This is where Eastport's famed boat building industry began. On this site in 1868, a German immigrant named Wilhelm Heller began crafting fine wooden boats. His reputation spread and business flourished. Heller's became the largest boatyard on Spa Creek serving both commerical fishing boats and pleasure craft.
After Heller died in 1916, his son Henry ran the yard. Over the next twenty years, traditional wooden workboats like skipjacks, bugeyes, and pungy schooners slowly disappeared from the Chesapeake Bay. When Henry died in 1936, the yard closed.
Later, modern boatyards moved into the area. Notice the machiner now used to haul boats from the water to get them "on the hard" for service and repairs.Text with upper left photo: Marine railways were used to haul boats ashore for repairs.
Text with main photo: In the foreground, a skipjack has been raised from the water on the marine railway. Two others are "on the hard" beyond.