By John Hirtle, Beach News Staff
Beach News, Thursday, June 23, 2005
[The following article is courtesy of Beach News]
[Beach News Photo by John Hirtle]
Gundalows were once as important to the Seacoast Area as tractor-trailer trucks and trains are today. Large, barge-like vessels with a sail, they plied the coastal waterways, rivers, and bays transporting people and goods.
Invented during Colonial times, these sturdy shallow-draft vessels were vital to the area’s economy. Taking advantage of the flood tides, a gundalow could be floated deep into the marshlands, where it would be landed as the tide went out. Here, it could unload cargo (if there was a settlement or customer nearby) or in most cases, pick up cargo such as hay from the marshes, mast trees and milled lumber from settlements in Dover and along Great Bay. Then as the tide came back in, the vessel would be refloated, and would take advantage of the turning tide and wind to leave it’s landing spot for it’s next destination, where the cargo would be unloaded.
Competition from the railroads, trucks and powered transport spelled the demise of the gundalow, which completely vanished from local waters by the 1930s. However, a modern reproduction now sails in local waters, the Captain Edward H. Adams. Built at Strawbery Banke in Portsmouth, the vessel was launched in 1982 and sails the old trade routes as an educational vessel.
Gold Leaf Tobacconist,
a specialty tobacco shop.