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Creight, James E. (1861-1948) | Maine Maritime Museum Manuscript Collection Online Catalog

Name: Creight, James E. (1861-1948)

Historical Note:

<p align="left"> Captain Creighton was born on July 16, 1861 in South Warren, Maine. He was the son of Joshua Jordan and Urania (Hathorne) Creighton. He had five siblings with only himself and his brother Samuel surviving into adulthood. The farm on which he was born was one of the 47 lots granted to the first Scotch-Irish settlers in 1736 by Samuel Waldo and drawn by lot at Pemaquid by his ancestor David Creighton. The property passed in his family from father to son for five generations until its sale in 1947. He grew up on the farm and attended the South Warren district school nearby. At age 15, he went to sea. First he was a ship’s boy, then served time before the mast on square-rigged ships. He was also an apprentice under Captain David Rivers. At age 21, he became the master of the schooner Lottie and sailed on her for six years. Successively, he was in command of the May O’Neil (Three-mast schooner), Susie M. Plummer (Four-mast schooner), Fannie Palmer (I)(Five-mast schooner), Harwood Palmer (Five-mast schooner), Dorothy Palmer (Five-mast schooner), and Ruth Merrill (Six-mast schooner). During the years 1903-1904 he was in charge of the building of the five-mast schooners Singleton Palmer and Harwood Palmer in the George L. Welt yard at Waldoboro. He was later the Commodore Captain, so called, of the famous William F. Palmer fleet of schooners which operated between Southern coal ports and New England.

<p align="left"> At the beginning of the World War I, he was appointed marine superintendent of the combined Palmer and Winslow fleet of large schooners then owned by France and Canada Steamship Co. At the close of the war, the Government had an overabundance of wooden vessels which had been built for emergencies. The decision was made to dispose of them, and Captain Creighton was commissioned for the task. He sank the ships in the Potomac River.

<p align="left"> After 46 years at sea, during which he sailed in two, three, four, five and six-mast schooners, voyages to European, South American, and domestic ports, he retired. In 1922, he returned to his home in Thomaston. During his retirement he found an interest in making ship models. His models of the A. G. Ropes (Ship, built in Bath in 1884 and commanded by Captain David Rivers) and of the Harwood Palmer (Five-mast schooner) are now in the collections of this Museum. Moreover, he spent time in California and Florida. Captain Creighton died on January 11, 1948 in Miami, Florida. He is buried in the Thomaston cemetery.

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