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This photograph just turned up in a recent donation to the Local History Room. It has no date, no place, nothing beyond the image itself. Context and best guesses, however, suggest that it dates to the late 19th century and shows the interior of one of the small boatyards on the Jones River. Further, the vessel under construction very likely belonged to a member of the Holmes family. More research may turn up additional information. In the meantime, enjoy the unusual view.
In the spring of 1898, noted Kingston ship-builder Edward A. Ransom launched the largest vessel constructed on the Jones River since 1874, the steamer Tiger. She was, in the words of Henry M. Jones, author of Ships of Kingston, “a handsome vessel” of 30 tons with an overall length of 53′, a beam of 14′ and a draft of 6′.
Here she is moored in front of Ransom’s boathouse, with the Bradford Homestead just up the hill. Ransom and his co-owners, A.J. Hill, C.A. Ransom and H.S. West,* used the Tiger for fishing and lobstering for several years, then sold her to the Churches of Tiverton, R.I., who used her as a porgy steamer.
* A handwritten annotation in the archivist’s copy of Ships of Kingston tells us that West was the father of Kingston Town Historian Margaret Warnsman.
Source: Ships of Kingston, Henry M. Jones (The Memorial Press of Plymouth, Massachusetts: 1926)