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Stevens, Lucius J., Captain (1848-1915) | Maine Maritime Museum Manuscript Collection Online Catalog

Name: Stevens, Lucius J., Captain (1848-1915)

Historical Note:

Captain Lucius J. [Jeremiah] Stevens (1850-1915).  Born on May 17, 1850 in Clinton, Connecticut, Capt. Lucius Jeremiah Stevens was the son of George H. and Sarah Pierson. He lived in Westbrook, Conn. as a young boy and resided on a farm for a time. His father, being a sailor, instilled in him a love for the sea. As a young man, he accepted every opportunity that afforded him any education and taught school during one winter at Horse Hill, Westbrook, Conn. and another winter conducting a nautical school in New Haven, Conn.

            In 1876, after a series of coasting voyages, he took command of the schooner Mary M. Brainard coasting between the Portland (CT) quarries, New York and other ports. Shortly thereafter he became  master of the schooner Freestone, owned by the same company as the Mary M. Brainard.  In 1884, he entered the employment of the Dover Transportation Company, taking command of the John Bracewell, which was employed in carrying coal from Dover, New Hampshire to various ports. After remaining as her master for about seven years, Capt. Stevens contracted with the New England Shipbuilding Company of Bath, Maine for the construction of a three-mast schooner—the John J. Hanson - while he was commanding the four-mast schooner, John Holland, built by the same company. During a dense fog, the John Holland was hit off Cape Henry by an English tramp steamer, the Michigan, and sank almost immediately.

            He next took command of the schooner J. J. Moore, Captain Arnold of Haddam, her master, having died. He ran the J. J. Moore about a year and then purchased an interest in the schooner Eva M. Ferris, a three-master of about 1200 tons. After running her between 1896 and 1902, he had built the four-mast schooner, Rachel W. Stevens, named for his youngest daughter. She was built in Bath by the New England Shipbuilding Company. Capt. Stevens occupied the home of Capt. John Patten on the corner of North and Front streets in Bath during the time the Rachel W. Stevens was being completed at the New England Shipbuilding Company.

            He married Lucy Maria Kelsey of Clinton, Conn. on February 12, 1874 and had six children. He was a member of the local Methodist Episcopal Church and was president of its board of trustees. He was member of the Boston and New York Marine Societies.

            The Rachel W. Stevens was his last command, and in her he voyaged to the West Indies, Cardenas, Port au Prince ad Cuba. He resigned the active command in 1914 owing to poor health after a period of forty-three years as master. Capt. Stevens died in Clinton, Connecticut on March 20, 1915 at the age of 65 and buried in Indian River Cemetery. At the time of his death, he was the last licensed commander hailing from the town of Clinton, Connecticut and was one of the last type of sea captains for which New England was at one time famous.

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