History of the Isaac H. Evans

A National Historic Landmark Launched in 1886


History of the Isaac H. Evans

The Isaac H. Evans post reconstruction on Penobscot Bay

May 14, 1939 - Isaac H.Evans Loaded with Oysters on Delaware Bay
A National Historic Landmark
Launched in 1886 - 22 Guests
65' Length on Deck - 99' Length Over All
19' Beam - 6' Draft - Draft with Centerboard Down, 13'

The Isaac H. Evans was built by George Vannaman in Mauricetown, New Jersey in 1886, on the banks of the Maurice River that leads into Delaware Bay. She will be celebrating her 128th anniversary this year! To survive that many years you know she must be an exceptional and well-loved vessel. She was built when oystering was the biggest fishing industry in America and spent many years working the Delaware Bay before she came to Maine for a new life. In 1971 she was brought from New Jersey to the old Percy and Small Shipyard which is now part of the Bath Maritime Museum. By 1973 she was completely rebuilt and adapted for her new industry.

The designation of National Historic Landmark is one we are very proud of. Though it is purely honorific and doesn't mean we get any government money, grants, or tax breaks, there are only a handful of vessels that are so honored. This designation is awarded to vessels that are recognized as being of extraordinary historical significance to the United States.

Although steeped in history, the Evans has a reputation for always being a well-maintained and neatly kept schooner with very comfortable amenities. A legacy of her past occupation, she is a very shallow-draft vessel allowing us to haunt the islands of the coast, seeing seals, eagles, osprey, and visiting the small harbors we love.

We don't claim to be the “Oldest”, the “Newest”, or the “Fastest” windjammer, we are simply a very comfortable, homey schooner from the Golden Era of sail. We've never found it necessary to boast, as our cruises have always appealed to those who treasure the sea, nature and friendship. It would be hard to find a more environmentally benign vacation.

Tied up at dock on the Delaware Bay The James H. Nixon (c. 1873) at the Vannaman Shipyard in Mauricetown, New Jersey
The James H. Nixon (c. 1873) at the Vannaman Shipyard in Mauricetown, New Jersey; the same shipyard where the Evans was built in 1886. I've had the opportunity to visit the shipyard and stood in the very same spot as these men. Some of the old buildings are still there. I gathered a few oyster shells from the shore before visiting the Mauricetown Historical Society across the street. I visited their special Isaac H. Evans display, and became a lifetime member! I fantasize about taking the Evans back to this spot someday...