Friday, July 22, 2011
J. E. Monk, Shipbuilder
According to the 1880 U.S. Census, John E. Monk was born in New York State in 1836. In 1880 he was single, living in Sandusky, Ohio, and his occupation was listed as "ship builder." THE HISTORY OF ERIE COUNTY, OHIO, edited by Lewis Cass Aldrich, stated about Mr. Monk:
"J. E. Monk, some thirteen years ago, established a ship yard at the north end of Meigs street, on the bay. Mr. Monk was a practical builder, having worked as long for others in the city prior to the establishment of his present enterprise as he has since for himself. Some fine work has been turned out in This yard, and a great deal of general repairing is being done all the time ; fifteen or twenty men are kept at work most of the season. The steamers Ferris and Hayes, the barge Norma, the tug Mystic, the General Burnside, Silver Spray, L. L. Rawson, Rolland and other boats, well known at Sandusky, were built by Mr. Monk at this yard."
The Sandusky Maritime Museum refers to J. E. Monk as Sandusky's "premier shipbuilder." At BGSU's database entitled the Historical Collections of the Great Lakes you can see a list of ships built by J. E. Monk by entering the name Monk in the "builder" field." A list of ships built by J. E. Monk is retrieved; the database provides information about each ship, including specifications, images, and a brief history of the vessels. Two ships built by J. E. Monk are featured on the Ohio Memory Online Scrapbook, the steamer R. B. Hayes and the B.F. Ferris. Files pertaining to the estate of John E. Monk as well information about his business's inventory and appraisals records can be found in the Sandusky, Ohio Shipping Personnel Collection at the R. B. Hayes Presidential Center. John E. Monk died in July of 1896, and is buried in Oakland Cemetery.
Pictured below is a portion of a page from the 1886 Sanborn Map (available through the OPLIN network) which contains a diagram of J. E. Monk's shipyard.