Merrill-Stevens Engineering, Jacksonville FL

(later Rawls Brothers and Jacksonville Shipyards)

Most recent update: June 21, 2018.


This shipyard was established as a blacksmith shop by Jacob Brock in the 1850s: after Brock's death in 1877, it was sold to Arthur Stevens, who teamed up with James Merrill, a blacksmith in South Jacksonville, and formed Merrill-Stevens Engineering Co., which was incorporated in 1887.  Shipbuilding began in earnest in 1890.  The company was reorganized as Merrill-Stevens Co. in 1904, as part of a recapitalization to raise the funds needed to build the floating dock "Roosevelt".  During WWI, they built small freighters, first of composite materials and later of steel, for the Emergency Fleet Corporation, (EFC), using a separate facility, which was closed after the war.  The company then reorganized as Merrill-Stevens Dry Dock & Repair Co., in their original yard and started a second operation in Miami in 1933, both yards operating as repair yards through WWII.  During WWII, Merrill-Stevens also participated in the management of St Johns River Shipbuilding Company, one of the emergency yards, that built 82 Liberty ships and 12 T-1 tankers for the U.S. Maritime Commission.  Then, in about 1953, Merrill-Stevens leased the Jacksonville shipyard to Rawls Brothers Contractors and relocated to Miami, where it is still in business, as Merrill-Stevens Dry Dock, Inc., describing itself as "Florida's oldest continuously operating company".  Rawls Brothers renamed the company Rawls Brothers Shipyard, but sold it again in 1963 to Bill Lovett, who simultaneously bought Gibbs Gas Engine Company, the shipyard immediately across the river, and Bellinger Shipyards, in Jacksonville Beach, renaming them all Jacksonville Shipyards.  The new company was sold again in 1969, this time to Fruehauf Corporation.  Finally, in 1989, it was sold to Terex Corp., which closed all three shipyards for good in 1992, selling the two large floating dry-docks to the Arab Ship Repair Yard, (ASRY), in Bahrain.  The yard was located at 750 E. Bay Street, in downtown Jacksonville: it was to have been developed for residential and commercial use but still lies deserted.  See the site from the air on Google here.  This yard's record is a mixed bag of sizes and types of vessel, of hull types and materials, and of customers: if anyone can improve it, please e-mail your info to me at timcolton@aol.com 

