Monday, January 31, 2011

Davis Boat Works

The Davis Boat Works was in business in Sandusky from about 1901 to 1920 at the foot of Sycamore Street. The owner of the Davis Boat works was Adelbert B. Davis, the son of prominent local businessman Ira T. Davis. At six years of age Adelbert Davis became deaf. He graduated from the Ohio School for the Deaf in Columbus, Ohio, where he also met his future wife, Lucy Cook.  The Davis Boat Works built boats for customers all across the United States. At a yacht race in Put in Bay about 1909, forty percent of the boats there were made by the Davis Boat Works.

Charles E. Frohman wrote in Sandusky's Yesterdays, that the Davis Boat Works built the hulls for Weldon Cooke’s hydroplanes. One of Cooke’s flying boats, the Irene, was well known locally, but it was not successful in getting from the water up into the air for flight.
The Irene is pictured below.

An article in the October 8, 1937 issue of the Sandusky Star Journal reported that Adelbert Davis died in Columbus at the age of 80, after he had contracted pneumonia. He was survived by his wife, a son, Seth Davis, daughter, Mrs. A. J. Beckert, three sisters and a brother. Two sisters of Adelbert Davis, Caroline Davis and Mrs. Charles Stroud were residing in Sandusky at the time of his death. An article about Adelbert Davis, entitled “A Deaf Boat Builder,” by Mrs. E. F. Long, appeared in the January 1912 issue of the periodical The Silent Worker.

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