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Dickinson, Wylie Rogers, Captain (1846-1918) | Maine Maritime Museum Manuscript Collection Online Catalog

Name: Dickinson, Wylie Rogers, Captain (1846-1918)

Historical Note:

Wylie Rogers Dickinson was born in Birch Point, Wiscasset, Maine to John B. and Mary E. Rogers. When he was a few months old, his family moved to Bath and for a number of years they resided in what was known as the “William Rogers” house at the corner of Bath and High Streets. His father was a mill operator and for a time conducted the saw mill in North Bath with Hugh and Wylie Rogers and later moved his family to Phippsburg where he continued his lumbering operations in the mill at Dromore. Wylie Dickinson grew up in the town of Phippsburg with a desire to lead a seafaring life and in 1862, at the age of  17, he shipped on the bark Comet, built by Charles V. Minott, and named after the comet of 1858.

            Dickinson’s next vessel was the ship Mary E. Riggs, also built at the Minott yard and commanded by Capt. John S. Lowell of Bath. From there, he went on the bark C. V. Minott of which Capt. D. C. Rogers was the master. His first experience in a fore-and-aft rig was in the schooner Sabino which McCobb Morrison commanded.  His next vessel was a Houghton ship commanded by Capt. Samuel Morrison. With Capt. Morrison’s good will, Wylie Dickinson rose to the position of mate of the ship Dirigo and in 1870 became commander of this vessel. He then became master of the bark C. S. Rogers. This vessel sprung a leak off Nantucket and sunk, but all hands were taken off by the Nova Scotia bark Protest.

            Captain Dickinson then took command of the new schooner Bessie E. Dickinson in 1874, named after his oldest daughter and in which he owned an interest. In 1877, he sold out of her to take command of the bark Halcyon built by Johnson Rideout. His next vessel was the ship Yorktown, taking command in 1882, relieving Captain James F. Murphy. He commanded this vessel for five years before taking on the Sewall ship Willie Rosenfeld. In 1888, he and the Sewalls bought the ship McNear at a low figure and after holding her about a year, disposed of her at San Francisco, realizing a good profit.

            On returning to Bath, Capt. Wylie Dickinson was offered the command of any one of three Sewall ships but chose to wait until the Rappahannock II, then on the stocks, was commissioned. This was, at the time, the largest wooden vessel built in America. Unfortunately, she was destroyed by fire in 1892 under Wylie’s command.

            After the Rappahannock II incident, Captain Dickinson commanded for a short while the new Sewall schooner Dicky Bird. After that, he took command of the ship Aryan in 1893 and after some seven years he was succeeded by Capt. Albert T. Whittier.

            Wylie married Emma S. [Sarah] Powers on April 1, 1871 and had two daughters. Bessie Emma Dickinson was born in 1874 and Grace Percy Dickinson was born 1877. Wylie R. Dickinson died at the age of 72 on Sept. 17, 1918 in Phippsburg, Maine.

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