Hull # O.N. Original Name Original Owner Type GT Ft. Delivery Disposition
 Built by Merrill-Stevens Engineering Co.
    Koko   Launch   27 1891  
  141250 Levi H. Pelton   Tug 46 70 1892  
  126935 C. U. Sheppard   Tug 25 52 1892  
    Florida San Francisco Dredging Dredge 700 125 1893  
   157384 Della     38 67 1893  
  127013 Crescent J. W. Miller Passenger 84 100 1893  
  77126 Jamie   Passenger 12 46 1894  
  116650 Star J. W. Miller Passenger 82 68 1894
  141369 Lawrence Roan and Garner Passenger 259 118 1895  
  86328 Gopher Phila. Acad. of Nat. Sci. Research Vsl. 98 84 1895  
  116249 St. Lucie H. B. Plant Steamer 165   1896  
  81594 Whim-Wham R. V. Pierce Yacht 133 86 1898  
 19 96477 H. B. Plant H. B. Plant Passenger 189 125 1899  
  96516 Hyacinth   Passenger 14 45 1900  
  na   Corps of Engineers Scow   100 1900  
  na   Corps of Engineers Scow   100 1900  
  na   Corps of Engineers Scow   100 1900  
24                
25                
  na No. 2 Corps of Engineers Lighter 23d 60 1900  
 27 127675 City of Fayetteville Fayetteville & Wilmington SB Co. Psgr./Cargo 194 125 1902  
 28 141724 Louise   Passenger 355 131 1901  
  Cuba     Barge   90 1901  
  Cuba     Barge   90 1901  
  136921 Eloise   Towboat 16 40 1901  
  145956 Three Kids W. B. Baker House Boat 48 69 1902  
  161926 Vagabondia William L. Mellon Yacht 98 91 1902 Later Nero, Silent Night
    Washington A. Clark W. B. S. Whalen Cargo 900 186 1903  
  203576 Jose Pedro Wm. E. Peck Steamboat 828 184 1906  
  201345 Duval South Jacksonville Ferry Ferry 348 112 1904 Later Fletcher
  na Jacksonville Corps of Engineers Dredge 680 138 1904  
    Roosevelt Merrill-Stevens Floating Dry Dock   260 1904  
    Scooter ? A. D. Stevens Launch   41 1904  
  na Florida Corps of Engineers Snag Boat 371d 131 1905  
 Built by Merrill-Stevens Co.
 41 201577 Swan W. T. Gibson Psgr./Cargo 281 156 1904  
42                
43                
    Pioneer Corps of Engineers Lighter 200 90 1905  
    No. 36 Corps of Engineers Water Barge   40 1905  
    No. 39 Corps of Engineers Barge   40 1905  
    1 Isthmian Canal Comm. Pile Driver   61 1906  
    1 Isthmian Canal Comm. Lighter   75 1906  
    2 Isthmian Canal Comm. Lighter   75 1906  
    3 Isthmian Canal Comm. Lighter   75 1906  
    4 Isthmian Canal Comm. Lighter   75 1906  
    5 Isthmian Canal Comm. Lighter   75 1906  
    6 Isthmian Canal Comm. Lighter   40 1906  
    7 Isthmian Canal Comm. Lighter   40 1906  
    8 Isthmian Canal Comm. Lighter   40 1906  
    9 Isthmian Canal Comm. Lighter   40 1906  
    10 Isthmian Canal Comm. Lighter   40 1906  
    11 Isthmian Canal Comm. Lighter   40 1906  
    La Gloria La Gloria Tptn. Passenger 50 76 1906  
  na   Florida Bd. of Improvement Dredge Hull   105 1906  
  na   Florida Bd. of Improvement Dredge Hull   105 1906  
62 Cuba Juanita P. Truffin & Co. Lighter   119 1906  
        Fishing Vessel     1906  
        Fishing Vessel     1906  
        Fishing Vessel     1906  
        Fishing Vessel     1906  
        Fishing Vessel     1906  
        Fishing Vessel     1906  
        Fishing Vessel     1906  
  203703 Dixieland Merrill-Stevens Passenger 14 57 1906  
70                
  208394 Sally D   Tanker 27 48 Mar-11  
  na No. 1 Corps of Engineers Coal Barge 51d 66 1911  
  na No. 2 Corps of Engineers Coal Barge 51d 66 1911  
  na Augusta Corps of Engineers Dredge 101 74 1911  
  na Macon Corps of Engineers Dredge 101 74 1911  
  na No. 3 Corps of Engineers Water Barge 51d 66 1913  
  210391 Woodlawn II   Passenger 21 44 1913  
  211308 Physalia   Tug 33 48 1913  
  211156 South Jacksonville East 34th Street Ferry Ferry 292   1913 Later Mount Holly, now Adirondack
78 211613 Osceola Clyde SS Co. Passenger 474 187 Oct-13  
  na Pulaski Corps of Engineers Launch   24 1914  
  na Uchee Corps of Engineers Launch   24 1914  
  na Palmetto (WAGL 265) US Coast Guard Tender 170   Mar-17 Sold 1959
89 215841 W. M. Tupper Santa Ana SS Co. Cargo Ship 1,852   Dec-17  
90 214770 Pitirre Porto Rico Mercantile Tanker 258   May-17  
91 215128 Liborio Porto Rico Mercantile Tanker 258   May-17  
92 214960 Pedrito Boston Molasses Cargo Ship 296   Mar-17  
  201700 Nirodha John H. Hanan Yacht 323   1917  
94 216586 Mohawk Gulf Refining Tanker 369   1918  
95 216707 Choctaw Gulf Refining Tanker 369   May-18  
99 216815 Red Cloud (USSB 1) US Shipping Board Cargo Ship

