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HISTORIC NAVAL SHIPYARDS

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HISTORIC WARSHIPS

Last Update: 25/AUGUST/2010
Compiled by Pete Payette - ©2010 American Forts Network

A listing of pre-1930 historic government naval shipyards and other support facilities. Private and commercial shipyards are NOT included here. Please see U.S. Shipbuilding History by Tim Colton for more info.

MAINE

Portsmouth Naval Shipyard
(1800 - present), Kittery
The first Federal shipyard established in the U.S.. It has been a major submarine yard since World War I. The U.S. Naval Disciplinary Barracks (aka "The Castle") was closed in 1974. The Marine Barracks was closed in 1987.


MASSACHUSETTS

Charlestown Navy Yard
Boston National Historical Park
(1800 - 1974/present), Boston
Sometimes known as the Boston Navy Yard. The Marine Barracks also closed in 1974. Part of the base is still in use - primarily for the U.S.S. Constitution, the oldest commissioned ship still active. Also here is the display ship U.S.S. Cassin Young DD-793. One of the two old drydocks is also still in use.


RHODE ISLAND

Goat Island Naval Torpedo Station
(History of Naval Undersea Warfare Center Newport)
(1869 - 1951), Goat Island, Newport
The forerunner of today's Naval Undersea Warfare Center, the Torpedo Station's mission was to develop torpedoes, torpedo equipment, explosives, and electrical equipment. Through experiments conducted there, the torpedo evolved from the immobile explosive mine of the Civil War period to the efficient and highly mobile weapon of today. The Station worked on other ordnance projects, including an impractical dynamite-throwing gun, projectile explosives such as dynamite and nitroglycerine, and gun cotton. The Navy's first smokeless gunpowder was also manufactured there. The first experiments in shipboard electricity were conducted at the Torpedo Station in the late 1880s. The machine shop was wired to conform with a plan for illuminating ships with electric lights in July 1887. Wiring the shop in this manner provided light for the factory, and facilitated experiments and demonstrations in the application of electric power to warships. In 1902 a wireless antenna mast 180 feet high was erected at the Station to allow tests and evaluations of wireless radio communications. Rose Island was acquired in 1869 for the storage of explosives and for experimental firings, and in 1919, Gould Island was purchased and placed under the Station's jurisdiction. During World War I, approximately 3,200 employees, including 300 women, were engaged in Torpedo Station work. Approximately 13,000 people were employed at the Torpedo Station at the height of World War II, and they produced 80% of the submarine torpedoes made by the United States. Most of the buildings were demolished in the 1960's. Now a commercially developed area. Gould Island was transferred back to the state between 1975 and 1989. Rose Island was transferred to the state in 1976.

The Marine Barracks at Newport Naval Station was formally established in 1894 on Coasters Harbor Island as a guard force for the Torpedo Station and Naval War College (established 1884). It was closed in 1977. A Fleet Coaling Station was established at Melville in the 1890's.


CONNECTICUT

New London Navy Yard
(Naval Submarine Base New London)
(1868 - 1916/present), Groton
Due to lack of federal funding, the first buildings and pier were not actually built until 1872. It was primarily used as a coaling station by Atlantic Fleet small craft after 1883. Became the New London Naval Submarine Base in 1916. This is the Navy's primary submarine base, with training facilities and the Naval Submarine School.


VERMONT

Vergennes Shipyard
(1814) Vergennes
A temporary yard built in a desperate attempt to thwart British advances up Lake Champlain during the War of 1812. A marker is at the site, in a small park on MacDonough Drive.


NEW YORK

Brooklyn Navy Yard
(1800 - 1966), Brooklyn
One of the original six Federal shipyards, located at Wallabout Bay. Also known as New York Navy Yard. The first steam frigate, the Fulton, was launched here in 1815. This was a major construction/repair yard for cruisers and battleships during WWI and WWII. Became a city-owned industrial park after it was closed. Now leased to private ship repair firms.

Poughkeepsie Shipyard
(1776 - 1777), Poughkeepsie
A Continental (Patriot) shipyard on the Hudson River. The frigates Congress and Montgomery were built here. State marker located at Livingstone and Prospect Streets.

