current streak is five by Houston’s Gerrit Cole, Kansas City’s Brad Keller and Miami’s Trevor Richards.

    “To do what he did over 26 starts, that is really hard to do,” an NL executive said. “That is [Mike] Trout from a pitcher. The best of the best at the peak of his powers.”

    On Sept. 5, 2017, deGrom arguably had the worst start of his career — yielding nine runs (six earned) in 3 ²/₃ innings against the Phillies. Between that and Tuesday’s struggle against the Twins, the righty made 37 starts. He had a 1.62 ERA. The next best for anyone with even just 20 starts was 2.02 by Tampa Bay’s Blake Snell. The slash line against was .194/.242/.276, which is similar to the career batting mark of Charlie Morton (.197/.240/.269). Charlie Morton is a pitcher. DeGrom spent more than a season turning opposing hitters into Charlie Mortons.

    This from a guy who was a shortstop until his junior year at Stetson, had Tommy John surgery in the minors and arrived to the Mets in 2014 as the “other guy” to Rafael Montero. But also within deGrom’s first two major league seasons, there was a Rookie of the Year, an All-Star, a Division Series Game 1 start and a Cy Young seventh-place finish.

    In the two years after that, there would be an eighth-place Cy, but another elbow surgery and more valleys than he had produced in 2014-15. The totality was still above average. He did not stay above average. His next step was to history. To a Cy Young, and a $137.5 million extension, and the quality-start run, and a level of excellence that conjured Dwight Gooden and Tom Seaver.

    “I’m really impressed at what he has done and how well he has done it,” deGrom’s father Tony said. “He didn’t even pitch until he was a junior in college. He was learning on the go.”

    So this is about the education of Jacob deGrom: How did he get from there to here?


    So much begins with natural gifts. When the Mets test players’ health and performance in spring, deGrom’s results were “off the charts,” according to Brodie Van Wagenen, deGrom’s agent turned his GM. DeGrom is lean, agile, quick twitch. His father speaks about his ability to pick up any sport quickly, not just baseball, but golf, basketball, bowling.

    Pitchers who are athletes — think Greg Maddux, Mike Mussina, Mariano Rivera — derive advantages over time. They can repeat their motions over and over, which generates consistency in locating pitches. They have body awareness so they can self-correct within a game — often within an at-bat — when they feel something off in their mechanics, as opposed to the majority who have to wait until a between-start film review or side throwing session to be tutored by others.

    “I have been a pitching coach for 11-12 years, and you would be surprised at how few guys can do that [in-game fixes on their own],” Mets pitching coach Dave Eiland said. “He has the tremendous ability to adjust and self-correct on the fly.”


    The History of a Proud Northwest Wooden Boat

    By George Beall

    During her sixty-plus years of plying the waters of the Pacific Northwest, Merrimac has developed a strong following of admirers and her 1930's elegance continues to draw attention. Merrimac, a unique cruiser for her day, was coined "The Million Dollar Yacht" in the early 1940's because of her quality craftsmanship, innovation and features such as a shower in the bow, leaded glass bookcases and original fixtures. Merrimac has enjoyed excellent stewardship with several long-term Oregon owners, who maintained her in yachtsman condition. This classic wooden yacht has never undergone a complete renovation, thus Merrimac has never missed a year of cruising.

    The cruiser originated in the late 1930's as a Bay City Boat Inc. kit boat -- 2200 Series Heavy-Duty Round Bottom Cruiser. The kit was ordered by Walter "Mac" McCrea, a well-known yachtsman and past commodore of Portland Yacht Club. All of the parts and lumber were shipped from Bay City, Michigan and arrived in Portland Oregon heaped in a boxcar. As the story goes, the first boat builder hired to build the cruiser opened the boxcar door with horror and immediately turned the job down stating the project was much too big.

    Undaunted, McCrea went West to Astoria Marine Construction Company, (AMCCO) and struck a deal with owner and marine architect Joe Dyer. The agreement stated that Dyer would use the kit as much as possible, but the cruiser would be built the "Astoria way" thus he redrew the boat and used a great deal of Wolmanized lumber from the local mill. The Bay City Boat Inc. catalog, original kit drawings and revised AMCCO drawings are still kept aboard the boat. Since his death, Dyer and AMCCO have become recognized as some of the highest quality West Coast boat builders. In fact, Dyer is currently the only marine architect featured at The Columbia River Maritime Museum.

    Construction of the boat began in early 1937 and MaryMack was launched August 27, 1938 at the AMCCO yard on the Lewis and Clark River in Astoria, Oregon. Shortly thereafter, in 1942, the cruiser was pressed into service. Like most other large cruisers of this vintage, she was painted gray and converted into a patrol boat -- according to local lore, a 50 caliber machine gun was mounted on her foredeck. for several years, MaryMack patrolled off the Oregon Coast out of Nehalem Bay.