5,750

  Aug-18 Composite ship, later Cortellazzo, scrapped 1925
100 216860 Apalachee (USSB 2) US Shipping Board Cargo Ship 5,750   Aug-18 Composite ship, scrapped 1925
101 216928 Botsford (USSB 3) US Shipping Board Cargo Ship 5,750   Sep-18 Composite ship, abandoned at Mallows Bay
102 216989 Kanabec (USSB 4) US Shipping Board Cargo Ship 5,750   Dec-18 Composite ship, burnt 1922 and scrapped
na na Buckhannon (USSB 5) US Shipping Board Cargo Ship 5,750   Jun-19 Composite ship, built in Slidell LA, later Elena Valdez 1925, scrapped 1929
 na na Campello (USSB 6) US Shipping Board Cargo Ship 5,750   Aug-19 Composite ship, built in Slidell LA, burnt 1922 and scrapped
 na na (USSB 7-12) US Shipping Board Cargo Ship 5,750     Composite ships, to have been built in Slidell LA, but cancelled
103 218144 Ashbee (USSB 13)    US Shipping Board Cargo Ship 5,750   Aug-19 Later Silverspruce 1927, Samoan 1936, Norse Lady 1937, Rolla 1948, Daiei 1961, scrapped 1965
104 218809 Wekika (USSB 14) US Shipping Board Cargo Ship 5,750   Mar-20 Later Mallemark 1929, Dunboyne 1941, scrapped 1948
105 219782 Pinellas (USSB 15) US Shipping Board Cargo Ship 5,750   May-20 Later Carolinas 1923, Maltran 1930, torpedoed and lost 1943
106 219783 Chickamauga (USSB 16) US Shipping Board Cargo Ship 5,750   May-20 Later Malchace, torpedoed and lost 1942
107 219089 Jacksonville  (USSB Req.) US Shipping Board Cargo Ship 5,750   Dec-20 Later Silveroak 1927, Fijian 1936, exploded and burnt 1937
108 na   Merrill Stevens/USSB Floating Dry Dock   397 1920  
109-114 na (USSB 1002-1007) US Shipping Board Cargo Ship       Cancelled
115-119 na (USSB 1555-1559) US Shipping Board Cargo Ship       Cancelled
 Built by Merrill-Stevens Shipbuilding Co.
  167978 E.D. Parks Co. No. 3 E.D. Parks Co. Barge 116 85 1920  
  Cuba   Arellana & Mendoza Barge     Mar-21  
 Built by Merrill-Stevens Dry Dock & Repair Co.
      J.E. Merrill Lighter   60 1925  
      J.E. Merrill Lighter   60 1925  
      J.E. Merrill Lighter   60 1925  
      J.E. Merrill Lighter   60 1925  
  175427 Oscar     41 58 1925  
  na Kaliga Corps of Engineers Launch   40 1925  
  na Tortuga Corps of Engineers Launch   40 1925  
  na Wekiva Corps of Engineers Launch   40 1925  
      City of Miami Dump Scow     Sep-25  
  225435 Eastern Star Merrill Barge Co. Freight Barge   77 1926  
  225366 City of Palms Fort Myers & Atlantic Nav. Co. Excursion Boat 34 65 1926  
  na Tomochichi Corps of Engineers Survey Boat 30d 60 1928  
  na No. 2 Corps of Engineers Snag Boat 187d 123 1929  
  na Linden (WAGL 228) US Coast Guard Tender 323   22-Jul-31 Sold 1970
  260963 JU-21 Jacksonville Utility Co. Deck Barge 212 100 Jul-50  
20   JU-22 Jacksonville Utility Co. Deck Barge 115 80 Jul-49  
    JU-23 Jacksonville Utility Co. Deck Barge 115 80 Sep-51  
    JU-24 Jacksonville Utility Co. Deck Barge   103 Aug-52  
  261906 JU-25 Jacksonville Utility Co. Deck Barge   101 Jan-53 Later H. G. Driggers
  265148 SR-2 Merrill-Stevens DD & R Tank Barge 388 146 Mar-53  
 Built by Rawls Bros.
 

na

ST 1980 US Army Tug 200 71 1953 Completion of Olson hull
 

na

ST 1981 US Army Tug 200 71 1953 Completion of Olson hull, later named Ridgefield, sold 1964 as Able Two, Filobus 2005
 

na

ST 1982 US Army Tug 200 71 1953 Completion of Olson hull, later named Groton, out of service 1992, now Electra
 

na

ST 1983 US Army Tug 200 71 1953 Completion of Olson hull, later named Green Springs, out of service 1987
 

na

ST 1984 US Army Tug 200 71 1953 Completion of Olson hull, later named Scholarie, out of service 1987
 

na

ST 1985 US Army Tug 200 71 1953 Completion of Olson hull
 

na

ST 1986 US Army Tug 200 71 1953 Completion of Olson hull
 

na

ST 1987 US Army Tug 200 71 1953 Completion of Olson hull
 Built by Jacksonville Shipyards
633

1098472

Oceanographer (R 101) N.O.A.A. Research Vsl. 3,700   13-Jul-66 Sold 1995 as Protector, now Sahara (Italy)
634

na

Discoverer (R 102) N.O.A.A. Research Vsl. 3,700   29-Apr-67 Sold 1996 for conversion to cruise ship LaMer but not converted
635                
636                
637                
638                
639

1081092

Mt. Mitchell (S 222) N.O.A.A. Survey Vsl. 1,800   23-Mar-68 Sold 2003 as Mt. Mitchell, active
640

502772

CF-101-L Central Farmers Fertilizer Co. Tank Barge 2,688 298 Apr-66 Active
641

502773

CF-102-L Central Farmers Fertilizer Co. Tank Barge 2,840 298 Apr-66 Active
642

503544

CF-103-L Central Farmers Fertilizer Co. Tank Barge 2,688 298 May-66 Active
643

503553

CF-104-L Central Farmers Fertilizer Co. Tank Barge 2,840 298 May-66 Active
644

na

Fairweather (S 220) N.O.A.A. Survey Vsl. 1,800   2-Oct-68 Active
645

na

Rainier (S 221) N.O.A.A. Survey Vsl. 1,800   2-Oct-68 Active
646

510007

Esso Garden State Esso Shipping Tug 197   1967 Later S/R Bayou State, now Charles D. McAllister
647

510006

Esso Empire State Esso Shipping Tug 197   Sep-67 Later S/R Empire State, now McAllister Responder
648

511269

Esso Delaware Valley Esso Shipping Tug 197   1967 Later S/R San Jacinto, now Roderick McAllister
649

511288

Esso Barge No. 31 Esso Shipping Tank Barge 2,440   1967 Later Exxon Barge No. 31, now RTC 41
650

na

Carabobo Inst. Nac. de Venezuela Dredge     Nov-71 Active