Sackets Harbor Shipyard
(Sackets Harbor Battlefield State Historic Site)
(1812 - 1874), Sackets Harbor
Built during the War of 1812 to counter the British fleet's presence in Kingston, Ontario. The Sackets Harbor Naval Station was established here 1848 - 1954.

Black Rock Shipyard
(1812), Buffalo
Replaced by Presque Isle Shipyard. A Naval Depot remained here until 1815. Site located at end of Niagara Street. No remains.


PENNSYLVANIA

Presque Isle Shipyard
(1813 - 1825), Presque Isle, Erie
Served the American Lake Erie Fleet during the War of 1812. No remains. Site is now Presque Isle State Park. Six ships of the 11-ship fleet of Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry were built at the mouth of Cascade Creek. Little Bay at Presque Isle was the temporary home of the fleet. The shores and waters of Presque Isle protected the fleet during construction. After the Battle of Lake Erie (September 1813), Perry and his men returned to Little Bay at Presque Isle to repair their fleet and seek medical treatment for the wounded. During the winter of 1813-14, many of Perry’s crew suffered from poor living conditions and the harsh winters. Many died. In remembrance of those hardships during those winters, Little Bay was renamed Misery Bay by the surviving sailors. The Perry Monument on Crystal Point was built in 1926 to commemorate this significant battle and honor those brave sailors who fought and died for their country. See also History of Presque Isle State Park by PA State Parks

Philadelphia Naval Shipyard
(1801 - 1875 / 1871 - 1996/present), Philadelphia
The original 18-acre location, enclosed by a high brick wall at the foot of Federal Street and bounded by Front, Prime, and Wharton Streets, closed in 1875 after the Navy transferred to League Island, its present site. The original yard location is now landlocked after waterfront reclamation projects pushed the shoreline eastward. Pier 55 South Delaware Wharves is the approximate location. The League Island Yard is now part of the Philadelphia Naval Base, which includes the Naval Station and Naval Shipyard. Although inactive, the Navy still maintains a "mothball" fleet here. The docks are now leased to private ship-repair companies. The former base is currently undergoing redevelopment. See also Workshop of the World


MARYLAND

Curtis Bay Coast Guard Yard
(1899 - present), Baltimore
Originally the Curtis Bay Depot operated by the Revenue Marine Service, predecessor to the U.S. Coast Guard. Located on 113 acres at Arundel Cove off of Curtis Creek, it was primarily a repair facility and home port of the fleet's cutters. In 1906 a classroom was built to train Revenue Marine cadets, the forerunner to the Coast Guard Academy, which was established in 1910 at New London, Connecticut. In 1940 the depot was enlarged and upgraded, and renamed. This is the Coast Guard's only shipbuilding and repair facility. Over a thousand vessels of many different types (cutters, tenders, buoy boats, tugs, utility boats, et al) have been built here, including thirty-seven 95-foot patrol boats for the Navy during the Korean War, and fifty-three 82-foot patrol boats during the Vietnam War. Lightship 612 (Nantucket I) and Lightship 613 (Nantucket II / Ambrose), the last lightships ever built, were also constructed here. At present thirty-one of the industrial buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Indian Head Naval Proving Ground
(Indian Head Division - Naval Surface Warfare Center)
(1890 - present), Indian Head
The U.S. Navy's first modern proving ground for guns, armor, shells, and mounts, established here to be in close proximity to the Naval Gun Factory in Washington, DC. The first powder plant was built in 1898. A Marine detachment was posted here for guard duty beginning in 1911, ending in 1961. In 1918 became the Upper Station, Indian Head when a new proving ground was established downriver at Dahlgren, VA. Renamed the Naval Powder Factory in 1921. Became the Naval Propellant Plant in 1958, and then Naval Ordnance Station in 1966. Became the Naval Surface Warfare Center - Indian Head Division in 1992. The Stump Neck Annex was purchased in 1901.


WASHINGTON, D.C.

Washington Navy Yard
(1800 - 1883/present), Washington
Became the U.S. Naval Gun Factory from 1883 - 1961. The former name was officially restored in 1964. The base is still used by the Navy, but the old drydocks are not. Headquarters of Naval District Washington. The nearby Marine Barracks is still active. There are Navy and Marine museums here as well as the display ship U.S.S. Barry DD-933. The shipyard was burned along with the city when the British raided in 1814. The U.S. Navy Historical Center (Naval History and Heritage Command) is located here.


