Built by Francis Raymond “Peg Leg” Hayden at Banks O’Dee, Maryland, the 37-foot “Big Dory” was part of a fleet of traditional oyster boats with a long history. When the oystering industry boomed in the years after the Civil War, oystermen working the Potomac and Patuxent rivers tonged from boats of this type. They were bigger than the older “nancy boats,” with a V-shaped bottom instead of a flat bottom, which created more room for oysters and made it more seaworthy, characteristic appreciated by watermen venturing into the more open waters of the mouths of the Potomac and Patuxent rivers to find new oyster bars.
Dory boats stood out from the other workboats, typically painted white, because they were traditionally decorated with green, red, and yellow stripes. The Potomac River dory boat was donated in 1988 by the Calvert Marine Museum.
Built: 1931, Banks O’Dee, Md., by Frances Raymond “Peg Leg” Hayden. 1988.0043.0001