    After World War II efforts, the cruiser was purchased by Charlie Wegman, a Portland construction business owner. He renamed the boat Dee Dee Jo after his girls and cruised her until approximately 1950. Under Wegman's stewardship, the gray paint was removed.

    Horace Williams, a Portland restaurateur and owner of the popular Tik Tok restaurant, purchased the cruiser next and renamed her The Princess. Williams maintained the boat until 1953.

    In 1953, the cruiser returned to her place of origin and became Joe Dyer's personal yacht, which he renamed Merrimac. Dyer added the flybridge in 1953 along with his trademark brow over the reconfigured windshield. From bow to stern the bilges were wrapped with ironbark to protect the yacht from floating debris and ice and the original Chrysler Royal Crown engine was replaced with a Buda diesel. During his 19 years of ownership the yacht cruised throughout the Northwest.

    Merrimac was purchased by Jim Stacy, a sawmill and tug boat company owner from Astoria, in 1971 and the name retained. Stacy maintained and cruised the boat for 23 years with log books showing trips circumnavigating Vancouver Island, cruising the San Juan Islands and trekking as far north as Alaska. During these years the boat was re-powered with its present engine -- a 450 Cummins V-8.

    The current owner, George Beall, acquired Merrimac in October of 1994. Beall, a golf club and real estate owner from Portland, is the first owner to use the cruiser as a classic yacht and revive it to its original glory. Fortunately, the boat has always been maintained to a high standard and continues to be refurbished to an even higher grade of maintenance inside and out. With attention to original design and upholstery, hunter green carpet, varnished mahogany, and polished chrome. Much of the interior remains original, including hand water pumps in both heads and fixtures throughout. The original solid mahogany galley table -- for years hidden under a layer of Formica -- was recently restored to its original luster and embellished with gold leaf design. Today, Merrimac is a splendid example of Joe Dyer's work and AMCCO's legacy. The classic cruiser is moored at Portland Yacht Club in the original house specifically built for the boat.

    Merrimac is a member of the Antique and Classic Boat Society and the Pacific Northwest Classic Yacht Association.

    Designer: Bay City Boat Inc./Joe Dyer

    Builder: Astoria Marine Construction Company, Astoria, Oregon

    Original Power: Chrysler Royal Crown

    Current Power: 450 Cummins V-8

    Construction: 1 3/16" mahogany carvel plank on 1 1/4" x 1 7/8" bent on on 9" centers decks 1" spruce

    Merrimac SwStr - History

    The History of Merrimac Farm

    Merrimac Farm was originally part of the Brent Town grant. The Brent Town Tract was divided in 1737 giving Samuel Hayward 7,500 acres on the northwest side of Cedar Run. Hayward sold 1,000 acres, including the portion that became Merrimac Farm, to Henry Fitzhugh in 1738.

    Henry Fitzhugh, of "Bedford" in Stafford County, died in 1758. His will (dated 1757, probated 1759) says, "I give to my son Thomas one moiety [half] of my Brent Town land now in his possession according to a division lately made by his brother Henry to him . to my son John Fitzhugh the other moiety . now in his possession."

    In 1813, Edward Fitzhugh advertised the sale of the 600-acre farm, called Green Level, where he resided. Green Level was purchased by the French family.

    Members of the French Family are buried in the Cemetery that is part of Merrimac Farms. Three markers of family members have been found, and further work is planned to further search for graves, delineate the cemetery, and repair the damaged markers.

    It has been estimated that there may be as many as 100 graves in the cemetery. One of the grave markers mentioned that one of the children, Susan A. died of consumption, (tuberculosis) at age 22 in 1846.

    In 1853, Elisha Osmon was the owner of Green Level, and it was divided into smaller parcels in 1865. The portion of Green Level that became Merrimac Farm was purchased by James Kiewit in 1882. It remained in the Kiewit family until 1923, when it was sold to the Hooe family.

    The Hooe family sold the property to the Reading Family in 1939. In 1959, Philip B. Reading and Marie H. Reading sold the property to Dean Noyes (Mac) McDowell and Mary Benz McDowell. The McDowells renamed the property Merrimac Farm in recognition of the given name of Mary and the nickname of Dean.

    In January 2008, the Virginia Dept. of Game and Inland Fisheries purchased Merrimac Farm through a conservation partnership formed between the Prince William Conservation Alliance, Marine Corps Base Quantico and the Virginia Dept. of Game & Inland Fisheries.

    Merrimac Farm was Virginia's 37th Wildlife Management Area and the first to be located in Northern Virginia.


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