VIRGINIA

Dahlgren Naval Proving Ground
(Dahlgren Division - Naval Surface Warfare Center)
(1918 - present), Dahlgren
Originally named the Lower Station, Dahlgren, a subpost of the Indian Head Proving Ground, Maryland, renamed in 1932 as a separate command. Established to provide a longer (ballistic) and safer gun range away from populated areas, which had plagued the Indian Head site. This became the Navy's principal proving ground for all large guns and ammunition supplied to the fleet. Renamed the Naval Weapons Laboratory in 1959. Became the Naval Surface Weapons Center in 1977, then Naval Surface Warfare Center in the mid 1980's. In 2005 became the Dahlgren Naval Support Facility.

Fredericksburg CSA Shipyard
(1862), Fredericksburg
A short-lived Confederate Naval Shipyard, located near the City Dock on the Rappahannock River. Wooden gunboats were never completed before the Union advanced on the city in April 1862.

Chickahominy Shipyard
(1776 - 1781), James City County
A state shipyard and naval depot in use during the American Revolution, located near the Chickahominy River on Diascund Creek, about 6 miles west of Toano. It was burned by the British as they invaded Virginia in April 1781. Traces remain along the marshy waterfront. State marker #1 in Lanexa || State marker #2 in Toano

Pamunkey River CSA Shipyard
(1862),
A Confederate Naval Shipyard for wooden gunboats. Undetermined location.

York River CSA Shipyard
(1862),
A Confederate Naval Shipyard for wooden gunboats. Undetermined location.

Richmond CSA Shipyard
(1862 - 1865), Richmond
A Confederate Naval Shipyard located at Rocketts Landing. Three ironclad ships were completed here, the C.S.S. Richmond, C.S.S. Fredericksburg, C.S.S. Virginia II. Also headquarters of the CSA Navy's James River Squadron. Monument (1916) located on East Main Street at Ash Street.

Richmond CSA Naval Ordnance Depot
(1862 - 1865), Richmond
A Confederate Naval Ordnance Depot was located here after Norfolk was recaptured by the Union in May 1862. Undetermined location (possibly at or adjacent to Tredegar Iron Works ?, or on Brown's Island ?).

The Shockoe Foundry was leased by the Confederate Navy in February 1862 as a marine machinery works.

Petersburg CSA Naval Works
(1862 - 1865), Petersburg
The only Confederate Naval Ropewalk facility was located here. A Naval Powder Mill was also located here 1861 - 1862, but was moved to Columbia, SC (August 1862).

Norfolk Naval Shipyard
(1767 - 1779, 1801 - present), Portsmouth
Originally known as the Gosport Shipyard, it was a private shipyard until 1776, then becoming a state shipyard until destroyed by the British. It was Federalized in 1801. It was captured and briefly used by the Confederacy during the Civil War. It was renamed Norfolk Navy Yard during the Civil War. The U.S.S. Merrimack was transformed here into the C.S.S. Virginia in 1862. This is the world's largest government shipyard devoted exclusively to ship repair work. The original drydock is still in use. The Naval Shipyard Museum is located downtown at 2 High Street (admission fee).


NORTH CAROLINA

Edward's Ferry CSA Shipyard
(1863 - 1864), near Scotland Neck
A Confederate Naval Shipyard located on the Roanoke River at the property of Peter Smith. The C.S.S. Albemarle was built here. The ship's construction was actually begun at the Tillery Farm about seven miles below Halifax. It was moved to Edward's Ferry in March 1863.

Washington CSA Shipyard
(1861 - 1862), Washington
Either a Confederate Naval Shipyard or a private yard under contract was located here.

Whitehall CSA Shipyard
(1862 - 1864), near Seven Springs
A Confederate Naval Shipyard located on the north bank of the Neuse River just below the Cliffs of the Neuse. The C.S.S. Neuse was built here.

