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Capt. John B Hereabouts, as you may know, there are lots of Harrisons: 14.23 million in Talbot County alone, at last count. Our little island has at least three families by that proud name, which they insist are not closely related. (“Oh, he wasn’t one of those Harrisons; he was one those Harrisons.”) A ll may have descended from a single colonist in the 1600s, or not, but no matter. Now they are considered distinct branches of the vast tree. There is one Harrison, however, who is never mistaken for anyone else despite having that most common of all Chr istian names. To distinguish him from all others, he

invariably is referred to as “John B.” He has been gone now nearly seventy years, yet his name is still heard in these parts. Simply put, in his day, John Benjamin Harrison was one of the premier boatbuilders in all the Chesapeake Bay. (And he built an island, too!) I am pleased to present this small sketch of his remarkable career. John B was born in the last year of the Civil War, in May of 1865, the son of a boatbuilder, Joseph Lower y Harrison. John B began learning the boatbuilding trade early, helping out in his father’s boatyard. He dropped out of school around age 12, but received some private lessons from one of the is-

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Profile for Tidewater Times

November 2014 ttimes web magazine  

November 2014 Tidewater Times

November 2014 ttimes web magazine  

November 2014 Tidewater Times