Lucy Evelyn at anchor

The Lucy Evelyn at anchor in Little Egg Harbor.


The Lucy Evelyn was a three masted schooner built in 1917 in Harrington Maine and homeported in Machias Maine.  She served for a number of years including the packet trade to South America. At one point in World War II, she was shelled by a German U-Boat.

In 1948, the Lucy Evelyn was purchased by a local businessman, Nat Ewer. He wanted the ship to beach her as a gift shop at Ninth street in Beach Haven. My Dad, Uncle, Grandfather and other family members took their boats out to see the schooner in the bay. During a storm, the tide rose enough that she could be brought into her final berth.  … but not after a great deal of effort.  The Lucy Evelyn had broken free and was drifting. Thankfully, she was able to be taken under tow to 9th street. When they got her into position, they filled around her with gravel.

Visitors entered what was the cargo hold through a portal cut into the starboard side of the ship. There was a distinctive smell of spices when you entered. You could also take a tour of the cabins in the stern and walk the decks. The decking was covered with thick grey paint and possibly fiberglass.

Some time in the late 1960’s some local boys caught an 8′ Hammerhead shark that had been sighted in the bay. The shark was hung from the cathead. That is the beam in the bow that holds the anchor when it is raised or lowered.

She remained there until she burned in a devastating fire in 1972 due to a faulty heater.

The Lucy Evelyn was located about where the Schooner’s Wharf shops are today with her bow facing east.  Her three distinctive masts were a landmark for boaters both in the bay and offshore in the days before GPS.

Lucy Evelyn at anchor
The Lucy Evelyn at anchor in Littel Egg Harbor in the 1940’s
The schooner Lucy Evelyn at anchor Long Beach Island
The schooner Lucy Evelyn at anchor Long Beach Island

There are some crumbling remnants of her if you look closely around the schooner’s wharf. The remaining artifacts from the Lucy Evelyn are slowly disappearing.

A part of the Lucy Evelyn's Mast
A part of the Lucy Evelyn’s Mast
A ventilator from the Lucy Evelyn
A ventilator from the Lucy Evelyn

A replica sailing ship was built for the Schooner’s wharf, the Tivoli. It sits slightly south of where the Lucy Evelyn sat and it’s bow faces west whereas the Lucy Evelyn faced east. The photo below is an older shot of the Tivoli with the original full scale masts. Unfortunately they didn’t weather well and were replaced with much stubbier masts. 

See more photos from the 1940’s of the Lucy Evelyn

The Tivoli at he Schooner's Wharf
The Tivoli at he Schooner’s Wharf

More Reading: 

Lucy Evelyn Facts

  • Year Built: 1917
  • Gross Tonnage: 374
  • Length: 140′
  • Beam: 32′ 
  • Draft: 11′ 1″
  • Propulsion: Sail
  • Speed: Approximately 10 knots
  • Cargoes: Lumber, Tobacco, Coal, Gypsum, Molasses, Salt and Rock 
  • Crew: Five
  • Purchased by Nat Ewer at auction for $1550 in 1948

18 thoughts on “The Lucy Evelyn at anchor in Little Egg Harbor.”

  1. Sirs:
    I do not know if it is true or not, but my Grandfather Clifford D. Cole, (A ships Capt. whom I am named after), was relation to Lucy and Evelyn whom the vessel was named after. I think they were his aunts or cousins, (don’t know for sure). I’m trying to get some information so I can pass it down to my children.

    I’m a Chief Engineer in the Merchant Marines (30 yrs.) and live in Florida. I would like to purchase a book on the vessel if possible.

    Best Regards
    C.R. Jayne

    1. The Lucy Evelyn was named for the two daughters of the owner when it was a gift shop. The family name was Ewer (pronounced U err) or some spelling close to that. The son ran the small gift shop located off the bow. I believe his name was Nat but I only knew him by his high school nick name, Wedge.

  2. Some of my most cherished memories as a little boy in the early 1960’s was going to visit the Lucy Evelyn after having dinner during a weeks vacation to Long Beach Island; it is sad that she is gone. It is nice that someone has built a replica; it is on my list to visit with my equally cherished wife, St. Salome.

    The year of the fire was the year I played with the Philadelphia Orchestra as a Junior Student audition winner soloist on May 4. It is amazing how magical some things are; it is as if God used the ship to bring forth my wife and the final log for this passing world as foretold in 2 Peter 3:10-14.

    Regular updates to the countdown to the Day of the Lord by the sign of the Son of Man in Heaven at :

  3. I’m from Washington County Maine. The Lucy.Evelyn was built in Harrington not Machias. If you look on YouTube you’ll find a film From Stump to Ship from 1930. It feature the ship hauling lumber.

  4. As a kid I spent my summers in Beach Haven, circa 1948-1964. The Lucy Evelyn was my backyard playground and where my life long passion for schooners began.