Wilmington CSA Shipyard
(1862 - 1865), Wilmington
Both a Confederate Naval Shipyard and a private yard under contract were located here.
A stone monument for Beery's Shipyard (CSA) (on Eagle's Island) is located at Market and North Water Streets. A state marker is located at Market and North 4th Streets. The C.S.S. North Carolina was built here in 1862.
A state marker for the Cassidey Shipyard (private) is located at South 3rd Street and Church Street. The C.S.S. Raleigh was built here in 1863.

Fayetteville CSA Naval Ordnance Depot
(1865), Fayetteville
A short-lived Confederate Naval Ordnance Depot was located here, moved from Augusta, GA.

Charlotte CSA Naval Ordnance Depot and Naval Works
(1862 - 1865), Charlotte
A Confederate Marine Engineering Works and Naval Ordnance Depot was located here at the Mecklenburg Iron Works in June 1862, using some of the machinery that was previously located at the Norfolk Navy Yard in Virginia.


SOUTH CAROLINA

Mars Bluff CSA Shipyard
(1862 - 1864), Mars Bluff
A Confederate Naval Shipyard located on the Great Pee Dee River, near Florence. Wooden gunboats were built here.

Charleston CSA Shipyard
(1862 - 1865), Charleston
Either a Confederate Naval Shipyard or a private yard under contract was located here.

Charleston Naval Shipyard
(1901 - 1996), Charleston
The first new Federal shipyard built in the 20th-century. The docks are now leased to a private shipbuilding firm.

Columbia CSA Naval Works
(1862 - 1865), Columbia
A Confederate Naval Powder Mill was located here.

Port Royal Naval Station
(U.S. Marine Corps Recruit Depot)
(1891 - 1915/present), Parris Island
Originally established during the Civil War as a Union coaling station and home station of the Union South Atlantic Blockading Squadron. A dry dock was built in 1891 - 1895, the only one south of Norfolk, VA. It was discontinued in 1909 when replaced by a new dry dock in Charleston. The first Marine Officers School opened in 1909. The Port Royal Naval Disciplinary Barracks was here 1911 - 1933. Became Port Royal Marine Barracks in 1915. Renamed Parris Island Marine Barracks in 1917. See also History of Parris Island from the Brig and Brew Club in Historic Building 19


GEORGIA

Saffold CSA Shipyard
(1862), Saffold
A Confederate Naval Shipyard located on the Chattahoochee River. Wooden gunboats were built here.

Savannah CSA Shipyard
(1862 - 1864), Savannah
Either a Confederate Naval Shipyard or a private yard under contract was located here.

Columbus CSA Naval Works
(1862 - 1865), Columbus
A Confederate Naval Marine Machinery Shop was located here at the Columbus Iron Works, originally built in 1853. It was the second-largest iron producer in the Confederacy. The C.S.S. Jackson (Muscogee) was completed here. The still extant main building at 801 Front Ave. is now the Columbus Iron Works Convention and Trade Center, with many Civil War exhibits. Of major interest nearby at 202 Fourth Street is the Port Columbus National Civil War Naval Museum (formerly the Confederate Naval Museum), the national clearinghouse for information on the Confederate States Navy.

Atlanta CSA Naval Laboratories and Ordnance Depot
(1862 - 1864), Atlanta
A Confederate Naval Ordnance Depot was located here, relocated from New Orleans, LA in April 1862. Before Atlanta fell to the Union, the Depot was moved again to Augusta, GA (June 1864). Site located at the present-day Georgia World Congress Center.

Augusta CSA Naval Ordnance Depot
(1864), Augusta
A short-lived Confederate Naval Ordnance Depot was located here, moved from Atlanta. It was moved again to Fayetteville, NC.


FLORIDA

Jacksonville CSA Shipyard
(1862 - 1865), Jacksonville
Either a Confederate Naval Shipyard or a private yard under contract was located here.

Pensacola Navy Yard
(Naval Air Station Pensacola)
(1825 - 1911/present), Pensacola
Also known as the Warrington Navy Yard. This was the Navy's primary station for the Gulf Coast Squadron. The yard was captured and briefly used by the Confederates until May 1862. Rebuilt after the war, devastated by a 1906 hurricane. Became the Pensacola Naval Air Station in 1914. The docks are still used.
Pensacola Naval Air Station Historic District info by NPS


ALABAMA

Selma CSA Shipyard
(1862 - 1865), Selma
A Confederate Naval Shipyard was located here. Three ships were completed (C.S.S. Tuscaloosa, C.S.S. Huntsville, C.S.S. Tennessee), a fourth was never completed.

