Historic Pelham

Presenting the rich history of Pelham, NY in Westchester County: current historical research, descriptions of how to research Pelham history online and genealogy discussions of Pelham families.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Obituary of David Carll, Master Shipbuilder on City Island in the Town of Pelham

David Carll was a prominent 19th century shipbuilder on City Island in the Town of Pelham.  In 1863, Carll obtained from the New York State Commissioners of the Land Office a grant for 442 feet on the water front on the east side of City Island for the purpose of building a shipyard.  His successor to the business was Henry Piepgras who owned the shipyard when it became the subject of a major land dispute and long lawsuit.  I have written about that dispute extensively.  See:

Mon., November 27, 2006:  The 19th Century Ejectment of Henry Piepgras from Land Beneath the Waters Surrounding City Island

Mon., September 7, 2009:  More on the Ejectment of Henry Piepgras from Land Beneath the Waters Surrounding City Island

Below is an obituary that appeared following the death of David Carll, followed by a citation to its source.

Advices from Florida bring intelligence of the death of David Carll, the once noted ship builder of City Island.  Mr. Carll had not been in good health for a number of years and some seven or eight years ago retired actively from the business of ship building and purchased a large orange grove near Crescent City, Florida, where he was, with his usual vigor making improvements, when he was stricken with apoplexy.  The Long-Islander in a sketch of the deceased says:  'Though the name of David Carll has been closely associated with many famous yachts, he was better known as a shipbuilder, particularly of three-masted schooners for Theband & Co., in the Mexican trade.  The company was known as the Vera Cruz Packet Line and one of Mr. Carll's schooners the Potosi, made the quickest passage on record between New York and Vera Cruz.  When the old United States line of battle ship North Carolina was sold at public auction in 1860, Mr. Carll purchased her, and from the live oak timbers in the old bulk he laid the foundation of the large fortune which he afterward amassed.  From these timbers he built the schooner yacht Resolute for Mr. A. S. Hatch and the Atlanta for Mr. William Astor.  In addition to these vessels he also found timber enough to build the bridge from City Island to Pelham on the main land.  When the alterations of the famous schooner Sappho was recommended to Mr. William P. Douglass by Mr. Robert Fish, the entire work was done at the yard of Mr. Carll on City Island.  The yacht, when hipped, or padded, on her outside timbers, and lengthened in the stern and bow, was vastly improved in speed and weatherly qualities, becoming one of the fastest vessels in the world.  The alterations have generally been credited to Mr. Fish, but Mr. Carll has always claimed them as his own.'"

Source:  Recent Deaths, The New Town Register [New Town, NY], Jan. 3, 1889, p.?, col. 4 (page number not printed on newspaper page).

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