  5. I have an old photo of my mother, brother, and myself in front of the Lucy Evelyn taken around 1965. I would be glad to share it with anyone.

  6. In the early 60’s we often went to the beach here. I can see and taste the penny candy sticks – in a myriad of flavors – from the Lucy Evelyn shop.

  7. I can remember visiting the Lucy Evelyn gift shop as part of our summer vacation in Beach Haven as a small child. I remember what the shop looked like as you entered, and the scent of spices and candlewax that would hit you as you came through the door. I also remember my mother sadly telling me that she’d burned. Born in 1965, I must’ve been six the summer she burned. Amazing which memories stick with you!

  8. Around 1960-65, my 10yr old brother, 9yr old sister and I (6-7yrs?) would go to the Lucy Evelyn on early Friday evenings to see the “Wharf Rats,” a sort-of Peter Paul and Mary/Mamas and the Papas trio who played for tips. We stayed in Beach Haven on the bay side every summer for about a month. Great memories, later visits could never duplicate.

  9. I spent a good portion of my child hood riding my bike in the dirt parking lot behind the wharf. Living on top of the candy store in the wharf I spent the winters riding up and down the empty board walk, the boards old and gapped making a thumbing sound as i road across them. Somedays I spent combing the beaches with Muffin, (Muff)
    Nat Ewer’s daughter. We would collect driftwood and shells and go back to the gift shop and create things on her crafting table in the back of the shop.
    Freeway, Muffins cat always hanging out watching what we were up too. The gift shop had this ambiance and smell like no other old salty wood and candlewood smell. I will never forget that place or those times.

  10. As a child I remember vacationing in Beach Haven and always visiting Lucy Evelyn. My parents were good friends with the artist, Bruce Kamp, who was hired to paint a picture of LE. His first picture , he was not pleased with and threw it out. My mother rescued it from the trash. He painted a second picture which was hung in the ship It was destroyed in the fire. The rescued painting is hanging in my brothers ” man cave”. He loves it.

  11. Have fond memories of the schooner Lucy Evelyn in Beach Haven. Spent many summers as a young child with my family in the late 50s and early 60s in LBI. Have a picture of myself as a kid with a captains hat on the deck, will have to dig it out. Every time I visit the island I still find myself looking for it. I guess I’m just living in the past.

    1. So am I. My girlfriend is used to me checking out the remaining artifacts every time we visit the Schooner’s Wharf.

  12. The rabbit holes one falls down are amazing here on the interwebz.! I was looking for information about a sawmill to process some logs I have and ran across an amazing film about logging old growth Redwoods in the Pacific Northwest, first link below. If you watch it, this will make you cringe, sad, and amazed, all at the same time!

    Following the list of recommended other videos, I ran across one about logging in Maine, 1930, which plays perfectly into the whole concept of rabbit hole! It was a film made in 1930 by Alfred Ames, owner of Machias Lumber Co, Machias, ME. Wonderful little piece about logging in the northeast as the title said, from stump to ship. Second link.

    About now, one may ask, what does any of this nonsense have to do with LBI, NJ.? I was curious about the ship, mentioned in the film, since that plays to one of my other interests of wooden boats. The ship was called the Lucy Evelyn. No mention of where that name came from. She was built in Harrington, ME in 1917 for the Machias Lumber Co. By 1930, she carried her last load of lumber to a shipyard in Bridgeport, CT. Since the film stopped it’s history at 1930, I was curious about her later life, and did the DuckDuckGo thing. That sent me here, where I saw some of the rest of the story. Still a gap from 1930 to 1948, but I could not find anything on that yet. (LE is at about 23:00 min – last load of lathe.)

    There seem to be fond memories expressed here about the ship’s later years, so I am posting this for anyone interested. She met a sad end in later life… a door cut in her side to be a gift shop..? Really? Well, she probably would not have survived until 1972 if that had not happened, so it likely is a good thing. People have some good memories from it!

    Last link shows a ship listing where Lucy Evelyn is shown to have been built by Frye, Flynn Co.

    Alfred is buried in Maine. 3rd link. 4th is Wiki page about Alfred – pretty sparse.

    Well, that’s about all I know – hope someone enjoys this as much as I have!


    Machias Lumber Co.

    Alfred Ames

    Alfred Ames

    Lucy Evelyn builder

    1. Wow – thanks for that info.. There are a couple of pages on the site about the Lucy Evelyn. As I understand it, she was named for the original owner’s two daughters.

      Also, she was shelled by a U-Boat during WWII but not hit.

      Thanks again

      1. Bit more info. Lucy was sister of John K Ames, founder of Machias Lumber, and Alfred Ames father. Probably the man who made the purchase of the ship. Can find no reference anywhere (so far) to an Evelyn. At this point, my best guess is that is Lucy’s middle name…?

        There is an Evelyn in the family, but she appears to maybe be a sister in law?

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