Sea History 144 - Autumn 2013

Page 34

William H. G uild had been makin g and servicing steam pumps for ships at the Brooklyn Navy Ya rd for many yea rs when he had a family tomb installed that could not be more different from Capta in Woolsey's-a round, iron , navy-gray container that may well be a large steam boiler, with a n image of King Neptune h igh up at the crown of the lid . The Evergreens Cemetery was in large part financed by the proceeds of steam navigation . Its majority owner for m a ny yea rs, William R. Grace, was born in Irela nd an d as a boy emi grated wit h his father to Peru, where they provided services for ships in the nitrate trade. After moving to New York in the 1860s, the junior Grace founded the G race Line that ran to South America. In 1880, he a nd his wife saved ma ny lives when the boiler on the fast commuter stea mer Seawanhaka exploded . H e was twice elected mayo r of New York.

One of the more spectacular monuments within Evergreens is the tomb of Captain Charles H Woolsey, a Sandy Hook pilot (died 1884). The monument was cast in zinc and is highly detailed; (far right) Captain Wools-eys pinky ring, and (immediate right) a schooner-rigged pilot boat-a sister-ship of the yacht America.


Another cemetery investor with nautical interests was an associate of Grace's, Charles R. Flint. When the govern ment of Peru went to war with Chile and Bolivia over mineral fields in 1879, Flint and Grace contracted to send American-built torpedo boats south to the Peruvian navy. Flint discovered that the best of these sm all warships were the fast, quiet, arrow-thin fifty-footers built by the brothers John B. and Nathanael Greene Herreshoff in their shipya rd in Bristol, Rhode Island. Flint acquired one of the Herreshoff gunboats