Selma CSA Naval Ordnance Depot
(1862 - 1865), Selma
A major Confederate Naval Ordnance Depot was located here. The Old Depot Museum is now on the site, a former railroad station that was built in 1890. Admission fee. Monuments at Water Ave. and Church Street, and Water Ave. and Sylvan Street.

Montgomery CSA Shipyard
(1862), Montgomery
A Confederate Naval Shipyard was located here.

Oven Bluff CSA Shipyard
(1862),
A short-lived Confederate Naval Shipyard on the Tombigbee River 60 miles north of Mobile. Malaria epidemics forced the removal of the three uncompleted ships to Mobile.

Mobile CSA Shipyard
(1862 - 1865), Mobile
Either a Confederate Naval Shipyard or a private yard under contract was located here. The three uncompleted ships from Oven Bluff were still uncompleted when the city fell in 1865.


MISSISSIPPI

Yazoo City CSA Shipyard
(1862 - 1863), Yazoo City
A Confederate Naval Shipyard. The C.S.S. Arkansas was relocated here from Memphis, TN in April 1862 to be completed. Two other ships were never completed before the yard was destroyed in May 1863. A marker locates the site on Yazoo Lake.


LOUISIANA

Shreveport CSA Shipyard
(1862 - 1865), Shreveport
A Confederate Naval Shipyard was located here.

New Orleans CSA Naval Ordnance Depot
(1862), New Orleans
A short-lived Confederate Naval Ordnance Depot was located here, moved to Atlanta, GA before the city fell to the Union in April 1862.

Madisonville Shipyard
(1812 (?) - 1824 (?)), Madisonville
Used during the War of 1812. Located on the Tchefuncta River.


TENNESSEE

Memphis Shipyard
(1844 - 1857), Memphis
A Federal shipyard and repair facility, located on the Wolf River waterfront between Auction and Market Streets. The U.S.S. Allegheny was the only ship built here. A private firm operated here in WWII building small naval craft under contract to the Navy. The site is now part of the Pyramid Arena complex.

A private yard was established in 1861 to the south at the Fort Pickering Landing for constructing, under contract, two Confederate ironclads, one of which was the C.S.S. Arkansas. The other was burned on the stocks when the city fell in June 1862.

Nashville CSA Shipyard
(1861 - 1862), Nashville
Either a Confederate Naval Shipyard or a private yard under contract was located here. Four river steamers were to be converted to gunboats, but were never completed before the city fell in February 1862.


ILLINOIS

Mound City Shipyard
(1862 - 1874), Mound City
A repair yard leased by the Navy for the Union's Mississippi River Squadron during the Civil War.


TEXAS

Galveston Navy Yard
(1836 - 1846), Galveston
The headquarters of the Texas Republic Navy. All facilities, stores, and remaining ships were transferred to the U.S. Navy in 1846.
See also The Texas Navy from Handbook of Texas Online


CALIFORNIA

Mare Island Naval Shipyard
(Mare Island Historic Park Foundation)
(1854 - 1996), Mare Island, Vallejo
The first established naval station on the West Coast. The drydocks were built in 1872. Part of the present-day Mare Island Naval Station. This was the main repair yard for the Pacific Fleet until it was replaced by Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard in Hawaii after WWI. Now owned by the city, slated for future redevelopment.
See also Historic Info from CA State Military Museum
Mare Island Naval Shipyard State Landmark


WASHINGTON

Puget Sound Naval Shipyard
(1901 - present), Bremerton
Originally Puget Sound Naval Station that was established in 1891. The main repair yard for the Pacific Fleet during WWII after Pearl Harbor was damaged.


HAWAII

Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard
(1908 - present), Pearl Harbor, O'ahu
The major naval repair facility for the U.S. Navy's Pacific Fleet since WWI.

Kawaihae Naval Yard
(1794 - unknown), Kawaihae, Hawai'i
A Royal Hawaiian shipyard established by King Kamehameha I, under the direction of John Young, the king's British advisor.


See also Canadian Ships and Shipyards page

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