Department of Military and Veterans Affairs

New Jersey Historic Trust Affiliated with the Department of Community Affairs

Bivalve Shipping Sheds and Wharves

Garden State Historic Preservation Trust Fund
New Jersey Historic Preservation Bond Program
Preserve New Jersey Historic Preservation Fund
Capital Preservation Grant, Level II
Historic Site Management Grant
Grant Award: $37,500 (2001); $600,000 (2002); $50,000 (2007); $750,000 (2008); $50,000 (2009); $46,125 (2012); $533,105 (2019)
Grant Recipient: Bayshore Center at Bivalve
County: Cumberland
Municipality: Commercial Township

The 1904-constructed shipping sheds and wharves were the centerpiece of the early 20th century Maurice River Cove oyster industry that once flourished on the bay. Built by the Central Railroad of New Jersey, the sheds and its associated industries employed thousands of workers and defined the regional economy. 

The Bayshore Discovery Project purchased the site in 2001 for use as its headquarters, a museum, educational facility, and as the base of operations for the A.J. Meerwald (New Jersey's official tall ship) and has been restoring and adapting the buildings for visitor use since that time. 

The 2012 Trust grant helped fund the preparation of a variety of interpretive materials and a marketing campaign for the facility. A 2009 Trust grant helped fund the development of a capital campaign. The 2007 and 2008 Trust grants helped fund the planning and construction of the fourth phase of restoration activities including interior and exterior finishes, wharf roof restoration and installation of heating, ventilation, plumbing, and electrical systems as well as the development of an interpretive plan for the site. Previous grants helped fund the second and third phases of restoration and preparation of a historic structure report. 

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Built in Dorchester, New Jersey in 1928, the Schooner A. J. Meerwald is the last of approximately 35 spoon-bowed oyster schooners built just before the decline of the shipbuilding industry that coincided with the Great Depression. Later renamed the Clyde A. Phillips, the schooner maintains many of the prominent features of her type: shallow draft, long overhanging bow and stern, and considerable beam for her length. The shallow waters of the Delaware Bay and the special stability requirements of oyster vessels made these design features necessary. 

 The 2019 grant helped fund comprehensive restoration of the A. J. Meerwald and additional restoration work at the shipping sheds and wharves. A 1992 grant to Schooner Clyde A. Phillips Inc. helped fund restoration and a historic vessels report. Following its restoration, the ship has been used for educational programs emphasizing the role of maritime activity in the history, culture and environment of the Delaware Bay. In 1998, Governor Whitman proclaimed the Schooner New Jersey's "official tall ship." 

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